Toward Democracy, Human Rights and Federalism

Friday, February 3, 2012

Members of Parliament Union Meet in Ireland, Issue Declaration

Sunday, January 25 2009, 05:49 PM EST
The Fourth Congress of the Members of Parliament Union - Burma

20-23 January 2009
Malahide, Ireland

Our Appreciation

We, the Members of Parliament Union - Burma, meeting here in Malahide, Ireland, from 20-23 January 2009, wish to express our profound thanks to the Government of the Republic of Ireland and to Burma Action Ireland for their strong support and assistance without which our Congress and consultation meeting with different democracy and ethnic organizations of Burma would not have been possible. Thanks to the generous and wholehearted support of the Government of the Republic of Ireland and Burma Action Ireland, we, the elected representatives of Burma, have been able to hold two Congresses in this hospitable country; the first one was in Dublin in 2000.

Our View & Demand

With regard to Burma, we are deeply concerned over the growing socioeconomic and political crises which are the result of the abuse of power, mismanagement, and short-sighted and intolerant policies of the Burmese military regime.

We are also concerned that the Burmese generals have prioritized their pursuance of the legitimization of military rule in Burma by unilaterally moving ahead with its planned elections in 2010 while the whole country is in the depths of despair and desolation as a result of poverty brought on by chronic mismanagement and policy failure. The situation is compounded by the devastation of Cyclone Nargis last year and the ongoing global economic crisis.

We are appalled that the Burmese generals, who, while clamoring about democracy, have turned their backs on every democratic principle and are committing the worst crimes against democracy activists and members of political parties, using thugs and apparatchiks to lawlessly overpower dissidents and cruelly impose long and harsh prison terms without proper trial and through the state-influenced judiciary, which is even impudently jailing lawyers defending democracy activists.

We are concerned that national leaders U Tin Oo and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi are still under house arrest and U Khun Tun Oo is being made to serve an extraordinarily lengthy prison term. Political detainees, including 17 elected representatives and all leading members of the 88 Generation Students, were vindictively sentenced to decades-long prison terms. Many of the political prisoners, including elected representatives, are ailing -- some with serious ailments -- because of harsh prison conditions, lack of medical care, or refusal by the authorities to let them receive proper treatment. World governments, international human rights institutions, and the United Nations should not let this intolerable situation continue. We call on them to urgently step in to secure their release as soon as possible.

We are deeply disappointed that the Burmese regime, which is a member of the United Nations and obligated to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and all other international human rights standards and conventions to which it is a signatory, continues to violate with impunity the worst kind of human rights abuses, including Article 21 (3) of the UDHR which states that "the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government", the launching of military offensives in ethnic areas with disregard for human suffering and destruction of life and property, the use of torture, summary and arbitrary executions, massive employment of forced labor and forced portering for the military, and violence against women, including rape.

We are also concerned for the future of our country given the fact that the quality of education has drastically declined, with drop out rates increasing even at the primary school level, and infant mortality rate rising. The Burmese generals who in the past decades had sacrificed the future of many young people by ignoring their education and health care are once again gambling with the lives of the next generation of young leaders. These generals are also showing lack of concern for the spread of HIV/AIDS and drug resistant strains of tuberculosis and malaria. Hence, we hereby issue the following declaration:


MPU DECLARATION
(Malahide - 2009)


Reaffirmation

The MPU reaffirms that it will:

a) Strive to bring an end to authoritarian rule and military-dominated politics in Burma and restore democracy and human rights in Burma
b) Endeavor to become a potent force that democracy and ethnic movements inside the country can rely on
c) Contribute to the establishment of a Federal Union of Burma which guarantees equal rights to all citizens regardless of ethnicity, gender, and belief

Our Role & Mandate

a) Our role is to support and facilitate the National League for Democracy (NLD) and other election-winning parties to bring democracy and national reconciliation to the country.

b) Our mandate is derived from the election victory of the NLD and other political parties in the 1990 general elections.

Our Beliefs

A. The MPU firmly believes that the 2008 Constitution of the Burmese regime will not lead to democracy, resolve national problems, or bring peace and prosperity to the nation. The military leaders should review the constitution together with the NLD and other stakeholders so that constitutional amendments can be made to lessen military control over different aspects of political life and remove restrictions imposed on fundamental rights of the people of all nationalities.

