December 8, 2008

Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, New York; In what is believed to be the first time in history, a large group of parliamentarians from all over Asia have sent a public letter to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urging him obtain the release of all political prisoners from Myanmar / Burma by 31 December 2008.

The letter comes just after a group of 112 former Presidents and Prime Ministers from 50 countries wrote to the Secretary General, also urging him to meet the year-end deadline in travelling to Myanmar to secure the release of all of the over 2,100 political prisoners in the country.

Members of Parliament from Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia joined the effort by parliamentarians from Asia who are extremely concerned about the lack of progress in Myanmar’s human rights situation.

“It is important that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon travel to the country himself and engage in serious dialogue with the military regime and impress on them the calls by leaders and lawmakers from Asia and around the world for the release of all political prisoners,” said Kraisak Choonhavan, President of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus, who hosted the petition.

“The suffering of the people must not be allowed to continue and the world can no longer sit idly by and only assist them when there is a devastating natural disaster,” he added, in a separate cover letter to the UN Sec-Gen.

A total of 241 parliamentarians from these eight Asian countries collectively reminded the UN Sec-Gen that the United Nations Security Council, General Assembly, and Human Rights Council have all called on Myanmar’s military regime to immediately release all political prisoners, a call the military junta has defied.

For media contact or to facilitate an interview with Parliamentarians, please call: Roshan Jason (AIPMC Executive Director) at +6-012-3750974

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