Burma carnage – call on ASEAN Parliaments to meet in emergency session within 3 days

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was shown on world-wide television expressing Malaysia’s “disapproval, together with other Asean countries, on the use of excessive force by the Myanmar government to put down justifiable civilian protests” in his speech at the 62nd General Assembly yesterday.

I commend Abdullah for speaking up in the United Nations although stronger language would have been more appropriate and fully justified in keeping with the “revulsion” earlier expressed by the foreign ministers of ASEAN at the UN “over reports that the demonstrations in Myanmar are being suppressed by violent force and that there has been a number of fatalities”.

Abdullah must feel a personal responsibility for the carnage taking place in Myanmar because he was the Foreign Minister ten years ago when Malaysia spearheaded the campaign to defy regional and international opinion to admit Myanmar into ASEAN in 1997, promising a constructive engagement policy which will lead to national reconciliation and democratization in Burma.

Ten years down the road, the Myanmar military junta’s promises of reform have turned to ashes and Burma is teetering on the edge of another bloodbath to repeat the massacre of 1988 where over 3,000 pro-democracy activists, students and supporters were mowed down by a brutal and inhuman military — a dark page in the history of mankind.

Compounding the bloody military crackdown of the monks-led peaceful demonstrators in the past three days are the newly-released satellite photos by the American Association for the Advancement of Science providing evidence of ethnic cleansing of the ethnic minority Karens in eastern Myanmar, destroying villages and relocating people in the countryside.

As a result, it is not adequate for ASEAN leaders just to “wash their hands” of responsibility of what is happening in Myanmar with expressions of “revulsion” and “disapproval”, or even admission as by Abdullah in New York yesterday that the Asean’s constructive engagement policy with the Myanmar military government had failed and the need to “ensure that Myanmar adheres and fulfils the regional grouping’s interest” – whatever that means.

The human tragedy being played out in Burma with human lives versus guns, with the courageous and long-suffering people of Burma trembling between the fear of another 1988 bloodbath and the hope of regaining their long-suppressed freedom and human rights, is a triple tragedy — for Burma, Asean and the world.

At this hour of need of the courageous and idealistic people of Burma, Asean and the world must do their utmost to ensure that there will not be another 1988 massacre.

Malaysia and ASEAN nations must act on their “revulsion” of the killings in Myanmar as part of a concerted international effort to enlist the support of China, Russia, India, the United States and the European Union to save Burma, Asean and the world from another carnage and bloodbath.

One measure which Malaysia and ASEAN can do to give expression to their “revulsion” to the killings in Myanmar and to make amends for the failure of a decade of Asean constructive engagement policy is for all ASEAN Parliaments to meet in emergency session within the next three days to:

  • express ASEAN “revulsion” at the killings in Myanmar;
  • call on China and Russia to condemn the violent crackdown in Myanmar and to support Security Council resolution for a tripartite national reconciliation dialogue to seek a peaceful resolution to the peaceful uprising in Myanmar and to pave the way for national reconciliation and democratisation under the direct responsibility of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; and
  • the release of Nobel Peace Prize Laureatte Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners.

With the real-life violent crackdown in Burma being played out before the audience of the world by television channels although the Myanmar military junta is shutting down Internet and telephonic communications, turning the Myanmar carnage into a global trauma, all Parliaments in the world should meet in emergency session to express a global call for an end to the killings by the Myanmar military junta.

I urge Abdullah to act from the United Nations and to take the initiative to convene an emergency meeting of Parliamemt by Tuesday to provide an opportunity for Malaysians regardless of race, religion or political affiliation to express their solidarity with peaceful demonstrations for reform and democracy in Burma, their revulsion at the carnage and demand for peaceful solution to the long-standing Burmese problem of national reconciliation and democratization.
Lim Kit Siang

  1. #1 by MALAYSIAN8 on Saturday, 29 September 2007 - 9:56 am

    well u gotta ask PM how many government linked companies are currently trading with the juntas.u will probably get an inverse correlation between the level of trade with the level of protest.

  2. #2 by izrafeil on Saturday, 29 September 2007 - 11:25 am

    kalau tak silap Malaysai mengamalkan dasar tidak campur tangan, saya anggap dasar itu dasar sich

  3. #3 by smeagroo on Saturday, 29 September 2007 - 11:29 am

    Msia will be heading towards that direction soon. Maybe they can pick up some pointers from Myanmar instead.

  4. #4 by Bobster on Saturday, 29 September 2007 - 12:35 pm

    Sigh, the leaders of this country can’t even solve the rot in its own backyard and still want to pretend to be hero leading ASEAN against Myanmar, OIC against the west … ? AAB table all pile up with files left over for yrs, making few min speech but spent weeks/months travelling around the world and the country heading towards an iceberg, AAB’s binoculars zooming at wrong direction to be precised.

