Applaud Release of Political Prisoners in East Asia

Target: Myanmar President Thein Sein

Goal: Applaud President Thein Sein for releasing more than 70 political dissidents

Only several years ago the East Asian country of Myanmar held thousands of prisoners for their political ideas – ideas unpopular with the reigning regime.  Recently, after a meeting with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Myanmar’s President Thein Sein set free more than 70 such individuals.  Myanmar now has fewer than 100 jailed dissidents for the first time in ages. President Sein should be commended for his vow: “I guarantee to you that by the end of this year there will be no prisoners of conscience in Myanmar.”

Myanmar has been chocked by violence and ethnic conflict since 1948, when the country achieved independence.  For a situation once thought hopeless by many at home and abroad, Myanmar has opened itself up to an almost breakneck pace of reform.  However, prospects of a burgeoning economy and open democracy are threatened by ethnic tension.  Since 2011, hundreds have died and nearly 100,000 displaced from conflict with the minority group Kachin Independence Army.

The current Myanmar government is committed to reversing this violence, negotiating 13 ceasefire agreements in two years with more peace treaties in the works.  A crucial step in appeasing ethnic conflict is the release of jailed dissidents.  Unfortunately, it’s also believed that many individuals are still being detained for their involvement in peaceful activities.  The problem is aggravated by a divergence of attitude between central government and local authorities at the country’s fringes.  These authorities need to be aligned with Myanmar’s new peaceful and progressive policy.

Since being elected to position in 2010, Sein’s government has taken inspiring strides to reform Myanmar’s authoritarian regime.  They have released over 2,700 prisoners around the country.  The president’s commitment to the release of all political prisoners is both amiable as well as crucial in securing peace.  Applaud President Sein for his efforts to create a new age of political freedom and free speech in Myanmar.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Thein Sein,

Since taking the seat of presidency in 2011, your government has ushered in a long-needed breath of fresh air to Myanmar.  Censorship of press has been lifted and for the first time in over half a century citizens are allowed to speak freely.  Government has repealed archaic laws and parliament is set to review the outdated constitution.  Still, ethnic tension threatens to hinder progress and reverse the positive transformations your government has introduced.

Thanks to your promise to grant amnesty to every dissident, down to the very last political prisoner in Myanmar, long-term peace is fast becoming an achievable goal.  Your commitment to building political freedom and an open democracy has helped revitalize the nation.  The recent release of over 70 more political dissidents from prison sends a clear signal that you are dedicated to upholding ceasefire agreements and maintaining peace.  Thank you for bringing freedom to Myanmar and please continue your work with determination.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: number10gov via Flickr

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