little ghost (bohemiangel) wrote in freeburma,
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Burma Campaign UK Welcomes Gordon Brown's Support for Security

02 Sep 2007

The Burma Campaign UK today warmly welcomed Prime Minister Gordon
Brown's statement calling for the United Nations Security Council, and
European Union, to discuss the current crisis in Burma. The Burma Campaign
UK and other Burma pro-democracy organisations around the world have
been calling for both these steps.

We are delighted that Gordon Brown is personally taking this
initiative on Burma, said Mark Farmaner, Acting Director of the Burma
Campaign UK. This is a major breakthrough. The Prime Minister has backed
both our key demands, for Security Council discussions, and EU
discussions. It is also very significant that he is pledging to personally
raise Burma with his counterparts. We have been calling for this for many
years. Tony Blair never raised Burma in meetings with world leaders. We
hope this is the first step in a much more proactive approach to Burma
by the UK government. It is the first good news we have had in a long

The British government and European Union have been coming under
increasing pressure to take action, following the arrests and crackdown on
peaceful protestors in Burma began on August 21st. On Tuesday the Burma
Campaign UK held its first protest at the UK foreign office in more than
a decade, as the foreign office had seemed content to merely issue
statements of concern. On Friday campaigners in 15 countries took part in
a day of action calling for EU ministers to discuss Burma when they
meet on 7th September.

More than 150 peaceful protestors have been detained in the past two
weeks. On Tuesday 4th September there will be an international 24 hour
hunger strike in solidarity with 41 detainees who are on hunger strike in
an attempt to force the regime in Burma to allow medical care for one
of their number, whose leg was broken when he was attacked by a regime
militia. Activists from almost twenty countries on four continents are
expected to take part.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (National)
Burma: Prime Minister Statement

I deeply deplore the Burmese government's violent supression of
peaceful demonstrations. I call upon the Burmese authorities to release
immediately all those detained merely for protesting at the hardship imposed
on them by the government's economic mismanagement and failure to
uphold fundamental human rights. I also reiterate the British Government's
call for the release of all political prisoners, including Nobel Prize
winner, Aung San Suu Kyi who has now spent almost 12 years of her life
under house arrest. As the lives of ordinary Burmese people
continue to deteriorate, it is all the more important that all countries and
organisations with an influence over the regime impress upon the
generals the need for an early transition to democratic rule, full respect
for human rights and genuine national reconciliation. I support
calls for the grave situation in Burma to be considered by the UN Security
Council at the earliest opportunity. I also call for the UN General
Assembly to address this issue. We give our full support to the
efforts of the UN Secretary-General's good offices mission. It is time for
the UN human rights bodies to give this alarming situation the attention
it so patently deserves. I am asking the Foreign Secretary to
discuss this issue with our European partners next week. I will seek an
early opportunity to raise the situation in Burma with my counterparts
in the key regional countries and with our partners in the EU and the

If you are a UK resident you can sign a petition created by the Burma Campaign UK which applaudes Gordon Brown and recommends that he set set benchmarks and timelines for change in Burma with the promise of a step up in political and economic pressure if no progress or change is made.
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