Minister for Foreign Affairs Hosts Launch of Human Rights Report on Burma
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin TD, hosted on 17 June, the launch of “Bullets in the Alms Bowl”, a report of the suppression of peaceful protests by the Burmese government in September 2007.
The launch was co-organised with Burma Action Ireland, and was attended by Dr Thuang Htun, the Representative for UN Affairs of the Burmese government-in-exile (NCGUB).
Addressing the reception at Iveagh House, Minister Martin reiterated the Government’s absolute condemnation of the Burmese regime’s violent suppression of the September peaceful protests by monks, nuns and unarmed civilians, as deplorable and unacceptable.
Minister Martin also paid tribute to opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, noting that 19 June marked her 63rd birthday, and pledged again the Government’s firm commitment to seek her release after almost 13 years in detention.
Speaking at the launch Minister Martin said:
“The report is an investigation into the events that took place in Burma in September last year. It makes dismaying reading but, for those familiar with the history of Burma’s military junta, this searing profile of this ruthless regime comes as little surprise.
This is a regime that has that has turned its back on its people as it relentlessly pursues its desire for power and its greed for the country’s riches.
Amid this horrific national catastrophe of Cyclone Nargis, Burma’s military leaders renewed the house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi. The day after tomorrow – 19 June – is her birthday. She will be 63 – most of those years spent in the service of her beloved people – too many precious years spent in confinement. Our thoughts are with her and with the courageous people she has led for so long. And let me repeat that Ireland will do all it can to continue to highlight the issue and to urge international action for change.”
Note for Editors
The Human Rights Documentation Unit (HRDU) of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) prepared a comprehensive report on the brutal suppression of Burma’s September 2007 public protests. The report is based on over 50 detailed eyewitness interviews conducted along the Thai-Burma border, as well as interviews conducted by a working network inside the country. Publication of the report was funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) was formed in December 1990 in response to the military regime’s refusal to hand over power in the wake of the National League for Democracy’s election victory. It is the NCGUB’s mandate to work with elected representatives and other organisations in Burma for the re-establishment of democratic government in Burma and to seek diplomatic and other forms of support from the international community.
Dr Thuang Htun is in Ireland at the invitation of Burma Action Ireland (BAI), set up in May 1996 to raise awareness of the situation in Burma.
Ends + + +