Tuesday, October 02, 2007

MAINS students' second statement on Burma

Joint Statement of Asian Students of Sungkonghoe University in Support of Democracy in Burma
2007 October 2, South Korea

The monks started a peaceful protest 12 days ago and the SPDC military junta have left at least on “official count” 13 dead including a Japanese journalist, Kenji A. But according to information from NLD headquarters 250 protestors were killed including hundreds arrested and detained. Hundreds more suffered injuries when the police launched a crackdown on the protesting monks and civilians including raids on monasteries.

The scenario was an infamous retrospective of the 1988 uprising in Burma today in the sense that junta government went on a rampage of killing at least 3000 student demonstrators while the world was sleeping. But now the whole world is watching and doing something. Nineteen years after the uprising and almost forty five years under a military rule, the people in Burma had enough of it! Their resilience to take the brunt against this regime has reached its limit and that same resilience will endure any sacrifices that the Burmese people and other ethnic nationals will inevitably suffer for genuine democracy.

The recent crackdown on protests in Burma has provoked widespread condemnation from the Western democracies. While the call for sanctions by the US and UK may have little impact on restraining the regime it can deliver impact if a more decisive action from the United Nations will be put forward. The visit of the UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari so far is the only concrete action that we see from the United Nations. We hope to see more decisive actions from the international community amidst diplomatic channels.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) despite its non-interference policy, scorn the junta. Though one may view that the statements made by Japan, India, Russia and China were just diplomatic rhetoric and is not enough to stop the killings, it is still a welcome move coming from these countries that have extensive economic relation with the junta. We urge that they must consider that doing business at the expense of the people is not good business. Human rights protection and promotion is their business too and they must exert more effort in holding the SPDC accountable for its actions!

We would like to emphasize that international pressure from social movements and civil society around the world is a warning that it would not allow this barbaric regime to continue to rule. The international solidarity showed to the rest of the world that it supports the legitimate demands of the peoples of Burma and their heroism.

While the SPDC has guns, the peoples of Burma have their duly elected government in exile to move the country forward. While SPDC is struggling to hold on to their power, it will not be for long because the people have already spoken – they want freedom, they want democracy, human rights and justice. National reconciliation will remain a hollow demand if it will not coincide with the unconditional release all political prisoners, including NLD leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

We believed that the resistance has not been smothered. It is growing and fueling rage among the brutalized people and the monks. The only one way to go is for the junta government to be dismantled and let civilian authority rule and democracy reign.

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