Action Ireland Condemns Outrageous and Unjust Conviction of
Aung San Suu Kyi
for Foreign Affairs Condemns the Conviction of Aung San Suu
Lord Mayor to open Book of Solidarity for Aung San Suu Kyi
Action Ireland welcomes Book of Solidarity for Aung San Suu
Aung San Suu Kyi receives Ambassador of Conscience Award
U2 raising the profile of ASSK at their Croke Park concerts
Ger Fitzgerald sponsored walk for Burma
Ger Fitzgerald sponsored walk for Burma - update 1
Ger Fitzgerald sponsored walk for Burma - update 2
Aung San Suu Kyi spends yet another birthday in detention
Free Burma's Political Prisoners Campaign Petition submitted to UN
May 2009 Outrageous and Unjust Charge to be Brought Against Aung San Suu Kyi by Burmese Generals
Free Burmas Political Prisoners Now!
International Court Condemns Burma Junta for its Illegal and Grotesque Record on Detention
UN Declares Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi of Burmas Detention Illegal
Report calls for Burmas Leaders to be Investigated for Human Rights Abuses over Nargis Response
Minister for Foreign Affairs Welcomes Burma Parliamentary Congress to Ireland
with 112 signatories sent to Ban Ki Moon
Oslo Centre for peace and
human rights and freedom now. Letter signed by 112 former
presidents and prime-ministers to the UN Secretary General
urging him to press for the release of all political prisoners
in Burma by the end of 2008.
the letter in PDF format
Celebration of Human Rights in Burma
Release from European Parliamentary Caucus on Burma
for Foreign Affairs Condemns sentancing
Burma Prison Sentances - Ban Ki-moon and Security Council Must Act
San Suu Kyi - 13 Years in Detention
Minister for Foreign Affairs calls upon the United Nations to
take the lead role in confronting global challenges
Day of Action for Burma: The Saffron Revolution - One Year On
6 May 2008
Burma Action Ireland –
Inaction by junta will throw the cyclone-hit region into further
Burma Action Ireland (BAI) has today (Tuesday 6 May 2008)
expressed its concern that Burma's military regime (the State
Peace and Development Council – SPDC), will not be proactive
and decisive in ensuring humanitarian aid reaches those who
have been affected by this weekend's cyclone.
Cyclone "Nargis" has hit Burma, devastating the
country's largest city, Rangoon, and causing widespread damage
to many parts of the country. A state of emergency has been
declared in major rice producing regions like Irrawaddy, Pegu
and Rangoon Divisions and Mon and Karen States. An estimated
10,000 people are believed to have lost their lives.
Eileen Seymour, Chairperson of BAI said: 'Welcome aid and
assistance has been promised by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
and other international organisations, and is there to be
accessed by the military. But we are anxious that the regime,
over the coming days, will react lethargically to the situation
and will not facilitate the prompt delivery of aid to those
who need it. The ruling junta places severe restrictions on
the UN and international aid agencies delivering humanitarian
assistance in Burma.
Eileen Seymour continued: 'BAI therefore
calls on governments and international humanitarian organisations
to ensure that the Burmese junta permits access to the areas
damaged by the cyclone and allows all available humanitarian
assistance to be delivered to the people who need it. The
situation on the ground will need to be constantly monitored.'
BAI welcomed the EU's pledged €2 million support for
the disaster relief.
BAI has also expressed its concern that amid this disaster
for the region, a proposed referendum on a new constitution
may go ahead as planned in Burma this Saturday 10 May.
On 9 February 2008 the SPDC announced that it would hold this
referendum on a new constitution on 10 May next, and general
elections in the country in 2010.
The referendum on 10 May will be the first balloting in Burma
since 1990, when the National League for Democracy party (NLD)
led by its General Secretary, Aung San Suu Kyi, won a landslide
victory that was never recognised by the junta.
The draft constitution enshrines military rule, giving 25%
of the seats to the Burmese military. It also gives the military
effective veto power over decisions made by Parliament.
Excluded from the constitution drafting process were many
of the 1990 election winning parties including the NLD that
won over 80% of the seats.
Burmese opposition groups, foreign governments and international
organisations have denounced the planned referendum. Pro-democracy
activists have called on the Burmese people to vote against
the constitution, with some advocating sabotage or a boycott
of the referendum, while the military government has been
widely campaigning for a â€œYesâ€
Bordering Thailand and China, Burma, with a population of
53 million, has one of the world's worst human rights records.
