August 8, 1996

Today marks a historical milestone for the democracy movement in Burma. On the 8th of August 1988 the nationwide uprising occurred to protest against human rights abuses, economic decline and in order to abandon the one party dictatorship. The social unrest started during March and the event reached a climax on 8/8/88. As a response the military began a four day massacre and at least 10,000 demonstrators were killed across the country. General Saw Maung became head of the military Junta under the name of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) and as a result of repression thousands of students, monks and ordinary civilians fled to the liberated areas.

Despite the landslide victory by the National League for Democracy (NLD), which won the 1990 general election, the military Junta refused to hand over the power and many more people were arrested and imprisoned.

Burma with its population of 45 million is under the most oppressive military regime the world has ever seen. The economy has deteriorated and the military regime has sold out its natural resources for their military expenses. Only a handful elite group of military generals are getting opportunities and ordinary civilians face forced labouring, forced relocation, torture and arrest by the regime
. We the Burma Democracy Movement UK, urgently recommend that the international community take the following action;

1) Put pressure on the SLORC for a dialogue between the elected NLD party, under the leadership of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the military regime.

2) Put pressure on the SLORC for the unconditional release of all political prisoners.

3) Put pressure on the SLORC to stop human rights violations such as forced labour, forced relocation, portering and torture.

4)Put pressure on the SLORC to permit UN human rights monitors and Non Government Organisations admittance to all prisons, detention centres and ethnic areas.

5)Boycott the military regime through an international arms embargo and implementation of economic sanctions.


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