Back to normal in Burma - "Torture, Imprisonment, Death"
By John Newton
PEOPLE in Myanmar (Burma) continue to face strict government controls including imprisonment, torture and even death in the wake of uprisings earlier this year, an anonymous source has said.
The source, who cannot be named for safety reasons, thanked people around the world who have kept the recent events in their prayers and thoughts.
"We are much consoled and strengthened to know that many of our brothers and sisters throughout the world are praying for us," read a message to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need(ACN).
"Thank you for your prayers in the spirit of solidarity and love."
They also told ACN: "Now the situation is going back to the normal state as before. Everything is much severely controlled by the Government.
Many are still imprisoned and tortured, even to death."
The source went on to praise the "tremendous sacrifices" of Buddhist monks, who led public protests against authorities earlier this year. A number of people were killed during a government crackdown which was widely condemned by world leaders.
The protests earlier this year over drastic price rises led to the largest demonstration in the country in twenty years.
Appealing for solidarity, the source added: "Please continue to pray for us so that there may be peace, justice and prosperity in our country."
Father Alliende, International Ecclesiastical Assistant to ACN, described the situation as "intolerable" and said that the situation had provoked "growing moral outrage".
In a prayer for the Burmese people, Fr Alliende wrote: "Grant us to show active solidarity with our brethren: the oppressed, the victimised and the persecuted."
Myanmar is governed by a military dictatorship which the United Nations has accused of a "crime against humanity" for its violation of human rights.
These include the compulsory relocation of civilians and the widespread use of forced labour, including children.
The National League for Democracy, led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, won a landslide victory in 1990, but has never been allowed to govern.
To help the work of Aid to the Church in Need in Burma please contact the Sydney office of ACN on (02) 9679-1929. e-mail: email@example.com or write to Aid to the Church in Need PO Box 6245 Blacktown DC NSW 2148. Web:www.aidtochurch.org
Directly under the Holy See, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need.
ACN is a Catholic charity - helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.
founded in 1947 by Fr Werenfried van Straaten, whom Pope John Paul II named "An Outstanding Apostle of Charity", the organisation is now at work in about 145 countries throughout the world.
The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative's launch in 1979, 45 million Aid to the Church in Need Child's Bibles have been distributed worldwide.