For Immediate Release: 17 July
BURMA'S NATIONAL CONVENTION
MAY DESTABILIZE REGION, ACTIVISTS WARN
ASEAN-based activists have
condemned the Burmese regime's constitution-drafting process
as "part of the problem and not the solution to Burma's
In a briefing issued a day
ahead of the resumption of the military-controlled National
Convention, Altsean-Burma (the Alternative ASEAN Network on
Burma) pointed out that outcomes of the flawed National Convention
would merely intensify the root causes of the ethnic-based conflicts
perpetuated by Burma's successive military regimes.
including ASEAN members, China and India, should be extremely
concerned at the destabilizing potential of the regime's strong-arm
tactics to formalize and prolong its rule," said Altsean-Burma
Coordinator, Debbie Stothard. Over the weekend, ethnic representatives
warned that a regime-dominated constitution will lead to "increased
militarization, armed conflict and chaos."
"Ethnic groups and the
National League for Democracy have consistently proposed steps
to salvage the National Convention and transform it into a venue
for dialogue; however these recommendations have been rejected.
These solutions deserve greater support from governments in
the region," emphasized Ms Stothard. The Altsean-Burma
statement adds to the chorus of condemnation by pro-democracy
and ethnic groups within and outside of Burma.
Originally devised by the military
regime as a tactic to avoid convening Parliament after it lost
the 1990 elections, the National Convention was mothballed in
March 1996. It was revived in 2004 as part of the "7-point
roadmap to democracy", a response to heightened regional
and international pressure following the Depayin Massacre in
May 2003, in which government-organised thugs attacked pro-democracy
leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters. Scores were
killed or injured, and the Nobel Laureate has been held under
strict conditions of detention since.
Altsean-Burma's briefer titled
"National Convention: Roadmap to Instability" is available
for download from http://www.altsean.org The briefer launches
Altsean-Burma's revamped website which now boasts a range of
new features, including research resources for advocacy.
For more information, please
call +6681 850 9008 during office hours or email firstname.lastname@example.org