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The Ineffectual Roles of U.N and ASEAN on Burma

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Analysis: The Ineffectual Roles of U.N and ASEAN on Burma By Myat Soe Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com) October 27, 2003: The whole world knows that the ongoing political impasse in Burma can't be solved without SPDC regime's sincerity. In fact, the regime is not serious about national reconciliation and about rebuilding the nation as evident from its refusal to engage in serious substantial talks with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. It is just paying lip service to dialogue, playing for the time, in the exp
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  Analysis: The Ineffectual Roles of U.N and ASEAN on Burma By Myat SoeMizzima News (www.mizzima.com)October 27, 2003: The whole world knows that the ongoing political impasse in Burmacan't besolved without SPDC regime's sincerity. In fact, the regime is not seriousabout national reconciliation and about rebuilding the nation as evidentfrom its refusal to engage in serious substantial talks with Daw AungSan Suu Kyi. It is just paying lip service to dialogue, playing for the time,in the expectation that the US Government, the UN, and theinternational community will, over time, buy into its claim that it ispatiently and slowly building a stable democracy. The whole world has witnessed that the elected opposition leaders( NLD and others) in Burma are serious about achieving nationalreconciliation, establishing a normal state-society relation, resolving alloutstanding problems and conflicts, rebuilding the state and nation andnational unity, via dialogue.In deed, they are serious about dialogue as a solution because theybelievethat if the regime listens to the voice of the people and the opposition,and it will be reciprocated. Burma's conflicts and problems are causedprecisely because the military and its regime refuse to hear the voicesof the people and as well do not allow them to speak.Even so, Burmese people have already expressed their desire for aemocraticgovernment in the 1990 elections with an overwhelming vote of over82%. They have granted the National League for Democracy (NLD)representativesthe legitimacy to convene a parliament and initiate a democraticgovernment. The election results were given international endorsementin successive UNGeneral assemble Resolutions. The holding of the 1990 elections andthefailure of the SLORC/SPDC to honor its results had further altered theinternational system to the nature of Burmese authoritarianism.Since then, the SLORC, currently the State Peace and DevelopmentCommittee  (SPDC), has resorted to various means to obstruct the NLD fromexecuting itsrights and obligations as the elected party. These include arbitraryarrestand imprisonment of the NLD representatives and members, forcingthem intoexile or resignation, harassing the leadership in most uncivilized ways,andconvening a sham national convention that is supposed to rubber-stampa military-imposed constitution.In recent months, the Burma's military rulers are under increasinginternational pressure to release Nobel Peace prize winner anddemocracy movement leader Aung San Suu Kyi who was arrested May30th after a violent premeditated attack on her motorcade by pro-regime hoodlums. A number of people were killed and many otherswere injured and imprisoned.Following the events in northern Myanmar of 30 May, which resulted inthedetention of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other leaders of the NationalLeaguefor Democracy (NLD), Burma's embryonic and home-grown nationalreconciliation process, as understood by the United Nations, was halted.Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other NLD leaders still remain detained andincommunicado . The Secretary-General Kofi Annan remained gravely concerned aboutthe safetyand well-being of these NLD leaders and others detained after 30 Mayandreiterates his call for the Burmese authorities to remove, without delay,all the restrictions imposed on their freedom of movement and politicalactivities.In his statement, he was also seriously concerned that the absence of progress in the process of national reconciliation and democratization isto the detriment of the Burmese people, who voted for change in 1990and deserve toexperience the same benefits of economic, civil, socialand political development as their counterparts in neighbouringcountries. The Secretary-General reiterates his determination to do hisutmost to revive the national reconciliation process if all parties arewilling.  However, his Special Envoy Razali Ismail 's mission failed to resolvepolitical impasse in Burma. The role of U.N Special Envoy is to facilitatenational reconciliation and democratization in Burma, in accordancewith General Assembly resolution 57/231 of 18 December 2002. In anattempt to achieve those objectives of the U.N resolution, the U.N.Special Envoy Razali Ismail must promote the substantive dialogueprocess between the elected political leaders and self-appointed militaryleaders. Instead of focusing on his own mission and promoting thesubstantive dialogue process, he even continued to assist the SPDC'spolitical strategy of time buying and endorse the SPDC's roadmap.Contrary to the expectations of the people in Burma , who areoverwhelmingly in favor of change, and the United Nations, there wasno substantive progress towards national reconciliation anddemocratization in Burma. Therefore, . Mr Kofi Annan must review on hisspecial envoy's mission outcomes and reconsider to replace hisineffective Special Envoy Razali or to find the effective approach toachieve the UNGA resolution. The U.N must more need to be done bynot only condemnation but also effective actions to the Burmeseregime's brutality andinsincerity.On the other hand in the region, the freedom of Burma is ignored by ourASEAN neighbors. The Southeast Asian leaders pledged to step up thefight against terrorism, but they failed to denounce the State-Sponsored Terrorism in the region. The region will never be secure while one of itsmembers ( the notorious Burmese military regime) is holding the 50millions hostages , while a few live in the penthouse and do as theyplease. The ASEAN should not harbor the terrorist regime in the region. The ASEAN should seek to pressure and isolate state sponsors so theywill renounce the use of terrorism, end support to terrorists, and bringterrorists to justice for past crimes.Likewise, the ASEAN establishes an ASEAN community of three pillars – theASEAN Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community and ASEANSocio-cultural Community -- for the purpose of ensuring durable peace,stability andshared prosperity in the region. Without political stability in one of itsnations because of State-Sponsored Terrorism, the economicdevelopment in the region is impossible and so do prosperity in theregion. The ASEAN must reconsider their actions in the face of themounting international demands regarding on the Burma's issue. Inretrospect of the past regime changes in the region ( ie Philippine,Indonesia, East Timor, Cambodia ), the whole world has witnessed the  ineffectual approaches of ASEAN and its hypocritical policy.Despite that, building pressure on Burma must be indeed intense. Wemustcontinuously urge international communities, governments andinstitutions tokeep up the pressure and to use their power and influence to stop theongoing political oppression, violation of human rights inside Burma,and waging war against the people. The political intervention from theU.N Security Council is an urgent need to resolve the Burma's politicalimpasse. The pressure is the only language the regime's thugsunderstand and hear. The language may be too strong for Asian leaderswho want to sit on the fence in the Burma's issue, but we must pushthem to stand up for what is right and wrong in the Burma's conflict. Wemust urge the ASEAN to continue pressing for democratic reforms inBurma. The writter Myat Soe is Research Director of Justice for Human Rights inBurma(www.jhburma.org)  
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