Friday, 13 December 2019

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Dissidents in Australia protest Burma’s electoral laws

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Demanding the repeal of the Burmese military junta’s harsh and vindictive electoral laws, pro-democracy demonstrators in Australia staged a protest today outside the Burmese embassy in Canberra.

Sixty people joined the demonstration organized by the ‘Joint Action Committee for Democratic Burma’ (JACDB). The demonstration was staged in Canberra, the seat of power of the Australian Government, from 1 to 3:30 p.m., a committee official said.

“Our main demand is to repeal the unilateral and unfair electoral laws and to hold free and fair elections with the participation of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her NLD,” JACDB Secretary Aung Naing told Mizzima.

JACDB comprises four organizations namely ‘All Burma Students Democratic Front’ (ABSDF) (Australia Branch), National League for Democracy (Liberated Area) (Australia Branch), Mon National Council and Exile Karen in Australia.

The demonstrators welcomed and supported NLD’s decision of boycotting the election and chanted slogans of ‘We don’t want unjust electoral laws’, ‘Military regime Down Down’ holding aloft placards.

Though the Burmese embassy did not accept the statement issued by demonstrators, the protesters will send it to the Australian government departments including the Foreign Ministry.

The Burmese Navy and the Australian Royal Navy conducted joint naval exercises in early February this year near Port Blair of the Andaman Islands.

The Australian Foreign Minister also said that the electoral laws are unjust and unfair.

The Burmese junta must pave the way for elections, which should be inclusive with the NLD and all other political forces, which deserve to take part and the Australian government will cooperate with the Friends of Burma, including the US to continue putting pressure on Burma, he said.

Seventeen Burmese pro-democracy forces in Japan also staged protests against the Chinese government in Tokyo in front of the Chinese embassy for three days by demonstrating for two hours a day after the Chinese UN Ambassador Mr. Li Bao Dong defended Burma at the UN Security Council meeting last week by saying that UNSC does not need to discuss Burma issues at the meeting.

“We staged protests by holding aloft placards saying ‘Stop China Support to Burma Regime’, ‘China Should be a Good Neighbour’, ‘Free Aung San Suu Kyi’  among others and chanted slogans”, Federation of Workers’ Union of Burmese Citizens (in Japan) Vice-Chairman Phone Hlaing said.

The demonstration in Japan was organized by the Joint Action Committee of Burma (JAC). It will continue the protest till Friday, he added.

It is learnt that the National League for Democracy in exile will urge Japanese Members of Parliament Union at their meeting to be held in Tokyo today to protest the forthcoming elections in Burma, which will be held within the framework of unjust electoral laws and persuade the Japanese government, not to give aid to the Burmese regime by passing a law and to scale down diplomatic ties.

The NLD passed a resolution ‘Not to register as a political party’ and ‘Demanded the release of all political prisoners including Aung San Suu Kyi’ unanimously at the joint meeting of the CEC and Central Committee held on March 29.

The Kachin’s last stand
Since October this year, Burma has been in a state of civil war, with fighting between Burmese military and armed ethnic rebels. The ruling junta started a crackdown on these armed groups.

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