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Collective Statement on 2010 Elections Calling for Genuine Political Reconciliation Before Elections in Burma

December 10, 2009

We, the united voice of people, communities, and organizations from Burma and around the globe, strongly reaffirm the necessity for genuine political reconciliation before the 2010 elections and call on the international community to take immediate action to ensure viable democratic change occurs in Burma. The people of Burma are entitled to have a genuine choice and the international community has an obligation to ensure that the people get this choice.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 21) states, “The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government”; however, the military regime in Burma continues to use coercive measures to hold onto power. Activists, community leaders, journalists, and monks continue to be arrested and harassed for voicing independent thought. Villages continue to be subjected to crimes against humanity under the regime’s brutal policy of controlling ethnic communities. The regime continues to manipulate the political sphere in order to secure their victory in the 2010 elections – based on the 2008 Constitution that was crafted by the military regime in order to perpetuate impunity and prolong their hold on power. Inclusive solutions proposed by democracy and ethnic leaders have been discarded with severe persecution. Once again, the regime is poised to repeat its systematic use of force, manipulation, and corruption during the 2008 constitutional referendum.

We call on the international community to insist that the regime meets crucial benchmarks in order to bring peace and stability to Burma before the elections, i.e.:

  1. Release all political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Khun Htun Oo, and Min Ko Naing.
  2. National Reconciliation: Inclusive dialogue with key stakeholders from democracy groups and ethnic nationalities, including a comprehensive review of the 2008 Constitution.
  3. Cessation of systematic human rights abuses and criminal hostilities against ethnic groups, political activists, journalists, and civil society.

If the election is allowed to go ahead without these changes, then it will only serve to institutionalize one-party rule, with military still holding the strings of power. Even in the unlikely event that the elections are free and fair, they will not bring any real change to Burma because the fundamentally flawed Constitution that allocates vast powers to military, lacks any checks and balances, allows for the ongoing discrimination and persecution of ethnic nationalities, gender discrimination, and lacks protection of human rights. Such a Constitution is dangerous for a country emerging from conflict and post-conflict situations, and will continue to push Burma’s vast problems into neighboring countries and throughout the region if necessary measures aren’t taken.

The inclusion of genuine democratic opposition parties in the democratic and constitutional process would not only assure political pluralism and a more effective representation of the people of diverse ethnicity, it would offer a sustained solution to decades-long political crisis. The Burmese opposition forces on Burma border’s area and across the world in reflecting the position of ethnic nationalities leadership and pro-democratic forces inside Burma, have developed a Proposal for National Reconciliation which offers solutions for the country to move forward, proposing ways that all groups, including the military can work together to finally bring democratic transition to Burma. We urge the international community to be united in their support for the will of the people of Burma, and act with firm resolve not to allow this sham election to proceed until national reconciliation is realized.

Actions Birmanie – Brussels

All Burma Democratic Lusei Women Organization

Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (Altsean-Burma)

Arakan League for Democracy (Exile – India)

Arakan Liberation Party

ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC)

Asian Center for the Progress of Peoples

Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition

Association Suisse-Birmanie

Austrian Burma Center

Back Pack Health Worker Team

Birmania por la Paz (Burma Campaign Spain)

Burma Action Ireland

Burma Aktion Germany

Burmese American Democratic Alliance

Burma Campaign Australia

Burma Campaign Korea

Burma Campaign UK

Burma Centre Delhi

Burma Community Resource Center

Burma Democratic Concern

Burma Info (Japan)

Burma Information Team

Burma Lawyers Council

Burma Lusei Union

Burma Medical Association

Burma Mobilize

Burma Partnership

Burma Point

Burmese Women’s Union

Canadian Friends of Burma

Chin Human Rights Organization

Chin Students and Youth Federation

Chin Women Organization

Chin Youth Conference

Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Danish Burma Committee

Dictator Watch

Ethnic Nationalities Council

Falam Chin Women Development

Forum for Democracy in Burma

  • All Burma Federation of Student Unions – Foreign Affairs Committee
  • All Burma Student Democratic Front
  • Burmese Women’s Union
  • Democratic Party for New Society
  • Network for Democracy and Development
  • People Defense Force
  • Yaung Chi Oo Workers Association

Foundation for Media Alternatives (Philippines)

Free Burma Campaign (Korea)

Free Burma Campaign Singapore

Free Burma Campaign, South Africa

Free Burma Coalition-Philippines

Friends of Burma, Malaysia

Friends of Burma, Thailand

Friends of the Third World

Health Equity Initiatives, Malaysia

Hong Kong Coalition for a Free Burma

Info Birmanie (France)

Initiatives for International Dialogue

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

International Women’s Partnership for Peace and Justice (IWP)

Jamalpur Gandhi Ashram

Karen Women’s Organization

Kuki Students Democratic Force

Kuki Women Human Rights Organization

Lamkang Naga Students Union

Lamkang National Council

League for Democracy in Burma (Japan)

Members of Parliament Union

Naga National League for Democracy

Naga Senior Citizens’ Forum

Naga Students Union Delhi

Naga Youth Organization

National Council of the Union of Burma – New Zealand Office

National League for Democracy (Liberated Area)

National League for Democracy (Liberated Area) – Korea Branch

Nationalities Youth Forum

All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress

All Kachin Students and Youth Union

Arakan Youth Network Group

Chin Students’ Union

Karenni National Youth Organization

Karenni Student Union

Karen Youth Organisation

Kayan New Generation Youth

Mon Unity League

Pa-O Youth Organization

Ta’ang Students and Youth Organization

United Lahu Youth Organization

Zomi Students and Youth Organisation

Norwegian Burma Committee

Patriotic War Veterans of Burma

Peace for Burma

Peaceful Burma

People in Need

People’s Forum on Burma (Japan)

Social Upliftment Through Rural Action (SUTRA)

Solidaritas Indonesia untuk Burma (Indonesian Solidarity for Burma)

Students and Youth Congress of Burma

All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress

All Burma Students’ Democratic Front

All Burma Students League

All Kachin Students and Youth Union

Arakan League for Democracy – Youth Wing (Exile)

Democratic Party for a New Society – Youth

Karen Youth Organization

Kayan New Generation Youth

Kuki Students Democratic Front

Mon Youth Progressive Organization

National League for Democracy – Liberated Area, Youth

Naga National League for Democracy – Youth

Pa-O Youth Organization

Ta’ang Students and Youth Organization

Tavoyan Youth Organization

Zomi Students and Youth Organization

Student Federation of Thailand

Shwe Gas Movement

Taiwan Free Burma Network

Women League of Chin-land

Women Rights and Welfare Association of Burma

Zanniat Youth Organizations

Zomi Community Committee

Zomi National Congress

Zomi Reunification Organisation

Zomi Women Union

This post is in: 2010 Elections, Press Release