The appeal from Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and parliamentarians who were never allowed to take their seats after the 1990 elections, followed a UN warning that Burma’s cyclone in May killed more than 80,000 people and caused some $4 billion in damages.
At least 84,537 people were killed and another 53,836 are missing, presumed dead, the report said. The military government of Burma, which it calls Myanmar, has been reluctant to allow foreign Christian groups to enter the country, although some managed to bring aid, BosNewsLife established.
Amid the crisis, CSW and the dissident politicians made clear it was time for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “to increase pressure on Burma’s junta to…engage in meaningful tripartite dialogue with the National League for Democracy (NLD) and the ethnic nationalities.”
The Burmese parliamentarians also urge the UN to declare the regime’s new constitution illegitimate, the open letter said. CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said in a statement that his group applaud “the extraordinary courage of these elected Burmese MPs, many of whom have spent long periods in jail.”
He said CSW also call on the UN Security Council to impose “a universal arms embargo on the regime in Burma, and to refer a case against Burma’s Generals to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. The [UN] secretary-general should make it a personal priority to seek a solution to Burma’s tragic political and humanitarian crisis.”
Thousands of predominantly Christian Karens, who the government views as a threat to its power base, have been forced from their homes and villages in recent years, BosNewsLife established. The Karens have been fighting for more rights and autonomy in Burma. Their suffering has added to the massive humanitarian crisis in the country, following the cycloon, say several Christian aid groups.
The junta has denied wrongdoing, saying most Burmese people support its policies.