14 MARCH 2015
We, a coalition of students and youth organisations in Malaysia, wish to express our grave concern towards the recent crackdown of the students protest in Myanmar which resulted in 127 demonstrators, mostly students, being arrested.
It is shameful for the Burmese government – a government currently undergoing political transformation towards a democracy – to deploy state machinery in a violent manner in order to suppress what has been reported to be a peaceful assembly organised by the Burmese students. In this regard, we urge the Burmese government to respect the right of the Burmese people to hold peaceful assemblies and immediately release the detainees without imposing any criminal charge against them.
Further, we call upon the Burmese government to withdraw the National Education Law aimed at supervising the Burmese universities. Everyone living in Myanmar, including the students and academics, should be given the freedom to freely exercise their civil and political rights. There is absolutely no reason to single out the students and academics and subject them to the supervision of a special body. It is only natural that universities be allowed to run freely and independently from the state. We further urge the Burmese government to refrain from oppressing the students’ freedom to associate themselves in the form of students union.
As part of the transformation to a mature democracy, it is vital that the Burmese government first demonstrate its ability to practice democratic value and basic civil liberties to relatively smaller institutions such as the universities. Failure to do so would only cast doubts on the Burmese government’s ability and sincerity in making Myanmar a true democracy.
Lastly, on behalf of the students in Malaysia, we wish to express our solidarity with the students in Myanmar, who have taken their struggle to the street. What happened in Myanmar has served as a reminder to us that back here in Malaysia, the issue of academic freedom remains unresolved and students’ voices are still being oppressed via undemocratic means. We therefore understand your outrage. Our aspiration for the betterment of our own nation shall not be defeated by brutality.
This statement is endorsed by the following organisations:
- Malaysian Youth and Students’ Democratic Movement (DEMA)
- Student Progressive Front UniversitiSains Malaysia (SPFUSM)
- PersatuanBahasaTionghuaUniversitiSains Malaysia
- Pro-MahasiswaUniversitiSains Malaysia
- PersatuanMahasiswaUniversiti Malaya
- University of Malaya Association of New Youth (UMANY)
- GerakanMahasiswaMajuUniversiti Putra Malaysia
- Student Progressive Front Universiti Utara Malaysia
- TransformasiMahasiswaUniversiti Utara Malaysia
- UniversitiTeknologi Malaysia Chinese Student Council
- PemudaSosialisPartiSosialis Malaysia
- MahasiswaKeadilan Malaysia
- LensaAnakMuda Malaysia (LENSA)
- AnakMudaHarapan Malaysia (AMHM)
- GabunganMahasiswa Islam Se-Malaysia (GAMIS)
English version: https://demamalaysia.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/press-statement-on-the-police-crackdown-on-students-protest-in-myanmar/