More than 40,000 refugees, migrant workers and civil society organizations from Burma signed the petition calling on the United Nations Security Council to address the issue of Burma at its upcoming meeting in October. This appeal is submitted by Burma’s multi ethnic nationalities, including the Karen, Karenni, Kayan, Mon, Burman, Tavoy, Shan, Chin, Rakhine, Lahu, Kachin, Lushine, Kuki, Wa, Pa-O, and Palaung people, in commemorating the International Day of Peace which falls on September 21, 2005.
The petition highlights the situation of Internally Displaced Persons, refugees and migrant workers, HIV/AIDS epidemic, child malnutrition, child soldiers, and sexual violence that women face as constant threat in conflict areas and in neighboring countries and calls on the UN Security Council to look into the issue of peace and human security in Burma and to take necessary actions for the followings:
- The release of 1991 Noble Peace laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, ethnic leaders and all political prisoners;
- Meaningful dialogue between the military government, democratic oppositions led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and ethnic nationalities;
- The declaration of nationwide ceasefire and withdrawal of troops from ethnic areas;
- The end of sexual violence against women by military troops and protection of women and children in armed conflict areas;
- For the migrant workers to be able to fully enjoy labor rights adopted by respective host countries; and
- The right for the people of Burma to return home peacefully and safely.
Starting from 1st September, about 35 workshops on Peace Education were organized with more than 2,000 participants and prayers, vigils, peace rallies, and public forums are held in the border areas of India-Burma, ChinaBurma, Bangladesh-Burma, and Thai-Burma, and in New Delhi. It is estimated that about ten thousand people will be attending the prayers, vigils and peace rallies tomorrow on the International Day of Peace. Prayers and vigils in some areas will be led by Christian and Muslim religious leaders and in other areas alms will be offered to monks at Buddhist monasteries to be followed by Dhamma recitations about peace.
“As we are holding these prayers, vigils, rallies, and forums, the WLB calls on the SPDC to immediately release Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, ethnic leaders and all political prisoners; the religious leaders inside Burma to jointly make efforts for the national reconciliation; the SPDC and all armed groups to observe the International Peace Day by ceasing fire on this auspicious day; and the women’s organizations inside the country, including Myanmar Women’s Affairs Federation, to urge the Burma army to declare nationwide ceasefire,” said Khin Ohmar, the coordinator of the Women as Peace Builders Program of the Women’s League of Burma (WLB).
The main objectives of these prayers, vigils, rallies, and forums are – (1) to publicize and encourage people to participate in the global movement for peace on earth as part of the International Day of Peace for all people around the world; (2) for every human being to have the spirit of peace and to act to eradicate violence; (3) for the people of Burma to realize and be devoted to the true essence of peace; and (4) for the change in current political situation of Burma.
Contact persons -
Khin Ohmar on Mobile – 66 1 884 0772;
Naw Khaing Mar Kyaw Zaw on Mobile – 66 1 181 5144
Lway Nway Noung on Mobile – 66 7 173 9065