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.
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
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: