Friday, February 20, 2009

Palaung organisations speak out against election

(DVB)–Palaung political organisations have called on the international community not to endorse the military regime’s 2008 constitution and to oppose the planned 2010 election.

In a statement released yesterday, the Palaung State Liberation Front, the Palaung Women’s Organisation and the Ta’ang Student and Youth Organisation said the 2010 election would only prolong the junta’s rule.

The statement urged the UN and the Association of South East Asian Nations to pressure the Burmese regime into holding meaningful dialogue with the opposition, reviewing the 2008 constitution and releasing all political prisoners.

“We firmly believe that ASEAN should make a collective approach on urging SPDC to improving its human rights records and push them to conduct the meaningful of political dialogue with democratic groups and ethnic groups in the upcoming ASEAN summit in late February,” the statement said.

“This is an essential time for the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to use his personal influence to press the military regime’s plans to democratic atmosphere which can be a peaceful solution for Burma by persuading ASEAN and its neighboring countries.”

The statement also called for the cessation of all attacks against opposition forces, ethnic and religious groups.

Mai Aik, general secretary of the Palaung State Liberation Front, said the Palaung organisations were echoing the call of the National League for Democracy for a new constitution.

"The 2010 election will make official the 2008 constitution which was written with the aim of prolonging the life of this military regime,” Mai Aik said.

“We are making the same call as the NLD made recently; to review the constitution and to write a new one with conditions where everyone can participate," he said.

"We would also like to urge the United Nations secretary general Mr Ban Ki-moon to push countries in Asia, including ASEAN members and Burma's neighbours, to pressure Burma for change at the upcoming ASEAN summit."

Reporting by Aye Nai

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