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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2731

Global Day of Action for Burma

London, 05 October, ( A Global Day of Action for Burma will be held on Saturday 6 October in support of peaceful protestors in Burma and in protest at the military regime’s crack down. The initiative is supported by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), along with Burma Campaign UK, Crisis Action and a range of religious and human rights organisations.

In London the march will begin at the Tate Britain at 11am on Saturday 6 October, and will end with a rally at 12.45pm in Trafalgar Square. The march will pass the Houses of Parliament and Downing Street.

CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas called on Christians throughout the world to join this solidarity movement. “We urge as many people as possible to stand in solidarity with the people of Burma at this epic moment. We call on Christians to pray continuously, and to join the demonstrations on Saturday.”

The Day of Action is the latest in a series of initiatives which CSW has supported. It follows a statement of support from the Pope and two special days of prayer.

Earlier this week, CSW’s Advocacy Officer for South Asia Benedict Rogers, and Zoya Phan, a refugee from Burma, spoke at the Conservative Party Conference in Blackpool.

Zoya Phan held up iron shackles smuggled out of a Burmese jail. “This is what those monks who have been arrested will be forced to wear while they face torture including electric shocks and the iron rod, where a rod is rubbed up and down on your shins until the skin and flesh is worn away and the rod is grinding on bone,” she said.

She called for a UN arms embargo and international sanctions against the regime, and said: “No matter what the regime do to us, we won’t stop demanding our freedom, our basic human rights. They might have suppressed protests in the short term, but we will not give in. We will win our freedom. But without more support from the international community, my people will have to pay for their freedom with their blood. So many of us are being killed, so many being tortured. I ask again … please help us.”

Benedict Rogers told the Conference: "This morning I received a text message from a Burmese friend which read: 'Monks are running and hiding. The army is killing them on the spot, not arresting anymore. Please advise what to do.'"

He described a recent visit to the Indian-Burmese border, where he said he had heard first-hand accounts of the torture inflicted on citizens.

"I heard from one man how a group of prisoners in one jail were literally roasted over a very hot fire, repeatedly stabbed, then put in a tub of salt water. I met a man who had been hung upside down for an entire night and repeatedly pistol-whipped and swung against a pillar."

Recalling the promise made by world leaders following the Rwandan genocide, who said they would never stand by and allow human rights atrocities to go unchecked again, he warned: "If we do not act in support of the Burmese people who simply want their freedom, it will be 'never again' all over again."

- Asian Tribune -

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