Written by U Ne Oo on 1999-09-22

FREEBURMA 9999 CAMPAIGNS
in support of
Committee Representing People's Parliament
in Burma.

CONTENTS:

1. What is Committee Representing the People's Parliament (CRPP) ?

2. The International Political Support to the CRPP: 3. Letterwriting Campaign in Support of CRPP:

1. Letter to Hon Chris Schacht, Labor Senator for South Australia (6-Sep-99)

1. Letter to the President of 54th Session of United Nations General Assembly(22-Sep-99)

2. Letter to the UN Secretary-General, Security Council and UN Third Committee (27-Oct-99).






[Posted on Internet, 6 August 1999]

Our Campaign Actions in South Australia

A motion in support of democracy movement in Burma has been introduced in the State Parliament of South Australia yesterday by Hon. Bob Such (State Liberal). The SA Parliamentarians will urge their federal counterparts to do whatever it can to help bring democracy in Burma. I've been told that proposal to introduce entire text of motion as British Colombia Legislative Assembly is rather lengthy, in term of House of Assembly (also called lower house).

There is also a plan by Hon. Ian Gilfillan(state democrats, MLC) to move a private motion at the upper house of South Australian Parliament. I shall follow on that too.



There is no such cooperation from the ACT Legislative Assembly. Chief Minister Kate Cornell of ACT Legislative Assembly in Canberra inform me that they would rather prefer this matter to put in the hands of Federal counterparts. ACT's legislature is a small assembly of just about 15 legislators which sitting in the shadows of federal government. Nevertheless, wouldn't that be nice if they can express support to democracy movement in Burma?



Meanwhile, Australian Human Rights Commissioner has just came back from Burma: but he didn't meet with Aung San Suu Kyi. In anycase, there has been no concrete proposal from Australian Government in terms of immediately redressing the human rights and political impasse in Burma. We, the democracy groups from around the world, are to take the Human Rights Commissioner's visit literally as a sign of Australian Government is NOW willing to help support democracy movement in Burma. Certainly, there are few things the Australian (federal) Government can help: particularly to support the CRPP in Burma.

Regards, U Ne Oo.


2/6/99 LETTER TO HON BOB SUCH AND IAN GILFILLAN

Dr U Ne Oo

18 Shannon Place

Adelaide SA 5000

2 June, 1999.

Hon Bob Such, MP

Member, House of Assembly

State Parliament of South Australia

ADELAIDE SA 5000

Dear Hon Bob Such

I am a Burmese exile residing in South Australia. Here in Adelaide, I have been working in as a member/supporter to Burma Action (South Australia) and Adelaide Justice Coalition. I am also the secretary of the Network for International Protection of the Refugees(NetIPR)--a local grass-roots human rights organisation to protect the rights of the refugees(brochure enclosed). I have also engaged in human rights campaigns as a member-supporter to the Amnesty International.

I also have contact with various Burmese expatriate organisations worldwide and, in my personal capacity as a Burmese exile, give support to democracy movement inside Burma led by Aung San Suu Kyi. In this context, I am seeking the way for the State Parliament of South Australia to supnd, in my personal capacity as a Burmese exile, give support to democracy movement inside Burma led by Aung San Suu Kyi. In this context, I am seeking the way for the State Parliament of South Australia to support the democratic opposition in Burma, especially the Committee Representing People's Parliament(CRPP). In this regards, I ask your kind help for an appropriate motion supporting CRPP at the State Parliament of South Australia. In this connection, I enclosed a motion by Legislative Assembly of Province of British Columbia in Canada. I have also enclosed the resolutions adopted by European Parliament and Inter-Parliamentary Union, supporting the CRPP and democracy movement in Burma. A summary about oppoary about opposition party National League for Democracy in Burma and CRPP is also given with this letter.

In closing, thank you for your kind attention to this matter. I welcome any further inquiry regarding this matter and I'll appreciate your advise and support on ways to approach the Parliament of South Australia.

Yours sincerely

Sd. U Ne Oo.




3/6/99 LETTER FROM HON BOB SUCH, MP

3 June 1999CKQUOTE>3 June 1999

Dear Dr U Ne Oo

Ian Gilfillan and I were pleased to meet with you on 2 June 1999 and will follow through re:

  • a Resolution in Parliament relating to Burma, and
  • a letter to Hon Alexander Downer, Federal minister for Foreign Affairs, re the Australian Government's efforts to bring about a return of democracy in Burma (Myanmar).
  • Thank you once again for raising these important matters with us

    Yours sincerely

    Bob Such MP JP

    Member for Fisher.


    EXTRACT FROM HANSARD
    PARLIAMENT OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA
    5 August 1999.
    [MOTION: By Hon Bob Such(Fisher), SECONDED: HOn Kris Hanna(MItchell)]
    FFCC33" NOSAVE >
    BURMA

    The Hon.R.B. SUCH(Fisher):



    I move:

    "that this House urges the Federal Government to pursue all means at its disposal to help bring about democracy in Burma."

    I am pleased to move this motion. I currently chair the parliamentary branch of Amnesty International but, apart from that, I have a strong commitment, as I am sure do my colleagues in this Ceagues in this Chamber, for the cause of democracy wherever it may be under threat. Members can appreciate that where democracy is denied to a group of people then that diminishes us all. Some people say, 'Well, why should we concern ourselves with Burma?'--or Myanmar, as other people call it. The fact is, as with the issue of Cyprus that was raised in this Chamber recently, we do live in a world where we cannot be isolated or insulated from other events.

