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BANGKOK, THAILAND: Burma Issues calls for solidarity amongst Burma's ethnic and Burman peoples to oppose Burma's military junta and seek a peaceful change to democracy.

"We call for solidarity amongst the people of Burma.  We appeal for change, specifically an end to all violence through out Burma, release of all political prisoners and tripartite dialogue between the SPDC, the National League for Democracy, and ethnic leaders",urged Saw Kweh Say.  "We ask the international community to support the people of Burma in their struggle for peace and freedom."

Burma Issues is a grassroots organization which focuses on the marginalized ethnic communities of eastern Burma to help them build peace and justice.  It is composed largely of young ethnic refugees from Burma who go inside Burma to film the struggle of the ethnic people, and provide support and training for grassroots organizing; development of advocates for change; documentation of human rights abuses; information for action; and international peace campaigns.  Footage and still photos from eastern Burma are available by contacting Burma Issues at  http://www.burmaissues.org/.

The images of violence and suffering coming out of Rangoon ring feelings of empathy and solidarity within the ethnic peoples along the Thai/Burma border.

We feel for the suffering of our friends in Burma expressed Saw Kweh Say, Planning Committee Member, Burma Issues.  The ethnic people of eastern Burma have lived with the Burmese military regime's violent offensives for the past 45 years, and we can understand their pain.

Along Burma's borders the ethnic people have endured decades of SPDC oppression and destruction of lives and livelihoods.  In Karen State the SPDC has conducted an ongoing military offensive against unarmed villagers since November 2005.  Twenty-five thousand people have been displaced during this offensive, and are at risk of starvation. 

Throughout the border areas, for the past 45 years Burmas ruling military junta has conducted a war against ethnic minority groups using forced labour, rape, persecution and arbitrary executions, landmines, and forced relocation of villagers.
 
Nearly 700,000 refugees have fled to neighbouring countries, while over half a million villagers are hiding from the SPDC in the jungles of eastern Burma and cannot go home.  They have no security and suffer from disease, food scarcity and a lack of education for their children. 

Despite being displaced over and over again as they try to rebuild their villages and lives, they continue to survive and refuse to submit to the SPDC's oppression.

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