    What so different between Myanmar and us, except we rakyat don’t involve in riots and demonstrations to show our grief like the Myanmar people did? Over there the militaries are the kings, over here the ministers/gomen officers/town councils are kings and queens, overide human right issues, laws and regulations. Sama je …

  5. #5 by k1980 on Saturday, 29 September 2007 - 2:07 pm

    “Why don’t the Americans come to help us? Why doesn’t America save us?” said an onlooker who didn’t want to be identified for fear of reprisal from the junta.

    That exactly was what some stupid Iraqis asked for way back in 2003 and now, 4 years later, Iraq is an American colony with a million dead Iraqis and another 5 million as refugees. Why do some fools always regard Americans as angels? The coup d’etat by Suharto and the subsequent massacre of 3 million Indonesians was instigated by the Americans, as was the Chilean coup of 1971

  6. #6 by ablastine on Saturday, 29 September 2007 - 10:22 pm

    I wonder why some FOOLS hate the American so much. What have the Americans done to deserve such widespread condemnation. Is Iraq an American colony now? The last I heard the Americans wants to pull out of Iraq but if they pull out now what do you think will happen. You think they are enjoying themselves sending their soldiers to die at a rate of 5 a day. You think the dead Iraqis are killed by Americans or by the terrorists out to exact their dues from the Americans?

    I cannot see why it is so wrong to ask the Americans for help in Myanmar. Like it or not they are presently the strongest nation on earth and I certainly think they have the will and might to assist if they can be convinced that it necessary. You think ASEAN can do any damn thing short of shooting their mouth off. You think China, India or Russian will do anything more than expressing sympathy even if all the civilians are mowed down by the junta. It is completely within the capacity of Bush to send a couple of aircraft carriers to the coast of Burma or precision bomb the military junta. I would not belittle American resolve and I respect the American for being able to do what they think is right. If people hate the American so much, why send their children to study there. Why don’t they send them to Pakistan or Iran for their education.

  7. #7 by k1980 on Saturday, 29 September 2007 - 10:38 pm

    I wonder why some FOOLS love the American so much. Why not get a Green Card and migrate there? On the way there, think hard why the Americans would not bother about the genocide in Rwanda, Burundi, Congo ect…Because there is no oil ther, you bum!

  8. #8 by ablastine on Sunday, 30 September 2007 - 11:15 pm

    In deference to Uncle Lim and his great blog I shall not indulge in trading insults and name calling with others despite instigation. My comments were merely to suggest that American bashing by some people here is simply irrational. To certain writer, taking a favourable view to American foreign policies and supremacy is being foolish. The Americans just cannot do anything right can they. If they do nothing, it is because there is no oil or anything of national interest to them – like in Rwanda, Brundi and Congo. When they seriously do something and commit their military, they are accused of being hegemonical and wanting to colonise some country – like in Iraq. America seem to be implicated in every political tragedy in the world by senseless instigation. It makes me wonder why despite being such a rotten state so many people still want to live there.

  9. #9 by Jeffrey on Monday, 1 October 2007 - 10:18 am

    What is being implied here is that American policies are couched in idealistic terms but in many instances are governed by realpolitik of not only national interests but private interests of her leader and cronies. For example the Iraq war is in part national interest (if you identify it with confronting extremism of Saddam of trying to rally muslim animosity against US or its ally Israel) but sullied with interest in controlling oil. (Bush had many oil baron friends in Texas). Who gets the big projects to reconstruct Bagdad – wasn’t it not Harliburton associated with his VP Dick Cheney? For oil, the US even now props the Saudi Kingdom even though that regime spawns Islamic terrorism derived from teachings of Wahhibi Sect. Osama bin Ladin was Saudi, aint he? Even Taliban Afghanistan – there’s a crucial pipeline conveying oil from the 3 Tans up North. In Panama – the strategic canal – the Marines just came, captured Noreiga and whisked him to Federal pentitentiary. On abuse of human rights, what about the well documented incidences of torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay? (The Americans even outsourced interrogation to go around this). I

    US is a nation whose peoples do care for principles but does it extend to the people in power and lobbyist in Washington and the Pentagon? Primarily they are guided by self interest and other times national interests (what’s good geopolitically for the US) and not often for principles alone.

    Myanmar is not the only country that kills its own people – there are many in Africa and South America. Is the US going to usurp UN’s policing role, spill the blood of young Americans just to uphold the ideal of democracy when it has no vital strategic, economic or national interest in Burma? Not likely. Even in World War II the Americans entered the war not imply because of Democracy fight against Hitlers’ totalitarianism Italy’s facism and Japan’s militarism per se but to deny these Axis from controlling the world’s resources that after American victory, American Capitalism can harness and proper as leader.

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