The SPDC has been charged by the UN with ˜crimes against
humanity". Burma has one of the highest levels of forced
labour; over 60% of its people living in poverty; rape is
routinely used as a weapon of war and nearly half of the government
budget is spent on military purposes.
Monday 10 December
Burma group to mark International Human Rights Day
and Anniversary of Nobel Award to Aung San Suu Kyi.
Burma Action Ireland (BAI) will
this evening (Monday 10 December), hold a one hour Ceremony
of Reflection, which is open to the public, to remember the
monks and unarmed civilians killed and detained during the
recent military crackdown in Burma. The Ceremony, on this
designated International Human Rights day, coincides with
the 16th anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize
to Aung San Suu Kyi. The Ceremony will take place in the Edith
Stein Room, upstairs at the Carmelites’ Church (St Teresa’s),
on Clarendon Street, Dublin 2 between 6pm and 7pm. All are
welcome to attend.
The Ceremony of Reflection, which will involve music and poetry,
will include contributions from film-maker John Boorman, saxophonist
Keith Donald (of ‘Moving Hearts’), composer and
arranger Fiachra Trench and the poet, writer and member of
Aosdána Theo Dorgan.
Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on 10 December
1991 in Oslo for her peaceful efforts to bring democracy to
Burma (the prize was collected on her behalf that year by
her son, Alexander Aris). The 62-year-old leader of Burma’s
National League for Democracy is currently under house arrest
Readings from works of Aung San Suu Kyi, poetry, music and
a candle lighting ceremony will also be part of the 60 minute
event which the public is encouraged to attend. There will
also be a recitation of the Discourse on Loving Kindness,
the Metta Sutra. This Buddhist prayer was recited during the
recent demonstration marches in Burma.
Following weeks of protests by Burmese monks and civilians
campaigning for human rights and democracy in Burma, Aung
San Suu Kyi has welcomed the preliminiary discussions with
the military-appointed Liaison Officer Minister Aung Kyi and
the good offices role of the United Nations to facilitate
the dialogue process but she has stressed the need to start
a meaningful and timebound dialogue with the military leadership
as soon as possible. Daw Suu Kyi’s views were made known
in a recent statement read on her behalf by United Nations
Envoy, Ibrahim Gambari on 8 November last, at the end of his
six-day mission to her country.
BAI is concerned however that the Burmese dictatorship is
still refusing to enter into genuine negotiations with Daw
Suu Kyi. Eileen Seymour, Chairperson of BAI said: “Statements
issued last week by the Burmese generals make it clear that
the military regime have no intention of beginning a genuine
inclusive dialogue with the opposition. Military leader, Than
Shwe, endorsed their own homegrown seven-point road map to
democracy and the Information Minister’s announced that
the opposition leaders will not be involved in the writing
of the constitution, even though the international community
has called for an inclusive constitution-drafting process.
The UN Security Council should adopt a binding resolution
on Burma that would require the military to work with the
UN Secretary General in implementing a plan for national reconciliation
Friday 28 September 2007
Solidarity Protest in support of Peaceful People of
Burma Action Ireland (BAI) will tomorrow (Saturday 29 September
2007) hold a peaceful protest on O’Connell Street, Dublin
in solidarity with the people of Burma.
The purpose of the protest between 2pm and 4pm is to show
Ireland’s support for the peaceful people of Burma and
to maintain international pressure on Burma’s military
to end violence and start a process of national reconciliation.
In Burma, protests led by Buddhist monks demanding improved
living conditions, peace and democracy have involved thousands
of civilians. Demonstrations on this scale have not been seen
since the nationwide demonstrations in 1988, which were violently
suppressed by the authorities with the killing of approximately
3,000 peaceful demonstrators.
A brutal crackdown by the Burmese military on those protesting
over the last 10 days is underway once again.
BAI’s peaceful protest will be held on O’Connell
St., Dublin (opposite GPO) on Saturday 29 September 2007 from
2pm to 4pm. All are welcome to attend. Similar such protests
are also being held on Saturday by other European Burma solidarity
groups across the continent.
Protestors in Dublin will be asked to sign a petition calling
on the Chinese President Hu Jintao to compel Burma to engage
in a process of valid national reconciliation.
