Written by U Ne Oo on 1997-03-22
In late February, Mr France Vanderell, Director of the U.N. Department of Political affairs, have visited to Burma and met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Sn Suu Kyi and SNLD leaders. The U.N. official, however, was unable to see General Khin Nyunt (obviously SLORC is trying to avoid such meetings as much as possible). Continued pressure on SLORC are needed from the U.N. and international community, especially from the United Nations Security Council, in order to solve Burma's human rights and political problems - particularly the refugee problem. In this regards, we in Adelaide have made efforts to mobilize the UNSC: on last Wednesday night (19/3/97), we held an information sharing stion sharing session on Burma and have also organized fax-in-demonstration to the permanent members of Security Council. About 15-fax-letters were sent on that night to the members of Security Council. Few more faxes and letter to the UNSC from our friends would certainly help in this regards. If anybody in Australia would like to have sample letters, please e-mail to me (please do not use the return-path; send separate e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org) and I shall send you some of the copies.
Our friends in United friends in United States are in a more advantageous position with regards to lobbying the United Nations: any faxes or mails can be made at a much smaller cost. The support groups based in American Continent can certainly help us in such matters and therefore please continue to help us.
BEWARE OF SLORC'S TRICKS
Recent incident in Mandalay may have been just another of the SLORC's favourite trick to deflect the public's attention from its own crisis. We may well remember that in early 1988, just before the just before the nation-wide pro-democracy uprising, there were reports of anti-muslim riots in Prome. Another one of this kind was the operation against Rohingya muslim in late-1991/early-1992, which SLORC clearly intended to make a political diversion after the army chief, General Saw Maung, slided into a mentally deranged status in 1991.
The SLORC's tendency to manipulate ethnic and religious division (& hatred) and then exploit the situation to serve junta's own end may now be quite familiar to most Burma observers.
LOOKING AT THINGS WITH OBJECTIVITY AND FOCUS
When we talk about the political situations, such as this recent Mandalay incident, it is even more helpful to examine questions such as "Why did it happen ?" than that of "What happened ?" or "How did it happen ?". Few of the questions - such as whether a muslim man has molested a Burmese girl or whether the monks in Mandalay have attacked muslim establishments - have not much points, to my way of thinking, to make a discussion in this case. Thosehis case. Those facts can be partly true or they may be a complete fabrication by the SLORC. The points to be focused in this case are that the SLORC had issued the curfew in Mandalay and there has been government crackdown on the monks. Further investigation and analysis are needed on whether there has been tensions building-up in Mandalay and whether the government has underlying motives in issuing the curfew. We can then consider to make appropriate response upon those analysis and investigations.
At this current state, t current state, the SLORC does have a good reason to deflect the international community's attention from the ongoing political and military battles with Karens and ethnic minorities. Domestically, SLORC continue to suffer humiliations by its economic failures and continuing to lose its self-confidence. The emerging unity between the indigenous nationalities and the political opposition is also threatening the military regime's legitimacy. While the rising tensions between the monks and SLORC cannot be ruled out, the SLORC's desperatORC's desperation to avoid the ceasefire and dialogue with the oppositions may also be the SLORC's motive to issue the curfew.
With best regards, U Ne Oo.
A Sample Letter to U.N. Security Council
March 19, 1997.
H.E. Mr Qin Huasun
Permanent representative of the People's
Republic of China to the United Nations
155 West 66th Street
New York N.Y. 10023, U.S.A.
I call Your Excellency's attention to thl Your Excellency's attention to the continuing political and military conflicts in Myanmar/Burma. The ruling military junta of Burma, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), has continued refusing to transfer state power to the elected representatives of Burma. I am very concerned about the ruling military council's unlawful arrest and detention of the representatives who were elected in May-1990 general election.
I particularly wish to draw your attention to the recent Burmese army's offensive against the Karen National Union, oneional Union, one of the rebel groups in Myanmar. This offensive have resulted 20,000 Karen refugees fleeing to Thailand and the total Burma's refugee population in Thailand to become 100,000. The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), a renegade Karen faction supported by SLORC, have threatened to continue terrorizing the Karen refugees into returning to Burma. There were instances in late January 1997 of the DKBA have burnt-down two refugee camps at the Thai-Burmese border.
I believe the situation in Burma has been at a cri has been at a critical stage and in need of urgent attention from the United Nations. I request Your Excellency to urgently convene a Security Council meeting on Burma/Myanmar in order to resolve the Burma's political and refugee problems. I particularly call upon the United Nations Security Council (1) to impose an international arms embargo on Myanmar (2) to create the Safety Zones for refugees from Myanmar and (3) authorize to send the human rights monitors and peace-keeping mission to Myanmar.
In closing, I thank Your Excellency for your kind attention to this matter.
cc: 1. H.E. Kofi Annan, The Secretary-General of United Nations, United
Nations, New YOrk, N.Y. 10017, U.S.A.
2. Ms Sadako Ogata, U.N.High Commissioner for Refugees, Case Postale 2500, CH - 1211 Geneva 2 Depot, Switzerland.