Thursday, April 16, 2015


Congratulations to Prof. Ernesto Kahan for being honoured by Argentina by naming The International Congress of Eco-Poetry now going on in Pehuajo, Buenos Aires after his name. Till today, he never tell me whats it being called but I suppossed it must be Ernesto Kahan International Congress of Eco-Poetry. Claire Wang Lee and few friends from The World Congress of Poets fraternity when told about this all said congratulations and proud of you Ernesto! We are very happy and I shared Claire's words ' At last Argentina is doing the right thing honouring a good poet like you'. Long live Ernesto Kahan and may you be another world famous Argentina sons like Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi!! I can imagine you blushing when reading this. But dear Ernesto, you really deserved it!

Have a good congress and happy holidays to you.

Sunday, April 5, 2015






 7th MARCH 2015 – 10AM. 

 Siti Ruqaiyah Hashim (SRH) is a free lance writer based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Born in 1930 in Oslo Norway. Professor Johan Galthung(Prof.JG) known world wide as The
Father of Peace Studies started Peace Research Institute Oslo or PRIO in 1959. It’s the world first Peace Studies Institute formed.  Since then, more than 500 Peace Studies centres and schools in universities all over the world established and many of them were with his initiatives and advises . In 1993 he founded TRANSCEND Peace University world’s first online Peace Studies University. Together with it, he founded TRANSCEND International  which is a global network for Peace, Development  and Environment engaged in mediations and researches on peace making and conflicts solving all over the world.

Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s non-confrontational peace principles, five years  before
formation of PRIO,  Johan Galthung published Gandhi’s Political Ethics a book he wrote
when he was only twenty five. Since then, he had authored and co-authored some 150
books, 1600 papers and articles focused on peace and related issues. The non-violent
conflict resolutions expert who wrote ‘The Fall of US Empire – And Then What?’ in 2009  
said in Radio Democracy Now (USA) interview few years ago, “ I love the American Republic. But I hate the US Empire. “ talked to this writer few days before Perdana Global Peace Foundation’s (PGPF) recent International Conference on The New World Order A Recipe For War or Peace! His latest research and book Abolishing War and Clash of Culture were launched during the conference.  

Professor Johan Galthung was the first holder of Mahathir PGPF Chair for Global Peace in
Islamic International University Malaysia (IIUM) and his tenure ended after the International Conference.

SRH: Prof Johan, Please  tell me more about your being in Malaysia since a year ago and what have you been  doing?

Prof. JG:  I am known as The Father of Peace Studies and maybe by now Grand father or great grand father of Peace Studies.

SRH:   With 150 books?

Prof. JG: Its not the question of what I had done but the fantastic waves of all over the world of Peace Studies (centres). In 1961, there is not even one peace studies school but now we have 500 all over the world. We have to educate people on conflicts solving, peace making and other related issues after so long we had glamorized war. War is bad.
Anyway, when I was invited here in UIAM, there is no slightest interest, no students, no professors, no collegue. So it’s a flop of me staying here. But two things happen  positively:
One is the fact that UIAM is The International  Islamic University of Malaysia.
And secondly, Tun Mahathir and The Perdana Global Peace Foundation-PGPF. They are asking  me to do a study to criminalize war. They have a mock tribunal-basically against US and Israel (on conflicts with Palestine) particularly. And also sitting on Sunni-Shia conflicts.

So I turn myself into research. And two books come out of it:

1)   Abolishing War
2)   The Clash of Culture
3)   The Art of Peace - which I just finished yesterday.

At the conference on Monday these books will be handed to PGPF. So I am happy with the outcome of the researches and the books.  Due to the lack of interest of the University,  I cut off 1 year instead of 2 years of staying here.  The last thing I worked on here was finishing 28 lectures  meant for 14 weeks of one semester on Peace Studies. And it was announced to the students  and only two students turned up one a Turkish another one a Sri Lankan. Not even a single Malaysian. It’s a bit strange about the reception of  the people in the University.
So I make the best of it. Since I’ve got no teaching work to do, I turned to writing books. I am also mediating (conflicts) all over the world in practice. From sitting  in Afghanistan talking to the Taliban and contact with Al-Qaeda, contact with Boko Haram and in Turkey with all the (conflicting ) parties.  I am also sitting with all the ( concerned)  parties in Ukraine. You must sit down and talk (with all parties)  so that all will accept (solutions of conflicts). You must mediate with all of them.
SRH: What do you think of some peace movements organizations efforts especially the NGOs?

Prof. JG:  Some peace movements are too vague and too much  talk. You can have things like United Nations of the World or Global Peace  but you must do very  concrete things. It needs creativity and hard work (not just talk  about it). Only then it will work. It works many times that way anyway.

