Protest against upcoming Myanmar polls in New Delhi

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New Delhi, Nov 3 (ANI): India-based Myanmar activists staged a sit-in demonstration here on Wednesday to protest against the upcoming polls in Myanmar beginning from November 7.

Military-ruled Myanmar will hold its first election in two decades on November 7, but critics say it would be a sham, resulting in no substantial transfer of sovereign power.

The activists said that the protest was a wake-up call to the Indian Government, where they demanded that the world's largest democracy protests the happenings in Myanmar, instead of signing bilateral agreements with the Dictator General Than Shwe on July 19, 2010.

"The main point that we are raising is that India should not accept this Burma (Myanmar) election since it has no guarantee for the people of Burma. As a largest democracy in Asia or around the world, India should respect the democratic principle," said Kim, a protestor.

"India should support the way of the Gandhian movement, which our leader San Suu Kyi (Aung San Suu Kyi) is practicing," he added.

The protestors claimed that human right violations are common in Myanmar, and about 3,000 political activists have been taken prisoner.

They also called for reviewing the constitution founded in 2008.

"We have three benchmarks, which is, first of all, to release all the political prisoners including Aung San Suu Kyi, and the second one is to recognize the rights of the ethnic people in Burma, and the third one is to review the 2008 Constitutions, which the Junta have their own policy," said Alana Golmei, another protestor.

"So, we are calling them, you know, to review this policy. This is one of the main agenda that we are doing," he added.

The protestors, with support from organizations all over the country, have submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh calling the elections in Myanmar to be undemocratic.

The elections are being held in Myanmar after two decades. The last election was held in 1990 in which the main opposition party, National League for Democracy - NLD had won 392 of the 485 parliamentary seats. The NLD was not allowed by the military junta to take over and the results were ignored.

Under the 2008 constitution there are two houses of parliament at the centre (instead of one as before) and there will be 14 State/Regional assemblies.

Elections are to be held for 440 seats in the lower house or People's Assembly (Pyithu Hluttaw) and 224 seats in the upper house or Nationalities Assembly (Amyotha Hluttaw) and about 900 seats in the 14 state/regional assemblies.

However with 25 percent of the seats in each of these assemblies reserved for the military, the seats up for grabs get reduced to 330, 168 and 665 respectively.

Each voter will be casting a vote for each of these three assemblies. (ANI)

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