Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Thursday, 23 September 2010
MOMENTUM GROWS BEHIND CALLS FOR A UN COMMISSION OF INQUIRY TO INVESTIGATE BURMA ’S CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
For Immediate Release
22 September 2010
MOMENTUM GROWS BEHIND CALLS FOR A UN COMMISSION OF INQUIRY TO INVESTIGATE BURMA ’S CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
International support is growing for the establishment of a United Nations Commission of Inquiry to investigate crimes against humanity in Burma . In recent days France , Canada , the Netherlands and New Zealand have added their support, and a total of ten governments are now calling for an inquiry. The United States , the United Kingdom , the Czech Republic , Slovakia , Australia and Hungary have already expressed their support.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has been campaigning for the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry for several years, alongside other international human rights organizations. In March this year, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma , Tomas Ojea Quintana, concluded that human rights violations in Burma may amount to crimes against humanity, and recommended the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry.
CSW wrote to European Union (EU) Foreign Ministers last month, calling on the EU to work to secure a recommendation for a Commission of Inquiry in the forthcoming UN General Assembly resolution on Burma next month.
Benedict Rogers CSW’s East Asia Team Leader and author of Than Shwe: Unmasking Burma’s Tyrant, said: “Momentum is undoubtedly building and governments around the world are increasingly recognizing that the gross violations of human rights perpetrated by Burma ’s military regime, which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, can no longer be disregarded with impunity. We urge other governments and the EU to join the ten countries in building an international coalition to establish a UN Commission of Inquiry. A full international legal investigation into the regime’s widespread and systematic use of rape as a weapon of war, forcible conscription of child soldiers, use of forced labour, torture, destruction of villages and killings is much needed and long overdue. The crisis in eastern Burma is Asia’s Darfur and cannot be ignored any longer.”
For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Matthew Jones, Public Affairs Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide on +44 7826 938 360, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.csw.org.uk.
CSW is a human rights organisation which specialises in religious freedom, works on behalf of those persecuted for their Christian beliefs and promotes religious liberty for all.
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Christian members from the Karen Community Association in Sheffield are holding a fasting and prayer service today.
This service is held to welcome and support the statement made by the Karen National Union on 15 September 2010, to call for peace in Burma on the World Peace Day 21st September. For many decades, the Karen people have been deliberately targeted for widespread and systematic attacks by the military dictatorship in Burma including the destruction of villages, forced displacement, forced labour and sexual violence. Those crimes against humanity committed by dictatorship in Burma are in breach of the Geneva Conventions.
“By the grace of God we are safe from crimes against humanity in the UK. Even though we are safe, we cannot forget our people who are still suffering everyday from the Burmese military dictatorship. We pray and fast on the World Peace Day for a ceasefire not only one day but forever, for freedom and democracy, for an end to suffering from the attacks against innocent people in our homeland” said Htoo Ku Hsar Say, leader of Karen Community Association- UK. “We welcome other faith groups to join us in this service”.
The Karen Community Association wishes to have genuine democracy, peace and national reconciliation to build a peaceful democratic Federal Union of Burma.
Saturday, 18 September 2010
Karen people around the world have come together in support of recent statement made by the Karen National Union, to call for peace in Burma on the World Peace Day on 21st of September.
For so many decades, the Karen people have been targeted for planned, widespread and systematic attacks by the ruling regimes which have forced hundreds of thousands of Karen civilians into hiding, refugee camps and to other countries. The dictatorship continues to target civilians in their military operations in Karen State , which are in breach of the Geneva Conventions, and which requires immediate international action.
Karen communities worldwide support the Karen National Union for defending the Karen people and finding ways to look after the wellbeing of the Karen people. The KNU has always called for dialogue with the ruling regime in line with the call from international community including United Nations, European Union and USA to solve the problems by political means. However, the dictatorship ignores this call and continues its military offensives against the Karen people.
It’s time for international community to put effective pressure on Burma ’s dictatorship to end all it’s military operations against the Karen and other ethnic civilians, and enter into political dialogue with genuine representatives from ethnic groups and democracy forces as mandated by the UN General Assembly.
“We welcome the Karen National Union's decision to take this concrete first step towards peace with Burma ’s dictatorship on this special occasion of International Day of Peace. The international community must support the Karen National Union to put pressure on the regime to stop attacking innocent, unarmed Karen civilians” said Stephen Dun, board member of Karen American Communities Foundation.
The Karen communities worldwide desire genuine democracy, peace and national reconciliation, to rebuild our homeland and our dreams for a peaceful federal democratic Union of Burma.
For more information please contact Stephen Dun, board member of Karen American Communities Foundation on +1 2062958553 (USA) or Saw Lwin Oo, National President of Australia Karen Organisation on +61 4123 44009 (Australia).