IPPNW (International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War) is very good (effort) to prevent radiation from harming human’s body (and survival) but the conflicts need to be resolved. You must know about peace making, (mediating)  and conflicts solving. No point bringing in a nuclear scientist  (or whoever) into a (any peace) movement because you must know about (the mechanisms of ) conflict solving.

You need to ask:  Mr. Taliban what sort of Afghanistan you would like to see coming into if you are in power? These are the issues you must address and mediate with other groups in the conflict and find an acepted solutions by all. You need to be creative and do hard work and concrete efforts made towards solvingthe problems.  

SRH: You had been in Malaysia before and what do you think of this country now?

Prof. JG:  I was teaching in University of Science in Penang from 1974 untill 1978 which is 5 years. I was together with Prof. Chandra Muzzafar who was also in Social Science School with me then. Malaysia was strong during Tun Mahathir’s time. He created Modern Malaysia. Modern Economy of Malaysia.   

SRH: About Palestine issue, how long more do you think its going to take and when will it ends?

Prof. JG.  Its coming to an end. Sweden already recognized (Palestine’s sovereignity). Three important parliaments , England, France and Spain are also voting for Palestine. Though its not binding to the governments (decisions), the favour is very much for Palestine. Even the EU Parliament is showing that tendency.  The mood and the support is very clear for Palestine. Things are moving and its very much for Palestine. But Malaysia  should do more for support to Palestine.

Malaysia used the term ‘State Terrorism’  towards Israel and that is really something strong. Though I am not sure the (present)  Prime Minister (of Malaysia) uses that term (also).

And  Obama had muted Netanyahu recently by not wanting to see him.

The ICC (International Criminal Court) in this matter is also moving. If Malaysia could support more  The ICC for Palestine’s (causes ) it will be good. I would say, by 2020 it ( the Palestine-Israel conflict) should be over. Maybe sooner. It will be like the South African scenario after apartheid was abolished.  It will go back to normal (relationship) with the rest of the world.

SRH: Malaysia had been giving a lot in humanitarian efforts towards Palestine.

Prof. JG:  That’s the covert operation. And its very good. But political support for Palestine need more to be done.

SRH: What about the IS (Islamic States) conflicts?Aren't these issues cropping up due to reactions on US policies in Middle East?

Prof. JG: There are many areas  one has to look at. One aspect is what you had said just  now. Secondly, that areas – Syria and Iraq had a very violent history since long ago. Since 4000 years ago during the Assyrian Empire. And from historical point of view, the Ottoman times also was a violent (era). So many hatred (and animosities) are there.

But a Caliph brought peace and unification of that area. So the longing for a Caliph is still there. A Caliph who could unify and bring peace (and greatness) for  the area. And the longing for a Caliphate (state) is a Muslim right that the Western cannot stand against (if achieved).

George Bush (Jr) said God asked him  to democratize Middle East. That’s blasphemy to me! Anybody who talked like that is not being sensical at all (and insulting) to religion.

 SRH: Few years back, there were accusations about you of being anti- Semitic because you said the Jews controlled US economy and media.  Your comments?

 Prof.JG:  Many years ago, I debated in Qatar  defending the rights of Israel
 to exist.Is that being anti-Semitic? I defended (the rights) Israel infront of many Arab League Nations. But I insisted that (Israel) should  go back to the borders of 1967.

US and Israel hold on to the doctrines of ( being) The Chosen People and the Promised Land. But that land is not empty! This cultural alliance which is being in the same way means they have to be strong. That’s why all the mutual support and assistance between
these powers are strong.

I am not prejudiced against Jews. But Wall Street is 70 % controlled by Jews.

American voters wants victory not peace.   I proposed the 12620  points. Which is package of ideas for:
                       1 recognition of Palestine (nationhood)
                       2 states (solutions) of  Palestine and Israel
                       6 communities (neighboring) of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, 
                       Egypt, Israel and Palestine.
                       20 members of co-inhabitant of all (the different races) 
                       in the area (Middle East).    

But no one coming to the idea of recognizing Palestine.  Because they don’t want solutions  but expansion (that’s what they want).

So a Basel (Switzerland) based Peace Institution suspended me. Though I helped to form that institution long ago.  

SRH: Will you come again to Malaysia?

Prof. JG: If I should come to Malaysia again its because someone wants me to have a look at the conflicts.  There are conflicts in Malaysia, not the issues of racisms or seditious. But conflicts. So If I am being asked to look into it, I will come again.

Note: The above article is the full interview with Prof.Johan Galthung.