Education International
Education International

Burma: Urgent Action Appeal

published 1 October 2007 updated 1 October 2007

Education International encourages all member organisations to write to the Burmese representatives in their countries following the recent violent repression used to break up peaceful demonstrations.

As has been widely reported in the global media, the Burmese authorities resorted to violence in order to stem a peaceful demonstration led by monks and nuns; an action which has left at least 13 dead to date.

The full text of the Urgent Action Appeal is available here.

Education International has written to the Ambassador of the Union of Burma, S.E. U Wunna Maung Lwin. The content of Education International’s letter is available below:


S.E. U WUNNA MAUNG LWIN Ambassador of the Union of Burma Boulevard Général Wahis 9 1030 Bruxelles

Brussels, 28th September 2007

Your Excellency,

I write to add the voice of Education International to that of the international community in expressing profound concern and dismay with the recent events unfolding in the Union of Burma. The violent crackdown on peaceful demonstrations throughout the country is an unacceptable and unjustifiable violation of human rights.

It is disturbing to learn that the Burmese authorities have resorted to violence to break up legitimate and peaceful demonstrations led by monks and nuns whose only objective is to call for change in the country. It is deeply distressing to hear that soldiers fired automatic weapons into a crowd of unarmed demonstrators, causing the death of at least 10 people. It is most regrettable that the ignominious failure of the government to address the issues raised by the peaceful demonstrators should have taken the lives of these people.

Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. It is the duty of a responsible government to uphold this right and to listen to and to act upon the demands of its people. By brutally silencing the voices of women and men who are dissatisfied with the status quo, the government precipitates chaos and wastes an opportunity to promote dialogue, harmony and peace. It is particularly heinous to EI that highly revered monks and nuns, now leading the demonstrations, are under direct attack. In addition, the universal right to peaceful demonstration is further eroded by the curfew now imposed by the Junta.

Against this backdrop, your government is urged to put an immediate end to the violence that has shocked the world. Education International calls on your government to release immediately those who have been unjustly arrested and to begin a process of genuine social dialogue, in a context of harmony and respect for people and their human rights.

Yours sincerely,

Fred van Leeuwen General Secretary