Sunday, June 3, 2007

Global Petition to Support House Resolution 121 hits 2140 and Goes to Washington


Last week I sent the global on-line petition to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. There were 2140 international signatures on the petition and comments from all over the world. When the petition reaches another 2000, I'll send another batch. Here's the cover letter that went along with the 125 page document of signatures, addresses, countries and comments from citizens in the United States, the Netherlands, Guam, Malaysia, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, France, Italy, New Zealand, Australia and many other countries.

You can still sign the international petition to support House Resolution 121. Go to the petition to support "Comfort Women" House Resolution and make your thoughts known. Or just visit the petition and browse through the comments of the signatories. It will fill your heart.

Peace,
Evelina

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
H-232 Capitol
Washington, DC 20515-6501
May 23, 2007

Dear Speaker of the House Pelosi,

Please find enclosed a worldwide request to support of House Resolution 121.

Soon after I drafted the petition on March 13, 2007, I received an email from a private Japanese citizen who asked me if he could translate it into Japanese and post it on his website. Since then, the global community has responded with an outpouring of heartfelt concern. At this moment, the petition bears 2140 international signatures.

It is true that some of these signatures are from your district, and most of them, while from U.S. citizens are not. A significant number of names here are from the global community.

The document enclosed is more than a simple petition. If you read the comments written by international citizens, you will see how urgently our community feels the need to resolve this issue on a global scale. Many of the signatories write from countries that have been directly affected by the Japanese Imperial Army’s World War II practice of systematic rape and abduction of over 200,000 women and girls throughout Asia and the South Pacific. As you read the comments from Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Guam and the Philippines, you will see that many victims and their families who have never had a time or place to voice their distress, to mourn or to demand justice are writing here and now. They are petitioning the United States of America to support the surviving “Comfort Women,” their mothers and grandmothers, on their behalf. No other government has taken this lead to support women living with the effects of WWII, years after they have been abused. This is an opportunity for the United States to take a leadership role worthy of a first world nation.

The document also makes clear that a number of private citizens in Japan believe that an apology is the right and noble thing to do. Their personal apologies reflect that they desire their government to take full responsibility and to deliver an honest and sincere apology.

In this document, surviving “Comfort Women” can see for themselves that despite Japan’s reticence, the world understands what happened during WWII. The global community knows what the Japanese Imperial Army did. No amount of denial will keep the truth down. At least this much, we can give the old women. But you can do so much more by bringing House Resolution 121 to a full vote and by passing it.

For me, the author of the petition, the document’s request to pass House Resolution 121 reads like a love letter to our women and girls. It is a means of serving justice, of honoring and respecting those who have had to endure these atrocities. And given the times we are living in, it delivers a strong message to today’s generation that we will not repeat a history where the dignity and life of human beings are sacrificed for the “comforts” of war.

Sincerely on behalf of the signatories on the petition to support House Resolution 121,

M. Evelina Galang,
Writer and Assistant Professor of English
University of Miami


Cc: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Congressman Mike Honda
Chairman Tom Lantos
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer
Congresswoman Ileana Ros Lehtinen
LILA Pilipina-Gabriela

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