May 15, 2006

On Tuesday 16th May Burma Campaign organisations in more than 13 countries will protest against the Burmese regime’s military offensive against civilians in eastern Burma. Protesters are also calling for the United Nations Security Council to intervene.

Countries where protests are taking place include: UK, USA, France, Canada, Japan, India, Belgium, Thailand, Norway, New Zealand, Denmark, Korea and Norway. In London protesters in Burmese military uniforms and in body bags covered in fake blood will protest outside the Burmese Embassy.

Burma’s brutal military regime stepped up attacks on Burma’s Karen ethnic minority late last year, and has further intensified the campaign in recent months. More than 15,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, and most are now hiding in the jungle with no food, shelter or medical supplies.

“This is nothing less than ethnic cleansing, and the international community has a responsibility to intervene”, said Yvette Mahon, Director of the Burma Campaign UK. “Governments know what is going on but are failing to act. If these people were dying it the same place and at the same time in front of TV cameras we would have seen action by now, but people are dying out of sight, and so out of mind as far as the government and United Nations are concerned.”

Those fleeing the new offensive have given eyewitness accounts of horrific human rights abuses being committed by the Burmese army, including the shooting of civilians (including children), rape, torture, mutilations such as cutting off people’s hands, feet, ears and nose, and even beheading people.

In December 2005 the United Nations Security Council held its first ever debate on the situation in Burma, but failed to take any practical steps to address the situation. Burma’s democracy movement has called on the Security Council to pass a binding resolution on Burma.

The London protest will take place 12.30-1.30pm at the Burmese Embassy, 19a Charles Street. London, W1J 5DX.

For more information contact Mark Farmaner, Media and Campaigns Manager, on 020 7324 4713


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