Dialogue for Change, otherwise, Boycott 2010 Elections!
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GENERAL THAN SHWEDear General Than Shwe,
Head of State of Myanmar
Commander in Chief of the Tatmadaw and
Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC)
The 2010 elections is not the answer for a democratic change in Burma, nor will it lead to national reconciliation. Issues continue to remain unresolved which needs a dialogue. In pursuit for justice and democracy in Burma therefore, we support the call for an inclusive DIALOGUE with the Junta and among leading political groups representing the Burmese public.
We, citizens of Burma and the international community, affirm the landslide victory of the National League for Democracy (NLD) which won 82 percent of parliamentary seats during the May 27, 1990 general elections. The election results remain a victory the people of Burma will cherish.The victory persists as hope that lingers in the hearts and minds of the people. The 1990 election results remain to be the legitimate will of the people that have been thwarted by the military junta when it refused to recognize the results. We take note of the fact that elected representatives were not allowed to convene in Parliament and many of those elected were either arrested, tortured or dismissed. NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi was put on house arrest in May 2003 until now.
We call on a Dialogue to recognize the 1990 elections. Yet, hope for democracy and justice continue to persist. The NLD leader along with other 2100 political detainees continue to hope for democracy and freedom for Burma.The Schwe Gon Daing Declaration issued by the NLD in April 2009 called for the transfer of power to the elected members of Parliament following the 1990 elections. As Aung San Suu Kyi said, "Holding a new election without recognizing the 1990 election results is like playing a dangerous game with the country's future. That is why we cannot accept a new election."
We call on a Dialogue to release all political prisoners. We also support the Schwe Gon Daing Declaration approved by pro-democracy and rights activists which called for the release of all political prisoners. There are now 2100 political prisoners which increased from 1000 plus after the Saffron Revolution in 2007. This means the democratic movement is growing and the people are restless yet hopeful for a free and democratic Burma.
We call on a Dialogue to review the 2008 Constitution, To resolve issues in the 2008 Constitution approved during the May 2008 Referendum under fraudulent and coercive instances, we forward the need for a review and amendment of its undemocratic provisions. As noted, the 2008 Constitution preserves the status quo, and does not provide ethnic rights for the many ethnic minorities in their respective States.
For one, we call attention to the provision which ensures 25% legislative seats for personnel of the Defense Services as nominated by the Commander in Chief. This means military authoritarian rule and legitimacy of the Generals to stay in power. Such is an obsolete form of government which has already made people suffer and defeats the purpose of a democratic society. With the intention of the Junta to stay in power, the SPDC is also trying to get the ethnic armed groups in the Border Guard Force (BGF). However the ceasefire groups are not willing to be absorbed into the BGF.
We call on a Dialogue for ethnic rights. We support the major call for ethnic equality which has been suppressed for a long period of time. A Federal Constitution for the Union of Burma as envisioned reached its second draft by a broad an representative membership of the Federal Constitution Drafting Committee (FCDC) in answer for an alternative Union of Burma Constitution. The envisioned Federal Constitution provides for Member States to formulate their own Constitution and exist in harmony with the Union of Burma through the principle of power sharing.
We call for International support to call on the military Junta to hold a dialogue, and not to support the 2010 elections if meaningful dialogue is not granted.
Considering the above, we reiterate and appeal for the conduct of an inclusive DIALOGUE to resolve issues of the Burmese people between and among political groups and sectoral organizations with the government for a peaceful, progressive and democratic Burma.