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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2708

Burmese Continues Pre-Referendum Arrests,says US

Daya Gamage - US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Washington,DC. 04 April (Asiantribune.com): The United States April 2 vehemently denounced the Burmese ruling military junta for continuing to arrest political dissidents who are peacefully opposing the draft constitution.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack issued the following statement at the daily briefing:

"We condemn the Burmese regime’s continued arrests and attacks on peaceful political activists. On March 29, Burmese authorities arrested six youth activists who had participated in a peaceful rally against the regime’s draft constitution. The following day, five Muslim community leaders in Rakhine state were arrested, reportedly for peaceful political activities. On two separate occasions over the past two weeks, democracy and human rights activists in Rangoon were assaulted and beaten with sticks. These blatant human rights abuses contribute to the climate of fear and repression in Burma as the regime prepares to conduct a referendum on its draft constitution.

"The democratic representatives of the Burmese people have made clear their opposition to the unjust process through which the regime seeks to impose its draft constitution, which it has yet to publish. Nonetheless, the regime is proceeding with its planned referendum. The regime’s arrests of individuals campaigning against the constitution, its failure to publish the constitution and welcome independent referendum monitors, and its continued refusal to release political prisoners undercut any claim that this referendum will be free and fair.

"We renew our call for the Burmese regime to release all detainees and political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, and begin a genuine dialogue between the regime leadership and Burma’s democratic and ethnic minorities leading to a transition to democracy, as called for by the people of Burma and the UN Security Council in its October 2007 Presidential Statement."

- Asian Tribune -

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