International reaction to the 2007 Burmese
ranges from support of the
protestors through neutrality to support of the State Peace and Development
, the ruling junta. While most countries supported the protests
and urged the Myanmar's State Peace and Development
Council ruling military Junta to
implement far-reaching reforms, several key countries, such as the
Republic of China and India maintained
commitment to the notion of noninterference.
of protests against the Burmese Government's crackdown have been
- Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
September 25, appealed to the United Nations and international
community to press the Burmese government to release political
"The courage of the people of Burma is amazing and now
they have been joined by their holy men," the Nobel peace laureate said in a
"It is so like the rolling mass action that eventually
toppled apartheid," he said of the growing
street protests in Myanmar.
"We admire our brave sisters and brothers in Burma and
want them to know that we support their peaceful protests to end a
vicious rule of oppression and injustice."
- The Government of Canada
demanded that Burmese leaders meet with the protesters.
On September 26, Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier issued a
statement that "Canada condemns the use of deadly force by the
military and police against the monks and other protesters in Burma
who were expressing their right to peaceful dissent, and calls on
Burma to put an immediate end to such violence."
- The Chilean Ministry of Foreign Relations, on September 25,
expressed concern and absolutely rejected any action that would
prevent the free exercise of basic human rights and called for the
government of Myanmar to avoid the use of violence as well as free
as a gesture
of good will to the international community. On September 28, the
Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the violence against
protesters and called for the international community to make
maximum efforts to contribute to the end of the current situation.
- President George W. Bush
, on September
, announced new sanctions against "the leaders of the regime
and its financial backers", accusing the military dictatorship in
Myanmar of imposing "a 19-year reign of fear" that denies basic
freedoms of speech, assembly and worship.
"Americans are outraged by the situation in Burma," the
president said in an address to the U.N.
Secretary of State Condoleezza
, who in 2005 called Myanmar one of six "outposts of tyranny
", said on September 23
that the U.S. was watching the
situation in the Southeast Asian country "very carefully."
"The Burmese people deserve better," Rice
"They deserve a life to be able to live in freedom,
just as everyone does.
The brutality of this regime is well
The U.S. would work to raise support for the Burmese
pro-democracy protestors during this week's U.N.
General Assembly gathering, Rice said.
- China is one of the closest allies and economic supporters of the
ruling junta in Myanmar. In China's first official comment on the
protests, Zhang Zhijun, a vice minister of the party's
International Department, said Beijing has had minimal contact with
either side and would abide by its long-term policy of
noninterference in the domestic affairs of its allies. However, the
Chinese government has quietly urged Myanmar's military rulers to
ease the strife despite its stance that it would publicly stick to
a hands-off approach toward its neighbor.
- The President of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Chen Shui-bian
expressed, on behalf of the
Taiwanese Government, he conveys the strongest denunciation and
regret to such violences of anti-democracy, anti-human rights,
anti-humanity of Burmese Government, and appeals to the global
democratic community to bring active interposition to Myanmar, so
that bring liberty, democracy and peace to Burmese people afresh as
soon as possible. He also urges the international society to square
up to the entity of autarchy of the People's Republic China, to her
bad record of human rights, and also, to pay close attention to her
military intimidation, diplomatic repression and political wars of
consolidation to Taiwan.
On October 6, more than 100 Burmese
and Taiwanese people
Taipei City to support the ongoing demonstrations in Burma. "Free
Burma! Free Aung San Suu Kyi!" they shouted.
- India, another important nation bordering Myanmar, was earlier
reluctant to comment anything on the situation, although in a major
boost to the ruling junta, India's oil ministry has decided to
invest US$150 million in gas exploration in Myanmar. On 26
September, however, it broke its silence over the issue and said,
"Government is concerned at and is closely monitoring
the situation in Myanmar...
(and hopes) all sides will resolve their issues
peacefully through dialogue."
An external affairs spokesman also added "India has believed that
Myanmar's process of political reform and national reconciliation
should be more inclusive and broad-based".
- Japan has stated that it hopes that the government and the
protesters can use dialog to bring peace.
"Japan strongly hopes that the Government of Myanmar
will make sincere efforts including dialogue for national
reconciliation and democratization, taking into account the wishes
expressed in the protests by the people of Myanmar,"
said a statement of Japan Foreign Affairs.
- The Government of South
stated that they are strongly concerned about its
situation, and urged the Government of Myanmar that "to exercise
restraint in order to prevent the further aggravation of its
situation", and hoped to both the Government and the people of
Myanmar to build their democracy and development peacefully, by the
spokesperson of the
. On September 28, 2007, Moon
( ), one of the pro-government candidates (currently
'independent') of the 2007 presidential
published their press release that the Government of
Myanmar should not fight with their gun against democracy.
Moreover, on September 27, a well-known civil organization called
'the People's Solidarity of Participatory Democracy' ( ) criticized
the Burmese military regime, due to their pressure on the peaceful
demands of Burma's democracy.