Nobel Laureate 62-year-old Aung San Suu Kyi is a Freewoman
of Dublin (2000). The leader of Burma’s National League
for Democracy was awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin
that year together with U2 and their manager. Ms Suu Kyi’s
award was accepted on her behalf by her son as she was under
house arrest at that time.
26th September 2007
Crackdown Begins in Burma
Burma Action Ireland (BAI) has today (Wednesday 26 September
2007) expressed its deep disappointment and grave concern
at the commencement of a crackdown by Burma’s military
regime on thousands of peaceful monks and students as they
tried to march today to Shwe Dagon pagoda in Rangoon.
Despite an order from the military regime – the State
Peace & Development Council (SPDC) – banning all
gatherings of more than five persons, any marching, the imposition
of a curfew from 9pm-5am (overnight) and the fact that security
forces have surrounded major Buddhist monasteries, thousands
of monks and students marched to Shwe Dagon Pagoda today in
Rangoon. The peaceful marchers were attacked by soldiers,
police and members of the junta-backed USDA (Union Solidarity
and Development Association) and several of them were beaten,
arrested, and taken to unknown locations. Security forces
also used tear gas to disperse the crowd.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners-Burma (AAPPB)
has confirmed the arrest of well-known comedian Zargazar and
several members of the opposition National League for Democracy
(NLD) including MPs. NLD leader & Nobel Laureate Aung
San Suu Kyi has reportedly been imprisoned in Insein Prison.
Burma Action Ireland have reiterated their call for the UN
Security Council to formulate a collective response to this
worsening crisis immediately. The Security Council should
urge the Burmese military to work with the Special Envoy,
Dr. Ibrahim Gambari, to map out measurable steps towards economic
and political reform. China, India, ASEAN and Russia should
warn the military that a repeat of the 1988 violence would
be unacceptable and would lead to serious consequences, including
action by the UN Security Council.
For further information contact: Eileen Seymour - 087 618
0321 / Mary Montaut - 087 1261857
23rd September 2007
– Irish solidarity group’s mounting concern for
– Call for immediate UN
Burma Action Ireland (BAI) has today
(Sunday 23 September 2007) expressed its deep concern for
the welfare and safety of monks who have taken to the streets
of the Burmese capital, Rangoon and other parts of the country
as part of a daily demonstration of solidarity with civilians
who last month (19 August) protested following fuel price
increases in the country of up to 500 percent. BAI, together
with Burma solidarity groups worldwide, are calling for the
UN Security Council to intervene immediately to negotiate
an end not only to the current fuel hike crisis, but to the
ongoing political crisis that is at the heart of the problems
The military dictatorship which rules
the country – the State Peace and Development Council
(SPDC) - responded to these initial August protests by arresting
more than 150 people. Those arrested have been accused of
terrorism, and the military is threatening jail terms of up
to 20 years. Since then over the past month, thousands of
students and civilians–and more recently in the past
seven days, Buddhist monks have been protesting in cities
across Burma, demanding an end to injustice. Burma, a country
with a population of over 50 million has one of the world’s
worst human rights records. The military regime refuses to
recognize the country’s democratic leader 62–years
old Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, General Secretary of
the party, the National League for Democracy.
Speaking today, Eileen Seymour, Chairperson
of the Irish solidarity group BAI said: “The protests
have now grown into the largest public demonstrations since
1988, when thousands of peaceful pro-democracy protestors
who were demanding basic human rights were killed by the military.
Although the monks are revered in Burma and their organised
marches are continuing without interference from the military,
we are extremely concerned that this stance may change in
the coming days. We are fearful the military will lose their
nerve and indiscriminate violent attacks may occur”.
Ms Seymour added: “We cannot see a repeat of the violence
of 1988. It is time for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to personally
intervene and the Security Council to formulate a collective
response to this growing crisis immediately. Realising peace,
stability and security in the country now requires nothing
BAI is asking the UN to act on the key
recommendations made in a 2005 report written by Daw Suu Kyi’s
fellow Nobel Laureates Bishop Desmond M Tutu of South Africa
and Mr. Vaclav Havel former President of the Czech Republic.
