SDP and ARDA call for release of NLD leaders

June 4, 2003
Singapore Democrats

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ARDA letter to Burma Embassy in Singapore

4 June 2003

Mr Hla Thann
Ambassador
Embassy of the Union of Myanmar
15 St Martins Drive
Singapore
Fax: 6735-6236

Dear Sir,

The Alliance for Reform and Democracy in Asia (ARDA) condemns the recent violence and arrest of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her colleagues, and urges the authorities in Burma to ensure her personal safety and the safety of those now under custody.

This brutality against peaceful servants of democracy and civility is incomprehensible and cannot be allowed to continue in any shape or form. The behaviour of the ruling regime in your country must be roundly chastised, which the international community has done. ARDA will join in the continuing effort to secure the immediate release of those presently detained as well as to ensure the longer-term goal of seeing democracy develop in Burma.

You should know that ARDA is also calling on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to bring Burma, one of the most errant and recalcitrant ASEAN members, into the democratic fold. Your governments repression of the Burmese people is contributing significantly to the instability and uncertainty of Southeast Asia and the situation there must therefore be remedied.

Sincerely,

Chee Soon Juan
Chairman
Alliance for Reform and Democracy in Asia

SDP calls on Singapore government to condemn Burmese violence and arrest

The Singapore Democratic Party registers its protest against the arrest and continuing detention of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her colleagues.

It is also instructive that the Singapore Government continues to bury its head in the sand while the international democratic world moves swiftly to condemn the latest act of repression in Burma. This reticence to speak up against an autocratic government is understandable given the record of the PAP itself in suppressing democracy in Singapore.

Given that Singapore holds the present secretary-generalship of ASEAN, however, it is necessary that the Singapore government understands the responsibility it owes to the peoples of Southeast Asia to create a stable and democratic nation in Burma. The continued violence and repression against democracy forces in Burma can only lead to greater instability and turmoil not only for Burma but also for her neighbours.

It would thus be a helpful first step if Singapore would unequivocally denounce the latest attack on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her colleagues, and take concrete steps to arrange for their release. Its continued silence on the matter is not only deafening, but also unhealthy for the future of ASEAN.

Chee Soon Juan
Secretary-General
Singapore Democratic Party
4 June 2003