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Statement by IRI Responding to South China Morning Post Editorial

October 23, 2007

Washington, DC – “In a recent editorial in the South China Morning Post, the paper questions whether or not IRI should support the Burmese people in their struggle for freedom and democracy.  The answer to that question is an unequivocal yes.

“As long as the military junta shows no willingness for open dialogue or reform, then activists and their leaders inside Burma will seek help from outside sources – IRI is proud to be one of many organizations that provide resources and support to the activists supporting democracy in Burma.

“The Burmese people and their legitimate leaders appreciate our support.  Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said upon receiving IRI’s Freedom Award in 1998, ‘I am very grateful to the International Republican Institute for what it has done to promote democracy in different parts of the world, especially, of course, in my own country…we have had to depend on our friends to see us through very difficult times.’

“Until democracy and freedom take hold, IRI will continue to support the Burmese people.”