Statement on Myanmar (Burma) Military Regime's Detaining NLD Gen. Sec. Aung San Suu Kyi and Others

June 3, 2003

Japanese Trade Union Confederation
General Secretary: Tadayoshi Kusano

  1. On the night of May 30, in northern Mandalay, a clash ensued between supporters of the National League for Democracy (NLD), including top members and Aung San Suu Kyi who was campaigning, and an anti-NLD group. General Secretary Suu Kyi and other NLD high officials were taken into custody under the pretext of calming the situation. Many casualties were reported and General Secretary Suu Kyi herself was also said to have suffered a head injury. Furthermore, the ruling military has sealed off all NLD headquarters around the nation and on June 2, universities and colleges were also ordered shut down.

  2. RENGO is treating this incident with extreme gravity. Since its establishment in 1962, the military government has been repressed pro-democratic forces in Myanmar. In the groundswell of post-1988 pro-democratic movements, the military junta has ignored the democratically elected administration in 1990 by continuing its military ruling. Although Myanmar ratified ILO Conventions 29 (Forced Labour Convention) and 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention), forced labour remains practiced and union activities have not been allowed. RENGO continues to support union and pro-democratic movements in Myanmar along with ICFTU (International Confederations of Free Trade Unions.)

  3. RENGO urges the Myanmar military elite to: (1) Immediately release General Secretary Suu Kyi and other NLD officials and guarantee their safety, (2) Grant General Secretary Suu Kyi, the NLD, and other citizens' the right to engage in free political activities, (3) Start dialogue with General Secretary Suu Kyi and the NLD officials without delay.

  4. RENGO will also demand that the Japanese government strongly pressure the Myanmar government to realize items (1) - (3) stated above in order to find a breakthrough in this string of incidents.