“Progress in releasing political prisoners has stalled and there is no clear mechanism in sight for addressing this problem. We can’t carry on year after year waiting and hoping for the next announcement from the president about who he will release. It is time for a comprehensive mechanism to address this issue once and for all, so that our country no longer has to endure the shame of having political prisoners.”
“Helping the [Myanmar] government to become more efficient and effective makes sense if it is working for the people, but it isn’t. We still have a military-backed government which is not democratic and not accountable to the people. We didn’t choose this government. It wasn’t elected. It doesn’t work for us. It doesn’t prioritise our needs. It spends billions on the military, and far less on health and education. Military spending is probably equivalent to $30 for every person in [Myanmar].”
Zoya Phan, centre, meets the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
Article in Huffington Post by Mark Farmaner, Director at Burma Campaign UK.
The British government’s honeymoon with Thein Sein isn’t over and trade and investment, rather than human rights, remain the top priority. However, at last, there are signs of doubts. We can only hope they grow, but divorce is still a long way off.
“UK-based rights group Burma Campaign UK has appealed to President U Thein Sein, calling for the release of two former political prisoners recently jailed again for their part in organising a peaceful protest.
Nay Myo Zin and Win Cho were arrested and charged on January 18, under Section 18 of the Peaceful Procession Law for holding a protest without permission.”
“Burma Campaign UK welcomes the fact that the UN Secretary General is focusing more on sexual violence in Burma, and has called for investigations,” said Zoya Phan, the group’s campaigns manager. “However, the United Nations has made dozens of calls on the Burmese government to hold credible investigations into human rights violations, and all have been ignored. It is time the United Nations established its own investigation.”
Wai Hnin and Emily Butler at Burma Campaign UK’s stall at the annual conference of the teachers trade union – NASUWT. There was a lot of support for our rose-tinted glasses campaign.
To highlight how the British government takes a rose-tinted view of the situation in Burma, and to pressure the government to return to a policy where they put human rights first, we will deliver as many rose-tinted glasses as possible to Foreign Secretary William Hague.
Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) video journalist Zaw Pe has been jailed for one year by the government of Burma. This is just the latest in a series of moves to restrict media freedom in Burma. Here Burma Campaign UK staff and volunteers show our support, with a banner last used to campaign for the release of video journalists before ‘reforms’ began.
Women’s delegation from Burma met with officials from British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and discussed the current situation on the ground in Burma. The delegation consists of Jessica Nhkum from Kachin Women’s Association Thailand – KWAT, Rosalinn Zahau from Chin Human Rights Organization, and Pippa Curwen from Burma Relief Centre.