Burma’s Prime Minister in Exile to Visit Ottawa

Oct. 24 is pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s 3,650th day under house arrest

MONTREALOct. 18, 2005 Monday, Oct. 24, 2005 , is the 10 th year of pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi’s life under house arrest in Burma . To mark this somber milestone, Rights & Democracy will host a number of events in Ottawa , including a media breakfast with Prime Minister Sein Win of Burma’s government-in-exile and other leaders of the ongoing struggle against political repression and the human rights abuses of Burma’s military rulers.

The media breakfast will feature presentations by Prime Minister Sein Win, who is also Aung San Suu Kyi’s first cousin; Charm Tong, a young educator and human rights campaigner from Burma recently selected as one of Time Magazine’s 2005 Asian Heroes; Bo Hla-Tint, Minister of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB); Zaw Oo, Director of Policy and Research Programs for the Burma Fund in Washington, DC; and Jean-Louis Roy, President of Rights & Democracy.

“These four special guests represent the courageous struggle being waged daily in the name of democracy and human rights in Burma ,” said Mr. Roy. “It’s a struggle the Canadian government cannot remain silent about, especially in light of the motion that was adopted by a majority in the House of Commons and democratically requires the government to act. Inaction is unacceptable from a government that states it is committed to democracy and human rights around the world.”

The media breakfast is the first in a day of events aimed at encouraging the Government of Canada to implement a Parliamentary motion on Burma that was adopted in May. The motion calls on the Canadian government to take both domestic and international measures in support of Burma ’s struggling democracy movement and more forcefully condemn the military junta’s continuing human rights abuses.

Rights & Democracy’s involvement with Burma ’s democracy movement dates back to 1990, when it became the first institution in the world to financially and politically support Burma ’s government-in-exile. Its support continues to this day through a number of projects, details of which can be found on Rights & Democracy’s Web site, www.dd-rd.ca.

The media breakfast takes place from 7:45 to 9 a.m. at the National Press Club, 165 Sparks St. ( Booth Building ), Ottawa , Ontario .