Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"MY GUN WAS AS TALL AS ME" - Child Soldiers in Burma

It appears from the report that Human Rights Watch have published that the military regime in Burma is having trouble recruiting soldiers - so they abduct children as young as ten years old.

War lords in the Democratic Republic of Congo are appearing before the International Criminal Court in The Hague for recruiting child soldiers. Let us hope for consistency in justice.

If you didn't notice, that boy in the picture is carrying an American M16 assault rifle. Please explain that to me!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Last Conversation With Aung San Suu Kyi (By John Pilger)

My thanks to Jonson Chong who is campaigning for human rights in Malaysia and strongly supports the democracy movement in Burma

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The junta cannot hide - but will the world look for them?

High-Resolution Satellite Imagery and the Conflict in Eastern Burma

/Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights Project /

Since late 2006, the Science and Human Rights Program of the American

Association for the Advancement of Science has compiled a set of

high-resolution satellite images to document the ongoing conflict in

Karen State and other regions of Burma. This study in Burma follows

similar activities undertaken by AAAS on Zimbabwe, Darfur, and elsewhere as part of its Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights project.

Monitoring human rights violations in eastern Burma with satellite

imagery utilises on-the ground information reported via websites and

email from organizations active in the region. These organisations

include the Free Burma Rangers, the Karen Human Rights Group, and the

Thailand Burma Border Consortium.

Their reporting was reviewed by AAAS staff and compared with a set of geospatial data and traditional maps on eastern Burma to precisely locate villages and areas that may have been attacked. These locations were then compared with existing archives of commercial, high-resolution satellite imagery, and in many cases new satellite imagery was ordered as well. Using these sets of satellite imagery, AAAS staff determined if visible evidence of reported attacks was found.

Continue reading

*More on Human Rights

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

If you equivocate on the death penalty - human rights are imperilled

The most dangerous job in Burma and many other conflict hot spots is the job of informing us what is going on:

The debate in Australia on the death penalty reveals that both Liberal and Labor governments offer little comfort for human rights in the Asia-Pacific region and the world. Both will do nothing effective on the death penalty and a string of other issues.

The usual story is that 'megaphone diplomacy is ineffective. But 'back-channel diplomacy' is done in secret and we, as concerned citizens have no guarantee that anything at all is happening. Click here for the letters sent to Kevin Rudd:

On 9 October 2007 I wrote:

Dear Kevin Rudd

John Howard will be punching the air and laughing at your reprimand of Robert McClelland. Wedge politics Über Alles! We all hoped that you will demonstrate your conscience and good sense - on the death penalty you fail both tests, and you are probably enforcing your leadership through bullying yet again.

If you think the region's governments will listen to you when you lobby them to abolish the death penalty when you don't really believe in the universal abolition of this practice. They will be insulted and you will not succeed. How will that look in your book of ambitions? If you abolish the death penalty the rule applies to drug dealers, terrorists and paedophiles – whether you like it or not.

I think Robert McClelland made some very good points about this requirement for consistency. Far from being insensitive to the families of Bali bombing victims’, I think that you will find that some are already of the view that the death penalty is impotent and creates martyrs. Nor will it bring back their loved ones.

When you listed the countries we should target for abolition I note that Indonesia was not mentioned. Have you also heard that the Indonesian Anti-Terrorist Police has impressed their Western counterparts because they did not execute convicted terrorists? What they did instead was to keep them alive (detained) and treated them well and found out how they think. Some of these former terrorists are doing useful work for the authorities.

Honourable opponent – be honourable. You don’t only need the Hanson vote. But John Howard does.

Willy Bach

Greens candidate for Griffith

PM slams Rudd over death penalty

Dan Harrison and Peter Ker, October 9, 2007 - 10:48AM

Rudd admonishes McClelland over death penalty remarks

Rudd backs death penalty for Bali bombers,23739,22556427-953,00.html

Rudd to rid world of death penalty: book

By Rebekah van Druten

Posted Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:37pm AEST

Updated Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:25pm AEST

On 10 October 2007 I wrote to Senator Andrew Bartlett (Democrat):

Dear Andrew 10 10 07

It is now crystal clear that both Liberal and Labor have been - and continue to - actively hinder the blossoming of human rights practise and abolition of the death penalty in our region and around the world. Citizens of Australia are now deeply ashamed of the position taken by both these parties, unable to justify what is said or omitted in our names and unable to exert our democratic will. We have no choice but to take our own actions of protest. We must remember that the Howard government also voted against the UN ban on torture without consulting the people of Australia. John Howard has enthusiastically called for the execution of Saddam Hussein and the Bali bombers, breaching the abolitionist position and leaving the way for other executions to take place. First in the queue will be the Bali Nine heroin mules.

