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Chistian Solidarity Worldwide Presses Burma On Human Rights

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has called on Burma to put an end to its human rights violations.

The organization put out a press release Monday urging the regime to release all political prisoners, stop international law violations and declare a nationwide ceasefire.

Despite President Thein Sein's promising progress in the peace process, CSW's East Asia Team Leader Benedict Rogers says it hasn't been enough.

“President Thein Sein has made a few encouraging gestures, taken a few symbolic steps and adopted some reformist rhetoric. Such steps, such as meeting Aung San Suu Kyi, suspending the construction of the Myitsone dam and releasing 220 political prisoners, are in themselves welcome and should be encouraged, but they fall well short of amounting to meaningful change," Rogers said in the press release.

Since President Thein Sein took office in March of this year, over 30 cases of rape and sexual violence committed by Burma Army Soldiers have been reported.

The International Labour Organization has gotten over 400 complaints of forced recruitment of child soldiers, according to the report.

The Sein regime has also broken a 17-year-old ceasefire launching attacks against the Kachin ethnic people and other civilians as well. Forced labor, displacement, religious persecution and torture have persisted with the new administration.

Rogers would go on to say, "If real change is to occur in Burma, the regime must release all political prisoners, stop violations of international law, declare a nationwide ceasefire and enter into a meaningful dialogue with the ethnic nationalities and the democracy movement led by Aung San Suu Kyi towards national reconciliation."

CSW also stated the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) should be granted full access to prisons to evaluate conditions, meet prisoners, and provide assistance.

Burma has consistently been pressed for its human violations over the past two decades.

In 2004, Brad Adams, director of the Human Rights Watch Asia division said in a statement to the EU development committee, "There is no freedom of speech, assembly or association. State TV and radio are merely a crude propaganda tool of the regime, merely recounting what the top Generals did on any given day."

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