NAGUMO Speaks! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary
Release of Aung San Suu Kyi from House Arrest and the General Election in Burma
15 November 2010
On November 13, the Burmese military government released Aung San Suu Kyi, democratization leader in Burma, who had been under house arrest since seven and half years ago. The release came too late, but it is welcomed. Burmese people’s expectation for democratization is rising, and free political activities of Aung San Suu Kyi must be guaranteed from now on. Meanwhile, the general election which was held earlier on November 7 is unfair and undemocratic and should be rejected as unacceptable.
It is reported that the military government in Burma released Aung San Suu Kyi to parry the criticism from the international society and to appeal for its own democratization. There is still no telling what prospect the military government has for democratization process in the future. On November 13, as to the general election, the election administration commission reported that about 80 % of the results of counting of votes was made clear. According to the report, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) which is succeeding to the military government gained about 70 % of the seats of both upper and lower houses of the federal Parliament. However, the general election of this time was far away from “a free, fair and democratic election in which all the people concerned take part”, which the international society had demanded. The election was nothing but an election planned to strengthen the control by the military government.
The general election was held under the Constitution and election related laws laid down to continue and strengthen the military government. In addition, international election monitoring groups were denied to enter the country and foreign mass media was prohibited to move around freely. Moreover, illegal acts such as false uses of paper ballot and coercion to vote to political parties linked to the military government were rampant. It is reported that elections in the regions which are hostile to the military government were cancelled and about 1.5 million people including ethnic minority groups were excluded from voting.
RENGO appeals to the international society including Japan to call, in unison, for an earliest release of about 2,100 political prisoners and the establishment of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry to investigate violations of human rights in Burma. RENGO demands the military government in Burma to start dialogues with ethnic minority groups and democratization forces including Aung San Suu Kyi. RENGO will continue to make efforts for democratization of Burma in close cooperation with International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and Federation of Trade Unions of Burma (FTUB) as well as with Burmese Office in Japan, Burmese residents groups in Japan, Diet Members Alliance, NGOs and other organizations.