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James Mawdsley's letter

Letter to the people of Burma - cc DVB,BBC,VOA,RFA,ABSDF &

Mingalaba. My name is James Mawdsley. I am a British/Australian citizen and it is my great pleasure and honour to be involved with the struggle for democracy in Burma. I have spent many months in your country and I am constantly inspired by the courage and kindness shown to me by Burmese. I will never forget the great bravery and commitment to freedom of those I have met - the Karen, Mon, Burman, Shan, Chin,Kachin, Arakanese, Karenni, Lahu and others.

I have witnesses the brutal oppression of the SPDC. I have seen some of their gross violations of human rights. I will not sit idle while they continue to torture, rape and murder the people of Burma. Bogyoke Aung San founded the army to liberate and protect Burma. Yet now the guns of the Tatmadaw have turned on their own people. I have the deepest respect for Bogyoke Aung San, and the deepest respect for those who follow him in his love for Burma. And so I join you in your second struggle for independence and because of the strength and Truth of the movement I have joined them. I am utterly confident we will succeed.

I have come here to ask for three things. That the SPDC release all political hostages (Article 9 UDHR) That the SPDC cease its disruption (in fact closure) of the universities (Article 26 UDHR) That the SPDC cease its brutal intimidation of Burma's government, the NLD and hold tripartite dialogue with the NLD and the ethnic groups with the aim of honouring the 1990 election results. (Article 2 UDHR).

Do not allow the junta's propaganda to tell you that foreign powers are trying to disrupt your country. That is a despicable lie. You have many many friends abroad who care deeply about your situation. When it comes to human rights, there are no foreigners; we are all the same, human beings, no outsiders. Your cause is my cause.

There is formidable strength in the democracy movement: the NLD, the ethnic groups fighting against oppression, the countless Burmese both inside and outside Burma who are committed to freedom - those like Min Ko Naing whose fighting spirit is invincible. You are my teachers and I never doubt the justness of your cause. I do not judge the prospect of Burma by the number of guns held by the tatmadaw. I am not deceived about the people's desire by the SPDC's wicked lies and propaganda.Instead I am full of hope that democracy will come to Burma because I understand the iron resolve of those who will never give up their fight for freedom.

But for those who have not yet joined the movement, It is no use to merely wait for democracy. It will not come as a matter of time.Democracy will come as a matter of action, from the persistent and courageous efforts of millions. So can I ask all of you who are civil servants, who are police officers, soldiers or other representatives of the junta, if you want democracy then you must work for it. Do not obey orders which you know to be cruel and unjust. Do not agree to serve those generals who are destroying your country. And remember that every single bribe you give or you take is prolonging this intolerable regime. I know it is ha a hard path to being on but Burma's freedom depends on you. When sufficient millions withdraw all their co-operation from a corrupt and oppressive system, and instead transfer their support to the honest and lawful groups dedicated to Burma's liberation, then that day you will have won. It is up to you.

I look forward to mohinga, yenwey and your company, in peaceful,prosperous and free Burma.

"Do not think lightly of good, that not the least consequence will come of it. A whole waterpot will fikk up from dripping drops of water." -

Lord Buddha. Dhammapada v122.

From James Mawdsley. July 1999