Minister for Foreign Affairs Calls for Change in Burma/Myannmar
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.”Top