    Whilst we do belong in a Federal system for which the Commonwh the Commonwealth Government has responsibility for international relations overall, that does not deny us the opportunity and the right to raise an issue of concern and promote the cause of justice, I point out that, on behalf of the parliamentary group of Amnesty International, I did write to the Hon. Alexander Downer on this issue. I received a supportive letter in response, and I commend the Minister for that and what he is trying to do.

    Burma has a population of 45 million people and a land mass approximately theroximately the same size as South Australia. As members would appreciate, Burma was once a British colony and gained its independence, along with many other countries, in 1948. However, unfortunately, since 1962 the country has been ruled by military dictatorship in one form or another. After the Burmese military government cracked down on a nationwide uprising in 1988, a multiparty general election was held on 27 May 1990.

    The National League for Democracy(NLD), Burma's leading political Party, won over 80 per cent, or per cent, or 392 seats out of 485, in that general election. However, the military Government of Burma refused to hand over power to the winning Party, the NLD, and the elected representatives were not allowed to convene Parliament. Throughout the period after the general election of May 1990, the Government has continued to oppress elected members of Parliament, and since that time many of these people have been detained, some have been sent into exile and others have died in prison.

    Members may be aware of the name De of the name Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the General Secretary of the NLD and the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. She was the co-founder of the NLD in 1988. Suu was detained in 1989 by the Burmese military Government and released in 1995. Although she and other prominent members of the NLD were detained during the election period, their Party(NLD) won a landslide victory in the election of 1990. After many years of military Government oppression and intimidation, only about 300 MPs were active in 1998. Concerned at the lack of progressck of progress towards democratisation in Burma, the 251 MPs at the NLD Party general meeting in May 1998 decided to convene a Parliament before August that year. HOwever, the Burmese Government detained 160 MPs in so-called Government guest houses and arrested more than 1,000 NLD Party members and supporters.

    During the general meeting of May 1998 the NLD leadership was given the mandate to act on behalf of the elected representatives. In September of that year the NLD leadership, with the support of four other ethnicr other ethnic political Parties, formed the Committee Representing the People's Parliament (CRPP). The CRPP therefore has the support of 251 surviving members of Parliament and is mandated to act on behalf of the Parliament elected in May 1990. Since the formation of the Committee Representing the People's Parliament, the military Government of Burma has renewed its crackdown on the Opposition. Thousands of NLD member supporters, including elected members of Parliament, have been detained.

    The military Government stagedernment staged mass rallies across the country to denounce the NLD Party, and to deport Aung San Suu Kyi, to the consternation not only of people within Burma but also clearly of people outside the country. The military authorities summoned ordinary people to come to those public rallies and forced the people to sign statements withdrawing their support for the elected MPs. We know that the Burmese military intelligence also pressured and continue to pressure elected representatives under their detention, and only those who resignose who resign from the NLD or from their position as an MP have been released.

    That brief outline puts the issue in context and should remind us all of the importance of democracy, something that too many in our society treat lightly and take for granted. We would regard it as an abomination if we were in that situation. Without labouring the point for too long, I commend this motion to the House and urge members to support it, and would encourage the Federal Government to pursue this matter. I believe it is a biparti it is a bipartisan issue and, as I said at the start, where other people are denied their democratic rights the totality of humanity is diminished. Accordingly, I invite support from members for this motion.

    MR. HANNA(MITCHELL):


    I fully support the motion moved by the member for Fisher. I am pleased to see members of this Chamber taking an interest in international affairs and matters of social justice in other countries. The important thing befant thing before I get onto Burma specifically is to bear in mind that issues of social justice and democracy, which the honourable member raises in relation to Burma, are really some of the problems that we face in our own backyard, albeit very large and in a much more tragic way in Burma as it is in many other countries.

    When we talk about human rights being infringed, about freedom of association being crushed and so on, there is legislation of this very Government that purports to go a step down that road. I do not road. I do not mean to belittle the terrible situation under the SLORC dictatorship in Burma, but every time this Government tries to break down the rights of workers here in this country, tries to take away rights of workers' compensation, tries to diminish the rights of unions, it is taking a step towards the kind lifestyle to which people are subjected at the hands of a narrowly confined military Government in Burma.

    There is no doubt about the injustice of the situation in Burma. It is one of the most clear-cut casst clear-cut cases of democracy being subverted in the world today. As the member for Fisher rightly pointed out, there was duly held election at which one particular democratic Party won 80 per cent or so of the votes, and that Party was then kicked out and trampled on by the military. The members o that Government, the one who hold the guns and the power in that country, are raping and looting it. It is a good example of power being concentrated too much in the hands of a few. It is absolute power. The way that the Burmese militarurmese military are soaking up the capital both within that country and from other countries is unashamedly greedy and I could even say evil, because in the course of amassing their own personal fortunes they are happy to be involved in perpetuating slavery and torture. It goes as far as that.

