June 3, 2003
Chin Human Rights Organization deeply deplores and condemns yet another violent crackdown on members of the National League for Democracy and Aung San Suu Kyi by Burma’s ruling military regime, State Peace and Development Council.
According to credible sources inside Burma, as reported by the Washington-based National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) as well as other groups, the motorcades in which pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters were traveling, were violently attacked by members of the Union Solidarity and Development Association, a proxy force of the ruling junta, which has been responsible for harassing and threatening Aung San Suu Kyi and her colleagues on their tour across the country. The latest incident represents a complete lack of humanity and civilized conduct on the part of the SPDC, and such action has served to put into serious question the regime’s purported commitment to political reform and national reconciliation in Burma.
The people of Burma had expressed their overwhelming support for Aung San Suu Kyi in the 1990 general elections by decisively voting for the National League for Democracy party. Despite persistent attempts by the regime to annihilate the NLD and its supporters, Aung San Suu Kyi continues to represent the true wills of the people of Burma. Subjecting her and her party members and supporters to violence and brutality constitutes both disrespect for, and a criminal act against the people of Burma.
The extraordinarily large crowds that showed up to greet Aung San Suukyi and her colleagues in different parts across the country, including the people of Chin State, indicates the people’s unwavering support for her and the National League for Democracy. During her recent visit to Chin State, authorities attempted to scale down the number of people showing up to greet Aung San Suu Kyi by forcibly sending away all government employees to outside of town ahead of her visit. The consistent pattern of harassment and threats encountered by Aung San Suu Kyi and her colleagues in their entourage makes it clear that the latest incident of violence was deliberately planned and instigated by the State Peace and Development Council.
CHRO also deplores the indefinite closure of universities depriving students across Burma of their right to education. The right to education is an indivisible part of universal human rights to which everyone is entitled. It is much deplorable that students are seen as constituting a potential threat to regime stability in Burma. Indefinite closure of schools has affected the same generation three times in less than two decades, and it is essential that the international community see this as a problem not only for the Burmese society but also as a dangerous hindrance to the development of humanity.
The United Nations and the international community at large have in the past consistently deplored the systematic violations of human rights in Burma, and have repeatedly called on the ruling military regime to show respect for human rights in the country. However, the fact that the military regime has continued to violate human rights in defiance of international opinion shows that the time has come for such rhetoric to be translated into concrete actions on the part of the international community. In view of the latest incident of an open violence directed at Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters, it is important that international inaction does not contribute to more violence and brutality being perpetrated by the Burmese military regime against Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters, and the citizens at large.