The report ‘Threat to the Peace’ strongly recommends
the UN Security Council should: require the military government
of Burma to work with the Secretary General’s office
in implementing a plan for national reconciliation and the
restoration of a democratically elected government; urge it
to allow for complete access by the United Nations and international
humanitarian organisations; and call for the immediate and
unconditional release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all prisoners
of conscience in Burma.
20th September 2007
Kilkenny Photo Exhibition remembers
a forgotten people
"Burma, Forgotten Nation - Forgotten
People” opens in Kilkenny Castle on 17 September 2007
and features a collection of 26 photographs taken by photographer,
Philip Daly, who accompanied Cork-based TD, Simon Coveney,
on a fact-finding trip to the Burmese refugee camps on the
Thailand/Burma border. In the photographs, Philip Daly aims
to reflect the lives of the refugees - their work, their social
structures and their struggle to regain their right to their
homeland. This exhibition is being organized by the solidarity
group, Burma Action Ireland, in conjunction with the Office
of Public Works.
Burma, a country of around 50 million people, is ruled by
fear. The human rights record of its military government -
the State Peace and Development Council - is among the worst
in the world. Among its excesses are wide scale forced labour,
conscription of child soldiers, torture, extra-judicial executions,
systematic rape and forced relocation of ethnic minorities.
Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, is the leader
of the National League for Democracy, the party which won
a landslide general election victory in 1990. The military
regime have however, chosen to ignore the results and has
retained power ever since. Daw Suu Kyi is one of the world's
leading pro-democracy activists and advocates of non-violence.
The exhibition, which has had successful runs in Dublin,
Cork, Belfast & Kinsale is traveling to towns and cities
in Ireland to create awareness of the situation in Burma.
Burma Action Ireland wishes to also acknowledge the kind generosity
of the OPW in providing exhibition facilities and Philip Daly
and Deputy Coveney for sponsorship of the photos.
The exhibition, which will run from 17 – 29 September
2007 (10am to 6.30pm) in Kilkenny Castle (Mezzanine Corridor),
is free of charge and open to the public.
25th August 2007
Burmese Junta Escalates Crackdown
on Democratic Opposition
In an escalation of its clampdown on democratic opposition,
Burma’s military dictatorship has arrested dozens of
opposition politicians and community activists. The military
junta, the self-styled State Peace and Development Council
(SPDC), is responding to recent calls by the democratic opposition,
including 92 elected Members of Parliament, for international
involvement in a process of national reconciliation and democratisation.
The military is continuing to round up activists suspected
of involvement in recent demonstrations and calls for UN assistance
in solving the country’s political stalemate. Earlier
this month, 92 Members of Parliament, elected in the 1990
elections which the military refused to recognise, wrote to
UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, proposing a seven-step
process that the Secretary-General could present to the international
community to reach consensus on the situation in Burma. Demonstrations
also took place on 8th August to mark an earlier military
crackdown in 1988 in which hundreds of demonstrators were
killed by troops firing on crowds of demonstrators in Rangoon.
Burma Action Ireland Co-ordinator, Mary Montaut, has supported
the MP’s call for international involvement. “The
proposal by the Burmese MP’s includes establishing a
process of national dialogue with the democratic opposition,
the ethnic minorities and the military, which would lead to
free and fair elections. We strongly support the MP’s
call for the international community, including the UN, to
participate in the process and to bring pressure to bear on
the military Government.
“Given Burma’s appalling record of human rights
abuse, the MPs have gone to extraordinary lengths and put
themselves at great personal risk to communicate a coordinated
message to the world outside Burma. We should not let the
appeal of the MPs, who risk extrajudicial arrest, long jail
sentences and possible torture, go unnoticed.”
The Irish Government has been a strong advocate for the restoration
of democracy in Burma. In 2006, Irish Aid funded publication
of two reports on torture in Burma’s jails and case
studies of over one hundred political prisoners who died in
custody. Nobel Peace Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, free-woman
of Dublin and Galway and leader of Burma’s National
League for Democracy, has been kept under house arrest since
her party won the 1990 elections.
Background Notes on Burma
Burma, also known as Myanmar, is in SE Asia, bordered by Thailand,
India, Laos and China.
Burma was a former British colony until independence in 1947,
and has been ruled by a military dictatorship since 1962.
