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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2429

Burmese Government told to hold referendum on the draft constitution with international observers monitoring

Rangoon, 12 April, (Asiantribune.com): The National League for Democracy, Burma’s opposition political party led by Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has urged for international monitors including United Nations to observe the forthcoming referendum planned to be held by the ruling army generals of the country.

The Central Executive Committee of the National League for Democracy met on 09 April in Rangoon and reviewed the circumstances under which Burmese Government has decided to hold a national referendum to ratify the ‘Republic of the Union of Burma Draft Constitution (2008).’

The Central Executive Committee of the NLD has pointed out that in order to ratify the ‘Republic of the Union of Burma Draft Constitution (2008)’ through a "National Referendum", military authorities concerned and organizations backed by the authorities are given full rights to activities, including the right to organize, assemble, and deliver speeches whereas members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) are prevented from doing so.

The Central Executive Committee of the NLD has further pointed out that they are being continuously harassed, intimidated and threatened by the Burmese Government without giving any opportunity for the NLD to express their point of view to the people of Burma.

The Central Executive Committee of the National League for Democracy further alleged as follows:

1. In order to win support for the said draft constitution, authorities have given its affiliated organizations the right to freely distribute papers like announcements and pamphlets. At the same time, the authorities have been persecuting NLD members by seizing or attempting to seize official NLD papers, summoning NLD organizing committee members for interrogation and arresting them.

2. The authorities have been propagandizing and garnering support for their draft constitution through their radio, newspapers, and television every day while at the same time imposing control and restrictions on private publications and journalists who are prevented from exercising their freedom of expression.

3. Moreover, in recent days, members of the NLD were bushwhacked and attacked with the intention of creating an atmosphere of fear in order to intimidate the people. The situation clearly illustrates the fact that there is no freedom or fairness for the referendum even now. Hence, for the people, the situation is such that they cannot rely on the national referendum to be transparent, free, and fair.

4. Such being the case, it is hereby declared that in order to enable the people of all nationalities, including the ethnic nationalities, to freely cast their votes and regain the trust and respect of the international community, it is vital to allow international monitors, including the United Nations, to observe the referendum.

- Asian Tribune -

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