    I know that the member for Fisher is very involved in Amnesty and he would have plenty of details about those sort of activities in that country. I have seen photographs, for example, of young children being forced to work in hea to work in heavy labour, clearing roads and so on, for industrial and commercial purposes, for projects which are purely going to benefit the members of the military Government. Children in these situations are sometimes forced to live apart from their parents and are given little more than a bowl of rice a day to eat. It is a disgraceful regime. It is an affront to democracy, and it offends our sense of social justice.

    In closing, I would like to refer back to some of the comments I made about the situation in Cyprus jun in Cyprus just a short time ago in this place. Cyprus is another example where similar sorts of injustices have been perpetrated over last 20 or 30 years, certainly since the turkish invasion of cyprus in 1974. There are many other trouble spots, and I am very glad that the member for fisher has brought to our attention today the problems in an Asian country. Sometimes I feel that there is an element of hidden racism in the way we think about these international problems.

    [Back to Contents]




    [Posted on Internet, Sun 26 September 1999, 9:00am]
    Letter to Senator Chris Schacht
    (A Labor Senator for South Australia)
    Dear Friends:

    In the midst of ASSK criticism on Australia's HR initiatives, and continuing failure of UN General Assembly to take a proper stand on the per stand on the issue of Burma, I have launched a special website in the support of CRPP in Burma and can now be found at:

    http://www.physics.adelaide.edu.au/~uneoo/crpplink.html

    This site has been created to focus campaign for Australian Government and Federal Parliamentarians to supps to support the CRPP. Following is letter to Hon Chris Schacht, a South Australian Senator and a long time supporter to the Burma democracy movement. Our friends, both in Australia and overseas, please write to Senator to one or two line of support letters. The fact is that in South Australia, only 2-and-half Burmese living and, on our own, we certainly can't impress the Senator with large amount of letters, etc.

    We must also request the United States Congress to recognise CRPP. I would appreciate anyone in USA e anyone in USA can initiate a campaign on this matter (I could write a letter in support, I suppose).

    I am disappointed about the 54th UNGA is providing a floor to SPDC/SLORC foreign minister, H.E. U Win Aung. Our request last year to UNGA for a properly structured resolution is still outstanding and we must continue with our request in this year too.

    VALUES OF LETTER WRITING AND NON-VIOLENT INITIATIVES

    For the record, I have been engaging in letter-writing activities since 1992 to varince 1992 to various UN/Govt officials. In plain truth, I didn't quite feel that my letters/proposed actions are being takenup by those officials. Then, one must ask why I keep on writing to these officials. One straight answer is that because I am an "Activist"(with CAPITAL A).

    There is also continuing question of whether the "non-violent method" on the military regime in Burma being effective. If effective, how much would be one individual activists' contribution to it ? It is evident the military government Burma todaynt Burma today is weaker than before. Hence, I believe the answer lies with the nature of the so-called 'power of influence' exerted by the movement. No one can evaluate the 'power of influence' and no one can be certain about the 'power of influence'. Therefore, we cannot expect the activists to "deliver" results in the same way the politicians do. In most Gandhian's way, we -Activists- must resort to our own inner moral strength in continuing struggle.

    To my experience, one cannot continue to be an activist if one dovist if one doesn't have the 'inner strength'. Firstly, this is simply because the nature of political work for activists-- i.e. you have to stand along with the under dogs-- is psychologically oppressive. Of course, everyone would like to be on the winning side. But by its nature, the activists usually have to be on the side of the weak and disadvantaged. Secondly, when we are in combat with our adversaries, there is obvious disadvantages such as financial resources, access to information etc. One can certainly gets intimily gets intimidated by these facts. Thirdly, the factor of lack of understanding to activists' work by general public. When we are engaging in activities, we get range of responses from the public. Some--small minority-- may express support and appreciation. Some part of public may be on the side of bashing (i.e. ridiculing) activists and their activities. To my experience, there is no shortage in the public who label activists and criticise their work as, "Paper Tigers","Amnesty Creeps","International Jokes", "Human Rights Mumbo Rights Mumbo jumbos". Sometimes you can be advised to "Get real job" etc.

    Nevertheless, we have seen some inspiring success in recent years. To within my personal sphere, the success of International Campaign to Ban Land mines and, or recent, independence struggle for East Timor give me much inspiration. It is very good to see some of our Timor Activists friends (they are not necessarily Timorese people only) shining in lights with excitements. The Australian Federal Coalition Government early this year has reversed A has reversed Australian policy on East Timor. The Australian Prime Minister nowadays sounds more like human rights/humanitarian activists and doing a magnificent job on East Timor. It is 'adrenalin' pumping-ups for all the press, public and military in Australia. We do need a lot more of those!!

    Letter to Senator Chris Schacht,

    Labor Senator for South Australia.
    Dr U Ne Oo

    18 Shannon Place

    ADELAIDE SA 5000

    6 September 1999

    Hon Chris Schacht

    Labor Senator for South Australia

    59 Main North Road

    Medindie Gardens SA 5081

    Tel: (+618)8344-8766

    Fax: (+618)8344-9355

    Dear Senator Schacht:

    re: A Senate Motion in Support of Parliamentary Committee in Burma

    Since you have been a long-time and most-valued supporter to the democracy movement in Burma, I should like to make a special request to you regarding with the Australian Senate to support the Committee Representing People's Parlimmittee Representing People's Parliament(CRPP) in Burma. In particular, I appeal you to move a motion in support of CRPP in the Senate. The rationale for such support to CRPP in Burma by the Australian Federal Parliament/Senate has been outlined in my previous communications to you on 7th July and 21st August 1999. It is basically for Australia to provide a measure of recognition to the CRPP and the Parliament of

    Burma.



