DEMOCRACY IN MYANMAR NOW!
Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) strongly condemn the violent repressions of Myanmar Junta against anti-government protesters which resulted in a rising number of casualties. PSM is alarmed and concerned with news reports that Burmese soldiers have used a baton and tear gas against the Buddhist monks and civilian protesters at Shwedagon pagoda, the holiest Buddhist place in Rangoon and elsewhere. We also hear that hundreds of people have been arrested and taken away in trucks. The number of people killed varies from five to eight until now. Key leaders have been arrested and curfews have also been imposed. Yet, we continue to hear the heroic struggle of the people in marching on for change. We salute the brave people of Myanmar at this very juncture of history.
The military junta government which currently rules the country is illegitimate as it was installed after a bloody coup and suppression of people uprising in 1988. The junta government has continuously suppressed the working class, students and other ethnic minorities and severely curbed civil liberties.
The violent clampdown against the protesters is another evidence of the bloody rule of military and business oligarchy in Myanmar.
The recent waves of anti-junta protests arise from the decision of the government to increase the fuel of price between 300% to 500%. It definitely impacted the majority of Myanmar people who live in poverty. Despite threats from the government, people of Myanmar including Buddhist monks, have taken a courageous step to go to the streets and protest against the undemocratic junta government. The economic demands have rapidly spilled and have now become political demands calling for the military junta to restore democracy. The demonstration which started by the Buddhist monks’ has now become a huge movement with the support of the ordinary people with mobilization numbering more than 100,000.
PSM also condemn the inability of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) government to deal with this issue. ASEAN Secretary-General Ong Keng Yong merely stated that ASEAN hoped that “the situation remains peaceful”. ASEAN Governments have merely called on the Junta to handle the situation rather than condemning the atrocities committed by the military regime. Each of these Governments to is more worried about similar uprisings due to neoliberal policies back home.
PSM calls upon the government of Malaysia to break its diplomatic ties and economic cooperation with the Myanmar government until democracy has been restored in Myanmar. Malaysia should also close down its embassy in Myanmar immediately and send back the Myanmar ambassador back home.
PSM would also like to point out the hypocrisy of imperial power like the US and Britain in dealing with Myanmar. While people die and suffer violence daily in Iraq and Afghanistan due to the presence of US and British troops, The Bush and Brown administration is unashamedly talking about democracy in Myanmar.
PSM extends our solidarity to the brave people of Myanmar who are now struggling for a better future of their country. The current protest movement shows that the people of Myanmar are fed-up and have decided to challenge until the end. No power in the world is stronger than the united movement of the people. PSM believes that only the peoples’ resistance from below can put an end to the dictatorship. We in Malaysia are inspired by the resistance put up by the common people and await the victory which would eventually have to come.
Long Live the Uprising!
Choo Chon Kai
Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)