Saturday, September 1, 2012

Comments on PDP’s Statement on Myanmar

The PDP is absolutely right that under the disguise of freedom of journalism the current Thein Sein regime is again playing cat and mouse game with the people - both within and outside Burma (Myanmar). As I have also noted in my recent speech in the Bangkok Conference the current constitution, concocted by the military regime with support from racist supporters, cannot be the guide book to run the country - neither before nor now in this century. It is an outdated model based on alienation, exclusion, intolerance, racism and bigotry, a far cry from what the founding fathers like Aung San and others had envisioned for the new state in 1947. 

I also approve of the PDP's 4-pronged strategy, which includes trying the Myanmar government in the international criminal court for its decades-long serious violations of human rights, including the current ethnic cleansing of the Rohingyas of Arakan state. Without such hard sticks the regime will not be sobered to alter its failed paths and policies, and continue to find ways to stick to power at the cost of everyone. The ICC case should also include non-government actors who through writings and speeches have either promoted marginalization of persecuted minorities or been a party to regime's crimes against humanity. [Without punishing the Julius Streichers of Burma, it would be futile to weed out racism from Burma.]

It is high time for the member states of the UN, esp. UNSC, to say enough is enough and declare the Myanmar regime non-grata in the international arena and proceed with their recommendation for trying the regime in the ICC unless it truly reforms starting with the constitution, thus allowing inclusion of all the minorities like the Rohingyas of Burma, within a prescribed time of say six months, maximum.

As outside observers who care about real change, on our part we should insist that our respective governments know that they cannot continue feeding carrot to an unruly ass that refuses to do its part; the Myanmar regime needs sticks to tame it and ensure its compliance. No government should encourage any business with the criminal regime without tangible changes affecting people, failing which they must bear the responsibility of being a party to crimes against humanity. 

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