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Update for 14 May

By Burma Partnership  •  May 14, 2010

Once again we bring you update on the Global Campaign Against Burma’s 2010 Military Elections. These updates feature the efforts and actions of people around the world related to upcoming elections in Burma.

Global Day of Action on 27 May

The Ten Alliances of Burma’s democracy and ethnic rights movement released a media advisory announcing the upcoming Global Day of Action on 27 May, as part of the ongoing Global Campaign Against Burma’s 2010 Military Elections. The Ten Alliances are calling on Burmese communities in exile and solidarity groups around the world to hold “People’s Elections” on this day, the 20th anniversary of the 1990 elections. Groups will hold events in public places where people can vote for genuine democratic elections in Burma and ask ASEAN and national governments to denounce the 2010 elections and reject the results unless the regime changes course and meets the minimum benchmarks set out by the democracy movement.

So far Burma and solidarity groups in The Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, South Africa, US, Norway, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, India, Bangladesh, Japan, Korea, UK, Switzerland, France, Thailand and Timor Leste have pledged to hold events for the Global Day of Action. If you are planning an event and haven’t told us please use our sign up sheet.

Burma groups organize outreach efforts on the Thai-Burma border

A part of their Global Day of Action preparations, the Foreign Affairs Coordinating Team of the Ten Alliances held meetings with dozens of border-based organizations this week. The Ten Alliances’ member organizations and other border-based groups, decided to form a committee to organize educational outreach to communities on the border. They plan to hold workshops titled, “People’s Voices on the 2010 Sham Elections,” with migrants and refugees at factories and in the refugee camps on the problems of the elections and the 2008 Constitution. As part of the outreach, groups will be collecting postcard “ballots” that will be sent to the ASEAN Secretary General. The action will start on 27 May and end on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday on 19 June.

San Francisco resolution on elections in Burma

The Burmese American Democratic Alliance (BADA), a campaign-endorsing organization based in San Francisco, along with other Burmese community organizations, successfully petitioned the City of San Francisco to pass a resolution on the elections in Burma. The resolution calls on the US government to denounce the 2010 elections. The city also recognizes Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as the rightful leader of Burma and declares 27 May 2010—the day the 1990 elections were held—as Burma Democracy Day.

Jane Birkin and Info Birmanie visit the Thai-Burma border

This week, France-based Burma solidarity group Info Birmanie and actress and musician Jane Birkin visited the Thai-Burma border. Since meeting Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in 1999, Birkin has been a vocal supporter of the detained leader and Burma. Today, Info Birmanie and Burma Partnership hosted a press conference with Birkin, where she spoke passionately about her experiences meeting people from Burma.

On the topic of the elections, Isabelle Dubuis said, “We have been expecting elections for twenty years, but not these kinds of elections. We want a true democratic process with dialogue. The junta has not come close to any of these demands… We have been patient enough, and now it’s time to act.”

Asked what she had to say to the SPDC, Birkin said, “I have nothing to say to the SPDC. Unless they let democracy take root in government, unless they release 2,200 political prisoners, unless they release Aung San Suu Kyi, unless they let all the ethnic groups have their say in government, there is nothing to say to them.”

Amnesty International

On Wednesday, Benjamin Zawacki, Amnesty International researcher on Thailand and Burma, spoke at Chatham House, the Royal Institute on International Affairs in London. His briefing, titled, “Myanmar 2010 Elections: A Human Rights Perspective “ is available here. In the speech, Zawacki announced Amnesty International’s support for a Commission of Inquiry into crimes against humanity and war crimes in Burma.

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