Statement for Candlelight Vigil for co-signatory


Statement for Candlelight Vigil for co-signatory
Today in Burma people have been suffering from serious human rights violations and hardship under the military rule for more than 40 years.
Today in Burma courageous monks and ordinary people are standing up against the military dictatorship.
Here in Hong Kong we express our highest respect and support to the monks and people in Burma for their courageous action for democracy and human rights. At the same time, we are greatly concerned about the military’s bloody crackdown on people in the streets and the mass arrests of monks and activists.
In 1962, the military seized power and imposed authoritarian rule upon people in Burma. People were deprived of their civil and political freedoms. Burma, once prosperous, turned into one of the poorest country in the world. In 1988, an estimated 3,000 people were killed by the military to suppress the people’s movement for democracy. Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has been kept for many years under house arrest.
And the people continue to suffer political and economic hardship today.
Economic policy has been dictated by the needs of the military rather than the people. A large-scale and arbitrary confiscation of land has led to numerous forced evictions and relocations. Massive exploitation of natural resources for the benefit of the military and multinational corporations has further worsened the lives of the people.
The present people’s movement against military dictatorship, initiated by the boycott of the military junta by the Buddhist monkhood, tells the world that the rule of the military junta is illegitimate and should end. Despite the military crackdown, people in Burma continue demonstrating in the streets all over the country, showing their strong determination to end the military dictatorship that has ruled their country for more than four decades.
We call upon the military junta to immediately stop the crackdown upon its people and to release all political prisoners and all of those who have been arrested in the past month for peacefully expressing their views.
We also call upon Burma’s military government to return power to the people.
We call upon people in Hong Kong to take whatever actions they feel are appropriate to support the people in Burma in their struggle for democracy and human rights.
We call upon the international community, the United Nations and other countries in the world to exert pressure on the military junta. We especially call upon the governments of China, India and the ASEAN countries neighbouring Burma to act in concert with international efforts to stop the violence against the people of Burma and to facilitate the democratic transformation of the country for the benefit of Burma’s people.