To Esteemed Excellencies:
The Ambassadors to Myanmar from Australia, Canada; the Delegation of the EU and European Union Member States with presence in Myanmar: Denmark, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden; New Zealand; Norway; Switzerland; the United Kingdom; and the United States
We, the Women’s Human Rights Defenders of Myanmar would like to express our heartfelt appreciation for your ongoing support and solidarity extended to the people of Myanmar in these extremely difficult times. We note with gratitude that in our darkest moment, your collective voices came together to raise up the voices of the oppressed and detained by issuing on February 14 a collective statement condemning the detention and ongoing arrests of political leaders, civil society activists, civil servants, protestors, as well as the harassment of journalists. On international Women’s Day, March 8, when protestors were barricaded in the Sanchaung district, many of you called on the Myanmar security forces to withdraw so the protestors could go home safely. Again, on March 19 when cold blooded slaughter happened in Hlaing Tharyar and other places in Myanmar, you issued a strong statement. In each of your collective statements you have repeatedly called for removal of telecommunications restrictions. This is very much in support of the people’s struggle for justice, peace, and democracy. Security forces have killed over 570 civilians and 2728 have been arrested as of April 6. Meanwhile, they also maintained an internet blackout and try to hide these numbers from the people. The mobile internet data has been cut for 22 days and the nightly disruption of fixed line internet has already been happening for 50 days. With the speculation of a complete internet blackout looming in the near future (during Thingyan), we would like to urge Ambassadors to Myanmar to apply pressure on the State Administration Council (SAC) to immediately lift all restrictions on internet connections and refrain from any curtailment of nation-wide internet access. Failure to reinstall the internet connection in Myanmar means that the SAC will be able to continue to deprive the people of Myanmar of access to information and the communications essential in the steps toward ensuring restoration of peace and democracy. We thank you.
Women’s Human Rights Defenders of Myanmar:
1. Alliance for Gender Inclusion in the Peace Process (AGIPP)
AGIPP is formed in August 2014 with 7 networks and organizations focusing on women’s rights, gender justice and the peace process.
2. CEDAW Action Myanmar (CAM)
CAM composed of 15 local organizations and interested individuals, was organized and established in 2011 with the main purpose to monitor and encourage the Government of Myanmar to take into account its commitment on gender equality.
3. Gender Equality Network (GEN)
GEN is a diverse and inclusive network of 109 CSOs/NGOs, INGOs and individuals working to bring about gender equality and the fulfillment of women’s rights in Myanmar since May 2008.
4. Women’s League of Burma (WLB)
WLB was founded in 1999 as an umbrella organization comprised of 13 grassroots women’s organizations of different ethnic and political backgrounds from Burma/Myanmar.
5. Women Organizations Network (WON)
WON is a network of 37 organizations set up to support community women’s groups across Myanmar since 2008.