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
British Ambassador to Thailand Mr Quinton Quayle gave an interview to Asean TV about Burma on 29 June 2010
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she wants the military regime to negotiatate with ethnic cease-fire groups for a better future in Burma, according to a spokesman who met with her on Saturday.
Nyan Win, who was a senior official in the disbanded National League for Democracy (NLD), met with Suu Kyi in her Rangoon home, where she is under house arrest, accompanied by lawyers Kyi Wynn and Khin Htay Kwe, on Saturday.
Nyan Win told The Irrawaddy that they also discussed the lawsuit against military junta chief Snr-Gen Than Shwe and the appeal of Suu Kyi's 18-month extension of her house arrest.
On March 23, three NLD leaders—Nyan Win, Tin Oo and Aung Shwe—attempted to file a lawsuit with the Supreme Court to sue the chairman of the State Peace and Development Council, Snr-Gen Than Shwe, for issuing "unjust and unfair" election laws.
But an official at the Supreme Court handed the documents back, responding that the court did not have the power to handle the case.
Responding to Suu Kyi comments about ethnic groups, Sai Sheng Murng, a deputy spokesman for the Shan State Army-South (SSA-S), said that if the regime seeks to resolve the border guard issue dispute with violence, it will hurt the livlihood of local residents.
“If the regime is honest, it has to accept negotiations with all armed cease-fire groups,” he said, adding that the stand off is growing more tense.
The SSA-S has not received any offer for talks, according to a spokesman.
Speaking to The Irrawaddy on Monday, Karen National Union (KNU) General-Secretary Zipporah Sein said, “Without solving political problems, the potential conflicts will not go away.”
Suu Kyi was sentenced to an additional 18 months house arrest for violating the terms of her detention after US citizen John William Yettaw visited her lakeside home on May 3, 2009. At the time, she had already spent more than 14 of the past 20 years in detention. Her sentence is set to expire in November.
From Irrawaddy News
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
.by Burma Campaign UK on Monday, 06 September 2010 at 10:27.
Media Release From European Parliamentary Caucus on Burma
The European Parliamentary Caucus on Burma (EPCB) today welcomed a statement of support by the Republic of Hungary for a UN Commission of Inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Burma.
In reply to EPCB’s recent letter to the Hungarian government, asking it to support a UN Commission of Inquiry on Burma, Hungary became the sixth country to publicly support a UN Inquiry. UK, Australia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Canada and USA have also expressed their support for an Inquiry.
In his letter to the EPCB, the Hungarian Foreign Minister, Janor Martonyi, said: “The Republic of Hungary welcomes and supports your recommendation to establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the current situation in Burma. We are convinced that the Commission could succeed in investigating the current situation and in this way contribute to the promotion of human rights in Burma.”
The statement of support comes at a crucial time as the EU is drafting the next UN General Assembly resolution on Burma, which should include the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry.
In Burma, the military junta is committing widespread and systematic crimes with impunity. The crimes include the destruction of more than 3,500 villages in Eastern Burma, the widespread use of rape as a weapon of war against ethnic minorities, the forced displacement of over 1 million refugees and internally displaced people, the recruitment of tens of thousands of child soldiers, and the widespread use of forced labour in the country. The UN Commission of Inquiry, which will allow the investigation of these crimes, can be a crucial and effective step that the international community must support.
“Despite the growing support for a UN Inquiry, the EU remains silent. Now, following the public statement of support by another EU member, the EU as a whole must break its silence and include the establishment of such an Inquiry in the next UN General Assembly Resolution on Burma,” said Silver Meikar, executive committee member of European Parliamentary Caucus on Burma.
Wednesday, 1 September 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
British Foreign Secretary William Hague says Burma's military leaders must be held accountable for their human rights violations.
In a letter to the advocacy group Burma Campaign-UK, Hague said Britain had not ruled out a United Nations commission of inquiry into alleged crimes against humanity committed by the military regime.
Hague's government has joined the US, Australia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia in support the establishment of a UN commission of inquiry. There is an ongoing debate about how best to make the generals accountable for human rights abuses, Hague said.
He said the British government continues to press for a more robust international approach. Human rights abuses in Burma would remain a high priority for Britain, he added.
“The government will continue to work with the EU and other international partners, including Burma’s neighbors, to press for an end to human rights abuses,” Hague said in the letter, which was sent to Burma Campaign-UK on Aug. 24.
“The [British] government will always stand on the side of victims of oppression such as the people of Burma,” he added.
The Burma Campaign-UK forwarded to the British government some 1,400 letters in June concerning Burma's human rights abuses. The British government is very conscious of the strength of feeling in the United Kingdom about Burma, Hague said.
From Irrwaddy News