KOGA Speaks! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary

KOGA Speaks!
Remarks on the Indictment of Burmese Prodemocracy Leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

19 May 2009
Nobuaki Koga, General Secretary
Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC-RENGO)
  1. The Military regime in Burma indicted democratization movement leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on charges of violating the State Protection Law, and initiated a special tribunal on May 18. The pretext for the arrest is that, in violation of Article 22 of the law, she failed to report to authorities that an American man had entered her home on May 3. This indictment is unjust, and is an extremely unfortunate act of violence that will not escape condemnation from international society.
  2. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi did not invite the American citizen who entered into her home. In fact, she told him to leave immediately, but he asked to stay, citing fatigue. Burmese authorities issued another visa to this individual, despite knowing that last year, he tried to visit Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s home. Additionally, there are many suspicious points, including the fact that the man was able to enter despite the fact that the military regime strictly guards the surroundings of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s home, and it has been suggested that this may have been a deliberate plan by the government.
  3. The arrest and indictment of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, just at the time when her house arrest was going to expire, is baffling. Stated differently, the military regime has taken its own action to reject a national reconciliation with the prodemocracy forces including the National League for Democracy (NLD) and ethnic groups, and this action was likely taken based on the premise that it would press on with plans to hold elections in 2010 to legalize the military regime’s ruling structure. RENGO strongly criticizes this stance of the military regime.
  4. International society has a responsibility to work together toward the immediate release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and we strongly call upon the Japanese government to make active efforts toward the military government in Burma.
  5. RENGO will continue to work in partnership with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and Federation of Trade Unions of Burma (FTUB) to support the pro-democracy movement in Burma. In addition, together with groups in Japan working on Burmese issues, including the Burma Office Japan, Federation of Workers’ Union of the Burmese Citizen in Japan, Hotel and Restaurant Workers’ Union of Burma, prodemocracy Burmese activists in Japan, NGOs, and the Diet group on Burmese issues, we will continue to call for the immediate release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and more than 2,100 other political prisoners.