Burma supporters call for United Nations intervention
on UN Day
"People are still being arrested, tortured
Protesters marched from the Chinese Consulate to UN Plaza in San
Francsico Wednesday to call on the United Nations to intervene
in Burma, to protect the Burmese people from crimes against humanity
committed by the country's military regime.
Photos by John
Han and Luke
October 24, 2007
A peaceful rally was held on the 62nd anniversary of the birth
of the United Nations in San Francisco Wednesday to call on the
UN to intervene in Burma.
Organized by the Burmese American Democratic Alliance (BADA),
the rally began outside the Chinese Consulate and ended at United
Nations Plaza where a candlelight vigil was held.
Led by monks, the protesters are pleading with the UN to fulfill
its responsibility to protect the Burmese people from crimes against
humanity committed by the Burmese military regime.
The group hopes to pressure the Chinese government to relax its
opposition to UN action against Burma. If successful, it is expected
Russia will follow suit, changing the politics of the UN Security
Council and increasing pressure on the military junta to end its
In the last month, military rulers have stepped up their campaign
to squash a popular uprising. Among the images of brutality to
have emerged from the protests was one of Japanese journalist
Kenji Nagai, who was shot at close range while documenting the
"We recognize that the United Nations has many accomplishments,"
said Nyunt Than, president of BADA, "but it has consistently
failed the people the Burma. The UN Security Council issued a
presidential statement deploring the use of violence against protesters,
urging the early release of prisoners, and calling for genuine
dialogue. In response, the junta raided residences in an all-out
hunt for protest leaders. People are still being arrested, tortured,
and killed everyday."
Although the U.S. Secretary of State has called for an international
presence in Burma, the UN special envoy to Burma is not expected
to return to Burma anytime time soon and there are presently no
plans by the UN to compel the military junta to fulfill demands
made by the UN Security Council.
"The world must intensify pressure on China and Russia to
not block stronger actions by the UN," Than said. "We
need swift, immediate, concrete actions now; we need collective
sanctions; we need a multilateral arms embargo; we need intervention
by the UN peacekeeping force before it's too late."