Monks marching through Rangoon during the 2007 uprising
View images of 2007 Saffron Revolution in Burma in the photo gallery here.
Statements on uprising and arrests in August 2007
- UN Office in Rangoon, following Ibrahim Gambari’s vist 3-8 November
- UN Security Council Presidential Statement 11 October 2007
- UN Security Council meeting 5 October 2007:
- President of the Security Council
- UN Secretary General 24 September
- UN Secretary General 27 September PDF file
- Joint US-EU Statement on Burma/Myanmar
- UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown
- UK Foreign Secretary
- Austria PDF file
- Slovakia PDF file
UN Office in Rangoon, following Ibrahim Gambari’s vist 3-8 November
UNITED NATIONS INFORMATION CENTRE 6,
Natmauk Road, P.O. Box 230,Yangon.
Reference: Statement at the conclusion of Mr. Gambari’s mission to Myanmar 3 to 8 November 2007
Yangon, 8 November 2007 - As a result of the good offices role of the UN Secretary-General and engagement with the Government, the opposition and other relevant parties, we are not where we were a few weeks ago. We now have a process going which would lead to substantive dialogue between the Government and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as a key instrument in promoting national reconciliation in an all-inclusive manner. The sooner such a dialogue can start, the better for Myanmar. With the full support and confidence of the Government of Myanmar and the international community, the United Nations will continue its engagement with all relevant interlocutors inside and outside Myanmar to achieve the goals which we all share: peace, prosperity, democracy and full respect for human rights in Myanmar. In this regard, Mr Gambari has been invited by the Government to return to Myanmar and expects to do so in the next few weeks. In addition, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has authorized Mr Gambari to make a statement on her behalf upon the close of his mission.
The Foreign Secretary today called for a robust international response to the situation in Burma.
‘Yesterday’s briefing on Burma in the Security Council was an important step. The UK government has continually pressed the Burmese regime to stop their oppression and intimidation and called for a robust international response, including at the UN.
The timely discussion in the Council demonstrates the international community’s concern at a time when the situation in the country is tense. The Burmese authorities recently resorted to using tear gas in their attempts to suppress the peaceful demonstrations of the brave monks, whose protests reflect the will of the majority of their fellow countrymen in wanting change in Burma.
The Security Council was united in its calls for the Burmese government to engage constructively with the UN Secretary General’s envoy, Professor Gambari, and encouraged him to visit as soon as possible. We shall continue to work with our colleagues at the UN and in other multilateral bodies to keep up the pressure for positive change.
I intend to raise the situation in Burma with colleagues in New York next week. In the meantime the UK will continue to take the lead in providing humanitarian assistance to relieve the suffering of the Burmese people.’
Every civilized nation also has a responsibility to stand up for the people suffering under dictatorship. In Belarus, North Korea, Syria, and Iran, brutal regimes deny their people the fundamental rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration. Americans are outraged by the situation in Burma, where a military junta has imposed a 19-year reign of fear. Basic freedoms of speech, assembly, and worship are severely restricted. Ethnic minorities are persecuted. Forced child labor, human trafficking, and rape are common. The regime is holding more than 1,000 political prisoners—including Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party was elected overwhelmingly by the Burmese people in 1990.
The ruling junta remains unyielding, yet the people’s desire for freedom is unmistakable. This morning, I’m announcing a series of steps to help bring peaceful change to Burma. The United States will tighten economic sanctions on the leaders of the regime and their financial backers. We will impose an expanded visa ban on those responsible for the most egregious violations of human rights, as well as their family members. We’ll continue to support the efforts of humanitarian groups working to alleviate suffering in Burma. And I urge the United Nations and all nations to use their diplomatic and economic leverage to help the Burmese people reclaim their freedom.
Statements made by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson
Paris, September 24, 2007
[Please note that only the original French text issued by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs may be considered official.]
France has been following the situation in Myanmar with great concern since the start of the demonstrations against high living costs. Like the European Union, we have repeatedly condemned the crackdown against these peaceful demonstrations and demanded the release of all the individuals imprisoned.
The extent of the people’s demonstrations and the participation of monks in the protest movements illustrate the discontent among the people in Myanmar. The junta will be held responsible before the international community for the safety of the demonstrators.
