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Statement on 21st Anniversary of the Brutal Crackdown on Burma’s

Nationwide Democracy Uprising (8888)


August 8, 2009

Today marks the 21st anniversary of Burma’s Nationwide Democracy Uprising which is known as
the 8/8/88 uprising: – millions of people marched and demanded the restoration of democracy in
Burma and an end of the military dictatorship which had ruled the country since 1962. In 1988 the
military brutally cracked down on peaceful demonstrators and killed over 3000 people, including
monks and students.

Aung San Suu Kyi emerged as the leader of democracy movement and her party, the National
League for Democracy (NLD), won 82% of the parliamentary seats in the national election held in
1990. The people of Burma had overwhelmingly rejected military rule but the military refused to
transfer power to Burma’s democratically elected leaders.

Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Honourary Canadian Citizen, Aung San Suu Kyi has been under
detention for 14 of the past 20 years. On May 13, 2009 she was charged under the regime’s Law
Safeguarding the State from the Dangers of Subversive Elements. She is being held in Insein
Prison after an incident when an American national swam across Inya Lake and, unable to do the
return swim, stayed at her house for two days. She is the world’s only Nobel Laureate in prison.

The Burmese regime, the State Peace and Development Council, has ignored numerous demands
from the UN Security Council, the UN Secretary General, world leaders, celebrities, ASEAN and
the international community that the SPDC release all political prisoners including Aung San Suu
Kyi and work towards a national reconciliation.

Senior General Than Shwe and the Burmese military regime have committed crimes against
humanity on its own citizens, including systematic rape and ethnic cleansing.

The free and democratic world has the responsibility to intervene on behalf of humanity. The
people of Burma call for the UN Security Council members, including China and Russia, to support
putting an end to Burma’s long-standing crisis that threatens regional stability.

We, the undersigned organizations, call for the following UN Security Council binding resolutions if
the junta does not release all political prisoners including Aung San Suu Kyi and does not start a
time bound national reconciliation process immediately:

1. A declaration that the junta’s planned 2010 elections are not inclusive and are
illegitimate
2. The imposition of an arms embargo
3. The establishment of a commission of inquiry in regard to crimes against
humanity.

International Burmese Monks Organization (Canada) Parliamentary Friends of Burma


National League for Democracy (LA) Canada Branch Canadian Campaign for Free Burma
Burmese Students Democratic Organization Karen Canadian Community
Chin Human Rights Organization Free Burma Federation
Burmese Muslim Association (Canada) Arakanese Canadian Society (Toronto)
United Democratic Youth League (Canada Branch) Burma Watch International
Burma Forum Canada

Contact Persons:
Hon. Larry Bagnell M.P. 613 995 9368; Zaw Kyaw 416 358 2318; Tin Htut bsdo.toronto@gmail.com.