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Peace for Burma Concert

please circulate this notice widely...

Peace for Burma Concert

 ...for a land ravaged by dictatorship, fear, conflict and poverty
 ...a prayer for peace on human rights day

featuring local and ethnic bands, speakers, video presentation, student
voices from the 1988 uprising, education tables, crafts

class 88
lee sun
tony and buddy
jim sands

7:30 pm THE ANZA CLUB, 3 West 8th Avenue
(near Main and Broadway) tickets: $10

all proceeds in support of Burmese refugee camps
info: 602-1626; oxymonad@xxxxxxxxx

Supported by the Vancouver Burma Roundtable and the Simon Fraser
University Public Interest Group, in alliance with the "No Blood for
Oil" forum, SFU Harbour Centre, info: 274-1191

Burma is a Southeast Asian country that is ruled by one of the world's
most repressive regimes, which has brutally forced more than a million
people from their homes and subjected untold thousands to torture,
slavery and death. The military seized power in 1988 by opening fire on
peaceful demonstrations staged by hundreds of thousands of ordinary people
who rose up to demand democracy and the end to military rule. Two years
later they ignored the results of elections in which the National League
for Democracy won 82% of the seats, renaming the country Myanmar. In
Burma, basic rights to assembly speech and association are denied. Those
who speak out against the regime are subject to multi-year jail
terms. According to Amnesty, there are over 1,200 political prisoners in
Burma, including leaders of the democracy party, elected officials,
workers and civilians. Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the
democracy party, has been repeatedly placed under house arrest. It is even
unlawful to possess an unregistered fax.

In rural areas, villagers are conscripted routinely at gun point to build 
army barracks, and other public works. Villages are regularly relocated to
barren relocation camps to make way for tourist facilities, development
projects, including some involving foreign investors, or as part of its
policy of cutting support of its opposition. The army also rounds up
villagers for military portering, to carry their equipment into frontline
battles. Military porters are required to walk in front of the battalions
in order to serve as human shields and minesweepers.

Since seizing power, the military has spent over half of its revenue on
military expenditures, and less than 2% of the GDP on health and
education, creating a humanitarian crisis of substantial
proportions. Most of the population are denied access to basic health
services leading the World Health Organization in 1999 to rank Burma 190 
out of 191
countries in its annual report. Infant mortality rates are double those of
neighbouring Thailand, and in rural areas malnutrition and starvation
are widespread. Further, 40% of school-age children never attend school,
and only 25% complete primary school.

To help pay for its standing army of 500,000, one of the largest in the
world, the regime shelters heroin and drug producers for the revenue they
bring to the nation's largely undeveloped economy. Further, the regime has
created legislation which helps launder the proceeds of drug sales. This
has contributed to an explosion of heroin production that has devastated 
the population. An estimated 550,000 people suffer
from AIDS, many of whom are addicts.

As the result of conflict, forced labour, human rights abuses, and
poverty, over a million people have fled Burma into neighbouring
countries. Many live in camps without access to clean water or basic
shelter, some in jungle camps near border areas, where malaria, typhiod
and other infectious diseases are prevalent.