Target: President Thein Sein
Goal: Conduct a fair and impartial investigation into military officials and commanders concerning the 1998 massacre
It has been twenty five years since the mass killing of pro-democracy demonstrators by military forces, and yet the Burmese government has done nothing to prosecute the murderers. Pressure from nearby nations and allies are asking for genuine reform, and one way to ensure that is for the Burmese nation to commit to human rights and ensure that justice is served.
The death toll in the 1998 massacre steadily grew as the year progressed, with many peaceful demonstrators in the streets shot down by military units. The government had been suppressing pro-democracy actions, and this suppression only heightened the violence. On August 8, 1998 a nation wide demonstration that included Buddhist monks, students, civil servants, and citizens spawned in several cities; their numbers totaled in the thousands. These masses demanded an end to the military rule and for the government to transition to democracy. Intimidated by the size of the protesters, military forces were sent in to control the crowd. Shots were fired, killing and wounding hundreds. Some protesters fled, but there were others who fought back with Molotovs, sharpened bike spokes, swords and even poisoned darts.
Another incident took place on August 10 of that same year, involving the deaths of doctors and nurses at a hospital. The medical staff were in the middle of treating wounded civilians when the military opened fire. As the protesters grew into a frenzy, the current leader of Burma stepped down in late August to be replaced by a civilian doctor. An intern government had finally replaced military rule. Believing that they had won, the pro-democracy demonstrators organized committees to keep the peace in various cities. However in September, a military coup was staged where soldiers marched down streets and opened fire once more. They killed thousands of protesters, and arrested activists and student leaders. Many of these prisoners were subjected to torture and some are still in prisons today.
It quite obvious to the rest of the world that the military is at fault for these murders, however the Burmese government have done nothing to persecute them. It has been twenty five years since this massacre and justice must be ensured for the victims. These people fought for their rights and lost their lives to a military and government that did not listen to them. Urge the Burmese government to conduct investigations into the officials and commanders responsible for their deaths by signing this petition.
Dear President Thein Sein,
It has been twenty five years since the 1998 massacre in your country. Thousands of people lost their lives in peaceful protest, lives that were lost at the hands of your military. Those included in the death toll were Buddhist monks, student leaders, activists, civil servants, and ordinary citizens. All that your people asked for in those demonstrators was for a change in government, and they were killed for expressing their discontent. Many others are still rotting in jail cells while their prosecutors walk free.
I implore you to conduct a fair, impartial investigation to those involved, starting with your officials and commanders. These were the ones in charge of handling the soldiers, and more than likely the ones who gave the order to fire into civilians. Justice must be ensured for the victims of the massacre. It is the right thing to do and a sure sign of genuine reform.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Kenji Nagai via London Evening Standard