BURMA: Challenge to the Burmese military junta: Dialogue with the people or face downfall! 

Dear friends in the solidarity movement,

Today, about 200,000 people rallied the streets in Burma (in Rangoon and different cities). The Buddhist monks are leading the pro-democracy rallies, defying military junta’s order for them to stay away from the street rallies or face legal action by the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

With the escalation of protest rallies comes the heightened calls for the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military junta to give in to people’s demands: (1) that their basic needs are met; (2) the release of all political prisoners; and, (3) for the military junta to sit down on a dialogue for national reconciliation.

It is now, more than ever, that we need to show our solidarity with the people of Burma; to support their struggle for democratization.

Our central call to the SPDC: DIALOGUE OR REGIME CHANGE!

Our messages:

To the SPDC – An appeal not to use violence to quell the protests. There is no other option for the SPDC but to sit down and dialogue with the people. Any violent attack against the people and failure to address the issues will totally isolate the regime and will result to their immediate downfall. An inclusive dialogue with the National League for Democracy (NLD), ethnic minority groups, religious leaders and the activist organizations must be started in order to address the political situation that is nearing a terminal crisis stage.

To the people of Burma – To remain vigilant and united in the struggle for democracy. We, the Filipino people are in support of their struggle for freedom and democracy. And to the middle-level officials and civil servants, for them to abandon the SPDC junta and join the pro-democracy movement.

To the ASEAN governments – To seize the opportunity to accompany Burma to democratization and realize their goals of “caring and sharing community”. For the governments to stand in support of the popular clamour for dialogue and reconciliation and put pressure on the SPDC to refrain from using violence and sit down and dialogue with its people.

To the Philippine government – We commend the recent statement and call for democratic reforms and urge the Philippine government to do more and lead the ASEAN in guiding the SPDC towards dialogue and reconciliation.

To China, India and Russia and all governments supporting the SPDC or blocking the UNSC resolutions of Burma – Listen to the voices of the people of Burma. Let the country take the proper course to democratization. Do not support any SPDC violent attack against its people.

Our Planned Actions:

The Free Burma Coalition – Philippines enjoins all freedom-loving – Filipinos to express solidarity and join the various activities we have lined up in support of the Burmese people’s struggle for genuine democracy:

September 26 – Solidarity picket in front of the Burma Embassy at the Xanland Center, 152 Amorsolo Street, Makati (across Makati Cinema Square) at 10:30 am. Groups from the FBC-Phils, APSOC, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), Amnesty International -Pilipinas (AI-Pils), Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), and the Akbayan Party list will picket the embassy and do a candle-lighting as part of the international call for candle lighting vigils. They will also light joss sticks to show reverence and support to the venerable Buddhist monks leading the massive non-violent protests.

Photos: http://photo.ahrchk.net/07burmaprotests/photo.php?ch_id=18

September 27 – 19th anniversary of the National League for Democracy (NLD), the political party of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi which won 80% of votes during the 1990 elections. A public Forum in Quezon City is being organized. We are still confirming speakers and other preparations.

September 28 – Solidarity picket and vigil in front of the Burma Embassy to be organized by Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), an FBC-Phils member organization

September 29 or 30 – We are working on a solidarity activity to be organized by local religious groups.

October 1 – Solidarity picket and vigil in front of the Burma Embassy to be organized by Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), an FBC-Phils member organization

October 2 or 3 – Solidarity picket and vigil in front of the Burma Embassy to be organized by Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), an FBC-Phils member organization

Other activities to be planned.


1) Join the solidarity actions – Kindly notify the sponsoring organizations to get the final details as to venue, time, date and other planned activities. Please contact them directly or phone us at the IID office (FBC-Phils secretariat)
2) Organize your own solidarity actions – The IID office, FBC-Phils secretariat will support in providing you campaign materials and media liaison work
3) Release your own statements – The IID office, FBC-Phils secretariat will support in media liaison work and distribution of your statements.

Please find below the FBC-Phils Press Statement, statement from our campaign partner, the Forum for Democracy in Burma (FDB) and a petition letter for Buddhist solidarity

In solidarity,

Egoy N. Bans
Initiatives for International Dialogue
Free Burma Coalition-Philippines


September 26, 2007

Defend the people of Burma, UN, ASEAN urged

Thousands of Buddhist monks, artists, and people in all walks of life are flooding the streets of Burma today. There is a nationwide general strike called by the All Burma Monk Alliance as they peacefully trooped to about twenty-six (26) cities and towns across the country. Knowing the way Burmese junta handles situation like this—there is a massacre waiting to happen.

More than 200 people have already been arrested and detained, with fear of being tortured and people from the media covering the events are facing left and right harassments including confiscation of cameras from the authorities.

This wave of protests inside Burma started August 23 in a quiet march of about 40 demonstrators led by members of the opposition National League for Democracy. This is to denounce the draconian fuel price hike that is 500% arbitrary increase in diesel and gasoline prices.

The spark of protests inside Burma turned big which is now similar to a people power revolt. This reminds the international community of the 1988 national uprising in Burma and the bloody memory of violence where the junta killed the people’s aspirations for genuine democracy and social justice.

Again, the people of Burma are now in the period of a very crucial struggle. Very crucial because this recent struggle will change their lives. They are fighting more than the oil price increase—they are fighting for their lives and their basic right to live in a democratic and peaceful society.

We, members of Free Burma Coalition-Philippines (FBC-Philippines) and Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC) are one with the people of Burma in their quest for justice, peace and democracy. We urge the international community to be vigilant in these trying times in Burma.

We also like to echo support to the following demands of the people who are currently protesting even under heavy rains inside Burma:

1) For the government of Burma to address the basic needs of the people; 2.) Release of all political prisoners including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and *3.) *For the genuine national reconciliation to take place in Burma.

For the UN and the ASEAN, we believe that the time is ripe to directly engage the Burmese military regime and convince the ruling junta to initiate substantial and genuine reforms starting from genuine tri-partite dialogue where all parties will be included. This is the best time that ASEAN can prove that it is sincere in building a truly caring and sharing ASEAN community. The UN on the other hand, especially Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, should personally work on bringing back the issue of Burma in the formal agenda of the UN Security Council.

The junta already announced that it will take action against the protesters. It is also alarming that people from the media are being prevented from covering the recent events. World leaders should now take immediate action to warn the Burmese regime from carrying out this plan of violent crackdowns on the peaceful protesters.

The people of Burma are tired not just of their daily economic struggles but more so, of the way the ruling military regime govern their country. There is no rule of law in Burma. What prevails instead is the law of the rulers who are unelected and unwanted by the people.

We challenge the regime to sit down in a dialogue and listen to the legitimate demands of the people of Burma. We strongly urge the military regime not to employ brute force in dealing with protesters.

The international community can no longer afford to see another massacre in Burma. The international community are watching and all democracy-loving states and peace advocates are closely monitoring the next move of the military regime. We urge the SPDC to choose dialogue as a resolution to resolve the crisis in Burma. Failure to do this will leave people of Burma and their supporters around the world no other option but to call for a REGIME CHANGE.

For inquiries, kindly refer to:

Egoy N. Bans – +63920 9132472
Gani Abunda – +63919 6605920
IID offices at:
+632 4352900
+632 9110205

FDB urges governments to take preventive actions and push for dialogue

Date: 25 September 2007

Forum for Democracy in Burma (FDB) would like to appeal governments all over the world to intervene in order to prevent a possible violent crackdown by the Burmese military regime against peaceful demonstrators led by Buddhist monks in Burma, and push the Burmese government to enter into dialogue with the democratic opposition including ethnic nationalities.

It is reportedly learnt that the Burmese military government, called itself the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) had yesterday issued a warning to senior clergy saying “If the monks go against the rules and regulations in the authority of the Buddhist teachings, we will take action under the existing law.” This phenomena is same when the regime cracked down on the 1990’s monk religious boycott. Again this morning in Rangoon and Mandalay, the authorities threatened the general public by making street-announcement that they will take actions against those who join the demonstrations led by the monks. These responses from the SPDC military regime can be read as a pretext for a brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters.

With such responses from the military government to peaceful mass protests, the FDB would like to urge the governments and the world leaders to take immediate strong action not to let the Burmese government committing violent crackdowns on the peaceful protesters.

“These peaceful demonstrations led by monks are indeed reflecting the people’s desire. It is obvious as by looking at different scenes of demonstration that tens of thousands of people nationwide joined in peaceful marching and chanting peace message. Their peace message shouldn’t be ignored by the international community,” said Dr Naing Aung, Secretary General of FDB. “In order to deal with the country’s severe crises, the SPDC needs to talk immediately with the democratic movement led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. That’s why, we would also like the governments around the world by any possible mean to push the Burmese regime to hold dialogue with the opposition,” he added.

Policy Forum
For media contact:
Dr. Naing Aung (Tel: +66 81 8837230)
Zaw Zaw Htun (Tel: +66 81 5323177)

A Petition Campaign for Buddhist Solidarity with the Monks and Nuns of Burma

“Love and kindness must win over everything”

We, the Buddhists of the world, implore the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC, the official name of the military regime of Burma (Myanmar)) to refrain from taking any actions that:

Physically harm the Buddhist monks and nuns participating in the protest marches currently taking place in major cities and towns in Burma Infiltrate the protesting groups by pretending to be monks and nuns (via having the head shaven and dressing in monks’ robes) and then instigating violence from within through such pretension Offer poisoned foods as alms (Dana). Arresting and beating up people or persons who offers food and water (dana) to the monks Arresting the protesting monks and treating them like criminals, such as catching the monks by lariats and ropes, tying them up with wires and strapping
them onto electrical poles, slapping their cheeks, kicking them with military boots and hitting their heads with rifle butts.

We appeal to the members of the military regime to act in accordance with the sacred Buddha-Dharma, in the spirit of loving-kindness, compassion and non-violence.

We implore the millitary regime to accede to the wishes of the common people of Burma, to establish the conditions for the flowering of justice, democracy and liberty.

We wish to convey our admiration and support to the large number of Buddhists monks and fellow Dharma practitioners for advocating democracy and freedom in Burma, and would like to appeal to all freedom-loving people all over the world to support such non-violent movements.

We pray for the success of this peace movement and the early release of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Show your support to the Burmese Sangha!

Please copy and print the above and galvanise a signature campaign within your community. Collect your list of signature and together with the message above, send it to the nearest Burmese Embassy located in
your country (see below):

Embassy of Myanmar in Manila, Philippines
8th Floor, XANLAND Centre
152, Amorsolo Street
Legaspi Village
Makati City, Manila

*Phone:* (0063-2) 817-2373, 812-9587
*Fax:* (0063-2) 817-5895.
*Email:* embmyanmnl@mindgate.net

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Document Type : Forwarded Press Release
Document ID : AHRC-FP-015-2007
Countries : Burma (Myanmar),
Campaigns : Burma Peoples Protests
Issues : Military, State of emergency & martial law,