Washington, DC – “As tens of thousands of Buddhist monks, activists, and citizens in Burma peacefully protest the current repressive military regime, the world watches and sympathizes with their cause.  In the most widespread protests since 1988, IRI joins all those who hope to see democracy and freedom take hold in Burma and condemns the violent actions of the military junta.

“The courage of the people of Burma cannot be overstated and the abuses of the junta must not be overlooked.  The international community must make it known to these brave individuals that we stand united in their quest to peacefully demand change, and that their actions and voices have not gone unheard.

“IRI joins the call for action by the international community to pressure the military junta to cease all violent suppression of peaceful protestors, release all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, and engage in a genuine dialogue towards national reconciliation.

“As we view the powerful images and read the remarkable stories that are coming out of Burma, we must not forget past sacrifices of the Burmese.  Similarly, we must acknowledge the continual sacrifices made by those in Burma who believe that freedom and democracy are not the privilege of a lucky few, but the ‘inalienable right of all human beings.'” 

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