Free all Political Prisoners in Burma sign now

To: The Honourable Mr. Kofi Annan
Secretary General of the United Nations

Members of the UN Security Council

Leaders of ASEAN, Japan and India

Re: Immediate Release of All Political Prisoners in Burma/Myanmar

Dear Sirs,

We, Shans and friends of Shans around the world, call upon you to put pressure on Senior General Than Shwe to immediately release all political prisoners in Burma.

Already a year has passed since thirty political leaders from Shan State who were peacefully advocating for political reform were arrested by the SPDC. On the 9-Feb-2005, thirty Shan Leaders were arrested by the Burmese SPDC because they had a meeting to celebrate the Shan National Day and to discuss various topics, including how best to resolve the dire political situation in Burma.

Amongst those arrested were, 62 year old Hkun Htun Oo, leader of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, 60 year old Maj. Gen. Hso Ten, Chairman of the Shan State Peace Council, which is an alliance of Shan ceasefire armies, 52 year old Sao Noot, General Secretary of SNLD.
The Shan National League for democracy won the majority of seats in the Shan State, in the 1990 election.

Despite international call for the release of political prisoners, as in the case of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi the SPDC has not responded. Hkun Htun Oo and his colleagues are not only still in prison but they have been transferred to remote areas, as far away from the Shan State as possible. This is to make it difficult or impossible for friends and relatives to visit.

After secret trials they had been charged with the alleged crimes of defamation of the state and illegal association with the enemies.
Khun Htun Oo was sentenced to 93 years imprisonment; Sao Hso Hten 106 years; Sai Noot 85 years; while the rest received 75 years.

On 2 May 2006, Math Myint Than, one of those imprisoned in Arakan for 75 years suffered from severe chest pain and was taken to hospital. He didnt survive as he died of a massive stroke during his treatment. He underwent psychological and physical torture whilst in jail. He was only 56 years of age and in perfect health before his imprisonment.

Since the military Coup in 1962, the policy of the generals has been to immobilize the leaders of the opposition. All members of the government of the time were arrested and imprisoned until they were physically and mentally weak. The strongest and the most outspoken like Sao Kya Hseng, the Sao Hpa of Hsipaw were either murdered or like Sao Shwe Thaike, the ex-president of the Union of Burma poisoned when he was still in prison.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her NLD colleagues then became the target. During the 2005 National Convention the non-Burman ethnic nationals who attended the convention were chosen by the Generals. They therefore thought that they now had the non-Burman ethnic nationals under their control and the convention would go according to their plan. But the ethnic nationals put forward clauses to be included in the constitution, which were immediately and blindly refused. The Generals thought that Hkun Htun Oo and his SNLD colleagues were the brains behind the convention attendees and therefore they were arrested.

Without the leaders of the opposition, the Generals hoped they could now get on with the National Convention the way they desired: the members of the armed forces holding 75 percent of seats in government. This then could be drafted into the Constitution and signed by representatives of other ethnic nationals. In this way the Generals could still hold on to power as long as they pleased, and their position in government could be legalized.

Political leaders who are presently imprisoned are essential for the promotion of democracy. Their abilities and experience will be much needed in the democratically elected government of Burma and for drafting a fair and just Constitution based on the Panglong Agreement.

1. We would, therefore like to ask you to please support us in our petition to Senior General Than Shwe, Leader of the SPDC to:

a. Immediately release Hkun Htun Oo, other Shan leaders and all political prisoners in Burma, including those under house arrest.

b. Immediately implement a nationwide ceasefire and begin a tripartite dialogue with the National League for Democracy and Representatives of other ethnic nationalities to begin a meaningful process of political reform.

2. We would like to request that all Governments cease supporting the SPDC with weapons. The SPDC is waging war and terrorizing citizens of the country.

3. To ask the Secretary General and Members of the Security Council to consider the dire political and human rights situation as a priority issue; On humanitarian grounds to take appropriate and immediate action leading to a change in government and restoration of democracy in Burma.


Global Shan Community


This petition has been copied to many world leaders who have an interest in seeing a peaceful and lasting return to democracy for Burma. We request that all of these leaders use their influence to bring about the immediate compliance with our requests and work with successive governments of Burma to bring about prosperity to Burma and friendship among nations.

This letter has been prepared by 'Global Shan Community' representing Tai (Shan) communities worldwide who wish to see a peaceful and immediate transition to a civilian government in Burma, who will be free to prepare an authentic constitution that prohibits military domination, and to hold free and fair elections. The undersigned have indicated that they support this letter using either the signed paper copy or the online petition website ( as a reliable method of ensuring valid signatures.

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Charlene RobbinsBy:
Technology and the InternetIn:
Petition target:
UN Security Council, ASEAN, and World Leaders


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