What we do
Burma > Advocacy
In 2008, Not On Our Watch expanded its focus to draw attention to and combat the human rights crisis in Burma, also known as Myanmar.
In June of 2008, immediately following a special meeting of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Burma’s capital city of Rangoon, Not On Our Watch announced its sponsorship of a regional statement denouncing ruling Burmese General Than Shwe’s “broken promises.” The statement specifically condemned the continued illegal imprisonment of Burmese leader and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as the regime’s denial of emergency foreign aid following Cyclone Nargis, which is estimated to have killed 138,000 Burmese citizens.
Endorsed by leaders including Former Philippine President Corazon Aquino, Former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid, current President of East Timor and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate José Ramos-Horta, and Former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia Anwar Ibrahim, as well as leading freedom fighters including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Former Czech President Václav Havel and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi, the statement appeared in regional papers of note, including The Jakarta Post, The Nation in Thailand, and The Philippine Daily Inquirer.
In early 2009, Brad Pitt traveled to the Thai-Burma border to tour Burmese refugee camps and speak with Burmese civilians driven from their country by the crisis. Upon return, Pitt called on the international community to address the incredible hardships faced by these men, women, and children as they fight to survive.