Written by U Ne Oo on 2000-06-29
Dr U Ne Oo
18 Shannon Place
Adelaide SA 5000
2nd August 2000
Juan Antonio Samaranch
President, International Olympic Committee
C.P.356, Chateau de Vidy
1007 Lausanne, Switzerland
I refer to r Sir:
I refer to our earlier requests made to your committee to exclude Burma from the Sydney Olympic Games. Since the Sydney Olympic Games are only 45 days away, I ask the International Olympic Committee to urgently withdraw the invitation to the Burmese Olympic Team. I believe that there has been sufficient ground, as well as precedence, for the IOC to exclude Burma from the Sydney Olympic Games. To name just a few: The Burmese junta�s incarceration of democratically elected parliamentarians; the junta�s imposition of forced on of forced labour on the population; the junta�s complicity in production and trafficking of illicit drugs as well as laundering drug-money and its irresponsible stance regarding with the problem of Burmese refugees and displaced persons would all give sufficient ground for your committee to consider banning Burma from the Olympic Games.
On top of such heinous political crime, the military junta in Burma has left no claim to humanity in dealing with the opposition. Last year, the gravely-ill Michael Aris, who was the husbanwas the husband of Burmese opposition leader and Nobel Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, had requested the Burmese junta to see his wife. Because the Burmese military junta refused to grant entry visa to Mr Aris, he died without fulfilling his last wish for visiting Rangoon and seeing his wife. It is worth noting that the military junta had persistently refuse to grant the entry visa to Mr Aris despite appeals made by the Secretary-General of United Nations as well as several governments, including the Governments of Australia, Unitestralia, United States and United Kingdom.
From these, you and IOC can be assured of the fact that there has been no justification whatsoever, neither on the ground of fairness nor that of humanity, to include Burma in the Olympic Games. I ask your committee to take immediate step to expel Burma from the Sydney Olympic Games and the Olympic movement.
Sd.U Ne Oo
1. Hon Alexander Downer, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600. Facsimra ACT 2600. Facsimile: (+612)6261-3111
2. Sydney Olympic Committee Headquarters, 235 Jones Street Ultimo NSA 2007. Facsimile: (+612)9297-2020
Distributed: Monday 17 July 2000.
Burma Out: Letter to IOC by Australian Democrats Democrats
We have one Australian Democrat Senator expressing concern about the inclusion of Burma in the Olympics. (Democrats in Australia is one of the minority parties, which usually hold balance of powers in Senate; but Australian House of Rep is usually dominant by Labor or Liberal-Coalition Parties.) Major parties seems particularly silent on this issue; noting that both political establishments are unhappy about the possibility of Australia's indigenous community raising profile of their plight atheir plight at this Olympics to the world's community. As for Burmese activists, the campaign such as BurmaOut is not only justified in its own right but also is important as a measure of solidarity to the indigenous people here (this is my opinion).
Apart from that, Australian's 'softly-softly' policy has given some illusion of success, at least the Aussies can go into Burma for human rights training to the Burmese. But then, the SPDC/SLORC's view would be that Australians can certainly do anything so long as youso long as you wouldn't stepped on the critical issues. This mean Australian Human Rights Gurus will be tolerated in Burma unless nothing substantial being done.
On the one hand, there has been Australian Federal Police stationed in Rangoon since January for a trial period of six months.This operation seem to be a failure since it doesn't returned even with an 'illusion of success'. An escalation of report of drug entering Thailand would attest to this point. In any case, Australian Government hrnment has nothing to gain by covering SPDC/SLORC's misdeeds on this matter. It is a time to get tough on these drug traffickers and money launderers -- i.e. SPDC Generals included.-- U Ne Oo.
SENATOR VICKI BOURNE (AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS)
LETTER TO INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE
PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA
SENATOR VICKI BOURNE
Senator for New South Wales
Australian Democrats Whip
29 June 2000
Juan Antonio Samaranch
President, International Olympic Committee
Chateau de Vidy
Dear Mr Samaranch,
I am writing to you with regard to the inclusion of Burmese athletes in the Sydney Olympics.
As you would be aware Burma is currently under a military regime. This regime has also placed in detention people who were democratically elected to parliament in 1990; they have never been able to take up their positions. I am sure you would be aware of the long imprisonment long imprisonment of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
There are many reports of human rights violations, including forced relocation, slave labour and arbitrary detentions. Burma is a country being governed totally undemocratically by a regime that contravenes many of the International standards such as the United Nations Declarition of Human Rights.
There are nmany sanctions in place against Burma and a storng international movement attempting to bring democracy to the country. Allowing the Burmese a place at the Olympics gives creOlympics gives credibility to their regime that is not warranted.
Given the promoted values of the Olympic movement it seeems to me that allowing a country with clearly document human rights abuses is in contravention of these stated values.
I presume that the Olympic movement does have guidelines for excluding a country. I would appreciate a copy of those guidelines as well as an explanation as to why The Olympic Committee has decided to include Burma.
Sd. Vicki Bourne
Australian Democrat's Selian Democrat's Senator for NSW
AP: AUSTRALIA CONDUCTS HUMAN RIGHTS WORKSHOPS IN MYANMAR
July 6, 2000
YANGON, Myanmar (AP)
Australia said Wednesday it is supporting human rights workshops for 50 Myanmar state officials despite the opposition of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Australian experts are conducting two workshops for officials including those from the Myanmar home affairs and education ministries in Yangon July 4-13. A third will be held in October to reviewin October to review the outcome of the first two.
Suu Kyi's party won general elections in 1990 but the results were ignored by the military which has ruled in Myanmar, also known as Burma, since 1962. Hundreds of pro-democrats have been jailed.
``Daw Aung San Suu Kyi remains opposed to the initiative from the point of view of principle and her view is respected,'' said a statement from Australian Agency for International Development.
``But in the absence of any other effective measures to improve the to improve the human rights situation in Myanmar the Australian government considers the proposal is worth pursuing.''
The statement, that was released in Canberra and made available in Yangon, said other international approaches had not ``significantly influenced change'' in the last 12 years.
The workshops will address human rights as reflected in the roles of different United Nations agencies and will feature sessions on economic, social, cultural, political and civil rights, it said.
Australia stbsp;Australia stirred criticism from opponents of the military regime when it sent a top official last August to broach the idea of setting up an independent human rights commission in Myanmar.
Suu Kyi urges international isolation of the regime, as most Western governments have done since a crackdown on a nationwide pro-democracy uprising in 1988 when the military gunned down thousands of protesters.
The human rights workshops are part of an assistance package worth Australian dlrs 4.5 million (US dlrs 2.7 million), also including community health projects and aid for resettlement of refugees.