It is high time for the Myanmar authorities to agree to begin a genuine process of reform and national reconciliation which the country needs. We reaffirm our support for the mission of the UN secretary-general’s special adviser for Myanmar, Ibrahim Gambari, and hope that he’s able to return to Myanmar soon.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Dermot Ahern T.D., expressed his grave concern at news that the Burmese military have today used physical force and tear-gas to break up the peaceful demonstrations against the government led by Buddhist monks over recent days and arrested many monks and others. The Minister condemned these actions in the strongest terms and described them as unacceptable and deeply shocking.
“I am gravely concerned by news from Burma/Myanmar this morning that, in addition to the imposition of curfews, the Burmese military regime have today deployed troops onto the streets of Rangoon, who have used batons and tear-gas to break up peaceful demonstrations led by Buddhist monks, and that hundreds of monks and others have been arrested. The use of physical force by the military against monks, nuns and unarmed civilians, who have committed their lives to the path of non-violence, and who are simply exercising the basic right of freedom of expression in a peaceful manner, is unacceptable and deeply shocking. All people of conscience throughout the world and all countries, in particular China and India, who have influence with the Burmese military regime, must condemn the use of force against unarmed civilians, demonstrating peacefully and demand the utmost restraint.
Ireland, like the EU, expresses its solidarity with the people of Burma/Myanmar and its admiration for the courageous monks, nuns and other citizens who are exercising their rights of peaceful demonstration.
Burma/Myanmar is at a crossroads. The scale of the demonstrations, led by thousands of Buddhist monks and tens of thousands of ordinary people, is unprecedented. They can leave no room for doubt that, above all else, the Burmese people want rapid, peaceful, political change and genuine, inclusive, national dialogue and reconciliation. The Burmese authorities have an opportunity to respond constructively to the will of the people – so clearly and bravely expressed on streets throughout the country, and to engage meaningfully with the democratic opposition and ethnic groups in open and inclusive dialogue.
The international community has a vital role to play in promoting the path of restraint and reconciliation. At this stage, there is still time to step back from the brink, but we must act immediately and decisively. I believe that the time is right for the Security Council to immediately seize itself of the issue, and I support today’s call to this effect by the British Prime Minister.
At a meeting yesterday with the Chairperson and representatives of Burma Action Ireland, I made clear Ireland’s firm intention to continue to work with all partners, including within the EU and the UN, and with those countries which wield some influence with the Burmese regime, to encourage positive developments in Burma/Myanmar.”
End + + +
Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Calls for Change in Burma/Myanmar
24 September 2007
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Dermot Ahern T.D., today praised those leading and participating in the ongoing protests in Burma/Myanmar, and again called for the release of all political prisoners.
“Since they began last month, protests in Burma/Myanmar have continued and escalated. Like many others, I have been struck by the dignity and courage of the protests by thousands of Buddhist monks and tens of thousands of ordinary people in cities across the country, and their appeal for national reconciliation, genuine democracy and improved living conditions. One month ago, I called upon the Burmese authorities to release all those detained while exercising their right to peaceful protest. I deeply regret that they, and hundreds of other peaceful protestors detained and held in appalling conditions, have not yet been released. Today, I repeat the call for the immediate release of all political detainees and prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi.
I join with others who have called on the Burmese authorities to show the utmost restraint in dealing with these peaceful, legitimate demonstrations. Furthermore, I would again strongly urge them to respect the genuine democratic aspirations of the people of Burma/Myanmar, as expressed so clearly in these demonstrations. It is long past time for the Burmese authorities to fulfil their promises of reconciliation and democratisation, which the 14 year-long National Convention has singularly failed to deliver. The authorities must engage meaningfully with the democratic opposition and ethnic groups in open and inclusive dialogue, which is indispensable to long-awaited political reforms.
It is vital at this time that the international community speak with one voice in seeking to ensure restraint on the part of the Burmese regime in dealing with the peaceful protests and in urging them to fulfil its long-standing promises to its own people. I would also urge the Burmese authorities to engage constructively with the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy, Dr Ibrahim Gambari. Ireland will continue to work with all partners, including within the EU and the UN, to encourage positive developments in Burma/Myanmar.”
