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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.  

We demand:

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.  

Central Committee
Monland Restoration Council
P.O.Box 50108
Fort Wayne, IN 46805-0108