June 16 Off the Press: Jose Maria Sison: At Home
in the World (Portrait of a Revolutionary), Conversations
with Ninotchka Rosca.
Jose Maria Sison: At Home In
The World Portrait of a Revolutionary
New book on Jose Maria Sison to be launched in Montreal
(Vancouver, B.C.) - The latest book on Jose Maria Sison, the
Philippines' foremost revolutionary leader and one of the
world's leading anti-imperialist spokesperson, will be launched
in Montreal on May 29 during an international conference
examining his case.
Written by Ninotchka Rosca who has followed Sison's life since
he left the Philippines in 1987 and lived in the Netherlands,
the book is a rare glimpse into the thinking of this intriguing
contemporary revolutionary leader who has survived many attempts
by the U.S., European and other countries to "bury" him. Rosca
says that instead of burying him, these countries only "succeed
in having songs sung in his name".
Rosca assures readers the book is not just a simple recitation
of Sison's bio-data or what he is like as an individual. Rather,
she says, "A person's true measure comes from an amalgam of what
he/she has done, what he/she is and the impact of his/her being
and activities on the community, on humankind, as it were, plus
how he is perceived by the community."
"By giving up a life of comfort, by electing to go underground ,
by involving himself not only in leading but also immersing
himself in the revolutionary armed struggle, Prof. Sison
hammered home the ideal of praxis: as you say life should be
lived, so should your own life be lived. His life and work
exemplified the unity of theory and practice. Armchair or
cappuccino political theorists have not been held in any kind of
respect in the Philippines ever since."
"By his life as well, Prof. Sison made vivid the truth that even
as circumstances forged a person, so could a person forge
Sison has been put in the U.S. blacklist as a "terrorist"
following the events of Sept. 11 despite the fact that he has
been serving as chief political consultant to the National
Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) for the past ten
years in its on-going negotiations with the Philippine
government to end the 30-year civil war in the country.
The European Union, The Netherlands, Australia as well as Canada
have followed suit in labeling Sison, prompting a world-wide
movement to defend his rights. Sison is currently challenging
the listing before the European Council.
The conference Laws, Labels and Liberation: The Case of Jose
Maria Sison, will look at Sison's listing as an example of the
curtailment of human rights and how anti-terrorism laws impact
on the right of oppressed peoples to struggle for national
Leading authorities on international human rights including
Philippine Judge Romeo Capulong of the U.N. International
Tribunal on the former Yugoslavia and Luis Jalandoni of the NDFP
from the Netherlands will address the conference held at the
Universite du Quebec a Montreal from May 28 -30, 2004.
Registration is still open for the conference and for further
information visit the conference' website at
firstname.lastname@example.org, contact number: 1-514-222-2621
Ninotchka Rosca is recipient of the 1993 American Book Award for
excellence in literature. She has written five books, including
the two highly accumulated novels, State of War and Twice
Blessed. Based in New York, she was founding chair of Gabriela
Network, a Philippine-U.S. women's organization fighting against
trafficking of women.