The State of Burma
Since an army coup overthrew Burma's last democratically-elected government in 1962, military-run or dominated regimes in Burma have been among the world's worst violators of human rights. An already serious level of abuses climbed higher after the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) (renamed the State Peace and Development Council in November 1997) seized power in September 1988. The junta removed all pretence of civilian administration and marked its arrival by massacring thousands of unarmed pro-democracy demonstrators in Rangoon and other Burmese cities and towns.
Today, says Amnesty International, "torture has become an institution" in Burma. Reports by the United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and other groups have repeatedly detailed a gruesome litany of abuses, including murder, torture, rape, detention without trial, massive forced relocations, and forced labor Even before 1988, Burma's army faced allegations of serious human rights abuses, especially in its campaigns against ethnic groups along the country's borders. These severe violations continue today. (from the Burma Campaign)
The Buddhist monks are standing up against the regime. They may be suppressed, when their bravery will live on. Or it may be the spark that brings down this illegal, corrupt government… and brings freedom to a nation impoverished by those who rule it.
Support the pursuit of human rights by the Burmese in Burma. Join in one of these campaigns:
The Burma Campaign UK: www.burmacampaign.org.uk
BurmaNet (USA): www.burmanet.org
Aung San Suu Kyi is the legitimately elected leader of Burma (in the last free elections that were held) and a Nobel Peace Laureate, who has been under house arrest or imprisoned since then by the Military Junta that took power. Visit her website at www.dassk.com
Information on the state of human rights in Burma
These are world’s two major human rights organisations and the information they provide on Burma:
The AI report on human rights in Burma: www.thereport.amnesty.org/eng/Regions/Asia-Pacific/Myanmar
The AI website (although Burma is not one of its major campaign themes): www.amnesty.org
Human Rights Watch:
The HRW Burma file: www.hrw.org/asia/burma.php
The HRW website: www.hrw.org
The Wikipedia entry on human rights in Burma (which has a listing of organisations concerned with the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Myanmar
Transparency International has just published its 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index. This places Burma/Myanmar bottom equal with Somalia at No 179: www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2007
September 28th 2007: wear red or pink
A campaign was organised on the internet to wear red shirts on 28th September 2007 in solidarity with the human rights protestors in Burma.
On the same day, the Breast Cancer Campaign asked everyone to wear pink: www.wearitpink.co.uk