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The Canadian Union of Public Employees joins millions of workers around the world in condemning the military regime in Burma (also known as Myanmar) for clamping down on the peaceful and legitimate protests taking place in Rangoon and many other cities throughout that country during the last several days.

The protests lead by Buddhist monks and nuns, are speaking out against a brutal military regime that has wiped out thousands of villages, imposed forced labour on many workers and created countless refugees.

For decades this military regime has fought off pressure from democracy activists and has kept elected democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi under almost constant house arrest for twelve of the last eighteen years.

The military regime is now being challenged from within and CUPE joins others in the global solidarity movement in supporting the mounting protests.

CUPE members were among the Canadian delegation of members to the Public Services International (PSI) meeting, being held in Vienna, Austria who voted overwhelmingly in favour of condemning the actions of the Burmese dictatorship. The international labour community is calling for respect and the establishment of human rights and the right of the Burmese people to a democracy.

PSI represents 20 million public sector workers from more than 150 countries.

Paul Moist, CUPE national president expressed hope that pressure from the world community will finally have a positive influence on Burma’s current leaders.

The power of people in the streets is well-known to the democratic labour movement. We stand in support of the monks and nuns of Burma and encourage our members to join others to do so—across Canada and around the world—tomorrow and as long as it takes to bring peace, democracy and the freedom to organize to a country long in search of it.”