Tassos Coulaloglou

Tassos Coulaloglou (Collective Campaign for Peace – COCAP): Tassos was born and raised in New Jersey. He attended the University of Wisconsin (UW) and graduated with his BS in Political Science in 2001. Tassos spent one year studying abroad at Utrecht University in Holland while in his final year at UW, After graduation, Tassos moved to Lithuania to become a freelance journalist and teach high-school history and English as a second language. In 2004, he returned to the States to work as a team leader with the League of Conservation's Envirovictory political campaign in Milwaukee. He returned to Eastern Europe the following year and resumed writing before starting graduate school. At the time of his fellowship, Tassos was studying for a Master's degree in International Relations and Diplomacy offered jointly by Leiden University and the Clingendael in Holland. After his fellowship, Tassos wrote: “...now in class, I try to break the Euro/America-centric positions that seem to dominate and ask what the Nepali view would be…this fellowship pushed me to understand a people, to think in their terms."

Back in Kathmandu

30 Jun

I arrived yesterday in Kathmandu to cover a week long International Criminal Court (ICC) event organized by 43 human rights organizations, with COCAP playing a major role. The goal is to pressure the Nepali interim government to ratify the Rome Statute of the ICC and add Nepal to the list of over 100 countries who are members of the court (but no America of course). They chose this week because it was on July 1, 2002, that the Rome Statute came into force.

I came to the COCAP offices at noon, two hours before the start of a press conference to promote ICC week. I found no press release so we went to work to put something together and had it just in time for the start.

I’m really excited about the program. Some of the highlights will include street plays, sticker and T-shirt distribution, and campus awareness programs to increase visibility for the campaign. Petitions will also be given to the political leaders of the ruling 8-party coalition and there will be a radio program on Friday to spread the word and invite people to attend a demonstration organized with the collaboration of Amnesty International. The march will end the week and if the volunteers’ enthusiasm is any indication, they’ll have made their voices heard. Right now I can FEEL them practicing their different chants in the meeting room downstairs. Wow, is it loud!

Being in Kathmandu will also give me a chance to confer with the COCAP higher ups about a proposal I’m working on. It’s a communications and institutional development proposal that I hope will put at least one computer with internet in every member office (some do not even have a phone line). Perhaps more importantly, it calls for information and communication technology (ICT) training to develop and strengthen the COCAP network and the member organizations themselves.

I talked about it briefly in a previous blog entry, but I’ve gotten a bit more ambitious and I hope to expand the proposal to include the whole Nepal COCAP network (keep your fingers crossed, which incidentally, does not carry over culturally in Nepal). I will also have access to faster internet and reliable electricity, so I hope to post more and much better quality (sorry about that!) photos.

It should be a busy week in Kathmandu before I return to Baglung.

Posted By Tassos Coulaloglou

Posted Jun 30th, 2007

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