B. The MPU is convinced that only an inclusive, equitable, and transparent common program involving all national forces can help resolve Burma's socioeconomic and political problems peacefully.

With this in mind, the MPU believes that the following steps should be taken by the Burmese generals to urgently begin a process of national reconciliation:

a) Freedom for Political Prisoners
Immediately and unconditionally release NLD leaders U Tin Oo and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Shan Nationalities League for Democracy Chairman U Khun Tun Oo, detained elected representatives, and all other political prisoners, including leading members of the 88 Generation Students, so that they can participate in the national political process

b) Dialog
Immediately accept NLD's offer for a dialog to pave the way for a peaceful and democratic transition within a set timeframe.

c) Ambience
While revoking all unjust laws and orders which criminalize legal political activities, conditions conducive to a credible democratic transition should be created and this should be done by lifting restrictions on basic political freedoms, such as freedom of association, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly to ensure that the people can freely participate in the political process.

d) UN Mediation
Extend sincere cooperation with the good offices of the UN Secretary-General and accept its offer to mediate and help resolve Burma's political stalemate.

Our Programs

Preparing for the future

a) We, the MPU, fully endorse the initiative by the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) to introduce a common program of action for the democracy movement. The NCGUB believes that the military-backed elections in 2010 will not positively contribute to national reconciliation and nation building and that there is need to go through a democratic transition period during which issues burdening the nation will have to be resolved by all national forces. The MPU will contribute to the development of a common program of action which should be based on commonality of goals among democratic and ethnic organizations. Since all organizations and people inside the country commonly agree on a federal constitution and democratic principles, actions based on needs such as repatriation and resettlement of refugees, demobilization of armed forces, public welfare programs, land reform, rebuilding harmony between the civilian and military sectors, and other issues will be addressed in the common program. We, therefore, welcome initiatives underway where clusters of experts are working to resolve issues which we foresee will be burdening the nation during a democratic transition. The MPU will work hand in hand with democracy and ethnic organizations to implement the movement's democratic and federal goals as outlined in the proposed common program of action which is vitally needed not only to rebuild the nation but also to prepare for the future.

Global
b) Globally, we will also focus on keeping the international community informed about the Burmese military junta's attempt to legitimize military rule through its 2008 State Constitution which was unilaterally drafted and passed without the participation of the election winning parties, like the NLD and the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy. The truth about the Burmese generals' scheme will be informed through the media, the International Parliamentary Union, the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC), international coalition of political parties, parliamentarian friends of Burma groups, as well as friendly parliamentarians, and others.

Domestic
c) Our long-term programs for Burma aim for the emergence of an empowered civil society. To achieve this, the MPU will continue to encourage and support participation of the people in the political process, undertake capacity building programs like education on human rights, democratic governance, sustainable development, federalism, conflict resolution, and other relevant subjects. The MPU will also continue supporting non-violent activities of the democracy movement, including human rights monitoring, policy advocacy, and development of alternative media.

Our Position

The International Community

a) We believe that the international community, particularly regional countries, should be actively involved in resolving Burma's problems. Neighboring and interested countries can concertedly push for a dialog among the stakeholders in Burma so that a dialog for national reconciliation can take place. At the same time, they should support initiatives by the United Nations to forge a path by which such a dialogue can take place.

b) The UN Secretary-General should also conduct a goals-oriented tour of Burma but only when the Burmese generals are prepared to compromise.

Pressure Mechanisms

The MPU reaffirms that under the present circumstances, various pressure mechanisms adopted by different countries are an effective tool to persuade the Burmese military regime to recognize the crises in the country and need for peaceful resolution. They are part of the overall international strategy to facilitate a tripartite dialogue in Burma, and most importantly, they deprive resources to the regime which is unnecessarily spending more on its war budget than on socioeconomic needs of the people

Pressure mechanisms by the international community also proves to democracy movement leaders and others struggling for democracy inside Burma that they are not alone in their fight for freedom and human rights

Many non-binding international resolutions and opinions, such as ILO and UNGA resolutions, also generate a material impact on the regime.

