06/19/2008, 00.00
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Monks call on EU to bring junta leader to trial

The request is to have Than Shwe tried by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity for blocking aid destined to victims of cyclone Nargis. Demonstrations in favour of Aung San Suu Kyi’s release take place.

Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The All Burma Monks’ Alliance has called on the European Union to bring charges against strongman Than Shwe before the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

The monks of the alliance, who were the driving forces behind the anti-junta demonstrations held in Yangon last September, made their request public today, the day when Aung San Suun Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy, marks her 63rd birthday, 12 of which under house arrest.

Demonstrations by Burmese exiles demanding her release are taking place today in many countries.

The monks base their charges on the fact that the military have de facto blocked foreign aid for victims of cyclone Nargis which in May caused more than 133,000 people deaths and missing and about two million of displaced people.

We request the EU to bring Than Shwe, leader of Burmese military junta, before the International Criminal Court to be tried for his crimes against humanity, as recommended by the European Parliament,” the statement said.

The Alliance also called for an international embargo on weapon imports in Myanmar and stiffer sanctions against the junta.

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