press

End Violent Oppression in Burma (Myanmar)

October 28, 2007

For Immediate Release

Contact: Marion Uzac, Press Secretary, marion@worldevangelicalalliance.com
Sylvia Soon, Chief-of-Staff, sylvia@worldevangelicals.org

To All People of Conscience Worldwide

The people of Burma have been ruthlessly oppressed and murdered by the SPDC
for decades while the world has turned their eyes from this diabolical
violence, and in so doing, submerged their conscience. The world is now
looking Burma squarely in the eyes, and the time for change is now.

The recent oppression and killing of peaceful protesters by the Burmese
government was not an unusual government activity, but rather fully in
character for a government that has slaughtered ethnic minorities since they
violently and illegally forced their way into power nearly two decades ago.
They have used as forced labor, starved, beat, and killed the men, women,
children and elderly of Burma while displacing over 3,000 villages. The time
to stop the violence is now.

Security Council Demands

We believe that addressing the violence in Burma is not outside the Security
Council mandate, nor would Security Council action conflict with efforts of
other UN bodies such as the Human Rights Council, International Organization
for Migration and the World Health Organization, as suggested by China and
Russia. Rather, consistency with Security Council mandates require action in
Burma, and a security council resolution is necessary for other UN
organizations to work more productively. For example, if the Human Rights
Council adopted a resolution it would not be able to address the situation
in Myanmar while the Security Council remained seized with the matter.

Continued waiting, as the UN did in Darfur and Rwanda, will bring continued
immeasurable suffering. Given the fact that the SPDC will likely continue in
violence and preventing a democratic process, and the ruling generals have
failed to cooperate with the UN Secretary General and his special envoy, who
is mandated to facilitate a political dialogue, it is time for the United
Nations Security Council to address the situation in Burma.

We call on the United Nations Security Council to respond to the current
crisis by urgently passing a binding resolution, with clear timelines and
benchmarks requiring the regime to do the following:

* Release all political prisoners, including democracy leader Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi
* Desist from violence against peaceful protesters, civilians, ethnic
minorities and prisoners
* Revoke the constitutional guidelines drawn up by "national convention"
* Begin specific, clear, meaningful movement toward real democracy,
including facilitated dialogue with all groups, including Daw Aung San Suu
Kyi and her party
* Begin arranging for free and fair new elections in partnership with other
parties
* Allow aid agencies unhindered access to respond to the immediate needs of
displaced and severely impoverished peoples inside of Burma
* For all people of Burma, make significant new strides toward addressing
poverty, poor health care, low education standards, environmental
degradation
* Allow UN representatives full and free access to verify progress toward
meeting these objectives

Until the required movement toward these changes can be verified in the
timeline to be issued, the following sanctions on Burma should remain in
place:

* Stopped economic investment
* Stopped outside investment in infrastructure development
* A complete arms embargo
* No purchase of the products produced or sold by the government or related
organizations, including oil, gas, timber, jewels, and other natural
resources

If Burma makes these changes in the timeline presented, sanctions should be
lifted. If sufficient movement is not seen within the timeline presented,
additional sanctions should be set forth in a binding resolution.

Governments

We implore all governments, especially India, China and those of the
Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), to use their influence with
the regime to bring an end to the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the
ruling military junta, and to independently take the actions outlined above
even before the Security council is willing or able to do so.

We ask India and China to immediately stop providing arms, military, and
economic support to the Burmese regime.
We call on the United Kingdom to take the lead within the European Union in
imposing targeted sanctions on the regime. We call on other nations to take
the lead in their respective representative bodies, such as the African
Union, to take sanctions against Burma.

Individuals, Organizations, Businesses, Cities, and Religious Groups

Whether the Security Council and/or governments act or not, we encourage all
individuals, organizations, businesses, cities, and religious or other
groups to follow their moral convictions and make decisions consistent with
the recommendations to the security council outlined above. With conviction,
devotion, and agility, we encourage all peoples of conscience worldwide to
seek additional practical and creative means to accomplish the objective of
an expedient transition to durable peace and democracy in Burma.


World Evangelical Alliance (WEA): World Evangelical Alliance is made up of
128 national evangelical alliances located in 7 regions and 104 associate
member organizations. The vision of WEA is to extend the Kingdom of God by
making disciples of all nations and by Christ-centered transformation within
society. WEA exists to foster Christian unity, to provide an identity, voice
and platform for the 420 million evangelical Christians worldwide.