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PSPD    People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

  • Int. Solidarity
  • 2007.09.28
  • 624
Thousands of Buddhist monks, artists, and people in all walks of life are flooding the streets of Burma today. There is a nationwide general strike called by the All Burma Monk Alliance as they peacefully demonstrate in about twenty-six (26) cities and towns across the country. Given the past actions by the Burmese government, we fear that there is a massacre waiting to happen.

More than 200 people have already been arrested and detained, with fear of being tortured, and people from the media covering the events are facing harassment including confiscation of cameras from the authorities.

This wave of protests inside Burma started August 23 in a quiet march of about 40 demonstrators led by members of the opposition National League for Democracy to denounce the sharp fuel price hike that represents a 300 to 500% increase in diesel and gasoline prices.

The spark of protests inside Burma turned big and has now turned into something close to a people power revolt. The protests inside Burma, which started with small actions, have now swollen to large numbers. This reminds the international community of the 1988 national uprising in Burma and the violent reaction of the junta which crushed the people's aspirations for genuine democracy and social justice.

The people of Burma are again in a period of crucial struggle that has the potential for changing their lives. They are fighting for their basic right to live in a democratic and peaceful society.

We, members of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) support the people of Burma in their quest for justice, peace and democracy. We urge the international community to be vigilant in these trying times in Burma. We also support the following demands of the Burmese people:

1. For the government of Burma to address the basic needs of the people; 2. Release of all political prisoners including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; and 3. For genuine national reconciliation to take place in Burma. For the international community, but specifically the UN and the ASEAN, we believe that the time is ripe to directly engage the Burmese military regime and convince the ruling junta to initiate substantial and genuine reforms starting from genuine tri-partite dialogue where all parties will be included. This is a perfect opportunity for ASEAN to prove that it is sincere in building a truly caring and sharing ASEAN community. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, should personally place the issue of Burma on the formal agenda of the UN Security Council.

We are concerned about the actions that the junta is taking against the protesters and that people from the media covering the recent events. That is why we all call the government of Burma to;

- immediately cease to use force against its own citizens and, in particular, the demonstrators; - engage with the help of the UN in negotiating an end to the current crisis; - engage with all sectors of society in Burma in dialogue on a return to democracy.

We urge the Burmese regime to engage in dialogue and listen to the legitimate demands of the people of Burma-with a goal of achieving a prosperous and democratic nation for all.



***** The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) is the world-wide civil society-led network to build a new international consensus on peacebuilding and the prevention of violent conflict. GPPAC works on strengthening civil society networks for peace and security by linking local, national, regional, and global levels of action and effective engagement with governments, the UN system and regional organizations.

GPPAC is structured through fifteen regions, each of which has its own Regional Action Agenda and Work Plan, as well as participating in activities at the global level. The Regional Action Agendas fed into the Global Action Agenda, which was launched at the GPPAC Global Conference at UN Headquarters in July 2005.

PSPD is a member of GPPAC Northeast Asia network.

GPPAC(The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict)
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