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PM Gordon Brown: UK Will Continue To Push For Change in Burma

30 December, 2009: The Prime Minister Gordon Brown has written a letter to Burma’s detained democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi ahead of 2010 election, saying the United Kingdom will continue to do everything possible to advance positive change and genuine democracy in Burma.

In his letter sent today, Gordon Brown has called upon Burma’s long-standing military regime to engage with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and to start a genuine dialogue that can give the Burmese people back their future and their hope.

Acknowledging the suffering of the Burmese people and the selfless dedication of Daw Suu to the cause of democracy and freedom in Burma, Gordon Brown said: “The world knows that as Burma approaches an historic year you will be as resolute as ever in approaching its challenges. If the scheduled elections proceed under a rigged constitution, with opposition leaders excluded and with no international oversight, the military rulers will be condemning Burma to more years of diplomatic isolation and economic stagnation.”

“But if the elections are genuinely inclusive, free and fair, then the whole of the international community is ready to stand with Burma, welcome her back into the community of nations, and contribute to rebuilding her future and prosperity. It is clear this is the only path which will lead to Burma’s future security, stability and progress for all her people.”

According to the official website of the Prime Minister’s Office, the letter has been handed to Burma’s military authorities by the British Embassy in Rangoon.

The UK Prime Minister ended his letter by saying: “As you [Daw Suu] have said, there is so much that needs to be done in Burma that cannot afford to wait. We are immovably with you – and with the Burmese people.”

In June 2008, Gordon Brown met a delegation of five ethnic women from Burma, including Chin activist Cheery Zahau, on Aung San Suu Kyi’s 63rd birthday at 10 Downing Street, the official residence and office of British Prime Minister.

Below is a letter sent to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi by Gordon Brown as posted on 30 December 2009 on the Prime Minister’s official website at www.number10.gov.uk:

Dear Daw Suu

You have dedicated the whole of your life to the cause of democracy and freedom in Burma. You have selflessly highlighted the wider suffering of the Burmese people rather than dwelling on your own pain. And through that courage you have gained the respect of the entire international community not just for a person,  but for a cause.

The world knows that as Burma approaches an historic year you will be as resolute as ever in approaching its challenges. If the scheduled elections proceed under a rigged constitution, with opposition leaders excluded and with no international oversight, the military rulers will be condemning Burma to more years of diplomatic isolation and economic stagnation.

But if the elections are genuinely inclusive, free and fair, then the whole of the international community is ready to stand with Burma, welcome her back into the community of nations, and contribute to rebuilding her future and prosperity. It is clear this is the only path which will lead to Burma’s future security, stability and progress for all her people.

Sadly, as the year turns, the signs do not look good. Your continuing detention is only the most visible evidence of the bad faith of a regime which has so far shown no signs of listening to regional or international calls for an end to its violent behaviour.

I continue to call upon the regime to engage with you and allow you further contact with diplomats in Rangoon, and to start a genuine dialogue that can give the Burmese people back their future and their hope.

You have asked us to use our freedom to secure the freedom of the Burmese people. I assure you that as we move into a new year and a new decade the United Kingdom will continue to do everything possible to advance positive change and genuine democracy in your country.

As you have said, there is so much that needs to be done in a Burma that cannot afford to wait.

We are immovably with you – and with the Burmese people.

Yours sincerely

Gordon Brown


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Chinland Guardian

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