    As you may be aware in South Australian State Parliament, the Hon. Dr Bob Such early last month has kindly moved s kindly moved a motion calling for Federal Government to do all it can to bring democracy in Burma. More encouragingly, Hon Janelle Saffin of NSW State Legislative Assembly has also moved a motion in May calling for Australian Government to recognise CRPP as "Legitimate instrument of the will of the Burmese People" (copies of motions enclosed with this letter). I appeal you to continue these valuable works at the State level and bringing forward matters at the level of Federal Parliament and the Senate.



    As you kno

    As you know, Senator, Australian support to democracy movement in Burma is most crucial at this point in time. I would also be grateful if you could advise me how to get more support on this from the Federal Parliament. I, along with Burmese community in South Australia, would also be very happy to meet with you if you like to discuss any further on this matter. I thank you for your kind attention to this matter.

    Yours sincerely

    (U NE OO)

    [Back to Contents]


    [Posted on Internet, 14 September 1999]
    The FreeBurma 9999 Statement
    by
    Burma Action Group
    (South Australia)
    During the rally at the Victorian State Parliament House in Melbourne.
    On the 9th of September, myself and Salai, representing Bu representing Burma Action Group in South Australia, had attended Melbourne 9999 Action Launch ceremony in front of Victorian State Parliament House. The 9999 Action in Melbourne also included the 72-hours hunger strike in front of the parliament house and we congratulate those participated in that hunger strike-- it is a tremendous job. The 9999 Action Launch in Melbourne appears to focus principally on the theme of Australian Federal and State Governments to recognise CRPP. We have the pleasure of distributing the 'CRPP Briefings'PP Briefings' notes prepared by ALTSEAN group in BKK to the rally attenders. We also read out following statement by Burma Action Group(SA).


    BURMA ACTION GROUP(SOUTH AUSTRALIA)

    The Burma Action Group in South Australia:

    1. Express our support to National League for Democracy and its Parliamentary its Parliamentary Committee, the Committee Representing People's Parliament (CRPP);

    2. Express our solidarity with all Burma's ethnic minority refugees and all pro-democracy groups;

    3. Urge Federal Government of Australia to give measure of recognition to CRPP;

    4. Urge United Nations and its organs to help solve problems of Burma's refugees;

    5. Express outrage at the Burmese mit the Burmese military junta's inhuman behavior and oppression on the opposition party, NLD;

    6. Express concern at junta's leaders direct involvement in production and sales of heroine and Amphetamine-Type-Stimulents to neighbouring countries and to the world;

    7. Urge international community and especially Federal Government of Australia to help implement the results of May 1990 General Election;

    8. Express our sincExpress our sincere thanks to Australian people for their continuing support to democracy and human rights movements for Burma.

    [Back to Contents]


    CRPP Briefings by ALTSEAN



    ALTSEAN
    BURMA
    ALTERNATIVE ASEAN NETWORK ON BURMA
    c/o Forum Asia, 109 Suthisarnwinichai Road, Samsennok Huaykwnang, Bangkok 10320, Thailand.
    Tel (662)275-1811,(662)693-4515 Fax (662) 693-4515 email: altsean@ksc.th.coaltsean@ksc.th.com

    NO: 99/001

    UPDATED: AUGUST 11, 1999

    BRIEFINGS:
    THE COMMITTEE REPRESENTING THE PEOPLE'S PARLIAMENT

    OVERVIEW:

    The Committee Representing the People's Parliament (CRPP) was announced on 1 September 1998 in response to the Burmese military junta's failure to meet a legal demand to convene parliamen convene parliament. The demand was initiated by the National League for Democracy (NLD) following a party congress held on 27 May 1998. While the junta's backlash against the CRPP has been harsh and swift, the CRPP has gained much support from many ethnic nationality groups and from international bodies, including the European Union and the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

    In calling for parliament to be convened, the NLD acted in accordance with the currently valid 1989 Pyitthu Hluttaw (People's Parliament) Election Lawt) Election Law. Tow hundred fifty-one (or 54.6%) of the elected MPs empowered the NLD to act on their behalf, thus enabling the party to requisition a session of Parliament. This exceeds the legally required number.

    The Burmese junta, now calling itself the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), ignored the call for parliament and detained many parliamentarians. It also issued restraning orders against others, effectively preventing them from participating in any centrally organized political activity. These action. These actions led the NLD to establish the CRPP and convene its first meeting on 16 September 1998. The Committee's key role is to function on behalf of Parliament only until Parliament is actually convened.

    Despite the severe backlash from the junta, the CRPP enjoy wide support, gaining endorsement from ethnic nationality groups. MPs in exile have shown their support, and the Committee has also received significant backing from international bodies. The SPDC is not pleased with this turn of events, and is now holding s now holding arrested MPs hostage to the CRPP, claiming they will be released if the CRPP is dissolved. In addition, the military regime has begun orchestrating no-confidence motions against pro-democracy MPs.

