Tuesday, May 26, 2009

South Africa Urges Burma to Adopt Civilian Rule

The Irrawaddy News

The South African government has called on the Burmese military regime to release opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, saying it wants to see Burma adopt civilian rule under a democratic multiparty system.

The South African stand was delivered by Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Ebrahim Ebrahim at a meeting on Monday with Burma’s ambassador designate to Pretoria, Tin Oo Lwin.

Ebrahim said South Africa was ready to assist Burma in a transition to democracy, and he proposed the dispatch to Burma of a delegation tasked with facilitating “a negotiation process among the various political parties."

Ebrahim’s department issued a statement on Friday expressing the South African government’s grave concern at the arrest and trial of Suu Kyi.

The statement called for a free, fair and all-inclusive general election in 2010. It urged the Burmese regime to free all political prisoners, including Suu Kyi, to allow them to participate in the electoral process.

“The South African government reiterates its position that the solution to the current challenges facing the people of Burma lies in a negotiated political solution between the government and the opposition, culminating in an all-inclusive free and fair elections,” the statement said.

South Africa was one of the few countries at the UN which voted in January 2007 against an attempt initiated by the US and Britain to raise the Burma issue before the UN Security Council. China and Russia, Security Council permanent members, used their veto powers to block the attempt.

Suu Kyi is a popular figure in South Africa, and her fate has often been likened to Nelson Mandela’s. The South African freedom fighter served many years in prison before the repressive policy of apartheid was abandoned and he became the country’s first black president.

This year, South Africa’s Mahatma Gandhi Foundation awarded its Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Peace and Justice to Suu Kyi.

Recent Posts from Burma Wants Freedom and Democracy

Recent posts from WHO is WHO in Burma


The Nuke Light of Myanmar Fan Box
The Nuke Light of Myanmar on Facebook
Promote your Page too