April 14, 2021

FBE Conference Held In London, UK

23 June, 2009: The 13th conference of FBE (Forum of Burmese In Europe) ended successfully last Sunday after a two-day ‘heated’ discussion and debate held at London South Bank University in London on 20-21 June, 2009.

More than 100 people from the UK, Europe and Asia attended the conference discussing various issues largely based on the astounding presentations given by U Aung Htoo, General Secretary of Burma Lawyers’ Council. Key factors of his insightful presentations consisted of current situation in Burma, analysis on SPDC 2008 constitution, and how Burma’s military regime can be brought to ICC/ICJ (International Criminal Court/International Court of Justice) and R2P (Responsibility to Protect).

Dr. Win Naing, former Chairman of FBE, told Chinland Guardian about the conference: “We found that it is getting more active and that there is a bigger attendance on behalf of Burmese in Europe. I found that it is very positive and will be fruitful.”

“We have decided to reject SPDC 2008 National Convention and 2010 election, to bring the military regime to ICC and R2P, and to urge for the improvement of National Coalition of Union of Burma for fighting better for democracy and freedom in Burma,” added Chairman of National League Democracy (Liberated Area, UK).

Chin pastor and activist, Rev. Shwekey Hoipang highlighted the plight of Chin people including the ongoing food crisis, refugee issues in neighbouring countries and Christian persecution in Chin State.

Dr. Win Naing, who chaired the first day of FBE conference, admitted it was the first time Burma’s ethnic issues have been discussed in a wider and bigger scope at FBE. Some attendants argued it might be the first conference of FBE where ethnic issue was actually put on the agenda.

Ko Kyaw Zwa of Burmese Muslim Association told the conference about the problems facing Muslims in Burma and the importance of unity in working together until democracy and freedom is achieved in the country.

Zoya Phan of Karen Community UK and Burma Campaign UK said: “I am very pleased with the outcomes of FBE and the way people discuss and debate about different issues. And I am very pleased with the resolutions that FBE focused on. The FBE also reject and condemn the military attack in Karen State.”

“We also discussed about different ethnic issues and Rohingya issues. We also discuss about the need to campaign to get international community to have more sympathy on our struggle. This is so important and I am sure the military regime will be so scared if they know what we are doing here. Together we will definitely make a difference and I can see that in this forum the unity between the ethnic nationalities and Burman is even stronger than in other countries and in the past.”

A special collection was conducted among the participants towards helping the Karen refugees following the recent attack in Karen State by Burma’s SPDC.

The conference rejected the SPDC 2010 election, condemned the current trial of pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, supported global arms embargo against the military regime, and demanded the immediate release of all political prisoners in Burma. The FBE is to engage in coordinating and working with other responsible bodies to bring Burma’s SPDC to ICC and put forward R2P case to the UN Security Council.

During the two-day conference, lunches were donated and served by Burmese Muslim Association and Burma Democratic Concern.

In January 2009, the next FBE conference will be held in Germany.

The Forum of Burmese in Europe (FBE), founded in the 1990s by senior Burmese exiles from Germany and the UK, represents a network of Burmese communities across Europe and is advocating for democracy, social justice and human rights in Burma. It strongly rejects the military dictatorial rule in Burma and has been working closely with the democratic forces around the world.

Van Biak Thang

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