Past activities in 2001
January 18, 2001 -
Dr. Khin Saw Win, a Director of Burma Watch International, spoke at the University of Alberta at a meeting, organized by the University of Alberta's Amnesty International Chapter, to draw more attention in Canada to the plight of Burmese student prisoners. She spoke about the Canadian campaign to free student leader Min Ko Naing and about his condition.
The meeting also drew attention to another Burmese student prisoner Myo Min Zaw, who was arrested in September, 1998 on the charge of agitating unrest and sentenced to 38 years imprisonment. He led and organized many spontaneous demonstrations during 1996, 1997 and 1998, and his prison term was reportedly elevated to 52 years. He is now being held in Pathein prison of Irrawaddy Division of Burma.
March 17, 2001 -
Burma Watch International donated a copy of the video "Road to Nowhere" to the Burmese American Democratic Alliance -- an umbrella
activist organization in the San Francisco Bay area -- for showing at
ceremony to remember Burma's Human Rights Day. The showing was "a
real hit" according to the report.
March 23, 2001 -
Nwe Aung, representing the Burmese democracy movement headquartered in Brussels (the headquarters of the European Union), met with members of Burma Watch International. Nwe Win is very active in the Burmese democracy movement and was able to give us news of recent developments. He is in North America for a four month period taking time off work to help man the Washington DC office of the Burmese government in exile.
March 24, 2001 -
Dr. Khin Saw Win, a Director of Burma Watch International, gave an introduction to the human rights situation in Burma at an evening meeting titled "Where Has Burma Gone?" at the University of Alberta. The evening was hosted by the University of Alberta branches of Amnesty International and the International Society for Peace and Human Rights. The evening was dedicated to exploring the human rights situation in Burma and Burmese culture. It featured poetry reading, a performance of Burmese folk dance and music and Burmese food. Members of Burma Watch International provided the food and organized the folk dance and music.
May 4, 2001 -
Burma Watch International, in cooperation with the
Free Burma Action Committee, the
All Students Burma League, and the
Australian Capital Territory Trades and Labour Council
"Global Action against the Burmese military regime". Protests and information
sessions were held simultaneously in Canberra (Australia), New Delhi (India)
and Edmonton (Alberta, Canada).
The purposes of the Global Action were to urge the governments and non-governmental organizations around the world to
continue to pressure the Burmese regime towards democratization in Burma and to
implement the ILO's Burma resolution on forced labor;
and to demand that the
Burmese military regime:
- Free all the political prisoners including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and
Min Ko Naing
- Recognize the people's verdict of the 1990 elections and hand over
power to NLD
- End human rights violations including the use of forced labor
- Stop all the military hostilities in the country
- Make the process of "secret talks" with the Burmese democratic leader
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi more transparent to the public
The Global Action was endorsed by 26 organizations.
May 30, 2001 -
Burma Watch International, along with 28 other organizations, endorsed the
position taken by the
All Burma Federation of Students Unions
on the "talks (between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the military Junta)
and the 1990 election verdict.
June 3, 2001 -
Burma Watch International and The International Society for Peace and Human Rights co-hosted an afternoon, at the International Centre at the University of Alberta, of awareness raising and activist unity centred focussing on the Human Rights situation in Burma. The event was part of a cross-Canada tour, sponsored by Canadian Friends of Burma, of two Burmese activists, Minn and Charm, who are drawing attention to human rights abuses in Burma and telling how Burmese activists are working to improve conditions. The event had two goals. The first was to provide the two Burmese activists with an opportunity to work with Canadian groups in order to develop organizational and networking skills that would improve their capacity to better serve the Burmese refugee population on the Thai-Burma border. The second was to raise awareness in Canada about human rights abuses in Burma. Corinne Baumgarten, CFOB's Program Director, accompanied Minn and Charm and helped them explain how human
rights abuses in Burma are linked directly and indirectly to Canada and do
The two refugee activists are from the Thai-Burma border. Imprisoned for nine years in Burma, Minn, spoke about his organization, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), which advocates on behalf of political prisoners in Burma by monitoring and documenting the prison system including the treatment of prisoners.
Charm is a member of the Shan Women's Action Network which helps Shan women
who have been affected by violence, the trafficking of women and
June 26, 2001 -
Rachel Bocock, speaking on behalf of Burma
Watch International, was one of the guest speakers at a joint
gathering of human right's NGO's commemorating the "UN International
Day In Support of Victims of Torture" held in the foyer of
Meyer Horowitz Theater at the University of Alberta. Than Aung
set up and manned a Burma information table.
July 2001 -
Dr. Khin Saw Win, a Director of Burma Watch International, addressed the
"What are the health consequences of militarism?"
at the First Conference of the Burma Medical Association (BMA).
August 9, 2001 -
Burma Watch International, Robertson
Wesley United Church and Interfaith organized and co-sponsored
an evening in Edmonton AB to commemorate the 13th Anniversary
of the August 8, 1988 uprising of the people of Burma to demand
peace, democracy and basic human rights.
The evening featured an inspiring lecture by Dr. Virginia Cawagas
on "The Challenges and Hopes of People Power".
Dr. Alice Khin Saw Win provided background information
about Burma which included a slide presentation. Prem Kalia and
Rev. Bruce Miller led an interfaith prayer and meditation session
and the evening concluded with a candle light ceremony.
September 8, 2001 -
Burma Watch International took part in
the Unity Festival which brought together many activists groups in the
Edmonton area. Dr. Alice Khin Saw Win and Kyi Win set up a display about
Burma and manned an information table.
November 10, 2001 -
Burma Watch International sponsored
a special presentation by Phone Myint Tun at the University
of Alberta International Center. Phone Myint Tun was a student
leader in the 1988 nation-wide uprising and was responsible for the
security of Aung San Suu Kyi from August 1988 to July 1989 until she was put under house arrest.
He was arrested in 1991 by Military Intelligence and imprisoned until February 1995.
He left Burma for Japan but returned to Burma after Aung San Suu Kyi was
released from house arrest in 1995. Under the guidance and advice of Aung San
Suu Kyi, he established a group to help political prisoners in Burma.
In November 1995, he successfully smuggled documents from political prisoner
out of Burma prisons and passed them on to United Nations representatives.
He fled from Burma to Japan in January 1996 after being tipped
off that Military Intelligence were about to arrest him.
He had come to Canada to accept the 2001 Canadian International
Press Freedom Award on behalf of his journalist father who is a
prisoner of conscience presently serving a 20 year sentence in
Burma. Phone Myint Tun spoke about his life as a security
guard to Aung San Suu Kyi.
November 21, 2001 -
Burma Watch International, along with four other Canadian organizations,
organized activities in five Canadian cities for
a Global Action for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in which Canadians joined citizens in
dozens of other cities around the world in calling for the release of
pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and about two thousand political
prisoners in Burma.
December 1, 2001 -
Burma Watch International, The Mahatma Gandhi Canadian
Foundation for World Peace, and Interfaith co-sponsored
a special presentation by Dr. Tho Swee Hin.
Dr. Toh Swee Hin is the
Laureate of the
UNESCO Prize for Peace Education 2000 and spoke on the
theme Toward a Global Culture of
December 8, 2001 -
Burma Watch International
promoted the "The Nobel Peace Laureate Campaign for Aung San Suu Kyi
and the People of Burma" which had among its goals "to support and salute the extraordinary champion of human rights and democracy in Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi". Burma Watch International encouraged people to
join other supporters from throughout the world in the
celebration live through the Internet.