Tragic news of the death of Jose Maria Sison (known as Joma), has not only deeply saddened people in the Philippines and throughout Asia, but also us Kurds.
Joma, who was a writer and activist alongside being a revolutionary, sacrificed his whole life to his faith and conviction that constructing a just world was possible. For this principle he spent many years in prison in the Philippines and despite constant threats from the Philippine regime, he continued his struggle in exile from the Netherlands.
A convinced socialist, Professor Joma fought for the interests of the economically exploited classes, and he retained his conviction that socialism was the antidote to our world’s problems, even as the idea was distorted by the European states he now worked and lived in. Through his ideological analyses, he saw the capitalist system in its entirety and the regional and local consequences for those victims of its exploitation.
Alongside the class struggle, Professor Joma also stood with the those who were militarily occupied and oppressed. As a true internationalist, he was open to the international struggles and revolutions of people’s all around the globe. Because of this, he was always steadfast in his solidarity with the Kurdish struggle for freedom, which saw him participate in several campaigns for the prison release of the Kurdistan freedom movement’s leader Abdullah Öcalan.
But the scene of Professor Joma’s greatest efforts were of course the Philippines, a place where he left a historical and indelible mark. Through his tireless efforts, he will forever hold a special place in the hearts of people throughout the Philippines and Kurdistan. And luckily, his legacy will live on in the books, articles, speeches, and analyses he was left with us. Therefore, his voice will be immortal and help guide all struggling people as we seek liberation and justice.
His death is a great loss for all those who believe in freedom and equality, but we will see it as a call to redouble our efforts to continue his and our shared mission.
We send our condolences to his family, his comrades, and the people of the Philippines.
KNK Executive Council