MFA SPOKESMAN’S COMMENTS ON THE SITUATION IN MYANMAR
“Singapore is deeply troubled and concerned by reports that the demonstrations in Yangon have been suppressed by force. We urge the Myanmar authorities to exercise utmost restraint. Singapore welcomes the decision of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to send Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari to Myanmar. We fully support any initiative by the UN which would help defuse the situation.
We urge the Myanmar authorities to admit Mr Gambari into Myanmar and grant him full access to all players in Myanmar. A peaceful resolution to the situation in Myanmar will require the cooperation and involvement of all parties, including the military.
The situation in Myanmar affects all ASEAN countries. We hope that the Myanmar authorities and all other parties in Myanmar will appreciate the broader implications of their actions on the region as a whole and act accordingly. The UN offers the best hope for a peaceful resolution of the situation. We call upon the Myanmar authorities to take advantage of Mr Gambari’s planned visit to defuse the situation.
Currently in New York for the UN General Assembly session, Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo has applauded the decision by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to send Mr Gambari on this mission. He urged all parties in Myanmar to work towards national reconciliation. He had spoken to Mr Gambari in New York and assured him of Singapore’s full support.
We understand that the UN Security Council intends to conduct consultations on the situation in Myanmar. In his capacity as the current Chairman of the ASEAN Standing Committee, Mr Yeo is currently consulting with Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda of Indonesia, which is now a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, and other ASEAN members.”
MFA SPOKESMAN’S COMMENTS
26 SEPTEMBER 2007
Singapore is deeply concerned by reports of clashes between protestors and security forces in Yangon. We urge the Myanmar authorities to exercise utmost restraint. We call upon all parties To avoid provocative actions and to work towards reconciliation and a peaceful resolution of the situation.”
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Finland - Finnish president calls for action on Burma
26.9.2007 at 18:20
Tarja Halonen, the Finnish president, expressed her concern over the
situation in Burma in her address to the UN general assembly on Wednesday.
“This morning we have heard news from Burma-Myanmar where the fight of the
people for freedom and human rights has been suppressed,” the president
“We must react.”
Earlier in the speech President Halonen had stressed the need to reform
the UN in order to ensure the implementation of its three fundamental
principles of security, development and human rights.
“We should not spare any efforts to continue the overall reform of the UN.”
The Finnish leader also underlined the world organisation’s role in
fighting climate change, adding Monday’s high-level climate meeting called
by the UN secretary-general had been a success.
© Copyright STT 2007
I extent my support and solidarity with the recent peaceful movement for democracy in Burma.
I fully support their call for freedom and democracy and take this opportunity to appeal to freedom-loving people all over the world to support such non-violent movements. Moreover, I wish to convey my sincere appreciation and admiration to the large number of fellow Buddhists monks for advocating democracy and freedom in Burma.
As a Buddhist monk, I am appealing to the members of the military regime who believe in Buddhism to act in accordance with the sacred dharma in the spirit of compassion and non-violence.
I pray for the success of this peaceful movement and the early release of fellow Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
September 26, 2007
Members of the Senate Women’s Caucus on Burma Express Solidarity with Pro-Democracy Protestors, Implore International Community to Keep Up Pressure on Military Junta
Washington, DC - The Senate Women’s Caucus on Burma, led by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), today expressed solidarity with the tens of thousands of pro-democracy protestors who have taken to the streets in recent days to speak out against the country’s illegitimate military junta.
The bipartisan group of women Senators applauded President Bush for his remarks before the United Nations on Tuesday, where he called for new international sanctions against the despotic regime.
The Senators also implored the international community, including neighboring Asian countries like China, India, Russia, Japan and members of ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) to keep up pressure on the military junta to restore democracy in Burma.
The Senate Women’s Caucus on Burma, which was launched in May this year, includes Co-Chairs Feinstein and Hutchison, and Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Blanche Lambert Lincoln (D-Neb.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).
The following is a joint statement issued by the Senate Women’s Caucus on Burma:
“Over the past several days, we have witnessed an historic opportunity to advance the cause of freedom in Burma. Led by courageous Buddhist monks, tens of thousands of Burmese citizens have taken to the streets in the largest pro-democracy demonstrations seen since 1988. They have taken to the streets to demand the restoration of a democratic government that respects human rights and the rule of law. Some have begun to call this burgeoning freedom movement the ‘Saffron Revolution’.
