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FBCSA Media Statement
FREE BURMA CAMPAIGN ( SOUTH AFRICA )
The 8th of August 2000 is the 12th anniversary of the 8-8-88 democratic
uprising of the Burmese people against the brutal military regime which runs
Burma (Myanmar) since 1962. The demonstration, which was timed to begin at 8
minutes past 8 am on the 8th day of the 8th month of 1988, was unarmed and
The response of the military regime to the demonstration (which was very
widely supported in Burma by the various ethnic groupings) was brutally
violent. Thousands of people were killed, mostly shot by the army.
Ten years ago in 1990, election were allowed by the military regime who
thought that their violent regime of terror had cowed the Burmese people
into submission. The National League for Democracy (N.L.D) party won 82% of
the votes which was free and fair, a landslide victory for Aung San Suu Kyi,
the Nobel peace prize winning leader of the N.L.D.
The military junta ignored the results and refused permission for the new
democratic government to be sworn in. This was followed by the arrest and
imprisonment of many NLD MPs, leaders and party members. Many of whom were
beaten and tortured. For 10 years the Burmese military junta has continued
to ignore the election results, whilst at the same time increasing their
illegal hold over the country through a systematic policy of repression,
brutality and the gross violation of human rights on a huge scale.
The Free Burma Campaign (South Africa) calls on the Burmese military junta
1(i) Accept Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi persistent offers of
dialogue, aimed at restoring democracy in Burma.
(ii) Recognise the results of the 1990 democratic election.
(iii) Stop the wide spread repression, intimidation and human rights
abuses of ordinary Burmese people as well as activists. Stop the
extra-judicial killings, arbitrary detentions and arrests, frequent torture
of prisoners, forced labour & child labour, rape and gang rape of women.
2.We also call on the international community especially the ASEAN Nations
(i) To apply pressure on the Burmese junta to hold genuine talks with the
N.L.D and the other ethnic groups aimed at resolving the longstanding
conflicts in the country which amounts to genocide by the junta against some
(ii) To apply concerted political, diplomatic and economic pressure
including the use of sanctions against the military junta aimed at forcing
them to the table.
3. We strongly urge the Japanese government to reconsider its economic
support of the junta. Now is the time to realise that the military despots
will not change through " constructive engagement ".
4. We call on the South African government and the recently liberated people
of South Africa to remember the tyranny of the past and do all in your power
to help the Burmese people achieve their freedom, liberty and democracy
under an elected government of their choice.
5. We declare our support for the peaceful, but savagely oppressed people of
Burma for the gracious and courageous Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu
Kyi on this the 12th anniversary day of their national 8-8-88 prodemocracy
Dated 8th August 2000
For further information please contact
1. Kiru Naidoo. Ph: 0825655286 <kiru@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
2. Salim Vally. Ph: 0828025936 <155vas@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
3. Thein Win. Ph: 0825080689, < burmamtk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
4. Tin Maung Htwe. Ph: 0829771268
NOTE: We are cordially invite to attend the 12th anniversary of 8-8-88
Burmese prodemocracy movement public meeting at Workers`s Museum,
Johannesburg on 13th August 2000, 17:30 hr (5:30pm).