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Urgent Appeal - Burma
FOR YOUR ENDORSEMENT PLS!
URGENT BURMA APPEAL
The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), and Initiatives
for International Dialogue (IID), in co-operation with the Burma Solidarity
Group Malaysia (BSGM), Thai Action Committee for Democracy in Burma (TACDB) and
the National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB), are jointly organising the
"Alternative ASEAN Meeting on Burma" on October 29-30, 1996 at Chulalongkorn
University, Bangkok, Thailand.
The meeting will bring together about fifty human rights activists, trade
unionists and academics from within and outside ASEAN together with
representatives of the democratic movement of Burma. The meeting aims to make
an ASEAN-based assertion of solidarity and support with the peoples of Burma in
their struggle for human rights and democracy and to develop alternatives to
current official policy and practice adopted by ASEAN member governments. It
will also provide the launching point for a broader regional campaign through
the establishment of an ALTERNATIVE ASEAN NETWORK to mobilise grassroots people
and civic organisations.
Another intended significant outcome of the meeting will be the adoption of an
ALTERNATIVE ASEAN DECLARATION ON BURMA. Please read that attached draft
ALTERNATIVE ASEAN DECLARATION ON BURMA for your endorsement and feedback. We
would appreciate if you could distribute this draft declaration amongst your
networks for feedback and endorsement as well. Your support is urgently needed
and will be greatly valued.
It is anticipated that there will be some amendments and additions to the Draft
Declaration before it is finalised and adopted, however, such changes will only
be made with the acceptance of Burmese groups engaged in the movement, in the
spirit of the principles supporting the restoration of human rights, democracy
and peace in Burma.
Please send your endorsement in the following format:
"I wish to endorse the draft Alternative ASEAN Declaration on Burma and
understand that this draft may undergo amendments which do not contradict the
spirit of its current content. My details are as follows:
SIGNED (IF SENDING BY FAX)"
Please forward your feedback and endorsement by WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, to
The Secretariat, Alternative ASEAN Meeting on Burma
109 Suthisarnwinichai Road Samsennok,
Huaykwang Bangkok, Thailand
Tel: 66 2 275 4230 - 3 .
Fax 66 2 276 2183 or 275 4230
Please feel free to contact the Secretariat if you require further information
on the Alternative ASEAN Meeting on Burma. Thank you.
Yours in solidarity,
on behalf of the organisers.
ALTERNATIVE ASEAN DECLARATION ON BURMA
1. WE, THE PARTICIPANTS OF THE ALTERNATIVE ASEAN MEETING ON BURMA, WISH TO
AFFIRM OUR SUPPORT FOR AND SOLIDARITY WITH THE MOVEMENT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND
DEMOCRACY IN BURMA, ALSO KNOWN AS MYANMAR.
2. WE VIEW WITH GRAVE CONCERN the violations perpetrated by the brutal
military regime in Burma known as the State Law and Order Restoration Council
(SLORC) upon the 47 million peoples of Burma. These violations are being
inflicted in contempt of universal values which recognise and uphold the
humanity and dignity of all human beings. These violations are also in direct
contravention of a range of international instruments adopted by the community
of nations throughout the world, notably:
3. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
4. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
5. The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, Degrading
Treatment and Punishment
6. The Slavery Convention and the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of
Slavery, the phenomena of migrant workers from
Burma who, in their desperation to flee the harsh conditions of their country,
are vulnerable to exploitative conditions in countries where they have sought
work. WE NOTE that the Burmese authorities' refusal to take responsibility for
them has rendered them illegal migrant workers in many countries. THEREFORE,
WE RESPECTFULLY URGE these countries to apply the principles contained in the
relevant ILO International Labour Standards and Conventions, as well as the
International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers
and Members of their Families, in their dealings with these people.
47. WE RECOGNISE AND SUPPORT the aspirations of the peoples of Burma for a
peaceful, democratic society which respects the civil and political rights of
all its members.
48. WE RECOGNIZE that the prerequisites for a just peace in Burma include:
49. The recognition of the outcome of the 1990 election, including the handing
over of power to a democratic, civilian government
50. The reconstitution of the composition and processes of the National
Convention for the drawing up of a new Constitution to reflect the aspirations
and desires of the peoples of Burma
51. The unconditional release of all political prisoners, including those held
under house arrest
52. The formation of a genuine Federal Union of Burma which recognises the
rights of all communities and ethnic nationalities
53. The cessation of human rights violations against the peoples of Burma,
including killings, torture, rape and sexual assault, forced labour and other
forms of persecution and violations as described above
54. The cessation of harassments, attacks and discrimination targeted at the
ethnic nationalities of Burma
55. T PARTICIPANTS OF THE ALTERNATIVE ASEAN MEETING ON BURMA, RE-AFFIRM
OUR COMMITMENT to support the movement for human rights and democracy in Burma.
WE WILL DO THIS by working in co-operation with Burmese and non-Burmese
peoples' organisations working within and without Burma to further the cause of
the movement. WE WILL DO THIS through the formation of the ALTERNATIVE ASEAN
NETWORK ON BURMA, as an expression of the support of the peoples of ASEAN for
the struggle in Burma. WE WILL ENGAGE in activities on the local, national and
regional levels to raise awareness of and mobilise support for our 47 million
neighbours in Burma.
75. WE MAKE THIS COMMITMENT with the understanding that we are diminished as
human beings and as supporters of human rights if we fail to act to alleviate
the tragic crisis taking place in Burma. WE UNDERSTAND that our support for
human rights, democracy and peace in Burma is also support for human rights,
democracy and peace in our communities.
76. THEREFORE, WE CALL UPON our home governments and other members of the
international community to support us in our endeavours and allow us to freely
engage in legitimate activities which are informed by the universal values for
human rights, democracy and peace, held dearly by all peoples of the world.
77. WE MAKE THIS DECLARATION ON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30, 1996, AT THE CONCLUSION
OF THE ALTERNATIVE ASEAN MEETING ON BURMA, CHULALONGKORN UNIVERSITY, BANGKOK,
ALSO ENDORSED BY: (Endorsing organisations who could not attend meeting)
Draft: Alternative ASEAN Declaration on Burma, as at 17/10/96