London, UK: A delegation of five ethnic women from Burma on Aung San Suu Kyi’s 63rd birthday met UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, at 10 Downing Street last Thursday, signalling the international community has not forgotten Burma’s democratic leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.
The delegation asked the Prime Minister for putting more pressure on the ruling military regime to release Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners in Burma. The women team also called for stronger targeted sanctions from the EU governments, and an international arms embargo against Burma’s longstanding military dictatorship.
“It was amazing to see the Prime Minister. He has been supportive and has told us what he has done for Burma,” Cheery Zahau, co-ordinator of Women League of Chinland told Chinland Guardian. “This meeting really reveals that the Prime Minister does care for the peoples of Burma and we all are pleased to see his concerns and actions.”
The team also asked the British government to try to convince China, India and ASEAN nations to take more serious actions on Burma.
“We are very encouraged by this meeting,” said Zoya Phan, International Coordinator of Burma Campaign UK. “The Prime Minister has taken strong position on Burma, pushing it up the international political agenda. He said he would continue to push for more action on Burma.”
The Prime Minister told the delegation that the international community should do more to address the problems in Burma and that he would take these issues seriously to the British and EU governments.
The meeting was also attended by Foreign Office Minister Meg Munn MP along with Glenys Kinnock MEP, and Ann Clwyd MP.
The Nobel laureate and leader of National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for more than 12 years, spent her 63rd birthday in detention on 19 June after the military regime extended her detention another year in late May, 2008.
The delegation was made up of 5 of Burma’s ethnic nationalities, Cheery Zahau of Women League of Chinland, Nang Seng of Burma Campaign UK from the Kachin ethnic group, Zoya Phan from the Karen ethnic group, Moe Bue from the Karenni ethnic group, Wai Hnin Pwint Thon and Hlaing Sein from the Burman group.
This is the very first time a delegation of ethnic women from Burma has ever had a meeting with the British Prime Minister, demonstrating the unity of the peoples of Burma in their struggle against the brutal military dictatorship.
Van Biak Thang
22 June, 2008