- Indonesia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations,
, viewed the
protests and crackdown in Myanmar (which is a member of ASEAN
) with concern
and called for restraint in part of the Burmese government:
"We are seriously following these developments very
We are concerned by it.
We are calling on the authorities to exercise maximum
restraint and desist from any acts that could cause further
Indonesia's approach has always been one of engagement, not
necessarily meaning that we are less concerned about the situation
We are just convinced that the best way to go is through
engagement and encouragement."
- Though the Lao government has not released any statements,
Gen Than Shwe's
family members, including
an associate, landed in Vientiane on the 27th.
- On September 26, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar
worry on the effects of the unrest in Myanmar, stating the Burmese
junta's failure to diligently move towards democratisation would be
seen as an embarrassment to ASEAN due to the pact's perceived
inability to address Myanmar's problems.
Also commented by the Foreign Minister was the use of economic
sanctions against Myanmar, which was viewed as being more likely to
affect ordinary citizens more than the targeted group. Soe Win, the
News and Periodicals Enterprise Managing Director and head of
Myanmar's information agency, lauded Malaysia's stand on the issue
of sanctions, adding:
"Most of the Western media fabricate news about
Myanmar, getting information from undesirable
On September 28, Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah
stood up to voice his view that ASEAN's
constructive engagement with the Burmese junta has failed, as
Myanmar does not occasionally appear to push for democratisation
and fails to abide by ASEAN's demands:
"It has been the formula used when we deal with Myanmar
but up to this stage, it has not been successful although it has
been many years already".
The Prime Minister also reiterated support for the dispatch of
to Myanmar by the
UN, stating ASEAN was giving its full backing.
same day, about 3,000 refugees, migrant workers and activists
staged a march towards the Burmese embassy in Kuala Lumpur and handed a memorandum to minister-counsellor Win
Myint, urging the junta to resolve the unrest in Myanmar.
The protest was led by All Burma Democratic Force, followed by a
range of other human rights organisations. Another round of
peaceful demonstration was held by 2,000 Myanmars affront the
Burmese embassy (alongside the Russian and Chinese embassies) on
the morning of October 4.
- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Myanmar to take steps for democracy, called again to release Aung
San Suu Kyi and asked the junta to invite UN Special Envoy Ibrahim
Gambari to Myanmar.
- Singapore, currently holding the chair of ASEAN, released a
statement in a bid to encourage a peaceful resolution to the
Burmese events, mentioning that "Singapore is concerned over the
latest developments in Myanmar and is monitoring the situation
On September 27, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that:
"Singapore is deeply troubled and concerned by reports
that the demonstrations in Yangon have been suppressed by
We urge the Myanmar authorities to exercise utmost
Singapore also supported the UN's decision to send Ibrahim Gambari
- Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont
issued his statement
against the Burmese government's decision to use force against
protesters, sharing his views as a Buddhist and a former military
official on the effects of any crackdown:
"I'm trying my best to convince the Burmese: 'Don't use
the harsh measures.'
At the least they should try to avoid the violent
action from the government side.
As a Buddhist and as a soldier, I can say that it will be very
difficult for the Burmese government to use violence to crack down
on the monks.
topic has been conspicuously avoided in Vietnam up until
September 25, when a few news outlet
began publishing terse accounts.
It will be against the way of life of the Buddhists."
- The French government warned Myanmar's ruling junta on September 24
, that it would be held accountable
if it cracked down on protesters who have taken to the streets in
large numbers in Yangon.President Nicolas Sarkozy
requested on September 26
that French businesses freeze
investments in Myanmar and he called for the UN Security Council to
have 'sanctions to be adopted without delay.'
- On September 23
, foreign minister
said in a statement that:
"(Sweden) demands that the regime fully respects the
right to peaceful protests" ...
"We—and the European
Union—want to open up for cooperation and trade with a
- The UK Ambassador, Mark
, commented that the Burmese leaders were now in
uncharted territory, and was concerned about any possible crackdown
by the junta, saying:
"That would be a disaster, although in terms of
probability, I'm afraid, ranks quite high."
Mike Ellam, Prime
Minister Gordon Brown
"[[[Her Majesty's Government|HM Government]]]
deplore(s) the continued repression of ordinary citizens by the
Burmese regime and we were deeply concerned by reports of further
acts of violence perpetrated this week by security officials
against peaceful demonstrators."
Secretary David Miliband, at the
Conferences in Bournemouth, responded to events by saying:
"I for one thought it was brilliant to see Aung San Suu Kyi alive and well outside her
house last week.
I think it will be a hundred times better when she
takes her rightful place as the elected leader of a free and
- Foreign Ministry spokesman, Martin Jaeger, expressed his sympathy
towards the demonstrators, saying:
"We, along with the Portuguese presidency of the
European Union, urge the release of those recently detained during
- The Irish Foreign Minister
, stated that:
"We have all been struck by the dignity and courage of
the protests by thousands of Buddhist monks and tens of thousands
of ordinary people in cities across the country, and their appeal
for national reconciliation, genuine democracy and improved living
"The Burmese authorities must fulfil their promises of
reconciliation and democratisation, which the 14 year-long National
Convention has singularly failed to deliver. The authorities must
engage democratically with the democratic opposition and ethnic
groups in open and inclusive dialogue. The world needs to speak
with one voice in ensuring restraint on the part of the Burmese
regime in dealing with the peaceful protests.”
