Appeal Letter to the Govt. of India to Review its Policy on Burma

To

Dr. Manmohan Singh
Honorable Prime Minister of India
Government of India
New Delhi
Date: 3rd November, 2010

Subject: Petition to the Government of India to Review its Policy on Burma. [Download PDF]

 

Honorable Prime Minister,

We, the undersigned, India base Burmese organizations are submitting this petition on the upcoming election in Burma on 7 November 2010 which was proposed by the military regime as an attempt to entrench and legitimize military rule, is being condemned by people  around the world.

The elections will enact the 2008 Constitution, which not only contains many undemocratic measures including giving the military effective veto power over decisions made by the new parliament and government, but also depriving people of their basic human rights by stipulating “exception clauses,” and preserving draconian laws that explicitly prohibit freedom of speech, association, and assembly. Thus, this constitution is designed to keep the dictatorship in power and will not bring any new freedom to the people of Burma.

Furthermore, the election cannot be free and fair under the present situation. Democracy activists in Burma have been imprisoned, intimidated, tortured and put to death for demanding justice, peace, human rights and a democratic government. Presently, there are over 2,200 political prisoners in Burma, including Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, recipient of Jawaharlal Nehru’s Award for International Understanding, who has been under house arrest for 15 of the past 20 years and is being barred from participating in this year’s elections.

The main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is left with no other choice under the entirely unfair election laws imposed by the military regime except to denounce this election. We, Burmese democratic organizations and activists have persistently called on the military regime to meet three benchmarks to bring about peace and stability in Burma:

  1. All political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Khun Htun Oo and Min Ko Naing, must be released before the elections.
  2. Inclusive dialogue with key stakeholders from democracy groups and ethnic nationalities, including a comprehensive review of the 2008 Constitution must be convened.
  3. Systematic human rights abuses and criminal hostilities against ethnic groups, political activists, journalists and civil society must be stopped.

We believe that India, being the world’s largest democracy and emerging power in the world can play a crucial role in the process of national reconciliation and restoration of democracy in Burma. We therefore strongly recommend the Government of India not to endorse and recognize Burma’s military regime’s sham constitution and elections, as it will only lead to entrenchment of military rule in the country.

We earnestly urge the Government of India and All India Congress Committee (AICC) to join with the UN and the international community in taking concrete action to secure the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and ensure genuine democratic change in Burma.

We reaffirm our appreciation to the Government of India, especially for allowing hundreds of thousands of Burmese refugees to take shelter in India at this juncture while Burma is in critical conditions. At the same time we also thank the people of India who stand with the Burmese people in their struggle for peace, justice, human rights and democracy in Burma.

 

Sincerely,

India base Burmese Organizations

Signed by