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Update for 30 April

By Burma Partnership  •  April 30, 2010

This is the first of our bi-weekly public updates on the Global Campaign Against Burma’s 2010 Military Elections. The Campaign was launched by the Ten Alliances of Burma’s democracy and ethnic rights movement in March following the regime’s release of undemocratic election laws, and is endorsed by over 150 organizations worldwide. These updates will be featuring the efforts and actions of Campaign endorsing organizations and other key groups related to upcoming elections.

Seminar in Swedish Parliament

Debbie Stothard (Altsean Burma), Aung Moe Zaw (Democratic Party for a New Society/Forum for Democracy in Burma) and Min Min (former political prisoner representing Assistance Association for Political Prisoners Burma) spoke at a seminar in Swedish parliament last week to give an update about the situation in Burma leading up to the junta’s elections later this year. All of the panelists stressed the importance of Sweden and the EU not recognizing the electoral process or its outcome. Among the co-organizers were the Social Democratic Students, Sweden and the Swedish Burma Committee.

Appeal to the Italian Government and the EU

The Italian Confederation of Workers Trade Union (CISL), issued a press release on 21 April condemning new election laws and announcing their appeal to the Italian Government and the EU to recognize Burma’s elections only on the condition that the junta 1) immediately release all political prisoners and allow them to participate and stand in the elections; 2) cease attacks against ethnic communities and democracy activists; and 3) genuine tripartite dialogue and reform of the 2008 constitution. The appeal also requested the EU to strengthen sanctions, call for total arms embargo and support Quintana’s request for a UN Security Council Commission of Inquiry into war crimes against crimes against humanity.

Responses to European Union statement

On 26 April the EU declared that it will continue its policy of sanctions and dialogue with the junta and other stakeholders. The EU expressed “serious concerns” that election laws released in early March do not provide for free and fair elections and reiterated its call for the release of the political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

In response, the Ten Alliances of Burma’s democracy and ethnic rights movement issued a press release supporting the EU’s decision which stated that by “maintaining sanctions, the EU is sending a strong signal that the regime must change course for these elections to have any legitimacy whatsoever.” The Ten Alliances also emphasized that any delegation to Burma should insist on meeting with representatives of opposition groups, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the NLD, and ethnic leaders.

Burma Campaign UK and Karen European Network also issued statements welcoming the EU’s call for tri-partite dialogue.

Free Burma Campaign Singapore on Singapore’s Lessons for Burma’s Generals

Seelan Palay of Free Burma Campaign Singapore published an analysis in the Democratic Voice of Burma on 27 April, titled “Singapore mentors Burma in sham elections.” Palay draws parallels between the two countries, and calls attention to the many lessons Burma’s generals may capitalize upon from Singapore’s perpetuation of one-party rule through sham elections.

Outreach meetings in France

Info Birmanie and Burma Partnership’s Deputy Coordinator met with government officials, representatives from political parties and civil society groups in Paris this week to discuss the elections and ways for the different groups to take action.

To subscribe to receive these updates by e-mail, please write to burma2010campaign@gmail.com

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ျမန္မာ-ဥေရာပသမဂၢ (အီးယူ) ရင္းႏွီးျမွပ္ႏွံမႈ အကာအကြယ္ေပးေရး သေဘာတူညီခ်က္ (IPA)ႏွင့္ သက္ေရာက္မႈ ေမးခြန္းလႊာအေပၚ ျမန္မာ အရပ္ဘက္ လူမႈအဖြဲ႔အစည္းမ်ား၏ ထုုတ္ျပန္ေၾကညာခ်က္