May 6, 2010

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has failed to take any serious action to prevent Burma’s largest political party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), becoming a banned organisation. Under new election laws introduced by Burma’s dictatorship the NLD will officially cease to exist from midnight tonight.

The NLD was required to register as a political party to maintain its legal status, but the dictatorship deliberately introduced conditions in the election laws that would make it impossible for the NLD to register. These included expelling more than four hundred members who are in detention because of their peaceful activities for the NLD, and supporting a new constitution which is undemocratic, does not protect human rights, and is designed to maintain dictatorship under a civilian guise. As the NLD could not accept these conditions, it declined to register, meaning the dictatorship will ban the organisation from legal existence from midnight.

By requiring the National League for Democracy to register, knowing they would have to refuse, Burma’s generals planned to put the blame for the banning on the NLD for not registering, and once again the international community fell for their tricks.

“The banning of Burma’s largest and most widely supported political party is yet more evidence that elections due later this year are a total sham, and will not bring genuine democratic change to Burma,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is supposed to be trying to persuade Burma’s dictatorship to enter into dialogue with the NLD. Instead he stood by and did nothing while the NLD were banned. Why wasn’t his Burma envoy dispatched on a crisis mission? Why hasn’t he robustly condemned the banning of the NLD?”

The National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, won 82 percent of seats in Parliament in elections in 1990. The dictatorship refused to accept the results of the election. This time, for elections due later this year, they are taking no chances, ensuring the constitution and every aspect of the elections are rigged to ensure they remain in power.

For more information contact Mark Farmaner on 020 7324 4710


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