Humanitarian Assistance

a) Humanitarian assistance delivered to the people of Burma should be transparent and accountable, independently monitored, and channeled through credible international NGOs with mechanisms installed to handle complaints.

b) Humanitarian assistance for refugees and IDPs should commiserate with the increasing number of refugees fleeing into neighboring countries and internally displaced persons resulting from military offensives and forced relocation by the Burmese Army.

c) Tens of thousands of people lost their family members, property, and means of earning a livelihood in regions hit by Cyclone Nargis last year. Reconstruction, resettlement, and rehabilitation programs for the cyclone victims will probably take several more years of national efforts. It is vital to ensure that independent monitoring and complaint handling mechanisms are in place to ensure that international delivered assistance packages actually reach the needy and that the programs are transparent and accountable.

Salutations

a) We are humbled by the selfless endeavors of our colleagues inside Burma whose sacrifice and courageous efforts to further the cause of democracy and human rights, particularly at this juncture when the Burmese military is ruthlessly and vengefully punishing dissidents. They will go down as heroes in history. We salute them.

b) We also wish to state that we are fully aware of the threats and harassments against leading members of the democracy and ethnic movement inside the country and the serious risks they are taking to express their political opinions and beliefs publicly in support of democracy, justice, and human rights. We salute them.

Electing a New Cabinet

In accordance with democratic principles, we, the Members of the Parliament Union -- Burma, have been electing a new prime minister to head the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma once every four years. In keeping up with that practice, we are proud to announce that Dr Sein Win was re-elected as the prime minister on the final day of our Congress on 23 January 2009.

Six ministers were named to the Cabinet each of whom was confirmed through secret balloting.

The newly elected Cabinet (portfolios to be named later):

No

Title

Name

Township Constituency

Position









1

Dr

Sein Win

Paukkaung

Prime Minister
2

U

Bo Hla Tint

Mogok - 2

Minister
3

Khun

Myint Tun

Thaton

Minister
4

Khon

Manko Ban

Pekon

Minister
5

Dr

Tint Swe

Pale - 2

Minister
6

U

Tun Win

Minbya

Minister
7

U

Win Hlaing

Tatkon

Minister

Since two elected ministers were from MPU Standing Committee, an election was held to fill the vacated MPU Standing Committee posts. The two elected to the MPU Standing Committee are: U Maung Maung Aye of Mandalay Northeast Constituency, Mandalay Division, and U Aung Tun Sein of Ponnagyun Constituency, Arakan State.

The present MPU Standing Committee members are:

No

Title

Name

Township Constituency

Position
1

U

Teddy Buri

Loikaw

Chairman
2

Daw

San San

Seikkan

Vice Chair
3

U

Thein Oo

Mandalay Southwest-2

Secretary
4

U

Maung Mg Aye

Mandalay Northeast

Joint Secretary
5

Naing

Thaung Shein

Kawkareik-2

Member
6

U

U Hla Oo

Kyauktaga

Member
7

U

Aung Tun Sein

Ponnagyun

Member

List of MPs who attended the Fourth Congress:

No

Title

Name

Township Constituency
1

U

Aung Tun Sein

Ponnagyun
2

U

Bo Hla Tint

Mogok-2
3

U

Bo Thaung

Yinmabin-1
4

U

Chit Tin

Minhla
5

U

Daniel Aung

Mong Ping
6

Duwa

Zau Awng

Waingmaw
7

U

Hla Oo

Kyauktaga
8

U

Khin Kyaw Han

Yenangyaung-2
9

Khun

Myint Tun

Thaton-1
10

U

Kyaw Thwin

Kayan-1
11

U

Lian Uk

Haka
12

Khon

Manko Ban

Pekon
13

U

Maung Maung Aye

Mandalay Northeast
14

U

Maung Maung Latt

Bilin-1
15

U

Mya Win

Ingabu-1
16

Naing

Thaung Shein

Kawkareik-2
17

U

Peter Limbin

Pyin Oo Lwin
18

Daw

San San

Seikkan
19

Dr

Sann Aung

Ingabu-2
20

Dr

Sein Win

Paukkaung
21

Saw

Tar Ru Tu

Pasawng
22

U

Teddy Buri

Loikaw
23

U

Oo Tha Noe

Rathedaung
24

U

Than Sein

Pale-1
25

Pu

Thang Lian Pau

Tongzang
26

U

Thein Oo

Mandalay Southwest-2
27

U

Tin Tun Aung

Yinmabin
28

Dr

Tint Swe

Pale-2
29

U

Tun Win

Minbya-2
30

U

Win Hlaing

Tatkon-2
31

Sai

Win Pay

Mong Hsu
32

Dr

Zahlei Thang

Falam

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6 comments
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, January 25 2009, 10:32 PM EST The Fourth Congress of the MPU

Sorry if I happen to insult someone.



All our actions to bring democracy to Burma should not only be goal oriented, but also with deadlines in time.



Since I agree with 1990 free and fair elections, we can not do anything if the leaders do not move forward for Burma democracy actions. I am not saying to get rid of 1990 elections, what I am saying is that there are more people (both Burmese and non-Burmese) who would like to work for the cause of democracy in Burma now than in 1990. So, leadership needs to get stronger. I am not opposing non-violent means. But, the dictators will hold the power grip and they have no intentions of reconciliation. So, some time, some days, if our goals are not met by non-violent means, we (Burmese) MUST find ways to fight and we MUST fight for democracy. I won't hesitate to fight in war to bring democracy and to bring freedom to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma.



Sorry, if I happen to insult.



Luke K. Myintthu.

The Fourth Congress of the MPU - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 26 2009, 06:52 AM EST

Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 26 2009, 06:53 AM EST The Fourth Congress of the MPU

Hi Luke,

I agrees with your opinion but I am sure NCGUB will not never consider that option. They rather see ethnic insurgent fighting Burman army, not Burman fighting Burmese army.

I see NCGUB have no transparency on their policy such as, for many years NCGUB/NLD never initiate to draft Burman State Constitution despite nearly all-ethnic states have finished drafting their state constitution. If NCGUB is not in a position to initiate to draft Burman State Constitution it should write a written statement to the FCDCC just to inform a normal citizen like me.

The world largest body like the UN cannot persuade Burmese generals so let alone NCGUB gripping this policy for many years to come, it will not success. In contrary, they are wasting their life on failed policy.

I have a suggestion;

1). NCGUB/NLD-LA, NCUB, NDF, ethnic arms groups/organizations to form “Federal Union Of Burma” in Karen, Mon, Karenni, Shan liberated areas.

2). Form Federal Arms Forces (Burmar, Karen, Mon, Shan, Kachin etc. battalions) elect Chief of Federal Arm Forces) abolish individual ethnic arms forces existing today. Burmar majority needs to contribute their own arms battalions.

3). Declared Federal Government and get a legitimacy from the UN. Invite to open diplomatic missions in liberated areas.





Thank you.



Hkun, Myitkyina

Ps: Forming Federal Union of Burma Government by NCUB alone can cause more trouble in the future, so I see that NCUB should invite all concerns organizations to get involved.

The Fourth Congress of the MPU - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 26 2009, 11:27 PM EST

Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 27 2009, 02:52 PM EST The Fourth Congress of the MPU
You do not change anything and you play only on words. Where is your changing leadership? Only one group monopolysed and do as dictators a long time. Shame on you NCGUB. You are not leading role in our cause. You wasted many time in international lobby fields. You have no capacity to implement the desire of the people of Burma. Did you appreciate or learn your weakness, failure, loss, misue, misleading, corruption, acted as nepotism, non-ability, wrong strategy and no transperency, accountability and responsibility in your previous time? If you respect and follow democratic rule, you needs to shame on you by doing this. We don't want only depends on a handful long-term MPs who arrived in Exile.
You can change courageously. You needs to notice on SPDC is challenging you and will hold an election in two years. What will you do if you can't compete or destroy or delete their goal? Your MPs term depends on results of 1990 electon may U-turn change to useless or neglected by people and international communities and governments after 2010. You need to know yourselves and commit of your faults.
Prepare for the worst in future. We don't trust on your handful picked-up government and some of your lacky politicians.

The Fourth Congress of the MPU - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 27 2009, 09:10 PM EST

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