In my last post I wrote about not participating in the Amnesty International letter writing campaign and provided some excuses for not doing so. The undone and unsent posts remained in my drafts and one in particular gnawed at me.
Amnesty International had reminded me that the military rulers of Myanmar have jailed thousands in their efforts to crush all dissent – including prisoner of conscience and Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. But the pressure on Myanmar's leaders is building, and Suu Kyi's release is not only possible today, but could happen very soon.The more letters we send, the better chance we have at setting Aung San Suu Kyi free.
Aung San Suu Kyi has been a source of inspiration for both this blog and for My Pathways to New Paradigms, which helped define this journey. There have been times when I have been skeptical of these efforts but this time I am putting those thoughts aside.
So even if it is the end of the campaign and its is only one letter, I fulfilled a pledge to write a letter on behalf of Aung San Suu Kyi: Yes, I will write a letter!
Senior General Than Shwe
Chairman State Peace and Development Council c/o Ministry of Defense Naypyitaw UNION OF MYANMAR (Burma)
Dear Senior General:
I am deeply concerned that Nobel Peace Prize winner Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced in August 2009 to 18 months of house arrest after already spending 14 of the past 20 years under detention or restriction because of her work to protect human rights in Myanmar. She is one of more than 2,100 political prisoners detained in Myanmar, including student leaders Htay Kywe, Mie Mie, and Zaw Htet Ko Ko, Buddhist monk U Gambira, and political activist U Win Htein.
The sentencing of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to 18 months of detention is an affront to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which your government is obliged to uphold as a member of the United Nations.
Our President Obama urged Myanmar's Prime Minister, Thein Sein, to release democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners in Myanmar when he met with the leaders of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).
I urge you to demonstrate Myanmar’s commitment to human rights by ordering the immediate and unconditional release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all other prisoners of conscience in Myanmar.
Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.
copy to: U Myint Lwin Minister-Counselor,
Charge d’Affaires Ad
Interim Embassy of the Union of Myanmar
2300 S Street NW Washington, DC 20008
Fax: 1 202 332 4351 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is a very minor effort in this year's Amnesty International Global Write-a-thon which has as this year's goal 10,000 activists sending 250,000 letters compared to last year's of 7,000 people in the U.S. who wrote 200,000 letters in support. Still, it will add one more straw to the junta's back. Even though the effort seems meager and last minute, I keep in mind what else Amnesty International reminded me about.
P.S. – We've seen prisoners freed and lives spared when letters flood into government offices! Just last year, Ma Khin Khin Leh, a school teacher in Myanmar and Hana Abdi, a women's rights advocate in Iran, were both released from prison after Write-a-thon letters overwhelmed their respective government offices.
- Two requests - One to help one woman, the other to help millions, both help us all
- Aung San Suu Kyi Support gets thanks but not results
- Once Again Help Free Aung San Suu Kyi
- Avaaz asks Help Free Aung San Suu Kyi
- Revisiting The Past Creating the Future
- Refugees Across the Globe - A Millennium Problem
- Open Architecture Network - Making a difference with the Web and Triangular Scale
- Even In A Digital World It Takes Real Heart To Make Change
- A Paradigm Shift in Seeing the Potential of Paradigm Shifts