Bergen Burma community’s appeal to Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs

The Burmese community in Bergen is extremely worried about attacks by the Burmese military junta on the Karen people in Eastern Burma (Republic of the Union of Myanmar). In a letter to Jonas Gahr Støre, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, they request help from the Norwegian government.

A group of Burmese in Bergen have fought against the military regime in Burma for many years. The group belongs to the Karen Community in Bergen and Norway, and is located in Daw Aung San Suu Kyi – Burma Room at Raftohuset.

Every year, on Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday on 19 June, the Burma Room arranges a demonstration where they demand Suu Kyi’s release. She has been under house-arrest for a total of 14 years since 1989.

Here is the letter:

To
Mr Jonas Gahr Støre (picture below)
Minister of Foreign Affairs                                                                                
Date: 10.03.2010

We, the Burma Room and Karen community in Norway are concerned about a new wave of attacks by the Burmese Army against ethnic Karen civilians in Eastern Burma. According to what we experience every day and the information in reports from international human rights organizations (including the latest report from Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic from May 2009), these attacks are crimes against humanity and war crimes.

We are writing to you regarding support for Karen communities around the world, who joined forces for a global day of action on Tuesday, 9th March. This shows we are all holding together, even when we are not at home.

We would like to request that the Norwegian government helps in the call for immediate practical action to stop the attacks.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) must demand an immediate end to attacks, which break international humanitarian law.

Governments, including the European Commission, must provide funding for cross-border aid, which is the only way to get food, medicine and shelter to those on the run from the new attacks.

The United Nations should set up a Commission of Inquiry into crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by the military dictatorship.

The new wave of attacks is linked to the Burmese military dictatorship’s elections due later this year. They are trying to crush all forces resisting their rule, with the doctrine of the Burmese Army “One Blood, One Voice, One Command”. The new constitution (2008) enacted by the military dictatorship guarantees no rights or protection to ethnic nationalities.

We would like to urge the Norwegian government to urgent action to end crimes against humanity and war crimes in Burma.

Yours sincerely,
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Room (Burma Room)
Menneskerettihetenes Plass 1
5007, Bergen

Contacts
Karen Community in Bergen: Hero Clyde (+47 90653463)
Karen Community in Norway: Nan Kyi Aye (+47 41847953)

Aung San Suu Kyi received the Rafto Prize in 1990 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

Related links:

Karen Communities Worldwide call for action to stop attacks on civilians

Burma urged to end repression of ethnic minorities before elections

Burma: 2010 elections may bring no change

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