The First Step
The basic ideology behind that Inaugural FORSEA Retreat was that we alone could not fight the dictators in given countries, but with help from others in the ASEAN region, in joining together, we could become stronger in order to promote democracy for Southeast Asia.
At the Inaugural Retreat in Paris on July 20-22, 2018, a number of colleagues from Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia and Singapore, activists and intellectuals from various fields gathered. These academics, writers and artists, met to discuss how to weaken the grip of dictatorships in Southeast Asia.
Fundamentals of FORSEA
At this first stage, the group laid out guiding principles in the first retreat, namely:
- to foster genuine-solidarity ties among leading dissidents engaged in the revolutionary and/or reform movements against dictatorial and authoritarian regimes in ASEAN region;
- to explore concrete ways for strategic collaborations among different networks of dissidents and cross-national boundaries political movements across the region, and beyond;
- to establish a political tradition of collaboration beyond national, racial and religious silos so that People Power movements can mount effective revolt against the typically authoritarian regimes, and their models of racial/nationalistic developmental authoritarianism;
- to coordinate efforts across the regime designed to propagate progressive ideas and ideals such as democratic ethos, gender equality, ecological sensitivity and economic and social justice, through mass media and popular art mediums (films, songs, cartoons, performing art, posters, creative writings, etc.).