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Revoke the Fuel Price and Stop the Violence!

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Last week's sudden hike of fuel price in Burma triggered protests in the country and the authorities arrested numerous people despite the calling from international community to respect people's right of associate. Burmese and Thai activists release a joint statement to call upon Burmese junta to revoke the fuel price and stop the violence.
The people of Burma (Myanmar) have been publicly protesting against the arbitrary and dramatic increase of fuel prices since 21 August 2007. The protests that started in Rangoon (Yangon) have been spreading to other parts of Burma despite a brutal crackdown by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). The junta has arrested a considerable number of 88 generation student leaders and youth leaders from the National League for Democracy (NLD).

The military authorities and their militias have been violently cracking down on unarmed civilian protesters, who have been peacefully protesting against their desperate economic situation. More and more families are facing starvation because the price of rice has doubled, there are no public bus services to take people to work, and worse may follow. If the SPDC, led by Senior General Than Shwe, continues its vicious crackdown in reaction to the growing protests, it will drag the country and the region into chaos.

The protests are the legitimate expression of dissatisfaction over the widely suffered effects of the regime’s economic mismanagement and bad governance. These peaceful protests, triggered by the junta's steep increases in fuel prices, are the logical consequences of many years of political repression and irresponsible administration.

It is obvious that the latest developments in Burma are part of a long stream of problems inflicted on the people by the military regime. By systematically violating the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the people and blocking genuine reforms, the SPDC has established itself as the main threat to national and regional stability. Political and economic oppression of the people does not qualify as a roadmap to democracy.

We, supporters of democracy in Burma, condemn the violent crackdown on pro-democracy activists and call for their immediate and unconditional release. We, undersigned organizations, strongly urge the Burmese military regime to address the current political and economic crises by fulfilling the following demands of the people of Burma.

(1) Immediately revoke the fuel price increases.
(2) Stop using violence against peaceful demonstrators.
(3) Immediately release all political prisoners and cease military hostilities against non-Burman ethnic communities.
(4) Commence dialogue with leaders of the democracy movement and ethnic groups in Burma on the most effective way to achieve genuine political and economic reforms that will benefit all parties.
Further, we call on the members of the UNITED NATIONS, ASEAN AND THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL, to act immediately to discourage the SPDC from plunging the country into further turmoil.
The following undersigned organizations stand in solidarity with the people of Burma.
(1) Thai Action Committee for Democracy in Burma (TACDB)
(2) The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)
(3) National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB)
(4) National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB)
(5) Forum for Democracy in Burma (FDB)
(6) Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (Altsean-Burma)
(7) LUA ( Labor Union of Arakan )
(8) YCOWA – Yaung Chi Oo Workers Association (Bangkok)
(9) RPLC (Rakhaing Patriotic Literature Club )
(11) Burma Women Union (BWU)
(12) Association of Burma Ex-Political Prisoners (ABEP)
(13) The SHWE Gas Movement
(14) The Migrant Karen Labour Union
(15) Thai Students Network

For further information, please contact:
Media Contact Person:

(1) Dr. Sann Aung-MP ; < 0897685853>
(2) U Kyaw Thaung <084 670 5727>
(3) U Myint Wai <081 357 7634>