Burma Partnership, Strengthening Cooperation for a Free Burma
Signup Now!
Join our mailing list for latest news and information about Burma.

We Want Real Change in Burma, Not Public Relations Games

By The Best Friend, Burma Partnership, MAP Foundation, Shan Youth Power, Free Burma VJ Campaign, Human Rights Development Foundation, Kachin Women's Association Thailand, Human Rights Education Institute of Burma, Shan Women's Action Network, All Burma Federation of Student Unions, Burmese Women's Union, Women's League of Burma, Burma Relief Centre, and GABFAI Community Theatre  •  September 26, 2011

On the 4th anniversary of the Saffron Revolution, an alliance of Burma-related organizations in Chiang Mai has organized a candlelight vigil and rally to call on the international community to maintain pressure on Burma’s regime until it carries out a genuine democratic transition by: immediately and unconditionally releasing all political prisoners and ending impunity for human rights abusers.

United Nations’ Member States will soon gather in New York to discuss the UN General Assembly Resolution on the situation of human rights in Burma. It is important that they understand that the people of Burma and human rights groups around the world “Want Real Change in Burma, Not Public Relations Games”, said Garrett Kostin, a representative of The Best Friend Library.

Burma’s regime has been trying to win over the international community by organizing meetings with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, inviting UN Special Rapporteur Tomás Ojea Quintana to visit the country, and establishing their own National Human Rights Commission led by former military generals. However, as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon pointed out in his report to the 66th General Assembly on the Situation of Human Rights in [Burma] on 5August 2011, “the detention of all remaining political prisoners will continue to overshadow and undermine any confidence in the Government’s efforts”. Agreeing with the UN Secretary General, Kostin explained, “The world must not be misled by the regime’s attempts at deceiving the international community into believing it is on the road to genuine democratic reform.

Four years after the Saffron Revolution took place, 222 monks and nearly 2,000 political prisoners remain behind bars. Those responsible for the brutal and deadly crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in 2007 are still in power thanks to the broadly denounced sham ‘elections’ of 2010. They still run the country, enjoying impunity and remaining free to continue committing serious human rights violations, especially in ethnic areas.

Before it accepts that true positive change is underway in Burma, the international community should require the regime to do more than just hold ineffectual meetings with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other public relations maneuvers. The regime needs to show a true determination for democratic transition by immediately and unconditionally releasing all political prisoners, ending impunity for human rights abusers, and entering into tripartite dialogue with Burma’s ethnic groups and the pro-democracy opposition,” said Kostin.

Chiang Mai’s candlelight vigil and rally in Chiang Mai commemorating the 4th anniversary of Burma’s Saffron Revolution will be held Tuesday 27 September, with participants gathering at Three Kings Monument at 6:30 p.m. and proceeding to Thapae Gate. The event has been organized by a coalition of the following fourteen Burma-related organizations in Thailand:

  • The Best Friend Library
  • Burma Partnership
  • MAP Foundation
  • Shan Youth Power
  • Free Burma VJ Campaign
  • Human Rights Development Foundation
  • Kachin Women’s Association of Thailand
  • Human Rights Education Institute of Burma
  • Shan Women’s Action Network
  • All Burma Federation of Student Unions
  • Burmese Women’s Union
  • Women’s League of Burma
  • Burma Relief Centre
  • GABFAI Community Theatre

For more information, please contact:
The Best Friend Library, e-mail: chiangmai@thebestfriend.org
087-656-7267 (English) / 083-565-0982 (Burmese, Shan, Thai)

Download the statement in English, Burmese, Thai, and Shan

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This post is in: Press Release

Related Posts
အလုပ္သမားသပိတ္စစ္ေၾကာင္းမတရားဖမ္းဆီးျဖိဳခဲြခံရမႈအေပၚ မကသမ်ားအဖဲြ႔ခ်ဳပ္၏သေဘာထားေၾကညာခ်က္
Myanmar: Investigate Use of Excessive Force Against Letpadan Protesters
ဗမာႏိုင္ငံလံုးဆိုင္ရာေက်ာင္းသားသမဂၢမ်ားအဖြဲ႕ခ်ဳပ္ ၏ သေဘာထားေၾကညာခ်က္
New Lease of Life in Burma Parliament but Political Prisoners Left Behind
Medical Crisis for Political Prisoners of Letpadan Case