ASEM FMM 9 should endorse the proposal for an international inquiry of 15 years of human rights abuses in Myanmar like those conducted for atrocities in Darfur, Rwanda and Yugoslavia


The reimposition of restrictions on reporters and diplomats attending the trial of Burmese pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi a day after opening up the proceedings yesterday betray the true colours of the Myanmar military junta with regard to its utter disregard to universal principles of human rights and the ASEAN Charter.

The Myanmese military junta must not be allowed to get away with its nefarious agenda, which is to keep Suu Kyi in continued incarceration although her six-year illegal detention is to expire in six days time on May 27 and to extend it during next year’s elections.

It is not to ASEAN’s credit that the regional organization has been so mute and helpless to the flagrant violation of human rights in the continued persecution of Suu Kyi, who had already been detained for more than 13 of the past 19 years, as not a single ASEAN head of state or government had said a single word at the first crisis faced by the ASEAN Charter on the commitment of the individual ASEAN countries to promote and protect human rights.

It is six days to the countdown of expiry of Suu Kyi’s illegal detention on May 27 and all ASEAN governments must put maximum and daily pressure on the Myanmar military junta to release the Nobel Peace Prize Laureatte next Wednesday or face dire consequences.

Five prominent international jurists have proposed that the United Nations Security Council should open an inquiry into 15 years of human rights abuses in Myanmar, like those conducted for atrocities in Darfur, Rwanda and Yugoslavia.

The five jurists, Judge Richard Goldstone of South Africa, Judge Patricia Wald of the United States, Judge Pedro Nikken of Venezuela, Judge Ganzorig Gombosuren of Mongolia and Sir Geoffrey Nice of Britain, have said in a report released by the Harvard Law School that systematic human rights abuses in Myanmar “strongly suggest Burma’s military regime may be committing crimes against humanity and war crimes prosecutable under international law”.

The jurists wrote that “forced displacement of over 3,000 villages in eastern Burma, and widespread and systematic sexual violence, torture, and summary execution of innocent civilians” justify the establishment of a U.N. commission of inquiry into crimes against humanity and war crimes.
“In the cases of Yugoslavia and Darfur, once aware of the severity of the problem, the U.N. Security Council established a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the gravity of the violations further,” said the report.

“With Burma, there has been no such action from the U.N. Security Council despite being similarly aware of the widespread and systematic nature of the violations.”

ASEAN, Asian and European Foreign Ministers attending the 9th Asia-Europe Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (ASEM FMM 9) in Hanoi next week on May 25 – 26 should endorse the proposal for an international inquiry of 15 years of human rights abuses in Myanmar like those conducted for atrocities in Darfur, Rwanda and Yugoslavia.

Print Friendly

  1. #1 by Onlooker Politics on Thursday, 21 May 2009 - 10:12 pm

    There is indeed no prima facie evidence to require the Myanmar political activitist Aung San Suu Kyi to defend herself in court because the American citizen who swam to Suu Kyi’s house arrest living compound was indeed an univited intruder who would not do harm to the Myanmar government. If the Myanmar military junta government really has the intent to restore the rule of law to Myanmar, then Suu Kyi should be acquitted immediately by the court in order to show to the whole world about the sincerity of the Myanmar military junta government in its commitment of restoring the constitutional rule to the long-suffering Myanmar people.

    As the economic progress of Myanmar’s major trade partner, namely Mainland China, has proven to the world that the policy of opening up the country’s boundary to international trade is the much better policy choice than the closed door policy, the Myanmar military junta government should bring changes to Myanmar’s political environment by permitting Suu Kyi to contest in the Parliamentary election which is scheduled to be held next year. Even if Suu Kyi is to win the Parliamentary election in order to facilitate the forming of a democratic government by Suu Kyi in Myanmar, the military junta group will still have control over the armed forces in Myanmar in order to allow the junta interested group to arrive at a compromise with Suu Kyi for purpose of demanding for power sharing in the government administration. For the time being, it seems that there is no other better ice-breaking way to unlock the political deadlock in Myanmar, which has been caused by the long-lingering fight between the military junta group and the democratic political activitists, than to allow a power sharing between the two opposing groups in Myanmar.

    No matter what, the military junta government of Myanmar will require the help from Suu Kyi in order to attract the foreign direct investment (FDI) to Myanmar in the fastest pace. As the Mainland China has already set a good model example of the economic development for the underdeveloped nations to follow, FDI will be the easiest way for the Myanmar economy to thrive in the shortest possible period of time. Since the military junta leaders are facing the ageing problem now, it is only good for them to allow opening up of the Myanmar market to the FDI in order to create prosperity for the next generations (including the next generations of the military junta group) since the long suffer in poverty has already made the Myanmar people no longer be able to contribute and pay taxes to the Myanmar military junta government. The military junta group of Myanmar will still need to find money in order for it to sustain the armed forces’ continual sourcing and paying for the military ammunition from the Mainland China. The economic consideration should be the best reason for persuading the military junta government of Myanmar to initiate changes for the better in order to bring improvement to Myanmar’s human rights performance.

  2. #2 by ctc537 on Friday, 22 May 2009 - 11:04 am

    Five prominent international jurists have proposed that the United Nations Security Council should open an inquiry into 15 years of human rights abuses in Myanmar, like those conducted for atrocities in Darfur, Rwanda and Yugoslavia.

    Yes, it’s the best proposal, and the proposed United Nations Security Council open an inquiry into 15 years of human rights abuses in Myanmar will no doubt find the military junta guilty of human rights abuses. The problem is, how i the U.N. going to punish the military junta? Arrest them and free ASSK? The International Criminal Court at the Hague issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for a five-year campaign of violence in Darfur, but he is still at large.

    The economic consideration should be the best reason for persuading the military junta government of Myanmar to initiate changes for the better in order to bring improvement to Myanmar’s human rights performance?

    Singpore MM LKY said in an interview quite some time back that they have given up hope of persuading the junta to change because it’s simply impossible to do so. Of all the ASEAN countries, Singapore has done the most in persuading the junta because it stands to gain much economically if Myanmar opens up for FDI. People need to remember that Myanmar is so unlike other countries. It is rich in natural resources which are sought after in their rapidly industrializing giant neighbour China. The China market is big enough to absolve all its commodity exports and its import of manufactured goods from China is sufficient to meet its domestic demand. There’s no famines to speak of like in North Korea as the country is the rice bowl of SEA, and the people have been kept in isolation for so long that they could be quite used to the military junta rule. The only threat to them is ASSK who is the only person in Burma capable of leading the Myanmars for democratic change in a mass uprising. Another giant neighbour India is also friendly towards it. These are the factors that can sustain the military junta’s rule.

  3. #3 by Joshua Tan Kok Hauw on Friday, 22 May 2009 - 12:26 pm

    All the Asean leaders have to pressurize Chinese and Indian government to ban all the political and trade relation with Myanmar government. It is unjustifiable if the illegal and God-damned Myanmar government still become a member of Asean.

    I failed to comprehend why Asean leaders still support the Myanmar government. It is ridiculous and stupid.

You must be logged in to post a comment.