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Free Burma Campaign (South Africa) (r)

Subject: Free Burma Campaign (South Africa) (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 1997 08:59:43 +0200 (SST)
To: Kiru Naidoo <kiru@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Free Burma Campaign (South Africa)


(The following statement was send to the South African media, various 
diplomatic missions , the hotel group hosting SLORC, the South African 
Department of Foreign Affairs and President Mandela.  It was published as 
a letter to the editor in amongst others the Business Day (10/01/96) and 
Sunday Tribune (12/01/96) both of which have national circlations.)   

January 4 marks the 49th anniversary of Burma's independence from British 
colonial rule.  It was a hard fought and hard won struggle for self - 
determination and human dignity.  Tragically, democratic government was 
abruptly terminated in 1962 when the military seized power.  Burma has since 
been ruled by successive military juntas which have been universally 
condemned for their atrocious human rights records.  The present 
authorities known officially as the State Law and Order Restoration 
Council (SLORC) annulled the 1990 election in which the opposition led by 
Nobel Laureate , Aung San Suu Kyi, emerged victorious with 82% of the 
popular vote.  In its efforts to consolidate dictatorship SLORC has 
arbitrarily detained , tortured and murdered thousands of its political 
opponents.  Ordinary people suffer indignities associated with forced 
labour, forced relocation, arbitrary taxation, sexual and other forms of 
violence on a regular basis.  The conscience of the civilised world 
dare not tolerate such tyranny.  A global campaign modelled on 
the international anti-apartheid movement is gaining momentum around the 
world.  The Free Burma Campaign (South Africa) was born out of the 
belief that as recently liberated South Africans, we have a moral 
obligation to campaign for the liberation of oppressed peoples 
elsewhere.  We add our voices to the international call to isolate SLORC 
and urge the restoration of democracy in Burma through the 
acknowledgment of the results of the 1990 elections.  We further urge 
the South African government to distance itself from SLORC and withdraw 
recognition of its emissary in this country.  Few diplomatic missions 
will accept the SLORC emissary's invitation to celebrate Burma's 
independence in Pretoria on January 6.  South Africa could send an even 
stronger message to the world by telling the military authorties that 
they are not welcome on our soil.

Issued by:
Kiru Naidoo
Free Burma Campaign
P.O. Box 138
3611 Pavilion
Tel: 082 4166585
Fax: 031 8202340
email: kiru@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx