ASIA: Protestors across Asia demand action on Burma; more rallies planned

(Hong Kong, September 27, 2007) Protests demanding global action over the crackdown on peaceful protestors in Burma were held in Hong Kong, Korea and Thailand on Thursday, and in the Philippines on Wednesday.

In Hong Kong, around 30 demonstrators squeezed into the lobby of the Burmese consulate, which was locked and in darkness.

The protestors were led by two members of Hong Kong’s legislative council, Emily Lau and Albert Ho.

“People in Burma have struggled for democracy for many decades and they have been brutally crushed by dictators,” Ho, the chairperson of the Democratic Party, said.

“We should support the monks and people walking in the streets and their demands for democracy,” he said.

John Clancey, chairperson of the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), was also present.

“We support the Burmese people and especially the monks who are leading them with vision of a democratic future,” Clancey said.

“We call for the democratically-elected government of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to be allowed to take its rightful place and represent the interests of the people rather than the selfish needs of a few,” he said.?

Four television channels and other journalists recorded the rally. The protests in Burma have received constant coverage throughout the city for the last three days.

In Korea, around 60 persons gathered outside the embassy in Seoul.

In a statement, 56 human rights groups there said that the military regime must stop violently reacting to the protestors.

“We accuse the Korean government of turning its face away from the demands of democracy of the people in Burma and only pursuing economic advantages through trade with the military regime,” the statement read.

The groups urged the Korean government to establish a clear policy in favour of people’s demands for democratization in Burma.

Demonstrations were also held on Thursday at missions in Bangkok and Delhi.

Buddhist monks in Thailand, Korea and Sri Lanka have also expressed outrage and have demanded that their governments act to prevent carnage in Burma.

On Wednesday, about 50 people gathered in front of the embassy in Manila to show support for the struggle in Burma.

Carrying a banner bearing the slogan “DIALOGUE OR REGIME CHANGE!” members of the Free Burma Coalition (Philippines) demanded that the military junta sit down in genuine dialogue with the people of Burma to address basic demands and take actions for democratic reforms.

“The military junta must give in to the people’s demands of dialogue, release of all political prisoners, and moves for democratization and national reconciliation,” the spokesperson said.?

The participants appealed to the junta not to use violence.

“We have experienced living under a military dictatorship, fought hard and won. We believe the Burmese populace, with their actions led by the venerable Buddhist monks, will prevail in their struggle for genuine democracy and national reconciliation,” the spokesperson added.?

A die-in (people lying on the ground while shouting slogans) was briefly staged at the main steps leading to the embassy.

On Thursday morning the Philippines senate joined calls worldwide for the UN Security Council to act more decisively on Burma.

Pickets are scheduled at the embassy in the Philippines on September 28, October 1, 2 and 3. Public forums are also planned.

The AHRC has organised a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong for Friday night. Details follow.

In Bangkok and Seoul also candlelight vigils will be held on Friday and Saturday nights respectively. A demonstration will be held at the Burma embassy in Bangkok again on Friday.

On Saturday, there will be a march in Hong Kong to the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong where a petition will be presented to the president of China, calling for the Beijing government to play a positive role in stopping the violence and solving political problems in Burma. Details again follow.

For all updates on events in Burma and regional solidarity actions please visit the AHRC Burma Protests page:

For photographs of the protests in Hong Kong, Seoul and Manila, visit:

?lt;br />In response to the recent people’s movement for democracy in Burma and the military’s repressive crackdown, a group of local and regional non-governmental organizations and religious groups will hold a candlelight vigil beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Friday Sept. 28 in Charter Garden in Central to arouse public concern on the issue and express support to the Burmese people. 
?lt;br />Time: 7:30 p.m. ?10:30 p.m.
Date: 28 September 2007
Place: Chater Garden, Central
?lt;br />All are welcome!

Any groups which would like to be a co-organizer of the candlelight vigil and make a speech, please contact us as soon as possible before noon on Friday. 
?lt;br />Contact persons: Wong Kai Shing (94368401) and Bruce Van Voorhis (94923064) of the Asian Human Rights Commission
Co-organizing groups:
?lt;br />Amnesty International ?Hong Kong Section
Asian Human Rights Commission
Asia Monitor Resource Centre
Asian Student Association
Association for the Advancement of Feminism
Christians for Hong Kong Society
Hong Kong Christian Institute
Justice and Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese
Student Christian Movement of Hong Kong
World Student Christian Movement ?Asia Pacific


Dear head of the organization,

Recently, tens of thousands of citizens of Myanmar joined the peaceful protests led by monks but they were suppressed by the military regime through bloodshed.?As China has great influence on the military regime in Myanmar, a group of Hong Kong people who are concerned about the people and democratic movement in Myanmar thus launched this petition.?We urge the Chinese government to compel the military regime in Myanmar to stop using force against protesters and to start an inclusive and representative national reconciliation process.

If you are interested in signing the petition, please email to will render the signatures to the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in HKSAR.?Details are as follows:

Date: 29 September 2007 (the coming Saturday)
Time: 3:00pm
Venue: Gather at the Western Police Station, and then march to the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in HKSAR

We hope you will join the march.?Please spread this message to your members and friends.?For enquiries, please email:

Petition Statement:

To:?Mr. Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China

We are writing to draw your attention to the bloodshed brought by the military regime of Myanmar (Burma).

Currently peaceful demonstrations led by Buddhist monks were supported by hundreds of thousands of civilians in Myanmar.?It is reported that from the very beginning the people of Myanmar who joined the demonstrations are well aware of the fact that they can be jailed, tortured and even have risked their lives.?Thus, the risky yet growing demonstrations prove that people of Myanmar are no longer able to bear skyrocketing costs of living and deteriorating living conditions.?It has been reported that the government has arrested more than three hundred demonstrators, killed at least eight and one hundred were injured, but the government has not responded to the peoples’ demands yet.

We, therefore, seek your help, Mr President, to persuade the government of Myanmar to stop all the violent acts immediately, to release all the detained political prisoners and the people arrested, to find the solutions together without violence and to improve the livelihood of people of Myanmar in order to reinstall national reconciliation.

Thank you.