    The backlash is significant for two reasons. It indicates that the junta sees the CRPP as a serious threat because it is a constant reminder of the junta's illegitimacy. The orchestrated no-confidence motions also provide inadvertent recognition by the SPDC that the MPs elected in 1990 were indeed elected as MPs.elected as MPs. The regime has often denied this fact, stating instead that the democratic elections were only to establish a national convention to draft a new constitution.

    JUSTIFICATION FOR THE CRPP:

    • In calling for parliament to be convened, the NLD acted in accordance with the currently valid 1989 Pyitthu Hluttaw (People's Parliament) Election Law. The SPDC ignored this call, thus violating the law.
    • According to a precedent set by the 1974 Pyitthu Hluttaw Law, the State Council is State Council is required to convene parliament if 34% of the elected representatives call for one.
    • The NLD is empowered by 251 parliamentarians, comprising 54.6% of the parliament elected in 1990.
    • As the call to convene parliament was ignored, the NLD and cooperating parties formed the Committee Representing the People's Parliament which the stated purpose of functioning on behalf of Parliament only until Parliament is actually convened. It held its first meeting on 16 September 1998.
    CRPP O> CRPP OPERATIONS
    • Dr. U Saw Mra Aung, the Chairman of the Arakan League for Democracy, became the Speaker of the People's Parliament 2/. The selection of an ethnic nationality group representative as Speaker is significant. It shows NLD's commitment to working together with ethnic groups, and it is also a strong indication of support for the CRPP from other parties representing ethnic nationality groups.
    • Among the first steps taken by the CRPP was to revoke the proposed amendments to the jundments to the junta's laws which violate basic democratic principles 3/.
    • The CRPP worked in close cooperation with several ethnic nationality parties to draft a new parliamentary law. This law stipulates that the State Council must convene parliament if 30% or more of elected representatives call for one.
    • The CRPP established Parliamentary Committees as follows:
        I. Committee for Ethnic Nationalities Affairs: U Aye Thar Aung (Chairperson), Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (Secretary)

        II.tary)

        II. Committee for Finance/Economy/Commerce: U Nyunt Wei (Chairperson)

        III. Committee for Legal Affairs: U Tin Oo(Chairperson)

        IV. Committee for Education: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (Chairperson)

        V. Committee for Health and Social Affairs: U Lwin (Chairperson)

        VI. Committee for Foreign Affairs: U Aung Shwe (Chairperson)

        VII. Committee for Cultivators and Peasants Affairs: U Soe Myint(Chairperson)

        VIII. Committee for Workers Affairs: U Than Tun(Chairperson), U Lun Tinn), U Lun Tin(Secretary)

        IX. Committee for Parliamentary Affairs: U Hla Pe (Chairperson)

        X. Committee for Defence: U Tin Oo (chairperson).

    • The CRPP has demanded the release of detained MPs and political prisoners in Burma 4/.
    • When a high-ranking official of the SPDC's military intelligence was invited to Japan by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the CRPP communicated its disapproval of the invitation to the Japanese government.
    ENDORSEMENT BY EENDORSEMENT BY ETHNIC NATIONALITY GROUPS:

    • The CRPP began with the endorsement of four non-Burman ethnic parties, three having already signed ceasefire agreements with the junta. These groups are the Shan Nationalities People's Liberation Organization (SNPLO), Karenni Nationalities People's Liberation Front (KNPLF), New Mon State Party (NMSP), and Kayan New Land Party (KNLP) 5/.
    • Other ethnic organizations known to have expressed support for the CRPP include; the Chin National Front(CNF), Pnal Front(CNF), Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF), Lahu Democratic Front (LDF), Muslim Liberation Organization of Burma, Shan National League for Democracy (SNLD), and the Wa National Organization(WNO). Some of these organizations were later forced by the military authorities to retract their support.
    • On 27 May 1999, a joint "Election Anniversary Statement" was released to reaffirm support for the NLD and the CRPP. The signatories were the Arakan League for Democracy, the Chin Naitonal League for Democracy and the Zoracy and the Zomi National Congress. All of these parties were dissolved by the junta, and must therefore conduct most of their activities in exile.
    SPDC'S REACTION TO CRPP:
    • At a news briefing held by the junta, Lt Col Hla Min announced that 200 NLD MPs and 651 party members had been detained on 6 September 1998. The NLD has indicated that over 800 party members were actually detained. The junta claimed that detention was necessary in order to prevent "misguided activities, forestall violent confall violent confrontations and to maintain law and order"6/. Later, 61 MPs and 321 NLD members were released after they promised to refrain from participating in politics 7/.
    • Numerous NLD offices were closed. The junta claims the offices were closed by the volition of the former NLD members 8/, while the NLD asserts the offices were forcibly closed 9/.
    • The SPDC detained Dr. Saw Mra Aung almost immediately after he was chosen as Speaker of the People's Parliament.
    • Since CRPP's formation, thRPP's formation, the SPDC has orchestrated no-confidence motions against at least 13 MPs, including at least one CRPP member 10/. This was done by coercing MPs' constituents into signing petitions withdrawing support for their representatives. People may be coerced with fines 11/, prison terms 12/, threats of forced labor 13/, and forced resignation from jots 14/. Deception regarding the content of the petitions also been practiced 15/.
    • The SPDC predictably applied strong pressure upon the ethnic nationality groups which ty groups which issued statements in support of the CRPP. As a result, many groups were forced to retract their support and submit letters supporting the junta.
    INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT FOR CRPP:
    • On 22 September 1998, the Free Burma Coalition, an umbrella organization of more than 100 university and community groups worldwide, released a statement in support of the CRPP 16/.
    • Parliamentary leaders of all political parties represented in the Norwegian NationalNorwegian National Assembly gave their support to the CRPP on 19 October 1998 17/.
    • In December f1998, five Danish political parties in Danish National Assembly declared their support for the establishment of the CRPP 18/.
    • In February 1999, the Belgian National Assembly passed a resolution on Burma in which it announced support for the CRPP 19/.
    • The U.N. General Assembly noted the establishment of the CRPP in the context of urging the junta to "take all necessary steps towards the restoration of de restoration of democracy in accordance with the will of the people as expressed in the democratic elections held in 1990 and to ensure that political parties and non-governmental organizations can function freely" 20/.
    • The Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia passed a motion in March 1999 which urged the Canadian Government to recognize the CRPP as "the legitimate instrument of the will of the Burmese people" 21/.
    • In April 1999, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) endorsed the CRPP. It st the CRPP. It stated that, "in demanding that Parliament be convened and in setting up the 'Committee Representing the People's Parliament', the MPs-elect are merely defending the rights of their constituents to take part in the conduct of public affairs through representatives of their choice, as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and exercising their right to discharge the mandate entrusted to them in 1990" 22/.
    • In a European Union resolution on Burma in April 1999, the EU urged tthe EU urged the SPDC to recognize the CRPP and begin genuine dialogue 23/.
    • The Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union declared its support for the CRPP in May 1999 . 24/.
    • Members of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, comprised of elected MPs in exile, have been active in lobbying for international support for the NLD's call for parliament and the CRPP since its establishment.
    Footnotes:
    1. Statement No.1. the Coment No.1. the Committee Constituted to Act for and on Behalf of the 1990 Multi-Party General Elections People's Parliament (CCEPP). 1 September 1998.