This realisation has several effects:

  1. That the Australian government’s bleating about democracy is hollow rhetoric without substance.
  2. The monks of Burma will receive no help from any Liberal or Labor government that prefers to maintain the oppressive military junta in power. This will include continued investment by Australian companies and the AFP training torturers in Burma.
  3. That Asian governments, like Singapore and China, where they routinely execute their own citizens, will execute Australian citizens with impunity – since these regional governments will correctly deduce that Australian governments do not speak with moral authority.
  4. That Asian governments will now understand that the Australian government only values the lives of their own citizens – an essentially racist position.
  5. That Australian citizens travelling abroad will now be at increased risk.
  6. That Asian governments will now understand that the Australian government does not care about the democratic rights of Asian countries.
  7. That Asian governments will now understand that the Australian government is willing to muzzle Australian citizens who criticise human rights abuses in Asian countries.
  8. That the Australian government may even reintroduce the death penalty for terrorist offences – and perhaps other offences too.

Sadly, fraternally, in anger and frustration

Willy Bach

Greens Candidate for Griffith

Sunday, October 7, 2007

'Burma: 'I resist in my Mind only''

Scream (Skrik, 1893) is a seminal series of expressionist paintings by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch

I heard excellent programme today at 1 pm on ABC Radio National, 'Burma: 'I resist in my Mind only'' and decided to link it here:

It is when you look at the extremes of fear endured by the Burmese people that you realise how dangerous it is for governments to use fear on their citizenry in order to maximise their control.

I am sure there are people in Australia trying to work out just how far they can go. This is not some kind of conspiracy theory.

I have a copy of Carmen Lawrence's book 'Fear and politics'.

I also attended the Fulbright Conference in 2004.

They were trying to work out how much they could ‘push’ the fear of terrorism in Australia without having us 'turn off' - which is exactly what has happened.

But this fear is viral and has infected the lives of our children. Radio National has run a few programmes on this, possibly on 'Life Matters'.

We now have our Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Kevin Andrews, pushing a fear of Sudanese/African refugees. I find this particularly disturbing. He needs to explain why he has detained seven Burmese asylum seekers on the remote island of Nauru for several years and why he is seeking a resettlement country for these people other than Australia.

See also 'Fear and Identity – are these the tools of modern politics?'

People of all faiths must stand up for the monks of Burma

On Sunday I went to a Burma democracy protest that was held inside the St Mary's Catholic Church in South Brisbane, Australia. But we would have to ask the question that Dr Sean Foley asks in his letter:

Dear Editor,

The agony of the people of Burma, and especially the monks as your

article points out, has been going on for some time - now weeks.

Maybe I have missed it, but then maybe not. I have not read or heard

one syllable of outrage from Christian church leaders in Australia or

anywhere else. They have been absolutely mute - struck dumb!

I have not been aware of 'good Christians' being part of the roar of

protest that has run around the world. Have you published an article

from the Pope or his ecumenical colleagues demanding that the rights and welfare of their fellow clerics - albeit they are Buddhists - be

respected, released and not tortured?

And if these good Samaritans have been somewhat silent about their

fellow clerics, they have been absolutely silent about the suffering of

the people of Burma in the face of endless brutal repression.

Why is it that Christians find it so hard to speak up in the name of

justice, humanity and human freedom?

Kind regards,


Dr Sean Foley

Saturday, October 6, 2007



A serial killer cum rapist cum dacoit cum monks killer cum terrorist by the name of Asspidici was caught by four fierce dogs by the name of Uu-an, Uu-ass, Ei-uu, and Ashan and their little lackey Gamgam.

Asspidici knew, under no circumstance he has got no chance to get away this time. In extreme panic, Asspidici looked around and found a stone by the name of Aung San Su Kyi.

Asspidici picked up the stone and threw away; the trick he had used once before when he was known as Salock. The Uu-an, Uu-ass, Ei-uu, Ashan and Gamgam followed the stone instead of attacking Asspidici under the name of national reconciliation.