Ahern also then stated that the European
should impose more sanctions against Myanmar's military
"Within the European Union, Ireland has long taken a
strong and principled position on Burma.
We are looking urgently at how to increase the pressure
on the regime, including through further EU restrictive measures,
without harming the ordinary people whose suffering is already so
- Polish democracy leader Lech
and a former Communist Polish political and military
leader Wojciech Jaruzelski
a unique joint appeal to Myanmar's junta on Thursday to talk to
"In Myanmar, as in Poland, only a bloodless transition
to democracy is in the interest of all."
- Norwegian Prime Minister Jens
and Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre
both condemned the
use of violence by the military junta, and urged the international
community to take responsibility for the democratic development in
Myanmar. Jens Stoltenberg stated that:
"The use of force is the last thing Burma needs right
That's a message we're sending very clearly from the
"We believe that the countries in the immediate area
have a special responsibility.
That applies, not least, to China."
- Dutch Prime Minister Jan-Peter
has called for sanctions against Myanmar.
"In Myanmar, soldiers opened fire on monks and
civilians taking part in peaceful demonstrations.
We strongly condemn this brutal violence."
Also, he asked the United Nations Security
Council to meet once again.
"If the Security Council does not reach an agreement,
we will take our own responsibility.
In that case, I am convinced that the
European Union and the United States will decide on further measures, together with
other benevolent countries."
In accordance, several sanctions are being considered by the Dutch
government, including a possible ban on wood from Myanmar. Also,
the Prime Minister remarked that these sanctions should target only
the military junta, but not impair the population.
- Swiss President Micheline
spoke at the opening of the UN's 62nd General
Assembly and addressed the use of force by Burma's military junta
against pro-democracy demonstrators calling the situation
"alarming". Calmy-Rey went on by adding that Switzerland favoured a
dialogue, among all parties involved, under leadership of the UN
secretary-general's special envoy to Burma, Ibrahim Gambari
- Pope Benedict
stated that he wishes for a peaceful
solution to the "extremely serious" events in Myanmar, and
expressed sorrow for the poor
residents of the
country during its "painful trial".
- The Australian Foreign Minister
has told reporters
"I hope the international community will use this, as
Australia does, as an opportunity to express our heartfelt support
for the people of Burma who want to see reform there, but also to
send a very strong message to the military leaders in Burma that
some hardline crackdown like we saw in the 1980s, in 1988, would be
completely unacceptable to the international
On September 27
, there were protests in
major cities across Australia, supporting the rights of Burmese to
democracy and peaceful protest.
Also on September 27, Alexander Downer said there was little the
could do after the
's call for
"The very fact of the Security Council addressing the
issue of Burma is important because it helps to provide momentum
for international support for reform in Burma and this opportunity
has to be used for that."
- Free Myanmar political prisoners, says TutuThe
Independent (South Africa), September 25, 2007.
- DECLARACIÓN DEL GOBIERNO DE CHILE REFERENTE A LA
SITUACIÓN EN MYANMAR Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de
Chile, September 25, 2007.
- CHILE CONDENA REPRESIÓN EN MYANMAR (BIRMANIA)
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Chile, September 28,
- Bush Urges U.N. to Spread Freedom AP (via The
New York Times), September 25, 2007.
- Burma Sees Biggest Anti-Gov't Protests in Years
CNS News, September 24, 2007.
- Faced with Myanmar protests, China reaffirms
nonintervention Inquierer.net, September 25, 2007.
- China quietly prods Myanmar leaders to calm
tensions CNN, September 26, 2007.
- Loa Iok-sin Marchers back Myanmar demonstrators,
- World urges restraint amid Myanmar protests
AFP, September 25, 2007.
- "Political reform in Myanmar should be broad-based,
says India", Times of India, September 26, 2007
- Japan calls for restraint and dialogue in Burma
Mizzima News, September 25, 2007.
- Statement by MOFAT Spokesperson on the Current
Situation in Myanmar, Spokesperson's office of the MOFAT,
September 27, 2007.
- the Press-release(Korean), Public Relations
Dept. of Moon Guk-hyeon, September 28, 2007
- Issues and Action(Korean), the PSPD, September
- France warns Myanmar junta against crackdown
AFP (via Inquirer.net), September 24, 2007.
- Sarkozy asks French businesses to freeze Myanmar
investments UPDATE Thomson Financial News (via abcmoney.co.uk),
September 26, 2007.
- Växande protester i Burma Alla dessa dagar (Bildt's
personal weblog), September 23, 2007.
- Monks lead largest Burma protestBBC, September
- Burma Statement Downing Street says, 2007-09-24
- UN wants Burma envoy, Howard flags more
sanctionsAustralian Broadcasting Corporation News Online,
September 27, 2007.