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Condoleezza Rice Videotaped Statement on Burma

Videotaped Statement on Burma

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Aired on Voice of America
Washington, DC
May 29, 2006


SECRETARY RICE: This week in 1990, the Burmese people were robbed of their freedom and their democratic rights. The military regime refused to recognize the results of Burma's legitimate parliamentary election which was won overwhelmingly by the National League for Democracy and other opposition parties.

The past 16 years have been tragic ones for the Burmese people. Yet their spirit has not been broken, their courage has not waned, and their peaceful desire for liberty, dignity and prosperity remains stronger than the forces of tyranny.

Today, international concern for Burma is growing. The United Nations Security Council discussed the case of Burma on December 16, 2005, and Asian and European governments are urging the Burmese Government to change its cruel and misguided policies.

America is committed to advancing effective international action to help the people of Burma. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience, including Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Laureate and leader of Burma's democracy movement.

This Tuesday marks three years since the Burmese Government viciously attacked this courageous woman and forced her to live under house arrest, isolated from her friends, her family and her fellow citizens. The Government of Burma should fully investigate the May 30, 2003 assault and bring the perpetrators to justice.

We also call upon the Burmese regime to end its attacks on civilians, to cease its persecution of ethnic minorities and to return the country to democracy. The National League for Democracy and other opposition groups have demonstrated in good faith that they are willing to begin a real dialogue for peace and for national reconciliation. It is time for the Burmese regime to reciprocate. If the regime takes positive steps, I am confident that the international community will respond.

Finally, let me speak directly to all of the people of Burma. Your dream of democracy is not forgotten, nor is it yours to bear alone. America stands with you. We remain with you as your dedicated partner and we will work to hasten the coming of days when you will once again live in freedom, peace and prosperity. Thank you very much.

2006/552

Released on May 30, 2006

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