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 Whistleblowers Need Protection




Statement by Hon. David Kilgour at Press ConferenceRoom,
130-S Centre Block, House of Commons, Ottawa
October 3, 2007

Others today have properly focused on the terrible violence being done to peaceful monks and protesters for democracy across Burma.  

Aung San Suu Kyi is always more concerned about others than herself, including political prisoners, but she is one of the most admired and loved persons on earth. She is the renowned advocate for democracy and human dignity for all.  

We know she was allowed to meet the UN Envoy, Ibrahim Gamberi, at a government guest house the other day, but we don't know whether she is now being held in prison or at her home under house arrest, where she has been for most of the past 18 years. If anything happens to her, the world will never forgive the generals. We do know now that one at least of them was involved in the attempt on her life three years or so ago, which thankfully failed.  

One of the first things the MPs should do on returning to Parliament this month is to vote her unanimously to be an honourary citizen of Canada. That could give her a measure of additional protection. Perhaps the government could do it immediately by order-in-council without seeking a vote in the House because of the urgency of the situation. Many governments and parliaments around the world should be doing the same thing immediately to try to protect her and possibly others in the Saffron revolution.  

Are the governments of the world doing enough to indicate their concern about the conduct of the regime now and in the past? I don't think so.

 Govt of China in Bloody Burma

In closing, permit me to focus on the various attempts by the government of China to oppose the most recent efforts by the peoples of Burma to achieve the rule of law, democracy and national reconciliation. Its efforts to shore up the generals' junta have included:

Using its permanent veto at the UN Security Council to keep the ongoing Burma tragedy away from the Security Council agenda for more than 15 years. When it finally reached the Council last November, the China representative worked hard to remove it quickly, while providing no help to the long-suffering peoples of Burma;

In January, it vetoed a Security Council resolution calling on the generals to cease persecuting minorities and opposition leaders;

Last week, it managed to prevent the Security Council from imposing sanctions of any kind on the junta or even condemning the use of force in Rangoon, allowing the Council only to express "concern"; and

Having its diplomatic envoy in Burma say after meeting the Foreign Minister there recently that Beijing wants "a democratic process that is appropriate for the country." The current government of China clearly opposes democracy in any country. The road to democracy under the generals is never-ending. The first of seven steps took fully fourteen years and produced a constitution which actually entrenched military rule.

As another Nobel Peace Prize winner, Jody Williams, pointed out last week, Beijing's longstanding support for the military junta includes modernizing their army and providing weapons valued at $1.4 billion. Its concern about what is happening in the country currently is really about how its role there might affect its Olympic Games.

In addition to the "Genocide Olympics" in respect of Darfur and the "Bloody Harvest Games" because of its treatment of Falun Gong practitioners, the world now has the   "Oppressed Burma Olympics" to ponder in deciding if it really wants to attend the Beijing games.

Thank you

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