Since Nargis Cyclone disaster attacked Burma on 2 and 3 May in Irrawaddy, Rangoon, Central Irrawaddy and other towns. As the result that more than 100,000 people have lost their lives while more than 200,000 people have been missing and 2 millions of survivors have been severely affected. Although this disaster has been passed for a year already but various organizations work on relief and recovery in the effected have been reporting that the affected area have not been physically recovered for better livelihood of the local people. People there still lack of relief due to mismanagement of donations that brought about lacking of transparency and comprehension. Including lack of the proper relief and recovery measures for the families of survivors, there are a lot of orphans that have been affected mentally that still live in the monasteries and temporary camps of some organizations work on natural disaster recovery.
However, beyond the natural disaster, the peoples in Burma also has been having political disaster under the dictatorship of the military government that have been abusing the rights of peoples seriously and continuously. As the result, they have to migrate to other neighboring countries. Besides this, neighboring countries including China, India and Thailand are extracting natural resources of Burma empowering their national economic mechanism. The projects such as natural gas pipe line, dams, roads, plantations, mining etc. These projects have brought about social problems such as forced labor and land confiscation. This transborder economic collaboration, and its explicit or implicit impacts on local livelihood and related to transmigrants problems. Therefore Thailand, China and India must take the social responsibility for transmigrants from Burma who are the victims of political and economic measures before and after Nargis tragedy.
Particularly Thailand that there are different ethnic groups of peoples from Burma due to expatriation and also for working as migrant workers for millions peoples which has been impacted to economic growth of Thailand significantly. But Thai government does not have clear policies and measures for better standards to protect their livelihood and rights for migrant workers from Burma. Including humanitarian relief for those illegal migrant workers. Especially lacking of long term solution for the cause of the problem which is building peace and democracy in Burma genuinely.
Due to Burma has been a member of ASEAN for more than ten years, ASEAN and Thai Government as the Secretary must have responsibility to protect rights and freedom of ASEAN citizen according to the ASEAN Charter. To enhance the peoples of Burma to have better quality of live, freedom and rights to live peacefully both in their own country and other countries as well.
On behalf of “Friends of Burma Group”, which is a group of friends that continue working of the “Chiang Mai Friends for Nargis Recovery”. Our collaboration comes from students, development workers, academics, artists and civil groups. We work on relief and build up public space for peoples from Burma. We have been doing fund raising for Nargis cyclone affected people and work on build up understanding and awareness about Burma since last year. We have been working with Northern Non-Government Organization Coordinating Committee (NGO-COD), Northern Young Development Workers Network and all sisters and brother work on Burma issues. We would like to express our mourning and grief to all deceased due to Nargis disaster and we would like to send our strength to all survivors. We also would like to thankful for all the groups, individuals, organizations, communities that have been working hardly for the peoples in effected area and we would like to encourage you all to work for the poor people in the further more.
We have short term and long term demands as following
- We want to demand the Burmese government to open more for relief and recovery in the effected area with transparency and respect to human rights. Based on participations of local peoples and concerning organizations in order to proceed on recovery work sustainably in the long run
- We demand for releasing 21 prisoners that have been arrested due to relief work as well as the more than 2,000 political prisoners for the long term solution of democracy building in Burma
- We demand to the Thai Government to have better policies for humanitarian relief for peoples in Burma and including supporting democracy in Burma. Thai Government must to protect the ethnic groups from Burma that living in Thailand such as migrants and refugee
- ASEAN and human rights organization must use diplomatic way to put the pressure on Burmese Government for better changes on politics, economic and society in the peaceful way
-The Governments of Thailand, China and India must take the social responsibility on economic collaboration for transmigrants from Burma and find solution socially and politically
- We want to demand to all Thai people to respect on humanity for the ethnic peoples from Burma that are living in Thailand with justice and peace in order to living together peacefully.
At Khruu Baa Sri Wichai Monument, Chiang Mai
Sunday, 3 May 2009