Thursday, 24 January 2008

Vicious Circle (An Appeal To Readers)

Dear Readers

I have drafted a letter to the ILO office, concerning the case of the 6 men who were sentenced to long term imprisonment. I strongly believe that this is one of the most unjust cases and therefore am trying to send it off to anywhere that I hope will be able to help.

I call it a 'Vicious Circle' because the nastiness seems going around all the time. Junta rules the country badly---people are impoverished--- junta force poor people to work for them ----people are frustrated---anger and rebellion leads to imprisonment --- appeals to international help, (like ILO)who are trying hard from outside ---- weak agreement reached---- junta carries on with forced labour ---- people turn to the only hope(the ILO-Junta agreement)-- attempts to use agreement and activate others ---- arrest by junta (ignoring agreement and using different laws) and imprisoned --- junta continues to intimidate and rule the country ---- and so on.....

Unless we all help to break this vicious circle (this is only the ILO case, there are thousands more other 'circles' there), the country will continue to drown in shallow water and poor guys like those 6 will be forever ending up in prisons.

If you agree with my belief, could you please join in the action, to do something about this serious breach of basic human rights. I mean to send this to ILO offices. I also hope to do a petition or email circulation. If you are good at IT and can create something please come forward to help. If you have better ideas, then propose them. If you have legal knowledge then advise us on some actions.

My idea is to try as hard as possible to give pressure to the ILO and UN to help and support us. What is the point of international organizations if they cannot intervene during such times when the breaches of basic human rights are so flagrant?

Many Thanks

Yours sincerely

Nay Chi U

Date ...............

Dear Officials

Could I please inform you of an unusual and distressing incident in Rangoon, Burma, which is reported in Scoop Politics Independent News. , tody.

The report stated that 6 men were sent to long-term imprisonment; four, Thu Rein Aung, Wai Lin, Myo Min and Kyaw Min to prison terms of 28 years, and two others, Ko Kyaw Kyaw and Nyi Nyi Zaw each received sentences of 20 years. This was their reward for their part in organising labour rights discussions at the American Centre in Rangoon last May Day.

As an International Labour Organisation could you therefore please take action to help these men as they did not commit any crime. All they did according to the report was to organise labour rights discussions, perhaps trying to understand the announcement of ILO about the 'Understanding' reached with the Government of Myanmar. [The GENEVA (ILO News) stated that the International Labour Office (ILO) announced today that it had concluded an Understanding with the Government of Myanmar designed to provide, as previously requested by the International Labour Conference and the ILO Governing Body, a mechanism to enable victims of forced labour to seek redress (Reference ILO/07/04) ].

It is obvious that although agreeing to such an 'Understanding', the military government in Burma will never publically issue this kind of announcement and it is up to people like those 6 men to assist in raising public awareness and assisting in educating ordinary people concerning their own rights.

Very sadly, the cunning military junta have also made their own laws to prevent such discussions and can always find ways to intimidate the public with the exemplary long-term prison sentences targetted at the deterrence of further action, which is in itself one of the junta's more crude abuses of basic human rights.

More worryingly, the news also reported that when contacted, the ILO office in Rangoon declined to comment. Could you please find out the situation of the ILO Rangoon office, in particular as to why they are unable to be more supportive to the the brave young people whom they have 'activated' ?

For the people of Burma who suffer the most cruel, blatant and unremitting repression under this ruling military junta, the international organisations like ILO and UN are the crucial and only lifeline. The people of Burma deserve the sound and reliable support of these agencies when it really counts, and whatever back-up and reassurance they can provide.

Could I there fore make an appeal to you to act and do everything in your power for the release of those 6 men immediately. I understand that there are many thousands more in prisons, who were also unjustly captured there by the military government but this particular case, which is closely related to ILO and his work, could be a model for those in Burma who needs all the support and encouragement they can get to fight back the bully and abuse, subjected to them, in most systematic way.

("The Understanding provides that alleged victims of forced labour in Myanmar will have full freedom to submit complaints to the ILO Liaison Officer in Yangon. The Liaison Officer will then make a confidential preliminary assessment as to whether a case involves forced labour, in order that such cases can be investigated by the Myanmar authorities and appropriate action taken against the perpetrators.")

To read the agreement on 26 February 2007 of a Supplementary Understanding between the ILO and Burma (Myanmar) please click here.

ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Ms Sachiko Yamamoto
Regional Director
United Nations Building, 11th Floor
Rajdamnern Nok Avenue
P.O. Box 2-349
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Tel: (66) 2288 2295, 2288 1234
Fax: (66) 2288 3056 (direct), 2288 3062

Mr Guy Thijs
Deputy Regional Director
United Nations Building, 11th Floor
Rajdamnern Nok Avenue
P.O. Box 2-349
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Tel: (66) 2288 2224, 2288 1234
Fax: (66) 2288 3056 (direct), 2288 3062

Mr William Salter
United Nations Building, 10th Floor,
Rajdamnern Nok Avenue,
P.O. Box 2-349
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Tel: (66) 2288 2219, 2288 2220
Fax: (66) 2288 3058
SRO-Bangkok covers Cambodia, China (including Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR), the Democratic Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam

ILO Liaison Office in Myanmar
Mr Stephen Marshall
Liaison Officer
No. 1212-20, Traders Hotel, 12th Flr.
No. 223, Sule Pagoda Rd., Kyauktada Township,
Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: (95 1) 242 393, 242 811
Fax: (95 1) 242 594

Office of the Director-General
Tel: +41.22.799.6026
Fax: +41.22.799.8533

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