Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Text of Ithaca's Burmese Democracy Day Resolution

Below is the text of the city of Ithaca, New York, resolution. We hope it will inspire other municipalities, even states, even countries, to make a similar statement against the Burmese junta and for the Burmese people.

Resolution was introduced by Common Council member Robin Holtham Korherr and seconded by Michelle Berry; it was voted upon at the city of Ithaca
Common Council Meeting on July 5, 2006

Resolution Declaring August 8 Each Year as Burmese Democracy Day in Ithaca

WHEREAS, for more than four decades Burma’s military junta has ruled without constitutional provisions providing any fundamental rights; and

WHEREAS, abuses by Burmese government security forces are well documented and include rape, torture, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, incommunicado detentions, infringements on citizens’ privacy, forced relocations, and conscriptions of child soldiers; and

WHEREAS, the ruling junta continues to detain hundreds of political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace prize laureate of 1991, who has continued to champion the causes of democracy and justice for the people of Burma, despite having been in and out of arrest and detention ever since she became the people’s leader in the 1988 democracy uprisings; and

WHEREAS, on August 8, 1988, the people of Burma rose up in peaceful protest against political and economic oppression; and

WHERAS, they were violently oppressed when the military opened fire on the peaceful demonstrators, killing hundreds and forcing many more into exile (including many of our Ithaca Burmese community members); and

WHEREAS, the 1988 protests paved the way for the 1990 elections in which Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party won a landslide parliamentary victory; and

WHEREAS, the current junta in Burma has been condemned for ignoring the results of the 1990 elections that resulted in a landslide victory for Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party; for severely restricting fundamental human rights as put forth in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights; for ethnic violence against its people, including torture, displacement, and murder; for further abuse of its people including failure to put an end to the trafficking of women and children; and

WHEREAS, the people of Ithaca and its region have a history of concern, compassion, and involvement with human rights struggles around the world; and

WHEREAS, we note with admiration that several members of our Ithaca community were forced to flee Burma because of their unrelenting defense of democracy; now therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the City of Ithaca’s Mayor and Common Council declare August 8 annually BURMESE DEMOCRACY DAY in the City of Ithaca, and be it further

RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution be sent to Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer, Congressman Maurice Hinchey, and the U.S. President’s office at the White House.

Carried Unanimously

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