We the people of Burma, under no circumstance will not accept any national reconciliation process if no public apology to the Monks is made by Asspidici, no reinstatement of disrobed monks into the order, and no measures of bringing fuel and other commodity prices to a reasonable level.

Look, Asspidici is waiting to bark and bite.

The reconciliation between the two persons will only mean reconciliation of the two. There must be true representatives of the people, monks, students, workers and farmers in the national reconciliation process. Then and then only, under the present circumstance, Burma would be genuinely reconciled.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Are other peoples' human rights any of our business?

This is an outline of the speech by Willy Bach at Southbank, Brisbane on Saturday 6 October 2007:

Are other peoples' human rights any of our business? - Yes, because this is a global world, and yes, because when the Australian government deals with dictatorships Australians lose their rights to speak out against these odious relationships

1. The Howard government want to enjoy the popularity of appearing to support the people of Burma in their struggle for democratic rights - but I think we know them better than that.

2. The Howard government has a credibility problem.

a. because they are often in breach of human rights themselves

b. they have abused power on many occasions

c. they have tried to disenfranchise voters - make sure you are on the roll

d. they have an embarrassment that they have 7 Burmese refugees on Nauru - they are desperately searching for a country to resettle them - anywhere but Australia

e. the decision to stop taking allegedly difficult African refugees coincides with the announcement that they will take Burmese refugees

f. The Howard government happily support rogue regimes that abuse their citizens' rights - evidenced by the AFP training the Burmese junta's brutal police and passing on interrogation techniques to Kopassis Special Forces in Indonesia - there are other examples.

A recent cartoon shows two Buddhist monks walking along a high fence behind which there are heavily armed riot police - one says to the other, "where do you think you are? Sydney?"

g. The Howard government has also supported the illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the US torture programme in Guantanamo Bay, even allowing 2 Australians to be grossly abused there, and support the CIA extraordinary rendition programme - we should never forgive the Howard government voting against the banning of torture in the UN General Assembly (without consulting us, mind you)

h. The Howard government, in particular Philip Ruddock, Amanda Vanstone and the current tormenter, Kevin Andrews, conducted their own torture programme in which asylum seekers have been intentionally subjected to psychiatric harm. We have already got plenty of evidence

3. If you were Than Shwe, head of the Burmese junta, you too would be laughing at the lack of credibility, the moral bankruptcy, the impotence of the Howard government's threats to act against them. And, what do you know? The crackdown is proceeding apace, thousands of arrests, torture and killings - and yes, the world community has failed the people of Burma again.

4. We all know that business comes first for people like John Howard. The powerful French oil company TOTAL, the US oil giant UNICAL, the Israeli, Chinese and Russian defence suppliers who all do business with the junta and with Australia. Remember the deals that made the news when APEC was on in Sydney.

5. Just when we need compassion we have mean spiritedness from the Howard government. Just when we need to implement boycotts we see the Howard government trying to make it illegal for Australians to organise boycotts - lets show them we can do it anyway.

6. Hello Kevin Rudd! Why is Labor so silent on this important issue. Because it is difficult for them too. They had a scurilous record on Bougenville, West Papua and East Timor. They cannot claim that they represent people struggling to gain their democratic rights. We know they cannot be trusted unless we have plenty of Greens in the Senate and even (I hope) in the House of Representatives. That is up to you!

There are courageous people inside Burma and beyond the borders who have found ways to get around the military junta's internet shut down. The latest news claims that the internet is back on in Burma. Perhaps the shut down was ineffective and did not succeed in preventing the world community from knowing what is really happening inside the dictatorship:

Ko Htike is a Burmese blogger in London who turned the attention of his literary blog over to news from Burma when the troubles began, and has continued to publish fitful reports and photographs (left) from inside the country since Friday. - a new site run by exiled Burmese journalists - has been quick to publish the latest rumours. At (and its English-language counterpart a live 'chat box' provides rolling links and stories.

None of the latest news coming out of Burma is good. And the country's technologists face the risk of continued persecution even after they stop reporting. But what's certain is that world events will continue to define and reassert the value of citizen journalists. Only time will tell whether their quick and courageous response to the first days of this conflict were enough to avert disaster on a massive scale.


