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Hon. Lawrence Cannon

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Government of Canada

House of Commons
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6
Tel: (613) 992−5516
Fax: (613) 992−6802

August 24, 2010

Dear the Honourable Minister Lawrence Cannon

As you fully aware, Burma is presently in the midst of a severe political and humanitarian crisis
that calls for immediate international attention.

We  are  proud  to  be  Canadians  of  Burmese  origin  witnessing  consistence  and  unwavering  support  of 
Canadian  Government  led  by  the  Right  Honourable  Prime  Minister  Stephen  Harper  and  Ministry  of 
foreign Affairs led by you to the restoration of Democracy and Human Rights in Burma. 

The successive military regimes that hold the power by coupe since 1962 knows too well to play
and exploit the international and regional politics to their benefit. They won’t heed any call and
they won’t care any blame. They rule the people by force and the only thing they understand
serious is also force. Unless leading international democratic countries show to take real action,
there won’t be any improvement to the suffering of Burmese people and the stability of the

There will be a sham election in November of this year to reinstate the authoritarian regime led
by same generals. At the same time the generals of Burma are secretly and actively pursuing to
hold the nuclear weapon with rough North Korea regime, the defiance act against UNSC
resolution 1874.

As mentioned in the Washington Post on August 20, 2010, the evidence against Burma's junta
has been piling up for many years. Thousands upon thousands of girls and women have been
raped by the Burmese army as a tactic of war; children have been press-ganged to serve as
porters; civilians have been used as human minesweepers in operations against armed ethnic
groups; 3,500 villages have burned to the ground in recent years; millions of people have been
forced from their homes. These are some of the many crimes against humanity sponsored by the
generals who rule their Southeast Asian nation of 50 million people.

A growing group of politicians, legal experts, human rights leaders, human rights organizations
and governments are asking for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into crimes against
humanity and war crimes in Burma. The governments of Britain, Australia, the Czech Republic,
Slovakia and recently the United States, 80 Canadian Parliamentarians, a former senior legal
adviser to the ICC, former and current UN Special Reporters on human rights in Burma, and the
Burma Lawyers Council are among the governments, organizations and individuals who have
deplored the situation in Burma and supported the creation of a U.N. Commission to look into
alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes in Burma.

On June 2, 2009, Geoffrey Nice, the principal prosecution trial attorney in the case against
Slobodan Milosevic in the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and Pedro
Nikken, executive committee member of the International Commission of Jurists and former
President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, wrote in the Washington Post and urged
the UN Security Council to authorize a Commission of Inquiry into crimes against humanity and
war crimes in Burma.

In March 2010, the International Tribunal in New York, organized by Nobel Women Initiatives,
called for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into crimes against humanity and war
crimes committed by the Burmese regime.

Also in March 2010, at the UN Human Rights Council session, the UN Special Rapporteur for
the Human Rights Situation in Burma, Tomas Ojea Quintana, formally urged the UN to consider
the possibility of establishing a Commission of Inquiry into alleged crimes against humanity and
war crimes committed by the regime.

In his report, Quintana said: “Given the gross and systematic nature of human rights violations in
Myanmar [Burma] over a period of many years, and the lack of accountability, there is an
indication that those human rights violations are the result of a state policy that involves
authorities in the executive, military, and judiciary at all levels.”

The White House said in a statement that it believes the commission could advance the cause of
human rights in Myanmar, also known as Burma, by "addressing issues of accountability for
responsible senior members of the Burmese Regime.

It is long overdue that the world acknowledges that the Burmese regime is guilty of heinous and
brutal acts against its own people.

For this reason we, undersigned organizations, the supporters of the pro-democracy movement
for Burma based in Canada and individual friends of Burma, are writing to you with an urgent
appeal to ask the Government of Canada to show its leadership as before by joining a call to
create an International Commission to investigate alleged war crimes by Burma’s Military Junta.

We look forward to a response to this letter and immediate action to help resolve the crisis in

Yours sincerely,

Timothy Zaw Zaw


(1) International Foundation for Burma National Congress (Canada Branch)

(2) Burma Watch International (Edmonton)

(3) Burmese Student Democratic Organization (Toronto, Vancouver)

(4) National League for Democracy (NLD LA Canada Branch)

(6) All Burma Muslim Union (Saskatoon)

(7) United Democratic Youth League (Canada Branch)

(8) Burmese Muslim Association (Toronto)


1. The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister, the Government of Canada

2. The Honourable Michael Ignatieff, Leader of Liberal Party of Canada

3. The Honourable Jack Layton, Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada

4. The Honourable Gilles Duceppe, Leader of Bloc Quebecois

5. All members of Parliamentary Friends of Burma (PFOB), Canada