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Letter sent to Hon. Lloyd Axworthy,

Dear Minister:-

We are members of the Mon National Organization of Canada and the Karen
National Organization (B.C).  We belong to the Mon and Karen ethnic
nationalities of Burma (Myanmar) and have been exercising our right to a
peaceful life since we arrived in Canada after fleeing oppression by the
Burmese military regime know as the State Law and Order Restoration Council

Recently we received reports we believe to be reliable and accurate from
the Mon Information Service, as well as a documentation centre, Burma
Issues, both located in Bangkok, Thailand, that military officials of the
SLORC had ordered Karen and Mon villagers living in Kya-In Seik Kyi and Kaw
Ka Reik Townships of the Karen State to relocate to other areas, having
accused these people of being supporters of insurgent guerillas that
operate in these areas.  Immediately, many of these same villagers left
their belongings behind and fled to the Thai-Burma border seeking a safe

Nevertheless, after crossing into the Umphang district of Tak Province in
Thailand they were informed by officers of the Thai Army that they would
have to return to Burma.  If these people are sent back to Burma against
their will, it will consitute an act of refoulement that is contrary to
international law, because they have taken shelter in Thailand because of a
well-founded fear of persecution by the Burmese Army and the SLORC regime.

We are fearful for the fate of our people should they have to return to the
oppression exercised by the military regime of Burma.  There can be no
doubt that, if they are repatriated, they will be subjected to forced
labour and portering, and to extortion, lootings, beatings, rape and murder
that are practised without letup by one of the most repressive military
regimes the world has ever seen.  Members of our two organizations can
speak from personal experience of what it is to suffer this kind of
repression.  We cannot see our brothers and sisters returned to Burma
without doing what we can to save them from this fate.

On behalf of our people, we urge you as Minister of Foreign Affairs for
Canada, a country known throughout the world as a defender of the rights of
all people to a free and peaceful existence, to exercise your good offices
on behalf of these Karen and Mon villagers, and to do all that is within
your power to ensure that the international conventions protecting the
rights of refugees are observed in this case.

Respectfully yours,

Saw Bee Duu
Secretary, Karen National Organization (B.C.)

Cham Toik
Chairperson, Mon National Organization of Canada

Vancouver, BC, Canada