Written by U Ne Oo on 1998-04-15
Note added on 3 May 1998:
The recent arrests and harsh sentencing of political dissidents in Burma accurately reflct the brutality of the military junta. On the ojunta. On the other hand, it also reflects the extreme nervousness by the Burmese junta about current situation in Burma. The junta's principal aim with regards to these arrests and sentencing appear to be to discourage the Burmese activists contacting the foreign media and, especially, UN personnel. This move by the junta may also be interpreted as the preparation to allow - junta probably have no more chance to refuse -- the Human Rights Special Rapporteur visiting Burma.
It is now become even more evident that the policynt that the policy for reconciliation in Burma, at least at the international level, has been successful. How much longer SLORC/SPDC can withstand the oppositions' call for dialogue and reconciliation remains to be seen.
Concerning with the political dialogues in Burma, the major obstacle continue to be the junta's unwillingness to talk. In a usual view, the Burmese military leadership is seen in terms of "hardliner" and "moderate" factions. Such approach seems credible especially when assessing the conduct of military to the pmilitary to the pro-democracy leaders and ethnic minorities. However, with regards to the dialogue with the oppositions, the moderate (General Khin Nyunt's) faction is a no better candidate. We can often seen that General Khin NYunt is given some political space to manoeuver amongst junta leaders. It can be noticed that, even with his complicity in drug-dealings, General Khin Nyunt is largely escaped from political attacks by the pro-democracy movement. This is simply because of the democracy movement consider him as the possible che possible candidate for the dialogue.
There appear to be two possible reasons the junta (moderate faction) still do not enter dialogue with opposition. One is the junta's mistrust about the opposition and politics. In general, the Burmese military consider the politics or doing politics fundamentally as the matters of playing tricks upon its opponent (many Burmese also view the same, rather unfortunately). This trend in Burmese people's thinking about politics, in my view, originates from Burma's colonial past. Historicl past. Historically, the British had introduced politics to the Burmese as a mean of maintaining power by manipulating divisions in the population. This approach to politics - i.e divide and rule politics - principally is antithesis to the politics of peace and reconciliations.
Second factor is more to do with the Burmese Generals (especially Gen. Khin Nyunt) personal jealousy about Aung San Suu Kyi in particular. Unfortunately, we simply cannot help the Burmese Generals to reduce such jealousy nor are we to reduce the poputo reduce the popularity of ASSK. We simply have to recognize such jealousy exists and move forwards on the matters.
In recent months, the international pressure on junta has reached to all time high. The Burmese junta's moves to soften the pressure: such as recent drug-seimnar/UN-FAO meetings etc simply went unnoticed by the international community and failed to get-up from the ground. Then again from our part, there are many more things that can be done, especially through the United Nations Security Council. We, the Burme. We, the Burmese, continue to call all our friends' help on this matter.
With best regards, U Ne Oo.
Letter to the United Nations Security Council
Dr U Ne Oo
18 Shannon Place
Adelaide SA 5000
April 15, 1998.
H.E. Sir John Weston, KCMG
United Kingdoms Ambassodor to the UN
UK Mission to the United Nations
P.O. Box 5238
New York, NY 10150-5238
United States of America
I am a Burmese national currently residing in Australia. I call Your Excellency's attention to the situation of human rights and the continuing political and military conflicts in Burma. In particular, the Burmese military government has been refusing to undertake the terms of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/52/137 of 12 December 1997. Since 1996, the Burmese military government do not allow the Human Rights Special Rapporteur, Judge Rajsoomer Lallah, to visit Burma. In this connection, I also enclosed my appeal letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
I also draw your attention to Burmese military government's unlawful arrests and continued detention of political opponents, especially the members and supporters of National League for Democracy(NLD) party. I particularly like to note that despite such repressions upon its members and supporters by the military, the National League for Democracy has always been commited to the path of reconciliation with the military authorities. The sole obstacle to peaceful solutionl solution in Burma, therefore, is the continuing refusal by Burmese military to enter a proper dialogue with NLD.
I also draw attention to the continuing cases of attack on unarmed Karen refugees in Thailand by Democratic Karen Buddhist Army(DKBA)---a rebel faction supported by the Burmese military. The DKBA in last month attacked and burnt down a number of refugee camps, killing four people and making thousands of refugees homeless. Such cases of attacks on refugees repeatedly occur since 1995. Recently, the Royal Thaioyal Thai Government has been seeking help from UNHCR for the refugee and displaced people from Burma. Therefore, it is urgent to put pressure on all parties to the conflict in Burma to end the military conflict.
I therefore urge the United Nations Security Council to (1) authorize an unrestricted access for Human Rights Special Rapporteur, Judge Rajsoomer Lallah, to Burma in order to implement his mandate; (2) to encourage all parties in Burma to make political reconciliation and (3) to encourage Burmese military and rebelnd rebel group to implement a nation-wide cease-fire.
Yours respectfully and sincerely,
Sd. U Ne Oo.
1. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the UN, United Nations Headquarters, United Nations New York N.Y. 10017, U.S.A.
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