|Shan and Karen conclude
Declare London, Rome trip a success
A five-day lobby trip to London and Rome, 1-5 July, by two non-Burman
representatives, Shan and Karen, had been summed up as a successful
one, according to a report received by S.H.A.N. on Sunday (6 July).
Sai Wansai, General Secretary of Shan Democratic Union and Saw
Sarky, Central Committee member of Karen National Union, who visited
the United Kingdom, 1-3 July, and Italy, 4-5 July, reported the
freedom of the National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu
Kyi would be the first priority of both countries as well as the
Mrs. Margherita Boniver, Italian deputy Foreign Minister told them:
"It goes without saying we will do everything in our capacity
to free Aung San Suu Kyi and push for democratization and reconciliation
within the mold of EU. And all pressures will be applied to reach
She also informed "the inseparable duo" of Italy's decision
not to send in the Troika team if Aung San Suu Kyi was not released.
"She also said she would be pushing for UN Security Council
consideration of Burma issue with the EU backing," reports
Wansai. "She would talk to Razali (Ismail, UN special envoy
to Burma) about this."
Italy has just assumed presidency of the European Union from the
outgoing president, Greece.
The two, during their meetings, had also urged international community
to ponder the following measures, "if all other options have
Severance of diplomatic relations with the junta
Declaration of the junta as an illegitimate regime with no mandate
Expulsion of the junta's UN mission
Replacement of the junta's UN representatives with those from the
democratic and ethnic opposition
Large-scale support for the democratic and ethnic opposition
Apart from the foreign ministry officials, the two-man delegation
met, in England, Edward Leigh, MP, who was "willing to help";
Lord Alton, who was "very well informed." and "pushing
for the setting up of an international criminal tribunal to try
Burma's military regime;" Baroness Caroline Cox, who "invited
(us) to the House of Lords Restaurant" and, in Italy, Mr Ugo
Papi of the main opposition Left Party.
The BBC World Service, Burmese Section, also interviewed Wansai.
In reply to the BBC interview's question, "Why is tripartite
dialogue crucial?", he was reported to have said: "The
ethnic represents more than 40% of the population and 60% of the
landmass and without them there would be no solution."
Saw Sarky's intervew in Karen by the Democratic Voice of Burma,
in the meanwhile, is to be aired today, according to the Karen representative.
Non-Burman movements, most of which had started out on a total
independence platform, have now declared they are ready to settle
for a genuine federal structure. This acceptance has come mainly
through the prevailing international mood against dismemberment
of the existing state on the one hand and not wanting to fight an
uphill battle for international support and recognition for independence
on the other, according to the trip report.
Wansai and Saw Sarky had, during the past two years, already covered
Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Greece
"in their deliberation to build awareness of the non-Burman
For further information, please contact Wansai firstname.lastname@example.org.