BURMA Latest news

What we can do to support genuine democratization and peaceful transition in Burma-Myanmar

What we can do to support genuine democratization and peaceful transition in Burma-Myanmar
By Kai Brand-Jacobsen, Director, PATRIR

This is the greatest opportunity for meaningful transformation in Burma-Myanmar in 10 years.

It's a historic moment that should not be lost.

Millions of people inside and outside of Burma-Myanmar see a historic moment and opportunity for change. Solidarity networks are active around the world. Governments, the UN, ASEAN and EU are all involved.

Here are ideas on how we can build upon this momentum, and how you can contribute to help support peaceful, nonviolent transition and genuine reconciliation in Burma-Myanmar. One thing we should all know: our action and involvement can be the key that makes the difference. As much as the nonviolent transitions in South Africa, Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, the former Soviet Union, the Philippines and Indonesia have inspired hundreds of millions of people around the world, today we can be an active part in helping to support nonviolent transition in Burma-Myanmar.

Sources and Pillars: Understanding Power and Why Change is Possible

Any government relies upon sources and pillars of power to maintain itself. Its sources of power might be its legitimacy in the eyes of its people and other states/governments, its control of resources, natural, material and human, as well as its ability to reward support and punish opposition. For a government to exercise this power, it requires pillars - institutions of support which maintain its ability / capacity to govern. These include the civil service; army and police; teachers, academics and scholars who provide ideological legitimization/justification; religious institutions; unions and mass bodies/associations, and others.

Helping to make visible the illegitimacy of certain forms of power/governance - as was done in South Africa, the Philippines, Eastern Europe, and much of Latin America - and removing the institutional support a government has can be keys to transition and transformation.

At the same time: a movement which can be completely committed to nonviolence, which can work to overcome not the 'enemy' but a system which is seen as illegitimate and destructive, and to create an inclusive, constructive vision for the future, dramatically increases its chances of success, and its ability to give hope.

Ideas for what we can do at a glance

Key / Major Actions to support peaceful transition in Burma-Myanmar:

a.. Organize a delegation of Nobel Laureates to travel to Burma-Myanmar to meet with the government, democratic movement, and people of Burma-Myanmar, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, Jimmy Carter, Wangari Mathai, and other prominent persons
b.. Use every means possible to promote nonviolence, peaceful transition, and genuine reconciliation in Burma-Myanmar
c.. Use every means possible to communicate with the regime and the officers and soldiers of the army encouraging them to join their brothers and sisters, refrain from all acts of violence, and realize this historic opportunity to contribute to a peaceful transition in Burma-Myanmar
d.. "Call Home" Burmese exiles accompanied by international supporters and civilian peace teams to travel to India and Thailand and peacefully march to the Thai-Burmese and Indo-Burmese borders, establishing peace camps upon the border and meeting every day with border guards and military until they are allowed to re-enter the country
e.. Organise a 24 hours "Black Out" in Thailand, a key source of energy exports by the Burmese government, with citizens across Thailand turning off their electricity for a day, 'blacking out' the country
f.. Express your solidarity and support for peaceful, democratic and nonviolent change in Burma-Myanmar, encourage your government and the United Nations, reach out and inform people, and make sure your media keeps the focus on Burma-Myanmar (more on these ideas below!)

More Important Steps You Can Take (expanded in detail below):

a.. Encourage Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, China and India and broader ASEAN to play a constructive role
b.. Engage with Japan and France to use their influence on the Government of Burma-Myanmar for constructive change
c.. Encourage the EU, Russia, the United States, Brazil, Iran and others to play a positive role
d.. Call upon the EU to expand its sanctions to include oil
e.. Support Continued UN involvement in Burma-Myanmar
f.. Take part in the International Day of Action for a Free Burma on October 6th
g.. Inform yourself and your friends, colleagues, neighbours and others about what is happening in Burma-Myanmar
h.. Spread the Word about what is happening through your networks, associations, friends, organisations, businesses, unions and religious networks
i.. Statements of Support from your school, company, organization, local town and city councils, state governments, national governments, unions, religious organisations and communities
j.. E-mail your nations Embassy in Burma to have them open their wifi
k.. Hold Candle Lit Vigils and Peaceful, Nonviolent Demonstrations
l.. Print / Make T-shirts and Sweaters Showing your support
m.. Donate to the Democratic Voice of Burma
n.. Write to your media and encourage them to continue to focus on Burma-Myanmar
o.. Encourage individual journalists who are writing about events in and on Burma-Myanmar to continue to do so
p.. Organize Concerts, Poetry Readings, Solidarity Events for Burma-Myanmar
q.. If you're a student, create a Burma Student Solidarity Group at your school and join "Students for Burma".
r.. Add a Banner for Free Burma to your web-site
s.. Organize Nonviolent Civilian Peace Teams that can travel to the Thai-Burmese and Indo-Burmese borders to support the democratic movements and refugees on the border
t.. Call upon the companies of the Global Compact to issue a statement on Burma-Myanmar
u.. Call upon TOTAL, CNOOC Ltd and other investors in Burma-Myanmar to practice corporate social responsibility and to withdraw from Burma-Myanmar, and boycott their operations if they do not

