Campaign Success! Gordon Brown Backs Security Council Burma Discussions

Dear colleagues,
There are details of a petition below which you might like to sign…..

Best wishes,
Peter

Campaign Success! Gordon Brown Backs Security Council Burma
Discussions

Dear Friend

Thanks to your support, we have achieved a significant success in our
campaign to persuade the international community to do more to support
those
currently protesting and being arrested in Burma. British Prime Minister
Gordon Brown has issued a statement backing many of our demands, including
Security Council discussions, and for EU foreign ministers to discuss
Burma when they meet later this week. He has also pledged to personally raise
Burma with his counterparts around the world, a long-standing request of
the Burma Campaign UK.

This success shows how we can make a difference when we work together.
Now we must keep the pressure up to ensure these discussions lead to concrete
action by governments.

If you are a UK citizen or resident, you can sign our new online petition
thanking the Prime Minister for his support, and calling on him to set
benchmarks and timelines for change in Burma, after which, if no progress
has been made, steps will be taken to increase political and economic
pressure on the regime. Visit: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Burmacrackdown/

If you are not in the UK, you can email the EU Presidency with an updated
campaign email, asking them to also support setting benchmarks for change.

Our press release and the Prime Minister’s statement follows:

Burma Campaign UK Welcomes Gordon Brown’s Support for Security Council
Discussions

02 Sep 2007

The Burma Campaign UK today warmly welcomed Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s
statement calling for the United Nations Security Council, and European
Union, to discuss the current crisis in Burma. The Burma Campaign UK and
other Burma pro-democracy organisations around the world have been calling
for both these steps.

“We are delighted that Gordon Brown is personally taking this initiative
on Burma,” said Mark Farmaner, Acting Director of the Burma Campaign UK.
“This is a major breakthrough. The Prime Minister has backed both our key
demands, for Security Council discussions, and EU discussions. It is also
very significant that he is pledging to personally raise Burma with his
counterparts. We have been calling for this for many years. Tony Blair
never raised Burma in meetings with world leaders. We hope this is the first
step in a much more proactive approach to Burma by the UK government. It is the
first good news we have had in a long time.”

The British government and European Union have been coming under
increasing pressure to take action, following the arrests and crackdown on
peaceful protestors in Burma began on August 21st. On Tuesday the Burma
Campaign UK held its first protest at the UK foreign office in more than a
decade, as the foreign office had seemed content to merely issue
statements of concern. On Friday campaigners in 15 countries took part in a day of
action calling for EU ministers to discuss Burma when they meet on 7th
September.

More than 150 peaceful protestors have been detained in the past two
weeks. On Tuesday 4th September there will be an international 24 hour
hunger strike in solidarity with 41 detainees who are on hunger strike in
an attempt to force the regime in Burma to allow medical care for one of
their number, whose leg was broken when he was attacked by a regime militia.
Activists from almost twenty countries on four continents are expected to
take part.

The Prime Minister’s statement follows: 


Foreign and Commonwealth Office (National)


Burma: Prime Minister Statement

I deeply deplore the Burmese government’s violent supression of peaceful
demonstrations. I call upon the Burmese authorities to release immediately
all those detained merely for protesting at the hardship imposed on them
by
the government’s economic mismanagement and failure to uphold fundamental
human rights. I also reiterate the British Government’s call for the
release of all political prisoners, including Nobel Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi
who has now spent almost 12 years of her life under house arrest. 

As the
lives of ordinary Burmese people continue to deteriorate, it is all the
more important that all countries and organisations with an influence over the
regime impress upon the generals the need for an early transition to
democratic rule, full respect for human rights and genuine national
reconciliation. 

I support calls for the grave situation in Burma to be
considered by the UN Security Council at the earliest opportunity. I also
call for the UN General Assembly to address this issue.. 
We give our full
support to the efforts of the UN Secretary-General’s good offices mission.
It is time for the UN human rights bodies to give this alarming situation
the attention it so patently deserves. 

I am asking the Foreign Secretary
to discuss this issue with our European partners next week. 
I will seek
an early opportunity to raise the situation in Burma with my counterparts in
the key regional countries and with our partners in the EU and the US.

Was this message forwarded to you by a friend? If you are not already a
member of the Burma Campaign UK e-mail network and would like to receive
these updates directly, you can subscribe at

http://www.burmacampaign.org.uk/email_network.html

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