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Fw: Letter sent to Hon. Lloyd Axwor


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 1997 13:02:07 -0800 (PST)
To: burma1un@xxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: nyap01@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Fw: Letter sent to Hon. Lloyd Axworthy, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 1997 10:10:28 -0800
To: Cham Toik <ctoik@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Fw: Letter sent to Hon. Lloyd Axworthy, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada

HI Cham:-
Let me know if this gets through.  You can send me an email to confirm
> From: Eric Snider <celsus@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: burmanet-l@xxxxxxx
> Subject: Letter sent to Hon. Lloyd Axworthy, Minister of Foreign Affairs,
> Date: Monday, November 03, 1997 7:24 PM
> 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
> (SLORC).
> 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
> 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
> haven.
> 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
> well-founded fear of persecution by the Burmese Army and the SLORC
> We are fearful for the fate of our people should they have to return to
> 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
> 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
> all people to a free and peaceful existence, to exercise your good
> 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