Thursday, October 25, 2007

Racheting up... toward isolating Burmese Generals

Justice for Human Rights in Burma
October 25, 2007

Recent developments in Burma are partly encouraging and mostly discouraging. SPDC is still thumbing the nose of international community by arresting and sentencing long prison terms to innocent protesters; it mouth piece media are still writing and airing rubbish; recently appointed a committee to draft a constitution for its "19 years and counting" process of its own political solution to Burma crisis and etc.. These developments are very disturbing.

Partly encouraging is, unlike Razali mission, Mr. Gambiri is shuttling throughout Asia and working his diplomatic mission albeit at a UN speed (although at the fastest speed allowed in UN speed limit). Hopefully, his mission will emerge into a similar form of six-party talk on North Korea with requirements that must be met by parties involve and consequences. Preferably, he should be allowed to convey a message that a possibility of a UN tribunal if the conditions are not met when meeting with the generals. That will speed up things much faster.

SPDC is cunning and shrewd. Do not forget they already outlived and out-maneuvered Razali and Kofi Annan. Few days ago SPDC tried to play politics by demanding that DASSK revokes her call for “sanctions toward Burma”. It is a cunning assertion. The assertion intends to pitch her and the exiled groups against the people. She and the exiled groups never ask for an encompassing sanction that will hurt ordinary citizens of Burma. Neither there exist a sanction of that nature on Burma. After all, the international community is targeting only the SPDC’s elites and its close associates with their respective sanctions. In other words, the international is acting and calling for isolating SPDC’s elites and their close associates. It is not isolating Burma. We must see the difference clearly, especially the Burmese media outlets that are airing information into Burma. They should see and understand that difference---isolating Burma vs. isolating the SPDC.

The next immediate follow-up action in the pipe-line should be sending Burma’s envoys (ambassadors) abroad who have served in the military back to Rangoon. The international community should rescind the acceptance of Burma’s credentials. There are about 30 Burmese embassies abroad. They are envied lucrative posts. Just think about this, a used Toyota Land Cruiser or Escalade (worth $30,000-$40000) fetches $600,000 (yes 600 million kyats) in Rangoon. These diplomatic assignments are regarded as transfers so they can take all the belongings home when their assignments are done.

Eventually, international community should consider either brings the generals (from Sr. Gen Than Shwe downward to Brigadier Generals) to ICC or a UN Tribunal. They should start compiling the list and make the SPDC known that it is not just a mere possibility but it is going to be the SPDC elite’s eventuality.

Win Moe
Fort Wayne, Indiana

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