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PRESS RELEASES, OPEN LETTERS, STATEMENTS

For Immediate Release: 28 December 2007

BURMA AT 60: TIME FOR CHANGE!

Altsean-Burma is releasing a briefer ahead of Burma’s 60th anniversary of independence on January 4, 2008. Tragically, the consequences of Burmese military regime’s gross mismanagement and violations do not offer any cause for celebration.

The brief socio-economic overview of Burma’s past 60 years presents the grim realization that the past 2 years have witnessed a sharp decline in Burma on all fronts. Despite public relations efforts aimed at staving off both external and internal pressure, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has perpetrated such serious mismanagement, repression and corruption that the consequences are not only threatening Burma’s stability but that of its immediate region as well.

“Under the leadership of Senior General Than Shwe, the SPDC has turned Burma into a state of disgraceful decay. Thanks to Than Shwe, more than 90% of the people are living below the poverty line while he uses up the country’s resources to wage war against ethnic families and build tributes to his own ego,” said Altsean-Burma Coordinator Debbie Stothard.

“It should not be forgotten that Burma used to be regarded as the Southeast Asian nation ‘most likely to succeed’, because of its rich natural resources, strong civil service and respected education system. It is not too late to bring Burma back to the path of its original destiny. The SPDC can change the situation by taking the immediate steps of releasing all political prisoners, declaring a national ceasefire and commencing tripartite dialogue,” emphasized Ms Stothard. She also reiterated that ASEAN, China, and India have a collective obligation to convince the Burmese regime to change.

2008 also marks 20 years since the 8888 uprising.

The briefer will be available as word document or PDF at www.altsean.org

END

Enquiries: Debbie Stothard, Cellphone +6681 686 1652