Burma’s military rulers, the State Peace and Development
Council (SPDC), have one of the world’s worst human
rights records. Political prisoners, including journalists,
students and political activists, are given lengthy sentences
for expressing their views and are systematically tortured
while in custody. Worse still are the abuses directed at the
ethnic minorities, which include forced labour, rape and summary
The key opposition figure, Nobel Peace Laureate and Freewoman
of Dublin and Galway, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been held under
house arrest by the military for periods totalling over ten
Irish band U2’ song “Walk On” and Damien
Rice / Lisa Hannigan’s “Unplayed Piano”
are dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy,
won over 80% of the seats in the elections held in 1990, but
the military continues to refuse to recognise the results
of these elections.
25th April 2007
Discussions Focus on Human Rights issues
Mr. Conor Lenihan T.D., Minister of State
with responsibility for human rights, met yesterday in Dublin
with representatives from the National Coalition Government
of the Union of Burma (NCGUB), Dr. Sein Win and Dr. Thaung
They briefed the Minister on the situation
in Burma and on the work of the NCGUB to promote peaceful
political change in that country. Dr. Sein Win also welcomed
Irish Aid support for human rights and democratisation in
Burma, particularly in support of Burmese refugees in Thailand.
Minister Lenihan expressed the Government’s
deep concern at the human rights situation in Burma, and particularly
expressed his deepest concern at reports of the use of rape
as a weapon by the military. The Minister strongly stated
Ireland’s commitment to supporting political change,
peaceful reconciliation and respect for human rights in Burma.
“I am horrified by reports of the
use of rape as a weapon by the military regime in their ongoing
campaign against civilians in conflict areas. The regime in
Burma must immediately put a stop to this utterly reprehensible
practice, as well as other serious human rights violations.
I remain deeply concerned at the continued detention of Aung
San Suu Kyi and would, once again, urge the Burmese government
to restore fully her freedom and civil liberties, as well
as those of other political prisoners.”
Note for Editors:
The National Coalition Government of
the Union of Burma (NCGUB) was formed in December 1990 in
response to the military regime’s refusal to hand over
power in the wake of the National League for Democracy’s
election victory. Led by Dr Sein Win, the NCGUB classifies
itself as a government-in-exile. Its founding resolutions
· Establish a legitimate Government
in Burma with the support of elected representatives,
· Establish contacts with the
Democratic Alliance of Burma (DAB), the All Burma Students'
Democratic Front (ABSDF), and other revolutionary forces,
to seek their assistance in setting up a legitimate Government
in the liberated area, and
· Seek diplomatic and other forms
of support from the international community.
The two NCGUB representatives were
in Ireland at the invitation of Burma Action Ireland (BAI),
set up in May 1996 to raise awareness of the situation in
22 April 2007
Burma’s Prime Minister-in-Exile
& cousin of Aung San Suu Kyi, Dr. Sein Win, visits Ireland
On Monday 23 & Tuesday 24 April 2007
Burma’s Prime Minister-in-Exile and
cousin of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Dr. Sein Win, will visit Dublin
as part of a lobbying tour of European countries where he
will meet Minister Conor Lenihan at the Dept. of Foreign Affairs.
Representing the National Coalition Government of the Union
of Burma (NCGUB), Prime Minister Dr. Sein Win and his colleague,
Dr. Thaung Htun, the NCGUB’s representative to the UN, will
be briefing the Minister on the current situation in Burma
and discussing ways in which Ireland can continue to play
a role in pushing for democratic reform in Burma. In particular,
they will be seeking the support of Ireland and the EU to
advance a resolution on Burma at the UN Security Council.
Burma remains on the official agenda of the UN Security Council
despite the fact that China & Russia vetoed a Security Council
resolution requiring the restoration of democracy in Burma
in January this year. Also, the EU Common Position on Burma,
which reflects the consensus view of the EU, is due for renewal
this week. The delegation will also meet with members of the
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and other political
and official representatives as well as NGOs with connections
to Burma and representatives of the trade union movement.
Dr. Sein Win, a fluent english speaker, was elected Prime
Minister following the formation of the NCGUB in Manerplaw
(Karen State) in 1990 but was prevented from taking office
by the Burmese military regime. He is the son of U Ba Win,
one of Burma’s top political leaders and elder brother of
General Aung San, the architect of Burma’s independence and
founder of the Burma Army, and first cousin of Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi, the leader of Burma’s democracy movement and 1991
Nobel Peace Laureate. Originally based on the Thai-Burma border
and now in Washington DC, Dr. Sein Win has travelled extensively
seeking international support for a political settlement in
Burma. Dr. Thaung Htun, also a fluent english speaker, is
a medical graduate but became involved in the democratic uprising
in 1988 and since then has been advocating for Burma in international
fora. He is the NCGUB’s representative for UN Affairs and
is in charge of the Burma UN Service office in New York. Dr.
