In an earlier appeal (dated October 31, 1997), we asked for your support regarding three cases of international delegates to the People's Conference against Imperialist Globalization: Continuing the Resistance! (November 21 to 25, 1997 in Vancouver, BC, Canada). We are asking for your support once again, as the pattern / actions of the Canadian government to stifle opposition to APEC continues.
Dominador Virgilito B. Resurrecion III and Danilo F. Fabella of the cultural group, Tambisan sa Sining in the Philippines, were once again denied a visitor's visa to Canada. The reason for this third denial was that they were not able to "convince" the interviewing officer that they will not stay in Canada after the conference. This is despite submission by Tambisan of all necessary supporting documents, including letters of invitation from the NO! to APEC Coalition and various community organizations.
Nathanael Santiago, Secretary General of BAYAN in the Philippines, was granted a visa to Canada on November 3, 1997. This is largely due to the protest letters received by the Canadian Embassy in Manila. Mr. Santiago was also apparently denied an entry visa to the United States.
However, Iswari Prasad Pandey, Coordinator of ASEED Asia in Nepal, has provided more information on his case (please see below). Unfortunately, he missed the ASEED Conference in Toronto and now has no funding to attend the People's Conference.
We are asking all organizations, friends and supporters in the community to once again write protest letters to the Canadian government. A sample letter is attached. Please see the information below for more details on the individual cases and information on where to send your letter. We ask that you also send a copy of any action taken to the NO! to APEC Coalition.
a) Dominador Virgilito B. Resurrecion III (DOB February 2, 1962) Danilo F. Fabella (DOB September 6, 1968) Manila, Philippines
- Members of Tambisan sa Sining (Interaction in Arts), a cultural group organized by the Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement) which is the largest trade union federation in the Philippines
- Invited by the Kalayaan Resource and Training Centre for a cultural exchange to give workshops to local Filipino community groups
- Denied visitors' visa to Canada twice in September 1997
- Reason given: Told by Immigration Officer to apply for an employment visa
- Also invited by the NO! to APEC Coalition to attend, participate (as resource people) and perform at the opening and closing of the People's Conference
- Denied visitors' visas to Canada on November 6
- Reason given on November 6: Questionable motive in going to Canada; only using the People's Conference to gain entry into Canada; application fees of $50(US) each applicant, were forfeited
Fax letters as soon as possible to:Kilusang Mayo Uno: (632) 928-4036
The Canadian Embassy, Manila: (632) 810-8839
b) Iswari Prasad Pandey Nepal Nepalese Passport Number 824982 Date of Birth: September 22, 1968
- Coordinator, ASEED Asia
- Scheduled to speak at ASEED Conference in Toronto at beginning of November
- Scheduled to act as a resource person at the People's Conference on November 23 and 24, 1997
- Scheduled to share about the situation of youth and students in Nepal at the International Youth and Students Caucus in Vancouver on November 27 and 28, 1997
- Denied a visitor's visa to Canada on October 29, 1997 (Iswari described the process as "automatic")
- Reason given: no ties to home country to guarantee his return; no bank statement of savings
- Has to travel to Delhi, India to apply for a visa as there is no Canadian Embassy in Nepal
- No longer has funding to attend the People's Conference and the International Youth and Students Caucus
Fax letters to:ASEED Asia: (9771) 278-084 or 240-252
The Canadian High Commission, New Delhi, India: (9111) 687-6579
Tambisan has been invited to attend, participate (as resource people) and perform at the opening and closing of the People's Conference against Imperialist Globalization in Vancouver by the NO! to APEC Coalition. Their performances are vital to a vibrant program which will explore the genuine impacts of APEC. The NO! to APEC Coalition, which is made up of over 50 grassroots organizations in Canada and the United States, has already stated its willingness to pay for their airfare and expenses.
We are appalled that the Canadian government is effectively preventing Mr. Resurrecion and Mr. Fabella from participating in this important activity. The Canadian government must be held accountable for its statement that Canada "is a free and open country and that Canadians and people visiting this country will be free to express their views." (Leonard Edwards, Canadian senior official, quoted in the Vancouver Sun, October 3, 1997).
Our country's professed humanitarian tradition in immigration policies must be maintained and practised. To deny Mr. Resurrecion and Mr. Fabella a visa in this situation is to make a mockery of Canada's reputation as a democratic nation.
I urge you to reconsider their applications and immediately grant them the opportunity to participate at the People's Conference.
NO! to APEC Coalition
c/o 451 Powell Street
CANADA V6A 1G7
Phone (604) 215-9190
Fax (604) 215-1103