And the most important of all:

Choose to Act! And know that your action can help to make the difference.

Please be informed that the UN Designated Official in Rangoon has established a 24 hour hotline in case of emergency, especially during curfew hours. The numbers to call are: 01 554 597 or 01 554 625. Please pass this to all people inside Burma. This is a Rangoon hotline that should be reached immediately.

In more detail:

Support Diplomatic Engagement

The last weeks have seen substantial engagement by many countries voicing their support for nonviolent peaceful transition in Burma-Myanmar. UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari has visited Burma-Myanmar and met with the country's military leadership and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The European Union has passed a resolution on sanctions. Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia have all come out with strong statements opposing violence and supporting peaceful transition.

What can be done to strengthen and support diplomatic engagement?

a.. Encourage Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, China and India and broader ASEAN to play a constructive role: These are key allies and trading partners for Burma-Myanmar. Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia have already played a positive role, encouraging the government of Burma-Myanmar to restrain from violence. China and India, both key trading partners and major regional powers, can also contribute positively and should be strongly encouraged to do so.

How you can do this?

a.. Create Delegations of citizens to visit the Embassies and Consulates of these countries. These countries have strong influence in many ways in Burma-Myanmar, and the regime depends upon them for trade and legitimacy. Let them know that you would like to see them playing a positive role in supporting peaceful transition in Burma-Myanmar. Delegations can be made up of citizens, politicians/diplomats, scholars, celebrities, students, unions, church and religious associations, and others. Visits by well known individuals bringing letters / petitions supporting these governments constructive engagement in Burma-Myanmar and urging them to use their influence to ensure the regime does not use violence can be very important.
b.. Send Letters, Faxes and Publicly Communicate supporting statements like those of Singaporean Foreign Minister and Chair of ASEAN George Yeo and the statements by Thailand and Malaysia to the General Assembly. Letting these countries know that the world is watching their diplomacy and engagement, and encouraging them constructively could help shape the role they play.
c.. Call upon ASEAN to show leadership in supporting peaceful, democratic transition.
d.. Encourage support for Nonviolence, calling upon each of these governments to strongly state their opposition to the use of violence by any and all parties in Burma-Myanmar.

a.. Engage with Japan and France: Japan and France are two key countries that can play a positive role in transition in Burma-Myanmar. Japan provides Burma-Myanmar with key aid crucial to the regimes hold on power, while France's TOTAL oil company is one of the largest foreign investors in Burma-Myanmar.

How you can do this?

a.. Send delegations to their embassies, fax/email/write letters, publicly call for France and Japan to play a leading role in supporting peaceful transition in Burma-Myanmar
b.. Positively engage with TOTAL urging them to play a responsible role in Burma-Myanmar. Their arguments that they are helping people by staying in the country and that people would suffer if they pulled out are not sufficient. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu said when urging companies to boycott South Africa: "Our people are already suffering. At least now they would suffer for a purpose." Remaining in Burma-Myanmar prevents positive change and maintains far greater suffering. Pulling out for the short term can open for much longer term benefits for the country.
c.. France's claim to a humanitarian foreign policy and the convictions of its Foreign Minister and President and Japan's desire to be respected as a leader in the world community and the region should both be put to the test urging them to play responsible leadership roles in supporting peaceful transition in Burma-Myanmar

a.. Encourage the EU, Russia, the United States, Brazil, Iran and others to play a positive role: World opinion can be a positive support for peaceful transition. These countries and others can all lend their voices, calling upon all actors in Burma-Myanmar to create the space for positive, peaceful transition, nonviolence, and genuine reconciliation. What's important is not to demonize or attack any actors/group, but to offer support for a peaceful transition which can be inclusive.