Thaung Htun is responsible for briefing the Department of
the Political Affairs of the UN Secretariat and UN agencies
on the human rights situation and political development in
Burma. He also played a key role in getting the UN Secretary-General's
good offices involved in a UN mediated political settlement
in Burma. Editor's Note: The military regime in Burma has
one of the worst human rights records in the world: it has
one of the highest levels of forced labour; more than 1,100
political prisoners; more child soldiers than any other country;
over 60% of Burmese people living in poverty; rape is routinely
used as a weapon of war; nearly half of the government budget
is spent on the military.
27th March 2007
Press Release by
Women’s League of Chinland
Chin women reveal further evidence of state-sanctioned rape
in Burma, urge India to stop arming Burma’s junta
Unsafe State, a new report by the Women’s
League of Chinland (WLC), provides further evidence of state-sanctioned
rape by the military regime’s troops, and urges India,
where the majority of Chin refugees seek asylum, to review
their economic and military support of the regime.
Despite tight military controls in the isolated Chin hills,
the WLC have managed to document 38 cases of sexual violence,
committed with impunity by the Burma Army throughout Chin
state, mostly during the past five years. Almost half of the
cases were gang rapes, and at least a third committed by officers.
The sexual violence was carried out with extreme brutality,
with victims being tortured and murdered. One woman was stripped
naked and tied to a cross, in a savage act of mockery against
her Christian beliefs.
“These horrors are being sanctioned by the state in
Burma,” said WLC spokesperson Cheery Zahau. “How
can the civilized world accept this junta among their ranks?
And how can countries like India and China be arming these
The Burmese regime has quadrupled its military presence in
Chin State in recent years, and the militarization is set
to worsen if plans go ahead to export natural gas from the
Burmese coast by pipeline through Chin State to India.
The WLC is launching the report on March 27, Burma’s
Resistance Day, which the junta has renamed as their “Armed
INDIA FACES GLOBAL PROTESTS OVER
India today faces an international day
of protest over its support for Burma’s brutal military
dictatorship. Action will be taking place in 16 countries
including, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, France, Germany,
India, Japan, Malaysia, Norway, Netherlands, Philippine, South
Korea, Sweden, Thailand, UK, USA.
India has been moving increasingly close to the regime in
Burma, supplying arms, loans, and making significant investments
in the country.
The most significant investment is India’s involvement
in the massive Shwe gas project, which will include a gas
pipeline running to India. Indian companies ONGC Videsh (Oil
and Natural Gas Company Videsh, India), and GAIL (The Gas
Authority of India Limited, India) are partners in the gas
project being led by South Korea’s Daewoo. The project
is expected to become the regime's largest single source of
revenue, providing, on average, US$580 million per year for
the regime for twenty years, or a total of US$ 12 billion.
“Indian companies investing in the Shwe gas project
are funding a regime that tortures, rapes, kills our people,”
said Maung Zan from the All Arakan Students and Youth Congress.
“India should not be investing in Burma.”
Three main factors drive India’s foreign policy towards
Burma. Human rights and democracy is not one of them. Instead,
India has prioritised economic interests, particularly access
to Burma’s significant gas deposits, its desire to counter
Chinese influence in Burma, and its need for cooperation from
the regime to help tackle insurgents in the north-east of
India, some of whom have bases across the border in Burma’s
“The world’s largest democracy has abandoned Burma’s
democrats,” said Zoya Phan, Campaign Co-ordinator at
the Burma Campaign UK. “India should be ashamed of what
they have done, supplying money and weapons to one of the
world’s most brutal regimes. They have chosen dictatorship
over freedom, and when we do have democracy we won’t
forget the disgraceful role India played in propping up the
World's largest tiger reserve being ravaged by Burmese
junta's greed for gold
A new report, Valley of Darkness, by
undercover local researchers exposes how Burma?s military
junta is promoting extensive gold-mining in the Hugawng Valley
Tiger Reserve in northern Kachin State. The junta has expanded
military control of the valley and sold off vast tracts as
gold-mining concessions. The valley?s forests and waterways
are now being ravaged by over 100 hydraulic and pit mines,
using mechanized pumps and dredges and dumping mercury-contaminated
tailings. Thousands of desperate migrants from all over Burma
are working in squalid mining communities throughout the once
pristine valley, where drug addiction and HIV/AIDS have become
The US-based Wildlife Conservation Society,
which jointly established the Hugawng Valley Tiger Reserve,
is claiming that Burma?s junta has almost completely closed
down the gold-mining industry in the valley. This report proves
Valley of Darkness by the Kachin Development
Networking Group, will be launched on January 10, 2007.