    2. CRPP Statement No.1(17 September 1998). The direct translation in the Notification says "President of the People's Parliament." It has since been clarified that the correct title is "Speaker".

    3. CRPP Notification No.2 (28 September 1998), Notification No. 3(2 October 1998); Notification No. 5 (16 tion No. 5 (16 October 1998).

    4. CRPP Notification No. 7(8 December 1998); Notification No.6(February 1999); Notification No 7(15 February 1999); Notification No.21 (12 April 1999); CRPP Resolution No.16 (27 May 1999).

    5. CRPP Statement No.1. 17 September 1998.

    6. "Current situation on NLD's taking of confrontational course and its attempts to forcibly convene Hluttaw clarified." The New Lights of Myanmar, 23 Novemyanmar, 23 November 1998.

    7. Ibid. SPDC Lt-Col Hla Min stated that they were released after they "undertook not to participate in such illegal activities," i.e. refraining from pro-democratic political activity.

    8. Ibid.

    9. NLD Statement # 115. 1 December 1998.

    10. CRPP Notification 26, 5 May 1999.

    11. CRPP Notification 12, 24 February 112, 24 February 1999.

    12. CRPP Notification 17, 30 March 1999.

    13. CRPP Notification 13, 25 February 1999.

    14. CRPP Notification 10, 18 February 1999.

    15. CRPP Notification 8, 16 February 1999.

    16. Free Burma Coalition, statement released 22 September 1998.

    17. "Norwegian parliamentarians give theirtarians give their support to Burmese 10 Member Committee" Press release 19 October 1998. International Network of Political Leaders Promoting Democracy in Burma.

    18. Danish Parliamentarians Give Support to CRPP. Announcement 17 December 1998.

    19. Birma Groep/Groupe Birmanie(Belgium). "Belgium Resolution in Support of CRPP."

    20. UN General Assembly Resolution 53/162. "Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar', 25 Februaryar', 25 February 1999.

    21. The Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, Notion No. 61.

    22. Resolution adopted by Inter-Parliamentary Council at 163rd Session (Moscow, 12 September 1998).

    23. European Parliament-Human Rights Commission Resolution on Burma. 14 April 1999.

    24. Letter from Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union, NSW State Secretary to the Generalry to the General Secretary of All Burma Student's Democratic Organisation.



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    The Legislative Assembly of
    The Province of British Colombia
    M>Motion No. 61; 4 May, 1999

    Mr. Hartley moved--

    Be it resolved that this Assembly deplores the continuing violations of human rights in Burma, including extrajudicial and arbitrary executions, rape, torture, inhuman treatment, mass arrests, forced labour, forced relocation and denial of freedom of expression, assembly, association and movement, as reported by the UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur;

    Be it further resolv further resolved that in the opinion of this Assembly these human rights abuses in Burma are the result of policy at the highest level and that the regime's officials bear political and legal responsibility for them;

    Be it further resolved that this Assembly urges the military regime in Burma to:

    (a) --- immediately and unconditionally release all detained political leaders and all political prisoners, to ensure their physical integrity and to permit them to participate in the process of national reconciliatonal reconciliation;

    (b) --- repeal all regressive laws;

    (c) --- stop all the violations of human rights and in particular the unlawful coercion against the National League for Democracy (NLD) members leading to surrendering of their membership and the closure of NLD offices; and

    (d) --- immediately initiate a substantive political dialogue with the Committee Representing the People's Parliament before there is further violent upheaval in Burma.