How you can do this?

a.. Call, Meet with, Fax, Send Letters, Communicate with your Representatives and National Leaders: Many politicians in our countries, from local to national levels, have already voiced support for peaceful transition in Burma. Organize at the level most available and effective for you. Visit your representatives, or send them letters, faxes, e-mails, and call them directly to let them know you want them to support nonviolence and peaceful transition in Burma.
b.. Send Delegations: Again, actually creating a delegation to visit your Member of Parliament, Senator, and Representative can also be important. Discuss with them your concerns and how they can play a role.
c.. Pass Resolutions of Support at the Local, Province/State, Country, Regional Levels, and in National/Federal Government: Encourage your local authorities, city halls, town councils, provincial, state or county governments, to pass resolutions in support of democratic and peaceful transition in Burma-Myanmar. Right now, one of the things that's most essential is to not 'lose momentum'. To help let the people of Burma-Myanmar know they are not alone. Imagine if towns and cities across Asia, Latin America, Africa, Europe, and North America began to pass resolutions in support of democracy, nonviolence, and peaceful transition in Burma. The impact could be substantial.

a.. Call upon the EU to expand its sanctions to include oil: The EU has taken an important step in an expanded visa ban for members of the military leadership, and extended bans on key exports such as tropical timber and gems, and has positively encouraged India and China to do the same, but has not extended the ban to oil to protect the interests of French and other oil companies. The EU should be encouraged to extend the ban to oil, and strong action by EU citizens and others, including resolutions at the local town and city levels and by national governments should be brought about to encourage this.

a.. Support Continued UN involvement in Burma-Myanmar: The role of the UN in supporting peaceful, democratic and nonviolent transition in Burma-Myanmar should be supported and encouraged. The UN should remain closely engaged and provide good offices to support transition.

How you can do this?

a.. As above, there are many ways you can contribute to this. For those in New York, Geneva and Nairobi, you can hold vigils in front of UN offices. Send messages, faxes, e-mails of support. Let the UN know that the world community wishes it to play a positive and committed role and to show sustained engagement to support peaceful transition in Burma.
b.. Meet with leadership in your country and fax/contact/communicate with your country's delegates to the UN to voice a message of strong support for UN engagement.
c.. Work through our own governments and representatives to the UN to have the issue of Burma-Myanmar brought to the General Assembly.

Citizen Actions

A huge global solidarity movement continues to grow with thousands more people becoming involved every day. The engagement of citizens around the world voicing their support and carrying out concrete actions to contribute to peaceful transition in Burma-Myanmar is essential. Here are some things you can do:

a.. Take part in the International Day of Action for a Free Burma on October 6th and organize / participate in an event in your city, town, village, community, and reach out to the media to let them know it will be happening
b.. Inform yourself and your friends, colleagues, neighbours and others about what is happening in Burma-Myanmar. At the end of this e-mail you'll find a list of web-sites with information that can help you learn more about what's going on. Help people to become interested and committed.
c.. Spread the Word: to your schools, companies, organisations, networks, church/mosque/temple and religious bodies, unions, and whichever organisations and associations you're part of. Individual support is essential, but getting organisations, companies, students associations, religious bodies and others to join in offering their support for peaceful transition and democratization can be a huge help. Know that you won't be alone. Around the world more and more organisations are raising their voices, calling for peaceful transition in Burma-Myanmar.
d.. Statements of Support: These are vital. >From your organization, company, school. Express your support for nonviolent transition in Burma-Myanmar and solidarity for the people there. Also, make your statements of support visible. If your organization, union, company, school, community, city council, local authorities, church/mosque/synagogue/temple/monastery has issued a statement of support, send it to, where these statements are being collected together and will be shown on and communicated to people inside the country.
e.. E-mail your nations Embassy in Burma to have them open their wifi to help communications get in and out of Burma. This is an incredibly important and simple step that can be taken by embassies to help people in Burma connect with the world and allow communications in and out of the country.
f.. Hold Candle Lit Vigils and Peaceful, Nonviolent Demonstrations at your school, in your city centers, in front of embassies and consulates, in public places. Make what is happening in Burma-Myanmar today and your support for nonviolent change visible in your community. Make sure to have lots of simple, clear information easy for people to understand to help inform them about what's happening in Burma-Myanmar and how they can get involved.
g.. Print / Make T-shirts and Sweaters Showing your support and wear them. You can also sell them to help raise money to support the nonviolent movement in Burma.
h.. Donate to the Democratic Voice of Burma. "The Democratic Voice of Burma was established in Oslo, Norway in 1992 and is broadcasting radio and TV to Burma. Due to current events, transmissions have increased to 24/7 which is very costly. To donate visit their web-site at"
i.. Write to your media thanking them for their coverage of what's happening in Burma. Many journalists and media companies have been wonderful in their coverage and helping to keep people informed. Let your local, community, national and international media know that you want them to keep up the focus. (For some tips on how to contact media: (
j.. Organize Concerts, Poetry Readings, Solidarity Events for Burma-Myanmar which can be attractive and a great way to get people involved, raise morale, and make them feel part of what's happening today in Burma-Myanmar.
k.. If you're a student, create a Burma Student Solidarity Group at your school and join "Students for Burma". To learn more about them and for great resources on what's happening in Burma-Myanmar
l.. Create Links. If you have a web-site, show pictures and messages about what is happening in Burma-Myanmar on your front page so that they will be easy for people to see, and create links to key sites and blogs on Burma-Myanmar where people can get more information, including:
m.. Add a Banner for Free Burma to your web-site. You can find some examples here
n.. Organize Nonviolent Civilian Peace Teams that can travel to the Thai-Burmese and Indo-Burmese borders to support the democratic movements and refugees on the border, preparing for return and to be able to assist in nonviolent peaceful transition