Report in pdf format available from Burma
Action Ireland at
Press Release on Burma for 11th
5 Burmese Student Leaders
Burma Action Ireland welcomes the release
of prominent democracy leader Min Ko Naing and the four other
88 Generation Student Leaders detained without charge in Burma
since their arrest in September 2006.
The release comes amidst increasing calls
from the international community on the UN Security Council
to pass its first-ever binding resolution on Burma. The push
for a UN Security Council resolution requiring the restoration
of democracy to Burma comes after 10 years of failed UN efforts
including 29 resolutions by the UN General Assembly and Human
Rights Commission and repeated calls by the ILO to end forced
labour. In September 2006 the UN Security Council voted to
place Burma on its agenda for the first time in history.
Speaking today, Chairperson of BAI, Eileen
Seymour, said: "While we welcome the release of the student
leaders, it looks like an attempt by the Burmese military
regime to stop the UN Security Council from taking action.
The military junta has a record of appearing to take steps
towards democracy when under pressure from the international
community and we urge the UN Security Council not to allow
this to influence their discussions".
Min Ko Naing, who was released on Independence
Day, is Burma's most prominent pro-democracy leader after
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. He has spent more than fifteen years
in detention, suffering torture and solitary confinement for
much of that time. He has won numerous
international awards for his peaceful, non-violent calls for
change in Burma including the Homo Homini Award from People
in Need in the Czech Republic.
There are still more than 1,100 political
prisoners in Burmese gaols, many of whom are supporters of
the pro-democracy party, the National League for Democracy,
led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. She has now been under house
arrest in Rangoon for more than eleven years.
Press Release for Human Rights
Day, 10th December 2006
Human Rights Day Travestied in Burma
In a travesty of World Human Rights Day, fresh reports
today from Burma (Myanmar) speak of increased atrocities by
the Burmese military government against the civilian population,
particularly against the ethnic minorities in that country.
Today also marks the fifteenth anniversary of the awarding
of the Nobel Peace Prize to the democratically elected leader,
Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest by the military
junta since 1990. The denial of basic human rights is endemic
Over recent months, at least 2000 ethnic Karen have been displaced
from their villages in eastern Burma, following attacks by
the Burmese Army in which their crops have been destroyed
and their houses burned to the ground. Some are forced to
work as ?porters? for the military who may also use them as
human mine-sweepers. In addition the Burmese military frequently
use rape as a weapon against ethnic women.
In other border areas, recent reports speak of increased military
activity against Shan and Karenni ethnic groups. It is estimated
that at least 3 million people are internally displaced within
Burma. A similar number have fled to refugee camps on the
Thailand and Indian borders where they remain extremely vulnerable
The total denial of political rights extends to all the people
in Burma, as symbolized by the detention of their democratically
elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. She is the world?s only
imprisoned Nobel Peace Laureate. Her fellow Laureates are
denied access to her. Today marks the fifteenth year of protest
against this outrageous treatment. She remains the chief symbol
of hope for the restoration of human rights within her country.
The military junta which rules Burma has one of the worst
records of human rights abuses in the world. Since coming
to power in 1988, it has pursued a policy of 'Burmanization'
towards ethnic minorities, which many believe to be tantamount
Press Release: Tuesday 28th November
Burmese Military Close Down Red Cross Offices
In an unexpected move, the Burmese ruling
military junta has ordered five Red Cross field offices in
Burma to shut down. No reason has been given and a spokesperson
for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said
that 'dialogue had ceased' following the closures last week.
It is feared that only the Rangoon office of the ICRC will
be permitted to remain open.