    Be it further resolved that tresolved that the Legislature condemns the State Peace and Development Council (formerly named the State Law and Order Restoration Council) for:

    (a) --- openly encouraging the production, trade and export of opium and heroin into North America;and

    (b) --- racially-motivated genocide against the ethnic peoples in Burma, especially those in Karen, Karenni and Shan States;

    Be it further resolved that the Legislature urges the Government of Canada to:

    (a) --- recognise as thp; recognise as the legitimate instrument of the will of the Burmese people the Committee Representing the People's Parliament formed by the National League for Democracy on 16 September 1998 as acquiring the legal authority of 251 MP's and support of the four non-Burman ethnic political parties;

    (b) --- take all necessary action to achieve coordinated international action in support of the restoration of human rights in Burma;

    (c) --- direct the federal drug enforcement agency to increase counter narce counter narcotics efforts specific to the flow of heroin into Vancouver from Burma; and

    (d) --- appeal to the UN Secretary-General to send a special envoy to Burma to continue discussions with the leaders of the military regime as well as with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other leaders in order to make significant advances towards the democratization of Burma.

    Motion agreed to nemine contradicente on the following division:

    YEAS -- 66

    [Names included in original.]

    AdOCKQUOTE>Added Note: Similar motion regarding Burma has also been introduced in the Legislative Council of the Parliament of New South Wales in Australia by Hon. Janelle Saffin on Wednesday May 26, 1999.
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    The European Parliame European Parliament
    Joint Miton for A Resolution on Burma
    14 April 1999

    Pursuant to Rule 47 of the Rules of Procedure by the following Members:

    - Colajanni, on behalf of the PSE Group

    - Maij-Weggen and Jarzembowski, on behalf of the PPE Group

    - Pasty and Van Bladel, on behalf of the UPE Group

    - Bertens, on behalf of the ELDR Group

    - Ripa dl Meana, Mohamed Alf and Sierra Gonzalez, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

    - Telkaemper and McKenna, on behalf of the V Group

    - Dupuis, Dell'Alba, Leperre-Vorrier and Scarbonchi, on behalf of the ARE Group


    The European Parliament, having regard to its previous resolutions on Burma,
    A. saddened by the death of Dr. Michael Aris, Mrs Aung San Suu Kyi's husband, in the United Kingdom,

    B. deploring the decision of the Burmese government not to grant an entry visa for humanitarian reasons to Mrs Aung San Suu Kyi's husband in order to allow him to visit his wife while he was seriously ill,

    C. noting the Council declaration expressing the condemnation of such an inhumane attitude displaying blantant disregard for fundamental human rights by the Sights by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC),

    D. deploring that political parties are prevented from functioning freely, and that the Secretary-General of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and Nobel Peace and Sakharov Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, effectively remains under house arrest,

    E. deeply concerned at the continuing and extremely serious human rights abuses committed by the military authorities in Burma, especially the violation of humanitarian law by the Burmese army inrmese army in ethnic minority areas,

    F. whereas the SPDC Army units and local authorities have recently ordered the forced relocation of KAREN villages, and the use of the villagers as forced labour,

    G. condemning the recent arrests and forced resignations of hundreds of elected representatives and NLD members,

    H. whereas on 16 September 1998, 250 members of the People's Parliament (54.6% of the 485 parliamentarians mandated the NLD and representatives of four parties to form the Committem the Committee Representing the People's Parliament (CRPP) to act on behalf of the entire parliament, which has never been permitted to convene,

    I. stressing that Aung San Suu Kyi has repeatedly called on all democratically elected Parliamentarians world-wide to give due recognition to the Committee and to support its work,

    J. whereas the Danish Parliament and the Belgian Senate have already given their support to the CRPP,

    K. noting that the ASEAN-EU Joint Cooperation Coooperation Committee (JCC) has not met for over a year as a result of disagreement over the inclusion of Burma,

    1. Expresses its sincerest sympathy for Mrs Aung San Suu Kyi;

    2. Denounces the refusal by the Burmese authorities to grant an entry visa to Dr. Michael Aris as further proof of the attitude of the Burmese government regarding fundamental human rights;

    3. Reiterates its condemnation of the military dictatorship in Burma and all human rights violations by the SPDC;

    4. ;

    4. Condemns the continued human rights abuses against ethnic groups within Burma, the current forced relocation of KAREN villages and the use of the villagers as forced labour;

    5. Calls again on the Burmese Government to gurantee the fundamental rights of the Burmese people, to release all political prisoners and to allow freedom of movement for Mrs Aung San Suu Kyi;

    6. Reaffirms its opinion that the path leading Burma back to recognition as part of the international community and to nity and to a solution of the deep crisis in the country has to start with a meaningful political dialogue between the Burmese authorities, the democratic opposition leaders and representatives of ethnic minorities;

    7. Expresses its recognition and support for the CRPP and urges its relevant committees to enter into a constructive dialogue with Burma's elected parliamentarians;

    8. Reiterates its support of the Council decision not to accept the participation of Burma at EU-ASEAN and ASU-ASEAN and ASEM meetings until there are significant improvements in human rights and democracy in Burma;

    9. Calls on the Council to ensure that the current CFSP common position on Burma is strictly enforced, in particular with regard to the ban on entry visas and moreover strongly calls on the EU member states to refrain from giving transit visas to SPDC and military personnel;

    10. Instructs its President to forward the present resolution to the Commission, the Council, the ASEANhe ASEAN, the CRPP and the government of Burma.

