GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION TO DENOUNCE BURMA’s 2010 ELECTIONS:
PHILIPPINES—Filipino solidarity activists under the Free Burma Coalition – Philippines (FBC-Phils) today staged a “PEOPLE’s ELECTION” in front of the Burma Embassy in Makati City to denounce Burma’s 2010 military elections, which according to the group is “a one-sided and undemocratic plan that will just legitimize the junta’s hold to power.”
Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Taga-Lungsod (KPML), Asian Bridge, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women –Asia Pacific (CATW-AP), APL-Youth, Akbayan and the Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) were the organizations present during the rally.
May 27 also marks the 20th anniversary of the 1990 elections in Burma on May 27, where opposition groups including Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, National League for Democracy (NLD) and other democratic ethnic parties won a landslide victory but the ruling military regime refused to acknowledge the results and winners were not allowed to assume power.
Pro-democracy activists around the world are saying that preparations and recently issued election laws by Burma’s military government clearly indicate that Burma’s 2010 elections will not serve the interests of the peoples of Burma.
During the rally, activists marked “ballots” with demands calling on the ASEAN and the international community to denounce the 2010 elections in Burma and reject the results unless the military generals initiate tangible democratic reforms that include the immediate release of all political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, cessation of hostilities against ethnic and democracy groups and an all-inclusive review of the Burma Constitution which was approved in a referendum amidst calamity situation in 2008.
In Davao City, FBC-Phils Davao, the Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) and the Bukluran para sa Sosyalistang Isip at Gawa (BISIG) held a similar action in front of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) office.
“Burma needs genuine democratic solutions and not military elections. An election that is being pursued only to elect Burma’s next generation of military oppressors and human rights violators will not bring significant democratic changes in Burma,“ said FBC-Phils spokesperson Egoy Bans.
“The junta’s extreme hunger for legitimacy and international recognition forced the generals to violate all existing international laws and human rights standards. This upcoming Burma election should determine the future of the peoples of Burma. But the junta at this early already ensured that dictatorship is the past, the present and the logical future for Burma,“ Bans added.
CHALLENGE TO NOYNOY AQUINO
FBC-Phils during the rally also issued a challenge to President-elect Noynoy Aquino, son of former Philippine president Corazon Aquino who is a known supporter of Burma’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.
“We urge Noynoy to adopt his late mother’s critical position against the ruling military generals in Burma. As the next Philippine president, he can even lead the ASEAN in applying stronger political pressures to the junta. He has to prove that Filipinos abhor tyrannical regimes like the one in Rangoon,“ Bans explained.
The group added that the ASEAN must also take bolder steps to compel the military regime of Burma to democratize. Bans continued, “it is no longer possible for the ASEAN to defend Burma at this stage. The ASEAN must now confess that the policy of constructive engagement to Burma is a miserable failure.”
Other international actions:
In New Delhi, India: People’s Elections and Rally. A People’s Election Commission was formed with Church and community leaders who will collect postcard ballots. Events will be held between 27 and 30 May on the Thai-Burma border, in India, Sri Lanka, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Australia, UK, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Italy, US, Canada, and Brazil, marking a Global Day of Action as part of the Global Campaign Against Burma’s 2010 Military Elections.