The closures will severely restrict the
work of the Red Cross in Burma, jeopardizing rehabilitation
and sanitation work for people caught up in conflict in border
regions. Even more drastic is the effect on over 1,200 political
prisoners held in Burma's notorious jails, many of whom are
supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically elected
leader detained by the junta for over 15 years. The ICRC visited
more than 4,700 detainees on an individual basis before the
regime clamped down in December 2005. Political prisoners
in Burma are frequently subjected to torture and there have
been many deaths in custody. The regime refuses to allow any
resumption of ICRC visits. The ICRC director of operations,
Pierre Krahenbul, said: 'The ICRC is seriously worried that
those in most need will bear the brunt of the current stand-off.'
He emphasized that the Red Cross is 'determined to re-engage
the (Burmese) government in dialogue' in an effort to restore
its operations in the country.
Many aid workers in Burma complain that
the military regime is delaying approval for travel outside
Rangoon, making it difficult to deliver much-needed aid to
target areas. There are estimated to be over 3 million internally
displaced people (IDPs) in Burma, driven from their villages
by the Burmese Army.
BAI at the Vigil to mark the eleventh
year of detention for Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi on 24th October
Press Release: Monday 23 October
Candle light vigil to mark eleven years
in detention for Burma's
Aung San Suu Kyi
Burma Action Ireland is holding a candle
vigil in Dublin on Tuesday 24 October 2006 to
mark the eleventh year in detention of Aung San
Suu Kyi, the democratically elected leader of
Burma. The vigil from 5.30pm to 7pm, will he
held at the head of Grafton Street, near to St Stephen's Green,
here to read press release >>
Monday 25 September 2006
Mr Simon Coveney TD, MEP, to
open Burma Photo Exhibition
Simon Coveney, TD, MEP and spokesperson
for Human Rights in the European Peoples Party, will perform
the official opening of a photographic exhibition entitled
"Burma, Forgotten Nation - Forgotten People”, in
the Thornhill Centre, 121 Culmore Road, Derry on Thursday
14th September 2006 at 7.30pm. The exhibition is hosted by
Derry Diocesan Catechetical Centre and the Thornhill Centre.
here to read press release >>
Monday 19 June 2006
Birthday of Burma's Aung San
Suu Kyi marked with photographic exhibition.
To mark the 61st birthday today of Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically
elected leader of Burma, and Freewoman of both Dublin and
Galway, a photographic exhibition entitled Burma, Forgotten
Nation - Forgotten People will open this evening at 6pm in
Dublin's Market Bar on Fade Street in Dublin 2. The exhibition,
which will run from Monday 19 June to Friday 23 June 2006
in the Bar's Gallery, is free of charge and open to the public.
here to read press release >>
Sunday 28 May 2006
Statement issued today from the Chairperson
of Burma Action Ireland (BAI), Eileen Seymour, in response
to the further detention of Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest.
Another Broken Promise
here to read press release >>
Friday 2 December 2005
Report on torture in Burma published today
here to read press release >>
29 November 2005
UN Security Council Urged To Help Bring
Political Settlement in Burma
here to read press release >>
28 November 2005
Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention extended
by Burmese military junta
here to read press release >>
June 16 2005
REM to beam Irish concert into Burma
as Galway honour
Aung San Suu Kyi with Freedom of the City
here to read press release >>
May 30 2005
Aung San Suu Kyi awarded Freedom of the
City of Galway
here to read press release >>
May 10 2005
Exiled democratic government responds
to regime’s charges;
NCGUB deny any involvement in Burmese bomb blasts
Feb 21 2005
‘TOTAL Oil: Fuelling the oppression in Burma’;
new report & campaign launch exposes oil giant’s
partnership with regime.
Feb 9 2005
Burma – Beyond The Silence’; Harn Yawnghwe, leading
figure in Burma’s democracy movement holds public meetings
in Galway, Dublin & Belfast.
Dec 18 2004
Growing concern for Aung San Suu Kyi’s safety as Burma’s
military regime orders removal of her personal security team.
Dec 9 2004
On Nobel Peace Prize ceremony day, female Oireachtas members
and fellow Nobel Laureates show solidarity with Aung San Suu
Nov 20 2004
The ‘Conqueror of Kings’ is freed; now Aung San
Suu Kyi and Burma’s 1300 political prisoners must be