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Watch "Shoot on Sight" and contact Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon to demand UN Security Council action on Eastern Burma and to exert immediate pressure on the military junta in Burma to stop violence and enter dialogue throughout the country.
Beginning August 19, 2007 there was a series of peaceful protests across Burma as monks, activists and ordinary citizens challenge misrule and repression. On September 26, the Burmese military government responded with violence. Thousands of protestors were seized and taken away, hundreds have disappeared, and the military has clamped down on all dissent.
Meanwhile, in eastern Burma, a 45-year catastrophe has reached one of its worst moments, as the country's military junta escalates its attacks against the area's ethnic minorities. The government's efforts to assert control over ethnic border areas have emptied over 3,000 villages in a decade, an average of almost one village each day over the past ten years. The forces of Burma's military junta, the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC), are mortaring villages, looting and burning homes to the ground, and destroying crops in an effort to obliterate the livelihoods of rural communities. Burmese soldiers are ordered to shoot civilians on sight.
Act Now to demand change for the people of Burma!
Over 500,000 displaced people live in constant insecurity in eastern Burma, and over 30,000 more have been displaced because of this most recent offensive. Those who are captured by the Burmese army face forced labor, conscription, torture, rape and even execution. The rest are unable to return to their homes for fear of stepping on landmines laid after their escape. Instead, the displaced live in makeshift camps in the jungle, enduring some of the worst health conditions in any world crisis today.
As this crisis escalates, it threatens to destabilize not only Burma but the region at large. The increasing refugee exodus places a burden on neighboring states, and regional politicians are concerned that epidemics of HIV/AIDS and other diseases will spill over into their own communities.
Only broader international consensus and diplomatic pressure will bring an end to these human rights abuses, allow entry of adequate amounts of humanitarian aid, and provide a political solution and a transition to democracy for ethnic minorities and the broader population in Burma.