By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
28 September 2007
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) supports the people of Burma in their struggle for democracy and condemns the Burmese military regime for violently suppressing the peaceful mass protests. It is the sovereign right of the Burmese people to overthrow the military fascist regime and establish democracy under civilian authority. It is further their right to make sure that imperialist powers do not take advantage of the situation to advance their own selfish and narrow interests.
The mass protests started by denouncing the 500% fuel price increase approved by the regime for the benefit of the state gas and oil monopoly and foreign oil companies. Since then, the people’s movement has put forward a comprehensive range of grievances. The great majority of the people live in poverty as a result of corruption by the military regime and exploitation of foreign monopoly corporations. The people’s democratic movement has become so broad as to involve the militant participation of the Buddhist monks who are highly respected in Burma.
The ILPS condemns the hypocritical statements of George W. Bush and other leaders of imperialist powers. These have in fact conducted business with the Burmese military regime and served to prolong its rule. Their protestations about democracy ring hollow. US companies are the fourth biggest foreign investors in Burma. The US oil company Unocal is the biggest foreign-owned company in the country. Besides Unocal, Texaco Inc. and Atlantic Richfield Co. of the United States, Total of France and Premier Oil of Britain maintain operations in Burma. Unocal has joint ventures with Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise of Burma which is controlled by the Burmese military regime.
What can be more undemocratic than what Bush is doing in foisting puppet regimes with no popular support on the people of Afghanistan and Iraq? In his own backyard, the police cracked down and arrested more than 200 protesters during the September 15 anti-war demonstration in Washington D.C. Previous to this, while wife Laura Bush was holding a press conference inside the White House condemning the crackdown on “pro-democracy” activists in Burma, outside horse-mounted police were attacking anti-war activists who were holding a press conference to announce the Protest March on September 15.
What the US and other imperialist powers want foremost in Burma is stability. They do not care if that stability comes from fascist dictatorship or bourgeois democracy. A stable environment for their monopoly capitalist investments is the most important thing for them. The imperialist powers and their puppets oppose the Burmese people’s demands for national liberation, democracy, social justice, development and peace.
The ILPS supports the Burmese people’s struggle for the dismantling of the military regime and for democracy. At the same time, the ILPS denounces the attempts of imperialist powers to take advantage of the events in Burma to advance their anti-national and anti-democratic interests. We are in complete solidarity with the Burmese people’s struggle for national liberation, democracy and a genuine socialist future. ###