March 10, 2010

The Burma Campaign UK today called on the United Nations Security Council to reengage on the issue of Burma, following the publication of election law that bans Aung San Suu Kyi from taking part in ‘elections’ due in Burma later this year.

Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is banned from membership of a political party as she has a criminal conviction after an American man, John Yettaw, swam to her house last year and refused to leave. The generals used this as a pretext to charge her with breaking the law, and she was found guilty in August 2009 following a sham trial.

“This is the final nail in the coffin for the credibility of the elections,” said Anna Roberts, Executive Director of Burma Campaign UK. “They won’t be free and fair, and even if they were, the new constitution guarantees continued dictatorship anyway. The entire process is a sham. It is time the United Nations Security Council enforced its demands for a genuine process of reform by passing a binding resolution, and discussing imposing an arms embargo.”

The United Nations Security Council, United Nations Secretary General, and UN General Assembly have repeatedly called on Burma’s generals to enter into genuine dialogue with the National League for Democracy and genuine ethnic representatives. However, the international community seemed content to sit back and hope that the dictatorship’s so-called road map to democracy could be adapted to introduce real change. At last it should now be clear that the fake elections due later this year will not bring any change to Burma.

The hard line approach of the generals, underlined by the lack of willingness by the dictatorship to respond in the smallest way to requests by the UN and others, is demonstrated by the fact that Aung San Suu Kyi is not only barred from taking part in the elections, but also barred from membership of a political party, meaning that the National League for Democracy is required to expel her, or face being banned itself.

The election laws are being published in instalments in a national newspaper. Yesterday, the laws covering the election commission were published, which state that the generals will hand-pick election officials, rather than allowing an open process involving political parties or impartial UN or international officials.

“Burma’s generals are directly defying the United Nations Security Council, shamelessly rigging elections, and slaughtering ethnic minorities,” said Anna Roberts. “The Security Council can no longer hide behind the hope that the elections will bring change, and now must to wake up to its responsibilities and take action.”

For more information contact Anna Roberts on 020 7324 4710

 


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