On Tuesday, President Bush spoke before the United Nations, calling for a new round of international sanctions against Burma. By targeting the members of the ruling State Peace and Development Council and their financial backers, these sanctions will increase the pressure on the regime to refrain from violence and negotiate a political settlement with the democratic opposition. We, the members of the United States Senate Women’s Caucus on Burma, applaud President Bush for speaking out on behalf of the people of Burma - and for these new sanctions. The Caucus praises First Lady Laura Bush for her efforts to raise awareness about the situation in Burma, and for her steadfast support for a free and democratic Burma.
We also express our solidarity with the brave men and women who are making their voices heard on the streets of Rangoon and in villages across the country. We call on the military regime to release immediately and unconditionally all political prisoners, including the leader of the National League for Democracy Aung San Suu Kyi. It’s time to begin a true dialogue on national reconciliation with all parties.
But we must also keep a watchful eye on the Burmese Generals who rule Burma with an iron fist. In 1988, the military junta engaged in a brutal crackdown on peaceful democratic protests that resulted in the loss of 3,000 innocent lives. They must know that the international community is united with - and stands in favor of—the legitimate aspirations of the people of Burma. In particular, we call on those countries with the closest ties to Burma - China, India, Russia, Japan, and the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - to publicly make clear that the regime should reject violence and embrace a peaceful political settlement. The people of Burma have for too long paid the price of tyranny and oppression. So we must keep up international pressure until real progress is made towards the cause of freedom and democracy.”
26th September 07
Hague: Next few days will be crucial to the future of Burma
Commenting on the situation in Burma, Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
“We welcome the UN Security Council meeting to discuss the situation in Burma. The barbarous military regime must be left in no doubt that the whole world will unite against them if they use violence against their own people.
“Any attempt to crush the demonstrations must be answered with decisive and united action by the international community.
“The next few days will be crucial to the future of Burma.
“We call on the regime to refrain from violence and to meet its people’s call for freedom and democracy. It is time that Aung San Sun Kyi and other political prisoners are set free, time for reform and reconciliation.”
ITUC - Burma: Military Violence Against Protesters – ITUC Organising Global Action
Brussels, 26 September 2007 (ITUC OnLine): With protests in Burma, led by Buddhist monks and nuns, gathering momentum in recent days the military junta has now reacted with ferocious assaults on the demonstrators. The Federation of Trade Unions of Burma, an associated organisation of the ITUC, reports today that one monk has been killed by the military, and violent confrontations have taken place in several locations, notably around the famous Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon. Some 700 students, monks and nuns have been beaten by riot police with batons, and at least 20 teargas canisters and a similar number of live bullets have been fired by police in the vicinity of the Pagoda. Other sources indicate that as many as four people may have been killed, and several hundred arrested.
The ITUC and its Global Unions partners have launched an appeal to affiliates worldwide for global action, including at Burmese diplomatic missions around the world, to increase pressure on the military elite which controls the country.
“We welcome the announcement of urgent UN Security Council talks today on the crisis, and call for the immediate dispatch of the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari to Burma”, said Guy Ryder. “The world trade union movement is stepping up the pressure, with demonstrations involving trade unions and other civil society groups scheduled for this Saturday in a number of countries”, he added.
The ITUC is deeply concerned at the spiraling violence resulting from the regime’s intolerance of any dissent or opposition, and is convinced that now more than ever, the ruling junta must be placed under the maximum possible international pressure, including economic sanctions against the junta. These should cover the key sectors including timber, energy and mining. “The continued repression and flagrant violation of the most fundamental rights by the Burmese junta brings shame on those governments which have neglected to give this problem the attention it deserves, and those commercial interests whose relations with the Burmese military have helped them stay in power, to the terrible detriment of people throughout the country and those who have been forced to flee persecution, torture and abuse”, said Ryder.
Founded on 1 November 2006, the ITUC represents 168 million workers in 153 countries and territories and has 305 national affiliates.
For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on +32 2 224 0204 or +32 476 621 018.
Reports and Statements
- Human Rights Watch Report - Crackdown 2007
- Bullets in the Alms Bowl
- A L T S E A N - Fuel Price Hikes Inflame Burmese People PDF file
Statements on uprising and arrests in August 2007
Statements on crackdown of the 2007 uprising