Media & Journalists

Media and journalists, including CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera as well as many local and national print, radio and television news programs around the world have played a vital role informing people about what is happening in Burma-Myanmar. Their continuing focus is essential to ensure proper diplomatic, political and economic engagement in support of peaceful transition. To help ensure continuing media focus:

· As above, Write to Your Media or call, fax or e-mail them, clearly encouraging and supporting them to continue covering stories on what is happening in Burma-Myanmar and what is being done globally to support nonviolent, peaceful transition

· Encourage individual journalists who are writing about events in and on Burma-Myanmar to continue to do so

· Remember and honour Kenji Nagai, the courageous Japanese journalist who was shot and killed as he tried to photograph what was happening in Burma-Myanmar. Honour his memory and the memory of all who have been killed, arrested, tortured and suffered from the violence inflicted upon the people of Burma-Myanmar by promoting nonviolence, genuine reconciliation, and peaceful transition to democracy

Corporate Social Responsibility and the Global Compact

Corporate support and investment in Burma-Myanmar is a key pillar for the regime. A clear commitment to peaceful democratic change, support for human rights, and corporate social responsibility is essential for all companies and governments doing business in and with Burma-Myanmar. Many companies operating in Burma-Myanmar justify their presence by the employment opportunities they create for the local population in a highly impoverished country. Dialogue and engagement with these companies is essential. As with Desmond Tutu in South Africa, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and others have called upon companies to withdraw their operations and investments from Burma-Myanmar. This is seen as a short term measure to help support peaceful transition. Continuing investment and presence in Burma-Myanmar provides vital support blocking transition. What you can do:

a.. Call upon the companies of the Global Compact to issue a statement on Burma-Myanmar. The Global Compact is the world's largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative. Many companies active in Burma-Myanmar are members of the Global Compact. Write directly to the Global Compact and all participating companies to urge them to develop a statement on human rights, the global compact, and Burma-Myanmar today, supporting nonviolent, peaceful transition, genuine reconciliation, and disinvestment today in support of transition.
b.. Write to TOTAL, CNOOC Ltd and other investors in Burma-Myanmar. Their official corporate lines are to support business in Burma-Myanmar to create jobs for the local population. Contact them directly and encourage them to support nonviolent transition in Burma-Myanmar and short term shutting down or withdrawal of their operations.
c.. If these companies continue to invest in and operate in Burma under the current circumstances, participate in a global boycott of their goods, can call upon their national governments to engage with / pressure them to withdraw, including support for EU sanctions on Burma
d.. For more on businesses operating in Burma-Myanmar

Here is a moment where we can choose to make a difference, where our actions, our voice, can help to transform a system and regime of oppression, and use nonviolence to open a way for peaceful, democratic transition and genuine reconciliation. And in doing this, we will not be alone, but will be joining together with millions of people, both inside and outside of Burma-Myanmar, and giving hope to those working for a peaceful change.