Myanmar Military Junta’s Oppression Must Engage World Attention

Ottawa (May 23, 2009) – The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) expresses serious concern with the continuing detention and trial of Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's pro-democracy leader, for allegedly breaching the terms of her house arrest.

Suu Kyi, one of Canada's few honorary citizens and one of history's most heroic fighters for human dignity has been in detention without trial for more than 13 of the past 19 years. This is definitely a gross violation of basic human rights, rule of law, and certainly not acceptable in this day and age. 

“If a world renowned figure, a Nobel Peace laureate, can be incarcerated for so long, by an illegitimate military regime, how can an average citizen of that country feel safe,” said Gurpreet Singh Bal, WSO President. Aung San Suu Kyi was first arrested after she and her National League for Democracy (NLD) won two-thirds of votes cast in the 1990 election. Her party has been denied access to government and the junta has threatened her life and attempted to crush the democratic movement she continues to lead. 
The current house arrest resulted after she, during a very brief period of relative freedom, led a peaceful procession in 2003. The junta responded with what the UN Special Rapporteur referred to as "state-instigated massacre," killing 100 people and injuring many others, including Aung San Suu Kyi. 

“Unfortunately, the powers stood by silently and helplessly as this military regime successfully prevented humanitarian emergency relief reaching its own citizens – who were victims of a vicious hurricane that left over 140,000 dead and millions in despair, in 2008.”, said Gian Singh Sandhu, Senior Policy Advisor of WSO. 

While the winds of political change have brought new hope to suffering people, the world over, we must not continue to be indifferent to the people of Myanmar and their courageous leader - Aung San Suu Kyi.

It is high time that the international community responded with resolve and principle against the Burmese generals' continuing violations of the covenants of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There is no reason why General Than Shwe and his accomplices should not be charged with crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court.

Free Aung San Suu Kyi now!.

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