A society for human rights

[Daw Aung San Suu Kyi] "We are seeking a political revolution simply through political means. By doing politics which is what we are doing, and which is what the government is trying to prevent us from doing. So if a revolution breaks out, it will not be of our doing. It will be because the government has more or less blocked all other paths to political change."

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

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Upcoming Events

date and location to be announced - Burma Watch International Annual General Meeting

The agenda will be provided at the meeting. It will include a financial report and the election of executives

A notice for an AGM to be held on March 20, 2010 at the International Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB was sent out by Ma Kaythi Mon (Secretary of BWI) on March 9, 2010. But that meeting had to be cancelled when it was discovered that there had been a miscommunication about the booking of the International Centre and it was unavailable. Members will be contacted again as soon as we have a venue and time which works for the majority of people confirmed.

News of Interest

March, 15 2010 -- Canada officially intervenes at the UN Human Rights Council on Burma

Here is the text of the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar.

"Canada would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Tomás Ojea Quintana, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar for his report and also for his dogged efforts to visit Burma, meet its people, and influence the path that human rights take in that country. We know his task is neither easy nor straightforward."

"We urge the government of Burma to continue to engage with the Special Rapporteur, particularly on the four core human rights elements identified by him, namely: the release of all prisoners of conscience; review and reform of specific national legislation, in compliance with international human rights standards; reform of the judiciary to assure independence and impartiality; and specific measures by the military and police including respecting international human rights and humanitarian law and establishing a permanent and meaningful training programme on human rights."

"In the interests of an election that supports a genuine democratic process, based on principles of transparency, fairness and inclusion we call upon the Burmese regime to free all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, and to engage in a genuine dialogue with members of the democratic opposition and different ethnic groups in Burma."

"The Special Rapporteur has noted the launch of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human rights."

"It is unfortunate that the Burmese regime did not seize the opportunity of the Special Rapporteur's visit to ensure that the electoral laws they were planning to pass would meet international standards."

March 11, 2010 -- Canada renews Burmese border area program with increased funding

In the Question and Answer period of the 3rd session of the 40th Canadian Parliament, the Hon. Bev Oda (Minister of International Cooperation, CPC) announced the renewal of the program in the following Q & A exchange.

Q: Mr. Rodney Weston (Saint John, CPC)
"Mr. Speaker, human rights in Burma have long been a cause for concern for the international community, and that is putting it lightly. The military regime in Burma is by far one of the worst and most repressive regimes in the world. Unfortunately, even if Burmese citizens are successful in escaping the terror, many still face starvation and disease in the refugee camps of bordering nations."

"Could the Minister of International Cooperation update the House on what our government is doing to help the refugees and migrants fleeing the Burmese regime?"

A: Hon. Bev Oda (Minster of International Cooperation, CPC)
"Mr. Speaker, yes, it is true that there is a tragedy happening in Burma and the Burmese continue to suffer. We have been supporting the Burmese border area program and it has achieved success by providing service to Burmese people. One million cases of malaria have been treated, 145,000 refugees are receiving service and over 500,000 people have received health care."

"That is why I am pleased today to announce a renewal of the Burmese border area program by increasing the amount to under $16 million."

March 11, 2010 - Canada Deeply Concerned by Burmese Election Laws

(No. 102 - March 11, 2010 - 6:30 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement expressing Canada's concern about the new electoral laws promulgated by the Burmese regime:

"Canada is deeply concerned by the new election laws unveiled by the Burmese regime this week. While Canada continues to study the new laws carefully as they are promulgated, what we have seen to date suggests that the Burmese regime is resolutely failing to deliver on its promise of free and fair elections this year."

"Notably, elements of the laws point to a deliberate effort by Burmese military leaders to prevent legitimate democratic actors from participating in the promised elections. Reports suggest that the new laws may bar Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners from the democratic process by virtue of their current prison sentences, which Canada believes are unwarranted and politically motivated."

"Canada urges the Burmese regime to move forward with electoral laws that support a genuine democratic process, based on principles of transparency, fairness and inclusion."

"Canada again calls upon the regime to free all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, and to engage in a genuine dialogue with members of the democratic opposition and different ethnic groups in Burma."

"Canada has imposed the toughest sanctions of any country against the Burmese regime to protest its treatment of the Burmese people, and will continue to engage with all stakeholders working toward a democratic Burma."

March 7, 2010 - 3rd Burma Forum Canada issues Sasktoon Declaration

The 3rd Burma Forum Canada was successfully held from March 6 to 7, 2010 in Saskatoon, Canada. More than 50 Burmese organizational representatives including ethnic nationalities across Canada and representatives from National Coalition Government of Union of Burma (NCGUB), the Burmese government in exile, Ethnic Nationalities Council (ENC) and Euro-Burma Office (EBO) participated. A wide range of Burma-related issues such as international polices towards Burma, analysis on 2010 elections and possible scenarios, and the role of ethnic nationalities in the political process in Burma were discussed. The Forum participants unanimously agreed to announce the Saskatoon Declaration.

Date last changed: 2010 March 21          Links last validated: 2010 March 21

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