The Chin Democracy and Human Rights Network reports on a protest outside the Burma embassy in Korea against the persecution of ethnic minorities in Burma.
We are a group of Burmese/Myanmar “Ethnic Chin” people based in Korea; our organisation is called Chin Democracy and Human Rights Network. Today (5 July 2009), we are protesting – at what has happened to our democracy and at the violations of our ethnic civil rights – in front of the Myanmar embassy, in memory of our leader, the Chin student hero Salai Tin Mg Oo, who was deliberately killed by the Burma/Myanmar military junta due to his democracy and freedom movement. This is the 33rd anniversary of Salai Tin Mg Oo’s assassination; the Burma/Myanmar military junta killed him at 4.00am on 24 June 1976. We, the Chin Democracy and Human Rights Network, strongly condemn the Burma/Myanmar military government’s action. Also, we strongly condemn the Burma/Myanmar military government for the arrest of – and the bad prison conditions experienced by – Chin ethnic prisoner Hla Moe, who was found dead in Pakkoku last month.
Similarly, the military regime massacred student activists on 7 July 1962 and ordered the destruction of the Student Union Building. Afterwards, there was a nation-wide mass uprising in 1988. The government responded by brutally firing into the crowd – leading to about 3,000 people killed. Then, there was the Depayin massacre in May 2003 in which the military allegedly killed hundreds of people. Also, there was the people’s revolution in September 2007, in which the military killed and ‘disappeared’ hundreds of people again.
In the latest May 2008 cyclone disaster, in conjunction with a military authority-made political disaster, where the government’s lack of responsiveness to the disaster victims, like that inept early warning and the delaying and halting relief aid to the victims, millions of people suffered and hundred thousand died. Here the situation in Burma/Myanmar – the massive human rights violations and the lack of safety – was clearly revealed.
Particularly in Burma/Myanmar, ethnic minorities are threatened, oppressed and persecuted. There was permanently conflict between ethnic groups and military government in border areas. Subsequently, the military authority ignored the ethnic Chin people’s freedom and fundamental rights; those rights are virtually absent in ethnic regions.
Therefore, we demand that the Burma/Myanmar military government:
- Stop human rights violations and religious restrictions among the ethnic Chin people.
- Release arrested ethnic Chin students and political prisoners immediately. Presently, the remaining Chin political activists prisoners are Pu Cin Sian Thang, Salai Aung Thang, Salai Pa Thang and others.
- Provide ethnic Chin people freedom from political and economic suppression.
And we ask the South Korea government and the international community to support the cause of our democracy movement and help to end the ethnic oppression in Burma/Myanmar. Also, we ask them to support and help out the ethnic Chin victims inside the country and the asylum seekers outside the country.