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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2767

Canada Bestows Honorary Citizenship to Burma’s Democracy Leader Aung San Suu Kyi

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

Washington, D.C. 03 May (Asiantribune.com): The Canadian Government, in recognition of her great contribution to democracy, freedom and human rights, will bestow the nation’s highest recognition, Honorary Citizenship, to Burma’s, and in fact the World’s, most famous ‘prisoner of conscience’ Aug San Suu Kyi on May 5. The October 16, 2007, Speech from the Throne stated that the government would “immediately call upon Parliament to confer honorary citizenship on Aung San Suu Kyi.” The October 16, 2007, Speech from the Throne stated that the government would “immediately call upon Parliament to confer honorary citizenship on Aung San Suu Kyi.”

The Canadian Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier is scheduled to hand over the official papers to Aug San Suu Kyi’s cousin Sein Win during a ceremony in Parliament Hill.

The October 16, 2007, Speech from the Throne stated that the government would “immediately call upon Parliament to confer honorary citizenship on Aung San Suu Kyi.” A motion conferring this honorary citizenship was passed by the House of Commons with all-party agreement on October 17.

The presentation of this honorary Canadian citizenship is a testament to Canada’s long-standing respect and admiration for Aung San Suu Kyi’s tireless struggle for freedom and democracy in Burma.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper tabled a motion in the House of Commons in October last year to confer honorary citizenship status on Aung San Suu Kyi, the world-renowned advocate of freedom and democracy in Burma. The Prime Minister called upon all Members of Parliament to back the motion as a demonstration of Canada’s support for the people of Burma in their struggle against the brutal military dictatorship that rules their country.

The motion conferring this honorary citizenship was passed by the House of Commons with all-party agreement on October 17.

“Our nation is built on our founding values: freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law,” said the Prime Minister. “We must ally ourselves with those in the world who share our values, and especially those who are denied them.”

In early September in 2007, the latest round of pro-democracy demonstrations began in Burma. The military junta responded with a violent crackdown that left thousands imprisoned and an unknown number of people beaten, tortured and killed.

The Prime Minister said Canada has responded by joining the international community in condemning the violence and pushing for a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Burma earlier this month.

“Ms. Suu Kyi is the living embodiment of the long struggle for freedom and democracy in her country,” said Prime Minister Harper when he presented the motion in the House. “The adoption of today’s motion sends a message to her, her people, and the world, that Canada stands up for the universal values that are under siege in Burma today.”

Canada has imposed toughest economic sanctions against Burmese military regime. The new sanctions include:

* Ban all goods exported from Canada to Burma, except the export of humanitarian goods

* Ban all goods imported from Burma into Canada

* Freeze assets in Canada of any designated Burmese nationals connected with the Burmese State

* Prohibit the provision of Canadian financial services to and from Burma

* Prohibit the export of any technical data to Burma

* Ban new investment in Burma by Canadian persons and companies

* Prohibit Canadian-registered ships and aircraft from docking or landing in Burma

* Prohibit Burmese-registered ships or aircraft from docking or landing in Canada or passing through Canada

- Asian Tribune -

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