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The United Nations Has Failed to Take Responsibility to Protect The People of Burma, Who Are Prepared for the Worst

The Buddhist Channel, March 26, 2008

Joint Statement Issued by the All Burma Monks' Alliance and the 88 Generation Students

Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar (Burma) -- We paid serious attention to the briefing by the UN Special Envoy Mr. Ibrahim Gambari to the United Nations Security Council on March 18, 2008 on Burma.

Since his recommendations to the Burmese military junta have been flatly rejected on this and every one of his previous trips, we believed Mr. Gambari would report this failure truly. We hoped he would ask the Council to strengthen the mandate of the Secretary-General in pressuring the junta for an all party-inclusive, transparent and democratic process of national reconciliation in our country.

However, to our surprise and sadness, he misled the Council. From the perspective of the people of Burma, he altered his mission from "pressuring or persuading the military junta in Burma to create a credible process of constitution writing and engage in a meaningful and time-bound dialogue with our leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi".

Instead, it now appears he is "supporting the one-sided acts of the military junta and suggesting that democracy forces surrender". We have been 100% supportive of the UN efforts on Burma, but we object Mr. Gambari for misleading the world body in favor of the Burmese military junta.

We are also disappointed that the UN Security Council has failed to take an effective action on Burma. Under the misguidance of Mr. Gambari and due to objections by the governments of China, Russia and South Africa, the UN Security Council is paralyzed and has failed to undertake its major responsibility to protect the citizens of Burma, who continue to be severely oppressed by their own government, as has been the case for decades. We denounce the governments of China, Russia and South Africa for their strong protection of the most brutal military junta, ruling our country against the will of our people.

We are also disappointed with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his reluctance to ask for the UN Security Council to strengthen his good offices role in Burma by a binding resolution.

Over the past 18 years, various UN Special Envoys and Rapporteurs have visited Burma 35 times to try to persuade the military junta to fully cooperate with the democracy forces led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and representatives of Burma's ethnic nationalities, without success. The UN Charter, Article 99 authorizes the Secretary-General to bring the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.

Despite the fact that the situation in Burma has spilled out over the region and become a threat to peace and stability in the region and in the world, Ban Ki-moon has failed to call for the Security Council to take effective action on Burma. From the perspective of the Burmese people, he has made zero impact on the situation in our country. On the contrary, the situation in Burma has grown even worse on his watch.

However, we are encouraged by the continued and persistent support by the United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Australia, European Union, Switzerland, Mongolia, Costa Rica, Argentina, Ghana, The Czech Republic, Norway and other supportive countries.

We appreciate these governments for standing together with us in our darkest time, sharing our feelings and lending much-needed assistance. We request these countries to continue to support us and continue to apply maximum pressure on the military junta, especially including the implementation of finance and banking sanctions against the generals, their family members and crony businessmen. We also request these governments not to recognize the military junta's constitution and urge the UN Security Council to do the same.

Nonetheless, the people of Burma will stand on their own feet and confront the injustices and oppression of the military junta by peaceful means. We all are determined to "VOTE NO" on the junta's sham constitution in the upcoming referendum.

As the military junta is aggressively and desperately pressuring the people to vote in favor of the constitution, our challenge to reject it will surely be met with a bloody response by the junta. 

Our vote "No" is not only to the sham constitution, but also to the junta. With or without the help of the UN Security Council, we are ready to determine our own future. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi recently told us to "hope for the best, prepare for the worst". This call echoes the message of her father our National Independence Hero U Aung San.

We are prepared to confront the worst. We are working for truth and justice, and we will prevail.

On behalf of the All Burma Monks' Alliance
Ashin Aww Ba Tha
Ashin Tay Za
Ashin Pyannya Vamsa

On behalf of the 88 Generation Students
Tun Myint Aung
Nilar Thein
Soe Tun

Note: March 26 is the 6 month anniversary of the bloody crackdown against monks/Saffron Revolution

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