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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2646

Intensify Efforts For Change In Burma

London, 17 February, (Asiantribune.com): Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is urging the UN Secretary-General to “intensify” efforts to facilitate a process of meaningful dialogue between Burma’s military regime, the democracy movement and ethnic nationalities, following a fact-finding visit to the Thai-Burmese border. During the visit, CSW obtained yet more evidence of continuing human rights violations in Burma, and is now calling on the international community to increase pressure on the military regime.

During the three-week visit, CSW visited refugees and Internally Displaced People in Karen State, and heard first-hand testimony from victims of forced labour and forced relocation. One man told CSW how his leg had been blown off when he stepped on a landmine laid outside his home by troops from the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), an armed militia working with the Burma Army. The DKBA had also burned down his home. He then walked for two days through the jungle, on crutches, to an IDP camp on the Thai-Burmese border.

He told CSW: "I really want all the people of Burma to have peace and freedom. If there is no peace and freedom, I cannot go home."

CSW’s East Asia Team Leader, Benedict Rogers, who led the delegation, said: "During this visit we heard yet more evidence of the regime’s brutal suppression of its people and callous disregard for human dignity and human life. Over the past two decades, CSW has visited the Thai-Burmese border many times, and each time the stories we have heard have been painfully consistent. The regime is guilty of every possible human rights violation, amounting to crimes against humanity, and it is time to bring the Generals to account.

Every effort must be made this year to call a halt to the policies of oppression, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, and bring the junta into a meaningful dialogue with the democracy movement and the ethnic nationalities. No credibility should be given to the regime’s planned elections in 2010, which will simply be rigged in the same way the referendum on a new constitution was blatantly rigged last year. Instead, pressure should be intensified on the regime to pave the way for a fully inclusive, free and fair democratic process”.

- Asian Tribune -

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