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

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