Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Indian Parliamentarians demand Suu Kyi’s release

by Mizzima News
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 12:15

New Delhi (mizzima) – Despite the Indian government maintaining a discreet silence over the on going trial of detained Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, over a dozen Indian Parliamentarians on Tuesday expressed concern and demanded that the military junta release her forthwith.

Members of Parliament from both houses – the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha – during a conference on Tuesday at the Constitution Club in Delhi expressed solidarity with the Burmese democracy movement led by Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and urged the Indian government to review and reconsider its current foreign policy on Burma.

“If there is a fire in our neighbour’s house, we also feel the heat and get burnt if it spreads. Burma is our next door neighbour and democratization there is in our long term interest,” the Parliamentarians said in a statement.

India should join the UN and the international community to help change Burma to a democracy, the MPs said.

“We urge our new government to use all possible diplomatic channels to convey our message to the Burmese generals that we want them to free Aung San Suu Kyi and start a political dialogue for the sake of peace and development in their country,” the statement said.

Being the largest democracy in the world and with Aung San Suu Kyi, having stayed in India’s capital, the Parliamentarians said, “We should not betray her [Aung San Suu Kyi], the inspiration of the Burmese people.”

The Indian MPs call echoed the international outcry over the Burmese military junta’s trial of Aung San Suu Kyi on charges of violating her detention rules for accepting an American, John Yettaw, in her lakeside home.

The special court in Rangoon’s Insein prison is set to hear the final argument of her case on Friday. If found guilty, she could face up to five years in prison.

While the Indian government has officially remained silent over the political developments in Burma, the Parliamentarians vowed to continue their support and push the government for action by expanding the existing Indian Parliamentary Forum for Democracy in Burma (IPFDB).

The IPFD was formed in December 2005 with the aim of engaging the Indian Government and to push for stronger action for political change in military-ruled Burma.

Aung San Suu Kyi had come to India in 1960 along with her mother, the then ambassador to India. She studied in New Delhi’s Lady Shri Ram College. She was also the recipient of the 1993 Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, India’s most prestigious civilian award.