Sunday, 22 October 2017

Chittigong, Bangladesh: A six-member delegation from 14 Burmese pro-democracy organizations based in the United Kingdom, delivered a petition to British Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to condemn the November 7 elections in Burma and to reject the results, according to a press release.

The delegation delivered 632 signatures collected from among the Burmese community in the United Kingdom, the press statement said.

The delegation included Ko Han Win Tun, a Mon ethnic representative, Ko Tun Khin, an ethnic Rohingya and president of the Burmese Rohingya Organization in the United Kingdom, Ko Shar Mwe Hla Tun from Karen State, Dr Win Naing from the National League for Democracy Liberated Area in Europe, Reverend Shwekey Hoipang from Chin State and U Ring Du Lachyung, an ethnic Kachin representative.

The delegates initiated the signature campaign to draw attention to the undemocratic foundation of the November 7 elections in Burma, since they were predicated on the State Peace and Development Council’s 2008 Constitution, which contains no guarantee of preserving human rights, ignores the principles of equality and popular sovereignty and makes the military a privileged class by guaranteeing them 25 percent control of both upper houses of parliament and a third of all seats in state and regional houses, Ko Tun Khin said in the press statement.

“There will be no independent judiciary. The voice of the people will not be tolerated and no one will be able to repeal unjust laws or enact just laws.

“The constitution undermines federal democracy, ignores the agreed upon principle of unity in diversity and effectively denies the right of self-determination of the ethnic nationalities.”

He added that the upcoming election would not advance democratic reform and would be detrimental to the people of Burma.

“The 2008 constitution was designed to maintain dictatorship, regardless of who wins the election, and to be impossible to amend. The dictatorship in Burma has restricted political parties using draconian methods in the election laws, banning several genuine democratic parties including the National League for Democracy,” Ko Tun Khin said in the press statement.

The delegation representing 14 organizations urged David Cameron as well as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to condemn the November 7 election, asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to pressure Burma’s ruling junta to release all political prisoners immediately and to declare the election to be null and void by not recognizing the results, and urged Ban to implement a UN-led effort to secure genuine dialogue among democratic forces in Burma led by Aung San Suu Kyi, ethnic representatives and officials of the Burmese junta, the press statement said.

The organizations involved in preparing the signature campaign include the 88 Generation Students UK, Arakanese Community UK, Arakan Rohingya National Organization UK, Burmese Democratic Movement Association UK, Burmese Muslim Association UK, Burmese Rohingya Organization UK, Chin Community UK, Democratic Party for a New Society UK, Karen Community Association UK, Karenni Community UK, Kachin National Organization UK, Mon Community UK, National League for Democracy Liberated Area Europe, and the Women of Burma Organization UK.