Burma has been under totalitarian regimes since 1962 when General Ne Win staged a military coup. Since then, Burmese people are suffering very tremendously. Under General Ne Winís one party Burma Socialist Programming Party, corruptions are rampant, and people are facing very hardship due to closed economics system and miss-management. In 1988 students led the mass uprising demanding for democracy, human rights and successfully managed to topple General Ne Winís government after sacrificing thousands of lives. But, another military came to power on 18 September 1988 after gunned down peaceful demonstrators and declared to hold elections.
On 27 May 1990, elections were held and National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi won landslide victory. State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) later changed the name to State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), the ruling generals, refused to honour the elections results and put Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest and arresting political activists intensified. Peopleís longing for freedom and liberty have never been faded away and Burmaís situation is like a time bomb waiting to be exploded.
In 1996 December, another students demonstrations were broke out demanding for student rights, freedom and calling for Asean not to allow Burma to join the bloc. Military regime swiftly cracked down students movements and imprisoned prominent leaders. Historically, students are always forefront of the movements in Burma and successfully fought to regain national independence. Ordinary people never hesitate to join in and show their support. But, peaceful protesters armed with non-violent were incomparable to soldiers with guns and riot polices with batons.
In May 2003, Aung San Suu Kyiís motorcade was attacked by junta backed thugs near Depaeyin, upper Burma. Hundreds of Aung San Suu Kyiís supporters were beaten to dead. Regime in the mean time, still ignoring to honour the 1990 elections results and didnít allow elected MPs to meet as the peopleís assembly. Human rights violations are common in Burma, day in and day out, everywhere. The basic commodities prices are inflated to the sky rocked high. While, living standard of Burmese citizens are escalating downward very rapidly out of control. In Burma, majority of the people are Buddhism comprising of 90% of the population and Buddhist monks are traditionally very revered in Burmese society. Buddhist monks played vital role alongside with public in countryís struggle for independence, justice and freedom.
In August 2007 when military regime announce to increase the fuel price 500% unnoticed overnight which caused to elevate prices of other stable food and basic commodities. People of Burma are facing very difficult situation as people earn less than $1 a day and studentsí leaders demanded the regime to solve the problems. Military regime suppressed very quickly and arrested prominent leaders. Buddhist monks cannot keep quiet anymore as lay people are suffering very tremendously and they led the public and demanded the junta to find the solution and calling for national reconciliation. Military regime saw the Buddhist monks as the threatened to their cling onto power and attacked the Buddhist monks. The largest anti-government protests were broke out in 19 years led by Buddhist monks called Golden Colour Revolution (Saffron revolution). Military regime opened fired on peaceful demonstrators including Buddhist monks and raided Buddhist monastery and imprisoned thousand of political dissidents.
Hundreds of people lost their lives during Saffron revolution and regime have no exception to anyone who against them. International Community witnessed the brutalities of the regime and condemned the junta for killing peaceful demonstrators. Regime announced in 2007 that their national convention is about to be concluded for drafting constitution unilaterally for 14 years long drawn by its handpicked delegations. They also declared that referendums will be held in May 2008 and elections will be followed in 2010.
In May 2 and 3, 2008, Cyclone Nargis struck Burma killing more than 200, 000 people and left more than 2 million people homeless. Military regime deliberately delayed to give humanitarian assistance and denied to accept international relief efforts. In the mist of catastrophic Cyclone disaster, military regime prioritized to adopt its sham constitution through sham referendum. They declared that constitution was adopted with more than 90% of the vote.
Democratisation - The 1990 Elections (John Pliger)
The SLORC had set strict rules for the election which made canvassing virtually illegal. It had even fixed the date for May 27, 1990, the fourth Sunday of the fifth month, a date favoured by Ne Win's numerologists.
Despite the restrictions, the arrest of their leaders, and the fact that Suu Kyi had been barred from standing as a candidate, the NLD decided to contest the election.
On the day, voting was remarkably open and fair. Ninety-three parties put forward more than 2000 candidates for 492 seats.
The SLORC had expected a fragmented opposition vote, with its party, the NUP, doing quite well.
Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) is the global campaigning and lobbying organisation to restore democracy, human rights and rule of law in Burma where everyone can enjoy the freedom of speech, press, beliefs, assembly and rule of law that emphasizes the protection of individual rights. Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) have the firm determination, dedication and devotion to keep on working until the democracy restore in Burma.
Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) believes that the solution for the crisis of Burma is restoring democracy, human rights and rule of law. Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) is equipped with participants who had political background and in depth knowledge of Burma issues. They had experiences in the past and engaging in current activities.
The main objectives of our organization are:
To support efforts to create a political environment in Burma
To increase awareness about political development in Burma
To strengthen support for Burma democracy movement in international governments