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Mizzima: Activists urge total ban o

Activists urge total ban on investments in Burma

New Delhi, November 30, 2000
Mizzima News Group (www.mizzima.com)

Pro-democracy activists of Burma urged the international community to
step up pressure against the Burmese regime, which they said has failed
to eliminate forced labour in the military-rule country. In launching a
"Global Action Day against Forced Labour in Burma", members of Burma
pro-democracy activists based in Australia, India, Japan and Thailand
have today urged the UN agencies and the tripartite constituents
(governments, employers and workers) of the International Labor
Organization (ILO) to follow up the ILO's recent decision by taking up
punitive actions against the junta.

The Governing Body of International Labour Organization on 16 November
2000 decided that Burmese government had not taken the necessary steps
to fulfill the recommendations of the ILO Commission of Inquiry, which
had found the widespread and systematic use of forced labour in Burma.
The ILO has adopted punitive measures, which takes effect from today,
against the Burmese government. The measures include calls for UN
agencies, governments, employers and workers to review relations with

The Brussels-based International Confederation of Free Trade Unions
(ICFTU) has recently accused that more than a million Burmese are still
subjected to forced labour, toiling on construction sites for roads,
railways, military installations and tourist infrastructure.

In a joint statement issued today, the Burmese activists also urge for
the withdrawal of the multinational companies investing in Burma and
cancellation of all the planned trips of tour operators to Burma, which
is alleged to "perpetrate daily horrific human rights abuses against its
own people". The statement was issued by Free Burma Action Committee
(Australia), All Burma Students League (India), League for Democracy in
Burma (Japan), Burma Labour Solidarity (Thailand) and Burmese Students'
Association (Rachburi, Thailand). 

As a part of their campaign against the Burmese regime, the activists
have planned to organize pickets in front of Burmese embassies on
November 30 in various countries.

Meanwhile, about 50 Burmese democracy activists under the banner of All
Burma Students League (ABSL) today held a demonstration in New Delhi,
demanding the governments to cease relations and cooperation with the
Burmese military junta for failing to curb forced labour in the country.
The demonstration was held at Janta Mantar in New Delhi this morning and
lasted for one hour.