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Protest rally on Burmese President Thein Sein visit in New Delhi

19 December 2012, New Delhi:

Protest rally on Burmese President Thein Sein visit in New Delhi on 19 December 2012
Protest rally on Burmese President Thein Sein visit in New Delhi on 19 December 2012



We, Burmese democratic forces in India are launching a 5-days sit-in-protest cum photo-exhibition from 17 – 21 December 2012 by condemning the brutal crackdown of peaceful protesters in Burma on 29 November 2012. The Burmese state forces brutally attacked with water cannons, smoke bombs and tear gas to peaceful protesters who were demanding to suspend the Letpadaung copper mine project near Monywa in Sagang division of Burma. As a result, citizens are demanding to the government to apologize for the hurt that has been caused to innocent people especially to Buddhist monks. Therefore, we are deeply perturbed to see severely burnt monks as these brutal crackdowns were carried out under President Thein Sein’s leadership which often talks of “democratic principles” and the “rule of law”.

At this juncture of unrest, displacement and miseries faced by the people of the Sagaing region, we Burmese democratic forces in India feel that President Thein Sein’s visit to New Delhi for the ASEAN Summit from 20- 21 December 2012 is a right moment to highlight to India and Burmese leaders of such grave human rights violation while the country is apparently in the reform process. We also urged India, the ASEAN leaders and International community at large to take up genuine and collective effort to stop the Burmese military from attacking the ethnic communities.

Protest rally on Burmese President Thein Sein visit in New Delhi on 19 December 2012
Protest rally on Burmese President Thein Sein visit in New Delhi on 19 December 2012



In the process of reforms, the release of political prisoners alone does not signify Burma’s transition to democracy. Citizen’s land rights, freedom of speech and expression, right to have assembly and form association and common people’s rights must be respected and allowed to practice if the Burmese government genuinely wants to reinstall democracy in the country.

As a result of the military continued harassments and repression against the rights of people in Burma, we request ASEAN member nations to review its approval of President Thein Sein led Burma government to chair ASEAN in 2014.

Furthermore, while we welcome India’s financial support and investment on developmental projects in Burma, we want government of India to ensure that both ongoing and future investments in Burma are fair, transparent and accountable, and that there is full local participation in any Indian-supported developmental projects in Burma. Proper impact assessments must be conducted on Kaladan Multi Modal Project in line with Free, Prior and Informed Consent-FPIC to prevent grave negative consequences such as land confiscation, forced relocation, forced labor, sexual abuses, extortion, illegal detention and all types of militarization along the project areas.

We also solemnly urged the Government of India to stick to its democratic and non-violent principles by ensuring that no arms and ammunitions are supplied or sold to Burmese Army. We are disturbed on the recent news which officials in Sweden have revealed that Swedish-made weapons used by Burmese troops against Kachin rebels had originally been sold to the Indian government.

Protest rally on Burmese President Thein Sein visit in New Delhi on 19 December 2012
Protest rally on Burmese President Thein Sein visit in New Delhi on 19 December 2012



We urge India to influence and prompt President Thein Sein and Burmese government to take the following actions:

o Declare nationwide ceasefire with ethnic armed groups and cease attack on ethnic community and protect civilians in Kachin state and other ethnic areas.
o Suspend Letpadaung copper mine project until present crisis are resolve and local people can participate in decision making process on the use of their local resources
o Enact laws for NHRC to operate independently and with a broad-based mandate to investigate violations of fundamental human rights.

Burmese Democratic Forces in India
Burma Centre Delhi (BCD)
WZ 110-A, (1st Fl), Bodela,
Vikas Puri, New Delhi -110018, India
Ph: (O) +91-11-45660619
office@burmacentredelhi.org
www.burmacentredelhi.org



* This info was sent by who can be reached at Burma Centre Delhi (BCD) who can be contacted at office(at)burmacentredelhi(dot)org
This Press Release was posted on December 19, 2012.


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