Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Call to Action

The following  e-mail came from a Maryknoller who thought
it would be of interest.

Call to action from SPARK, PCI Member Organization
 Solidarity with people of Jeju Island, South Korea 
A call from SPARK Pax Christi International's member organization in
South Korea

Seoul moves to destroy JejuIsland - coral habitat to make way for an
Aegis destroyer base aimed at China!   

JejuIsland, a World Heritage Site, is a jewel of biodiversity whose southern coast 
is home to a soft coral habitat. In 2001, the Korean Cultural Heritage Administration 
designated it a national monument protection area. Its Gangjeong coast is also a 
seasonal habitat for hundreds of dolphins that live there from June until September.
They migrate from Alaska through the North Pacific Ocean to JejuIsland, the only 
dolphin habitat in South Korea.

And now the Seoul Government is about to destroy the dolphin habitat and 

the traditional farming and fishing village of Gangjeong to transform an island
known for biodiversity, international peace, honeymoons, and school trips into 
a focal point of rising militarism and an arms race in East Asia. Seoul's target: China, 
ironically the home of many of the tourists who visit Jeju.

On Christmas Day, there was a peace mass, called, 'the Christmas mass to save life 
and peace of the JejuIsland.' It was led by Bishop Kang Woo-Il, Chairman of the 
Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea and the Bishop of the Catholic Jeju diocese, 
along with many priests and women religious on JejuIsland. The event was hosted
by the Special Committee for the Island of Peace, Catholic Jeju Diocese. About 
400~500 followers and Gangjeong villagers gathered and declared their commitment
to save Jeju, Island of Peace, from the naval base construction. Bishop Kang Woo-Il, 
who led the mass, said,  "Military bases cannot save peace and life" and that he 
"would be together with the lonely and oppressed Gangjeong villagers."

The latest report says that the navy is making moves against the people who have 
been trying to block the construction machinery from beginning work.