Letter from a group of responsible citizens in Burma

05 November 2007

The signed petitions, which the military junta (SPDC) provided to UN representative, Mr. Gambari, were obtained from the civil servants and civilians in Burma through forceful means by SPDC.

Translated by Burmese Bloggers w/o Borders

We thought long and hard about this matter that we are about to say in this letter. We have to reveal it as otherwise; we will feel guilty for being untruthful towards our country and fellow Burmese people.

We want to inform you about our actions that were carried out against our own will on a certain day which ended up as being the saddest day for us.

We are attending the technical institute of education for professional engineers which is under xxx Ministry in Burma.

We are students-cum-civil servants on xxxx Ministry’s payroll (or rather, on the payroll of Burma and its people). Being considered as civil servants, we sometimes have to undertake orders against our own will and without being able to consider the consequences that our actions may have on our country and fellow citizens.
We don’t resist in carrying out their orders because we are worried that our parents and relatives will be implicated and the military junta will take action against them if we don’t follow their orders. We have to sign agreements stating that if we have not completed our assigned duties OR if we have not compensated back the necessary amount for our bonds, the Ministry under the junta can take any action against us.

Despite being aware of all this, we still must say out what is needed to be said.
Before 4th October 2007, we were forced through our department heads to sign petitions stating that we support SPDC, we do not want western countries to interfere in our country’s affairs, we just want to have peace in our country and study peacefully, and we do not want any unrest in our country. After that, we were asked to send in the petitions to UN. However, we fully understand the true situations in Burma and none of us signed the petitions.

In the meantime, though all of us wanted to sign the petitions in internet urging UN to help Burma, none of us dared to take any action.

When we asked other full-time students from other universities, they told us that they were also asked to sign such petitions. When none of the students agreed to sign, the officials issued threats of not allowing students to sit for exams. At that point, some students unwillingly gave in and signed.

Then, on 4th October 2007, our Head of University summoned all the students into the convocation hall and persuaded us to sign by saying “Don’t you love your country? If you love your country, you must sign”. Though none of us wanted to sign, we eventually relented as we were worried that our Head of University might get into trouble and she tearfully implored us to sign. On top of that, we were also worried about our future and our families’ future.

However, when we signed, we only stated the following without any mention of support for SPDC:

(1) As we love our country and people, we would like to have peace in our country.
(2) We would like to have a chance to study peacefully.

We are certain that all the petitions unwillingly signed by students and civil servants in Burma will be presented to UN’s special representative, Mr. Gambari who will be in Burma to negotiate for a genuine political dialogue.

That is why we would like to inform about our true situation through various media to UN representative, UN, and other important organizations that are supporting the freedom of Burma, before Mr. Gambari leaves Burma. We hope that all of you will give us support. Please inform Mr. Gambari that all the signed petitions presented by SPDC were obtained through forceful means on students and civil servants in Burma. Our true wish is for UN to interfere in Burma’s affairs so that we can move forward for our country’s freedom.

In this letter, we have stated nothing but the truth. As such, may Burma obtain freedom and peace in the shortest amount of time without much bloodshed.

A Group of Responsible Citizens