Democratic Burmese Students Organization (USA) and the Free Burma Coalition (FBC) which has members and groups in over 100 colleges and universities in 18 countries have begun their fast since May 22, 1996 to protest the ongoing crackdown of the members or supporters of the National League for Democracy (NLD) by Burma's military dictatorship known as the State Law and Order Restoration Council. As of today (May 25, 1996) the total number of detainees is reported to be 276. This morning a member of the NLD just died in prison.

Aung San Suu Kyi, 1991 Nobel Peace Prize Recipient and the leader of the National League for Democracy, has urged the world community to support her call for international pressure against the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). In September of 1988 SLORC came into power after slaughtering roughly 3000 peaceful unarmed pro-democracy students, women, children and Buddhist monks. In May of 1990, SLORC held multi-party elections in which Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD won a landslide victory gaining Over 80% of the seats in the parliament. So far SLORC has refused to honor the election results or open a dialogue with the representatives from the NLD.

The SLORC has made the recent round of arrests after a NLD's announcement that it had planned to hold a congress of over 300 elected NLD members on May 27, 1996 to coincide with the 6th anniversary of the elections.

According to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, SLORC is responsible for a pervasive and systematic abuse of human rights. In the 1996 United States Stare Department human rights report, SLORC is listed as a major human rights violator in the world. There are various forms of rights abuses including forced child labor, forced relocation of villages, conscript labor, summary executions, systematic use of rape, torture, pillage, and the use of civilians as "human mine sweepers".

Currently hearings are being held before the US Senate Banking Committee to consider economic sanctions against SLORC. The bill, known as the Burma Freedom and Democracy Act, will impose economic sanctions against Burma effectively barring U.S. investment.

In the US grassroots pressure against US business involvement is building and Burma is fast-becoming the "South Africa of the '90's." The Free Burma campaign has forced successfully the administrations of Harvard, Stanford, and Colgate not to contract with Pepsico for its involvement in Burma.

The fast is intended to draw attention to the seriousness of the situations in Burma and to call fix the end of US involvement in Burma.

The fasters are calling for the following:

1) that the U.S. government exert strong pressure on the SLORC for the release of political prisoners;

2) that U.S. government call for a worldwide boycott of SLORC's Tourism Campaign "Visit Myanmar Year 1996."

3) that President Clinton issue an official statement using SLORC to open a dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi and that National League for Democracy;

4) that the U.S. Congress adopt the Burma Freedom and Democracy Act; and

5) that US corporations terminate their business with Burma's dictators.

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), a key sponsor of the Burma Freedom and Democracy Act, commented an the Fast for a Free Burma: "The current situation in Burma is absolutely unacceptable. With over two hundred arrests, the Administration is issuing the same empty threats it has repeated for three years. SLORC understandably believes it will pay no price for its repression. While I am disappointed that anyone must starve themselves to focus the Administration's attention on this crisis, I commend these students for their courage and commitment to Draw Aung San Suu Kyi and the democracy movement."

Concerned American students and citizens throughout the country have joined the Fast for a Free Burma to show their solidarity with their Burmese counterparts.



1) Please call or write to your congressional representatives and urge them to co-sponsor or endorse the Burma Freedom and democracy of 1995 act which will effectively bar US corporations from doing business with the military dictators in Burma.

The Senate Bill (S.1511) was introduced by Senators McConnell, Moynihan, Leahy and D'Amato, and was referred to Chairman D'Amato's Banking Committee

The House Bill (H. 2411) was introduced by Congressman D. Rohrabacher from California.

2) Please write to President Clinton to endorse restrictive measures such as the Bill against the military dictators in Burma who are partially responsible for smuggling heroin to the United States.


Please join the growing campus-based consumer boycott campaign in the United States.

The following major US corporations are being boycotted for their support of Burma's military dictators.

Unocal Oil Corporation


Please write or can your city council members to introduce selective contracting ordinances modelled after the anti-apartheid South African legislation.

Several cities and the universities have already taken a moral stand against the serious rights violations by the military dictators. Berkeley(CA), Madison (WI), Santa Monica (CA), Ann Arbor (MT). San Francisco (CA). and Oakland (CA) have passed city ordinances banning the city from doing business with U.S. corporations that support the Burmese military.

For more information, please contact:

The Free Burma Coalition
225 North Mills Street
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53706

T: (608) 256-6572
F: (608) 263-9992

Webpage: email: or

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