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    Inter-Parliamentary Union
    Resolution on Burma (Myanmar)
    Resolution adopted without a vote by the
    Inter-Parliamentary Council at its 164th session
    (Brussels, 16 April 1999)
    The Inter-Parliamentary Council,
    Referring to the outline of the case, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/164/13(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 163rd session (September 1998) concerning the case of the above-mentioned elected members of the Pmbers of the Pyithu Hluttaw (People's Assembly) of the Union of Myanmar,

    Recalling that on 27 May 1990 a national election called by the then State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) was held to constitute a new Parliament (Pyithu Hluttaw) and that the National League for Democracy (NLD) won 392 of the 485 seats (about 81% of total seats), all the above persons being among those elected; that, however, instead of transferring power as it had pledged before the election, SLORC lection, SLORC ruled, in Declaration 1/90, that the duties of the elected representatives were merely to draft a State Constitution and convene a National Convention to lay down the fundamental principles of a new democratic Constitution; that, under severe pressure from SLORC, the National League of Democracy participated in the Convention's work but withdrew in November 1995 thus severing whatever link there may have been between the Convention and the popular will as expressed in the 1990 elections, tions,

    Considering that, since 1990, SLORC not only systematically impeded the functioning of the National League for Democracy, in particular, but eliminated from the political process the MPs elected in 1990, first by invalidating election results, dismissing them from Parliament and banning them from future elections, by forcing them to resign and finally by arresting, detaining and sentencing them on the basis of laws (such as the Emergency Provision Act, State Protection Act, Ofection Act, Official Secrets Act, Printers and Publishers Registration Act, Unlawful Associations Act, etc.) considered by the competent United Nations human rights bodies to be in breach of international civil and political rights standards,

    Considering that, as a result of such measures, out of the 392 NLD MPs-elect, over 160 have been deprived of their status as MPs-elect,

    Considering that on 27 May 1998 the NLD leade98 the NLD leadership demanded that the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC, former SLORC) convene the Parliament elected in 1990 within three months; that, in view of the impossibility of doing this, a Committee was constituted on 16 September 1998 to act for and on behalf of the 1990 Multiparty General Elections People's Parliament composed of 10 MPs-elect belonging to different political parties and regions,

    Considering that as a result of t a result of the NLD demand to convene Parliament and the establishment of the Committee representing the People's Parliament , the SPDC called in NLD MPs-elect outside Rangoon demanding that they sign a declaration not to leave their home towns in the foreseeable future; that restraining orders have been issued against all NLD MPs-elect, who are required to stay within the confines of their respective municipalities for a year; that those who refused have either been arrested or are subject to judicial proseudicial prosecution and that since September 1998, approximately 150 MPs-elect have been arrested and are still in detention;

    Considering that, according to the SPDC, these MPs-elect have merely been called in temporarily at guest houses for the purpose of exchanging views on the consequences of the actions of the party (the NLD) for the peace and stability of the State . Sixty-three NLD MPs-elect and 321 party members who undertook not to participate in such illegal activities were returned to their homes,



    Considering in this connection the situation of Dr. Saw Mra Aung, an 80-year-old medical doctor arrested on 8 September 1998 and the fears expressed by the United Nations Rapporteurs on torture and the Chairman-Rapporteur of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention as regards his health while in detention, together with the reply of the Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the United Nationsyanmar to the United Nations Office in Geneva that he had not been arrested but was comfortably accommodated at the government guest house where he is accorded due courtesy and respect , has unlimited access to his family and was chauffeured to his residence for overnight reunions with his family ,



    Recalling the death in prison of Tin Maung Win, Hla Tan and Saw Win in January 1991, August 1996 and August 1998 respectively, and considering in thiidering in this connection the many reports and testimonies gathered from former detainees to the effect that prisoners are denied adequate food and health care, housed in insanitary and degrading conditions and subjected to cruel disciplinary practices and torture,

    Recalling in this connection that the present United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar has not been able to visit Myanmar, that the former Rapporteur was denied access to prison cells and could not meet any detainee whiy detainee while visiting Myanmar, and that the Government of that country rejected the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) standard requirements for visits to places of detention;



    Recalling also that the authorities of Myanmar have never responded to the IPU's request for information as to the places and conditions of detention of the detained MPs-elect,



    Bearing in mind that, in its resolution 1998/63, ttion 1998/63, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights expressed its deep concern that the Government of Myanmar has still not implemented its commitment to take all necessary steps towards democracy in the light of the democratic elections of 1990, while noting that the absence of respect for the rights pertaining to democratic government is at the root of all major violations of human rights in Myanmar , and called on it to take urgent and meaningful measures to ensure the establishment of deishment of democracy in accordance with the will of the people as expressed in the democratic elections held in 1990 ... ; that, likewise the United Nations General Assembly, in resolution 53/162 of 25 February 1999, strongly urged the Government of Myanmar, taking into account its assurances given at various times, to take all necessary steps towards the restoration of democracy in accordance with the will of the people as expressed in the democratic elections held in 1990 and to relelaquo; release immedia

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