[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index
Press Release on the 49th Anniversa
Subject: Press Release on the 49th Anniversary of Independece Day in Burma
January 4, 1997
Today is the 49th anniversary of Burma's independence . On January 4,
1948, Burma ceased being a British colony. Although this should be a
day of celebration for the Burmese people, it is being marked in an
atmosphere of darkness and gloom. Without freedom, independence has no
In 1988 almost the entire population of Burma marched in the streets
calling for democracy. These peaceful demonstrations came to a abrupt
end with the military coup on September 18. The coup leaders, the
so-called State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), shot and
killed thousands of civilians. Thousands more were arrested, tortured,
raped, and detained without trial, while many others fled country to
seek safety in the malarial jungles along with the borders.
Now, after 8 years, the SLORC continues to control the country,
ignoring the people's wishes. The SLORC also mocking the world by its
utter disregard of the results of the election of May 27, 1990.
Instead of transferring power to the people's elected representatives,
SLORC has cynically accused them of having connections with rebels and
communists. The regime still refuses to acknowledge and to take
responsibility for gross human rights violations, even though these have
been well-documented by many independent observers.
In suppressing Burma's ethnic minorities, the SLORC continues the old
BSPP counter-insurgency strategy know as "the four cuts": cutting links
with intelligence, cutting food supplies, cutting money, and cutting
recruits among local civilians. Entire communities have been forcibly
relocated to "strategic hamlets" with strict curfews and rigid controls.
Expulsion orders warn that any villagers remaining in their homes will
be shot on sight. During these operations, the army has arrested and
mistreated thousands of people, including religious leaders. In some
villages all the women have been raped or tortured during interrogation.
Both men and women have been arbitrarily executed. It has become common
in Burma for the military to capture innocent people as porters for the
As a result, We Monland Restoration Council, join hands with all Burmese
who love peace and democracy. We call upon all Burmese to work together
in harmony and unity to publicize the tragedy in Burma and to achieve
democracy and self-determination.
We are deeply committed both physically and spiritually to the struggle
to end civil war in Burma and to establish a genuinely democratic
federal union that endorses autonomy, equality, and the rights of
indigenous nationals to self-determination.
We humbly request the world community to support our struggle for human
rights and democracy in Burma by putting pressure on the military regime
to end the civil war which is not only killing its people but also
ravaging the natural resources of the country. We also ask that the
world stop all economic investment that enhances the strength of the
military regime, allowing them to prolong their power and to continue
oppressing and killing the people.
1) The immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners.
2) An end to the persecution of Buddhist monks and other religious
leaders and restoration of full religious freedom in Burma.
3) A stop to the four-decade long civil war and the concomitant brutal
violations of human rights of the Mon and other ethnic minorities.
4) A stop to the projects to construct a gas pipeline in Monland.
5) The immediate transfer of power to the representative of the people
who won the May 1990 elections.
Monland Restoration Council
Fort Wayne, IN 46805-0108