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May 20th Resolution on Myanmar and Aung San Suu Kyi

June 5, 2009

Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese champion of democracy and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is now on trial and faces up to 5 years in prison on charges by Myanmar’s military junta that she violated the terms of her house arrest after an uninvited American man swam to her lakeside house in May.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party is the National League for Democracy (NLD).  The NLD’s overseas branch, the National League for Democracy – Liberated Areas (NLD-LA) and the Democratic Progressive Party are both members of the Liberal International, an international federation of liberal democratic parties.  

The NLD won a landside victory in the 1990 parliamentary elections, but the military junta refused to recognize the results and instead reacted with force, jailing and killing dissidents. Aung San Suu Kyi has been severely monitored for the past 19 years by the junta and has been under house arrest for 13 of these years. Her house arrest was due to expire on 27 May 2009, but the military junta extended her term for another year.

Throughout our decades of democratic development, Taiwan received support and assistance from the international community.  If Taiwan wants to be a member of the international community, we must play a more active role as world citizens promoting universal human rights and democratic values, synchronizing our efforts in solidarity with the international community to help Myanmar and other countries lagging in democratic development.

The DPP, a political party whose key ideals and values are democracy, freedom and human rights, passed this resolution on Burma at its Central Standing Committee meeting of 20th May in Taipei.

1. We urge the immediate and unconditional release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners in Burma. We demand that Burma’s government provide for Aung San Suu Kyi’s urgent medical needs and allow her to receive immediate medical care from doctors.

2. We urge the Burmese government to push democratic reforms in Burma and respect people’s desire for democracy and freedom. The 2010 parliamentary elections should be held with freedom, fairness and transparency.

3. We demand that the Ma Ying-jeou administration keep its promise of making human rights a priority and make every effort to promote the universal values of democracy and freedom. Taiwan should play a role as the vanguard of Asian democracy and stand in solidarity with Aung San Suu Kyi and the people who desire and advocate for democracy in Burma.

4. We urge the Taiwan government to address the issue of human rights violations in Burma and join the international appeal for support for the democracy movement in Burma. We urge our government to impose necessary sanctions against Burma until such time as the military regime improves its human rights record and works on democratic reforms.

5. We condemn China’s support for the Burmese military regime, support which results in negative consequences for democracy and stability in the East Asia region. Beijing’s act of consolidating its power and hegemony over the region, while disregarding universal values, contradicts its claim of  a ‘peaceful rise.’  We urge all countries engaging with China, including the Taiwan government, to recognize this.

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