Tuesday, 9 October 2007

How long ?

I was trying to get some more images of the prisons in present Myanmar, and fell over a research paper from the Burma Ethnic Research Group, funded by the German liberal Friedrich Naumann Foundation, entitled "Internal displacement in Myanmar". It is not my aim to re-do a literature survey, but what struck me was the literature citations, that is a further (but do we need more?) example that the situation in the country is critical and the present government has shown is evil nature since so many years. What the world and the "big powers", the so called " modern democracies", would use as justification for NOT DOING NOTHING, for so long ?

- Forgotten Victims of a Hidden War: Internally Displaced Karen in Burma. BERG/ Friedrich Naumann Foundation. April 1998. Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Uprooting the Shan: Shan Human Rights Foundation. December 1996. Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Dispossessed: Forced relocation and extrajudicial killings in Shan state: Shan Human Rights Foundation. April 1998. Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Total Denial: EarthRights International. July 1996. Bangkok, Thailand
- Burma: Insurgency and the politics of ethnicity. Martin Smith. 1991. Zed Books, London, UK
- Abuses against peasant farmers in Burma. Mon Information Service. July 1998. Bangkok
- All Quiet on the Western Front? Images Asia / Karen Human Rights Group / Open Society Institute. January 1998. Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Internally Displaced People: A Global Survey. Global IDP Survey 1998
- Ethnic Groups in Burma: Development, Democracy and Human Rights. Martin Smith 1994 Anti-Slavery International
- Burma Beyond the Law. Article 19. International Center against Censorship. August 1996

There is a well organised open-access library at the Burma Library website. You will find a lot of interesting links and documents. An example of what you can find in the United Nation System link, is the full text of the "Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro", February 2007 (six months updates from 2003 also available). Some sentences :

"The persecution of members of the opposition and human rights defenders shows that the road map for democracy faces too many obstacles to bring about a genuine transition. In the past, ...the UN has acknowledged that the road map could play a positive role in the political transition. Sadly, the positive momentum of the early years has apparently stalled."

"The Special Rapporteur remains particularly concerned about impunity, which has become systematic... Several groups responsible for committing serious violations of human rights, in particular members of the military, have not been prosecuted. There is also little evidence that these serious crimes have been investigated by relevant authorities."

"Grave human rights violations are committed by persons within the established structures of the Council and are not only perpetrated with impunity but authorized by law. In that respect, the Special Rapporteur is also very concerned about the continued misuse of the legal system, which denies the rule of law and represents a major obstacle to securing the effective and meaningful exercise of fundamental freedoms by citizens."

"The Special Rapporteur has been very concerned about the 10 years of intensified military campaigns in ethnic areas of eastern Myanmar and its impact on the humanitarian and human rights situation, especially on civilians who have been targeted during the attacks. The situation should be considered in connection with the widespread practice of land confiscation throughout the country, which is seemingly aimed at anchoring military control. It has led to numerous forced evictions, relocations and resettlements, forced migration and internal displacement. Given the scale of the current military campaign, the situation may lead to a humanitarian crisis if it is not addressed immediately."

So much for the non-interference ideology of China and ASEAN, and the effectiveness of the UN given the blockade built by China. Ask for more effective action to your local politicians !!!

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