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Please help Burma - now!

by Simon Billenness, The Buddhist Channel, Sept 26, 2007

As you no doubt have seen, Burma is making world headlines because of
the courageous protests of hundreds of thousands of monks and civilians
in at least 26 cities in Burma over the past few weeks.  These are the
biggest protests against the abuses of the authoritarian regime in two
decades.

For those of us who care deeply about Burma, these are exhilarating times, but terrifying too.  The military junta has threatened to take action if protests continue, and reports from inside Burma already indicate that the military is getting ready to flex its muscle and
begin attacks on protesters.

From the sidelines, the best that we can do is to keep the momentum of this movement alive.  There is a real chance for change in Burma, but we need to keep the pressure on.

I know Burma might not be your issue, but today, please make it yours. There are several easy things you can do. If possible, do them right away.

First, there are several online petitions that you can sign.  Here are two:

-The US Campaign for Burma is asking people to collectively gather 88,000 signatures from around the world, calling on Chinese President Hu Jintao to compel Burma towards valid national reconciliation. Sign the petition by going to:
http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizations/uscampaignforburma/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=730&t=HomePage.dwt

-You can also email the EU President to strengthen the EU position on Burma, at http://burmacampaign.org.uk/eu_action.html

Second, you can follow the news online.  News agencies track the stories that get the most coverage, and by reading about Burma online, you increase the chances that the story will continue to receive international attention.  The BBC has good coverage: www.bbc.co.uk, as
does The Irrawaddy, a local source on the Thai-Burmese border: www.irrawaddy.org

Third, you can donate money to advocacy campaigns.  I am personally a member of the US Campaign for Burma ( http://www.uscampaignforburma.org/). A similar organization across the
pond is The Burma Campaign UK ( http://burmacampaign.org.uk/). Many other European and Asian countries have their own organizations; if you'd like help locating the one closest to you, just let me know.



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