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Benefit Reading for Burma

Benefit Reading for Burma (50th Anniv.of the Universal Declar.of Human Rights)

December 3, 1998
The Ottawa Public Library Auditorium(Laurier and Metcalfe)
$10 (waged)  $5 (low income)

All proceed to go to Canadian Friends of Burma. For more info. call 237-8056.

Authors: Karen Connelly and Patrick Kavanagh

Karen Connelly:
	Karen Connelly will read from her new poetry and selections from her novel
in process entitled "Dawn Without Breaking", the story of the life of a
Burmese songwirter imprisoned in Burma for political reasons. As well, she
will speak of her experiences in Burma and on the Thai-Burma border.

	Connelly is the author of several books of poetry and non-fiction
including "Touch the Dragon" which won the Governor General's Award for
non-fiction in 1993 and went on to become a best-seller. Her work is
published in the UK, Australia, Germany and Asia.

Patrick Kavanagh:
	Patrick Kavanagh began composing short fiction in 1976 while working in
Papua New Guinea as a development volunteer and has been working with
Amnesty International since the mid-1980s. In 1991, he moved to Beijing,
where he studied the Chinese language and published opinion articles about
China in international newspapers. 

	His first novel in 1991 was "Gaff Topsails". He won the Ottawa-Carleton
Book Award in 1997, and the NewTel Award for fiction in 1998, both for
"Gaff Topsails". Kavanagh is now working on his second novel, a story set
in Beijing and will speak from his book "Gaff Topsails".

Background Information:

	December 10 is the 50th anniversay of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights. Repression against Burma's National League for Democracy (NLD) is
at its worse since the 1988 military crackdown. Currently, over 1000 NLD
officials have been illegally detained by the junta. The military continues
to repress democracy supporters in Burma, students, monks and others in
response to the NLD's on-going plans to covene a People's Parliament. In
1990, the NLD won 82% of the vote in Burma's free and fair elections but
continue to be prohibited by the military from forming a government.

	Once again the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution this
year exposing human rights violations in Burma. The resolution deplores
"continuing violations of human rights... including extrajudicial and
arbitrary executions, rape, torture, inhuman treatment, mass arrests,
forced labour (and) forced relocation." Rajsoomer Lallah, a special
rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Commission, cited that opposition parties
continued to be subject to constant monitoring by the military regime and
that torture and ill-treatment were still a common practice in prisons and
interrogation centres.

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