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From All Burma Students League (r)
- Subject: From All Burma Students League (r)
- From: abslhq1@xxxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 05:51:00
Global Action against the Burmese military junta
April 12, 2001
We, members of the All Burma Students League would like to call upon the Burmese pro-democracy forces, Burma's ethnic nationalities and the supporters of Burma democracy movement around the world to join in a Global Action against the Burmese military junta for its widespread human rights violations, including the use of forced labor in the country.
The Global Action would be launched simultaneously in various parts of the world on May 4, 2001 (Friday). Some basic reasons why we should launch an effective and worldwide campaign against the ruling military junta are:
· It is almost eleven years that the people of Burma had voted for the National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi but the ruling military regime continues to ignore the verdict of the people and refuses to hand over power to the elected parliamentarians.
· There are rampant and egregious violations of human rights by the junta in the whole country. More than 1,500 people remain imprisoned for political reasons and at least 34 Members of Parliament still remain in prison. Another 36 Members of Parliament have been detained without trial in so-called "government guesthouses" since 1996. Torture has become an institution in the country.
· Despite the strong action taken by the world's labor body, International Labor Organization (ILO), the Burmese military continues to use forced labor systematically in a large scale. "Men and women of all ages are forced to work against their will, including children and elderly people. Women are particularly at risk. Incidents of gang rape by soldiers are frequent, and many victims have been murdered afterwards", said International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) recently. It has urged national and multinational companies trading with and/or investing in Burma should withdraw as a matter of urgency because "it is impossible to maintain business relations with Burma without directly or indirectly supporting forced labor in Burma". The ICFTU has called for an International Day of Union Action for Burma to be organized on 1st May 2001.
· Moreover, the ongoing military operations of the Burmese military in Shan, Karen and Karenni States particularly have caused massive internal displacement and destruction of crops and livestock of the villagers in the areas.
Therefore, we would like to request you to participate in this Global Action against the ruling military junta in Burma.
Please organize protests, rallies, pickets, meetings, lobbying, poster displays, exhibitions, etc. on that day protesting against the continued human rights violations of the junta in Burma. We would issue a joint statement on that day and we invite you to send your suggestions for the statement.
The Australia-based Free Burma Action Committee has informed us that they would join in this Global Action.
For further information, please contact: Ko Nyi Nyi Lwin, Vice President of ABSL and Ko Maung Maung Than, Free Burma Action Committee at the following numbers.
Yours in solidarity,
The All Burma Students League
* All Burma Students League
Telephone: +91-11-3017172/ 5511076
* Free Burma Action Committee
Telephone: +61-2-96435646, Mobile: +0411337816
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