www.mizzima.com & Nonviolent PeaceForce & Amnesty International – 2007-09-30 19:51:29
Letter from a Demonstrator in Burma
(September 29, 2007) — The situation is rather scary because according to the junta nine people were killed, and 11 injured. One Japanese journalist was killed and an American journalist injured. They raided the Traders Hotel to look for more journalists. I think over 20 students were killed along with between five and 10 monks today.
I was lucky because I was with the largest group of about 100,000 people and we started from Sule. They shot at us and wounded one person and we decided to call more people and left Sule.
There was no leader so I told a student who held the flag in the front to be careful and not to stray to a place which could be the army’s killing field.
On the other hand, there is no point trying to persuade young people not to be violent because they are enraged. I do not want confrontation but I want the world to know what we are doing so that we can continue in the days to come when the regime falls.
My voice is not loud enough to advise the crowd when they marched through a wide road with two walls (Between Tamwe junction and Kyaikkasan) where people could be killed.
I left just before that happened due to my sore feet and bruises (I walked about 10 miles without proper sandals). In the evening, they shot at the crowd. When I went back, there were sandals everywhere.
I could not imagine what happened to young boys and girls at the front. They beat and killed monks last night when they raided many monasteries. There is no leader for all have been arrested. I do not know what will happen tomorrow.
My brother was caught in Sule for an hour. People died there too. We closed our office after half a day. I can’t believe they would do that to us in this modern multimedia century. I have a lot of documentation.
Please use this e-mail address only to contact me. Do not call my cell phone. Prisons are full of people and monks. The generals are dangerous — like caged animals.
Please help. Can you tell your governments to do something??? Maybe one cruise missile to the Myanmar capital?
Burma-Myanmar: A Historic Moment for Peaceful Transition and Genuine Democratization and Reconciliation
Nmel Duncan / Nonviolent PeaceForce
(September 30, 2007) — Recognizing the historic moment of opportunity for the emergence of genuine democracy in Burma-Myanmar we call upon all the peoples of that country and of the world to support reconciliation and peaceful transition through nonviolent means. This is a time for deep wisdom and historic leadership to guarantee a peaceful and nonviolent transition, to engage the government, military and civil society and all the peoples of all nationalities of Burma-Myanmar.
The world community is concerned for the security and well-being of the peoples of Burma-Myanmar. We call upon all its citizens – Government leaders, officers and soldiers of the military, monks and all religious leaders, students and all citizens – to face this historic moment side-by-side with the courage of nonviolence, openness to dialogue, and respect for human rights and freedoms. We call for the setting aside of violence and the courage to work nonviolently for national reconciliation to achieve genuine and peaceful democratization.
We are encouraged by and strongly support Singaporean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chair of ASEAN George Yeo’s statement (Sept. 29) recognizing the historic opportunity in Burma-Myanmar today for peaceful transition and genuine reconciliation. We urge the people and governments of Singapore, China, Malaysia, India, Thailand and ASEAN as a whole to play a proactive and constructive role, to strongly urge restraint from the use of violence, and to use all opportunities available to engage the Government and peoples of Burma-Myanmar in a process of peaceful transition.
We urge the European Union, the United States and Russia to actively support the countries of the region and to directly engage with the Government and peoples of Burma-Myanmar to support democratization and genuine reconciliation. We urge Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, the UN General Assembly, the Secretariat, and Under Secretary General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari to ensure that Burma-Myanmar remains at the forefront of their agenda and endeavor to play a key and decisive role in supporting democratization and national reconciliation in the country.
Burma-Myanmar has reached a crucial moment in its history. There now exists an opportunity for peace, genuine reconciliation, and democratization. The peoples of Burma-Myanmar continue to show tremendous courage. We call upon all people of the world – NGOs, citizens’ organizations, businesses, students, religious communities, unions, governments, local authorities and international organizations – to demonstrate their solidarity for the people of Burma-Myanmar, for nonviolence and democratization. In this, we applaud the efforts and dedication of the world’s media and the courage of those journalists who are keeping the world informed about the situation Burma-Myanmar.
To all the people of Burma – to the monks and all religious leaders, students, citizens, soldiers, government, civil service, and refugees outside Burma – you are not alone. The world is watching, and stands with you in this historic moment in support of genuine reconciliation, democratization, and peaceful transition.
International Civil Society Organizations from 48 countries, gathered at the Nonviolent Peaceforce International Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, affirmed their support for this statement and encourage the people of Burma-Myanmar and the world to work for peaceful transformation of the conflict in Burma-Myanmar.
Nonviolent Peaceforce affirms its commitment to advocate for and provide when able nonviolent civilian peacekeeping to deter violence.
Mel Duncan is the Executive Director of the Nonviolent Peaceforce. He can be reached at:>/I>
Stand with the People of Burma!
I’m sure you’ve seen the inspiring – and terrifying – pictures of red-robed monks facing down heavily armed military police in the streets of Burma (Myanmar) this past week.
Their courage in the face of brutal repression – in the fight for human rights – is what Amnesty International is all about. While you and I live far away from Burma, we can help the brave pro-democracy forces there through our support of Amnesty International.
As I write this, Amnesty activists in more than 20 countries are taking part in demonstrations and meetings with government leaders, designed to pressure the military rulers of Burma, and its key allies China and India, to stop the violence and restore human rights. Amnesty has been working on Burma for decades to free hundreds of pro-democracy activists, including Nobel laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, from long prison sentences for nothing more than acts of peaceful dissent.
Now is the time for you to join Amnesty International USA to show your solidarity with the people of Burma – and the people in dozens of other countries whose human rights are being trampled upon.
As we end our Fall membership drive at midnight tonight, please make a membership gift to Amnesty International to help us keep up international pressure on the brutal military regime in Burma.
Please join us in standing side by side with the peaceful red-robed forces for democracy and human rights.
Larry Cox is the Executive Director of Amnesty International USA