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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This monk needs you

Secretary Clinton: Call for the release of 1,600 political prisoners during your historic Dec. 1 visit
Sign the Petition
With your help, Thursday, December 1 could be the greatest opportunity in a generation to bring about genuine democracy and human rights in Burma.
On that day, Hillary Clinton will become the first American Secretary of State to visit Burma in 50 years -- a move meant to reward Burma’s military regime (which craves international recognition) for recent elections but also assess how much has actually changed.
But the military and pro-democracy forces inside Burma both know that change can’t happen when 1,600 of the country's most promising leaders, including Buddhist monks, are held as political prisoners. It’s a living nightmare -- political prisoners are held in dog cages and experience torture, beatings, and even years of solitary confinement without a single day outside their cells.
U Pyinya Zawta is a Buddhist monk from Burma who knows exactly how hard these conditions are to survive -- he was imprisoned for 10 years for his political activities. Now, as a refugee and Buddhist leader in New York, he has started a petition on Change.org to push Secretary Clinton to get real results from her visit. Sign Buddhist monk and former political prisoner U Pyinya Zawta’s petition asking Secretary Clinton to call for the unconditional release of 1,600 political prisoners and an end to attacks against ethnic minorities during her historic visit to Burma this Thursday.
Burma's military leaders have responded to international pressure before, releasing key political prisoners. If Secretary Clinton pushes for the release of all political prisoners and other key measures for a more genuine democracy, the Burmese government will really listen.
And to her credit, Secretary Clinton has been open to calls to action by the public: Just this summer, over 22,000 people signed a petition on Change.org that resulted in Secretary Clinton calling for the right for women to drive in Saudi Arabia -- which she then did during an official visit.
As the first visit from an American Secretary of State to Burma in over 50 years, December 1 will be the biggest opportunity in many of our lifetimes to create sweeping change in Burma. Please sign U Pyinya Zawta's petition asking Secretary Clinton to call for the release of all political prisoners in Burma during her historic visit next week, and then send it to everyone you know:
Thanks for being a change-maker,
- Weldon and the Change.org team

P.S. Thousands of people are changing the world through petitions on Change.org every week. Here are some that need your support now:

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