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Joint Statement of Friends of Burma and Burmese democratic forces in Canada

May 18, 2009

We, Burma supporters and Burmese Canadians, are dismayed to see new charges against Burmese democracy leader and 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the transfer of her and two companions to the notorious Insein Prison in Rangoon.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is Burma’s most celebrated and beloved person in the struggle for democratic governance in Burma. She has been under house arrest continuously since 2003 and for more than 13 of the past 19 years. The release from her house arrest was due on the 27th of May.

However, on May 13, she and her two female companions were detained after an American national allegedly swam across Inya Lake and stayed at her house for two days. Aung San Suu Kyi has been charged under the regime’s Law Safeguarding the State from the Dangers of Subversive Elements and is being held in Insein Prison. Her health has deteriorated tremendously, and due to the tight restrictions of her detention, she is often refused access to her doctor.

Her trial is scheduled for Monday, May 18. Two of Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyers, were dismissed from the country’s bar (legal association) by the Burmese military on Friday, May 15.

We believe that the intrusion of the American citizen into her residence is either the set-up of the Burmese military junta, or the foolish behavior of the person in question. Nevertheless, this incident has become a pretext for the military junta to continue the detention of Burma’s democracy leader, effectively keeping her from participating in the upcoming election in any manner.

We appreciate the Government of Canada and the international community speaking out against this injustice. We call upon the government to take further strong action including Canada to request the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the possible crime against humanity committed by Sr. Gen. Than Shwe, should the junta continue to detain her since she is an ‘Honorary Citizen of Canada.

We are asking that the UN Security Council, notably China, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), urgently intervene to secure Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s release from the notorious Insein prison as well as the release of all political prisoners in Burma.

We will show our deepest concerns for her well-being and strongest solidarity with her in a ‘Global Day of Action’ scheduled for May 18, 2009, by holding protests in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.

We urge all freedom loving Canadians to join us in our action in support of Aung San Suu Kyi and freedom and democracy in Burma.

Signed by –

     1) International Burmese Monks Organization (Canada Branch)

     2) National League for Democracy LA Canada Branch

     3) Canadian Campaign for Free Burma

     4) Canadian Friends of Burma

     5) Burmese Students’ Democratic Organization Canada

     6) Burma Forum Canada

     7) Burmese Muslim Association (Canada)

     8) United Democratic Youth League (Canada Branch)

     9) Arakanese Canadian Society (Toronto)

     10) Kachin Canadian Organization of Toronto Canada

     11) Students for a Free Tibet Canada


Zaw Wai Kyaw, 1 416 358 2318

Paul Copeland, 1 416 578 0386

Tin Maung Htoo, 1 613 297 6835

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