Burma - Statement issued by the Evangelical Fellowship of Asia

General October 3, 2007

Statement issued by the Evangelical Fellowship of Asia

Contact: EFA General Secretary, efa@sltnet.lk

It is with deep anguish and shock that we learn of the violent attack on Buddhist monks and civilians who were engaged in a peaceful protest in Burma during the past week. We are appalled by the violent repression of unarmed protestors by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and the subsequent raids on Buddhist temples, rounding up Buddhist monks and activists.

We condemn this brutal attack on religious leaders and civilians. We call upon Burma’s military government to bring an immediate end to this bloody crackdown and to pursue a path of peaceful dialogue towards democratic governance.

We express our deep sorrow and condolences to the families of those who were killed by the SPDC, including the Japanese journalist who was shot while covering the protest. We pray for the civilians and Buddhist monks who suffered physical injury during the police crackdown. We stand with those prisoners of conscience who have been arrested and incarcerated for expressing their views through peaceful demonstrations.

Burma today stands at a very crucial juncture in its history. We believe this is a time that can bring about a peaceful and prosperous future for Burma. Towards this end, we hope and pray that the government of General Than Shwe will take substantial steps to usher in a climate of justice and equality.

We call upon Burma’s military government to actively promote national reconciliation and unity; while desisting from violent repression of her citizens.

We call upon the international community, particularly ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) countries to step up efforts to bring an end to the violence in Burma and persuade the Burmese military government to initiate a peaceful transition towards democracy for Burma’s people.