Saturday, February 6, 2010
People & Power - Myanmar: Beneath the surface
Two years ago the world watched in dismay as Myanmar's military junta brutally crushed the so-called Saffron Revolution. It was the only show of mass opposition to have occurred inside the country in almost 20 years.
Burma's government is planning elections for later this year 2010. They will be the first since 1990, when the military refused to recognise the landslide victory of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD). Pro-democracy leader and NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi is currently under house arrest and is not expected to be released in time to take part. The planned election is coming soon...it is doubtful it will be fair.
The international are still playing their own politic, with no concrete agenda to ensure the return to civilian democracy. The CIA World Factbook data for 2007 lists Thailand (44.3%), India (14.5%), China (7.1%), Japan (5.7%) as major buyers of Burma’s natural gas, wood products, pulses, beans, fish, rice, clothing, jade and gems. Human Rights Watch in a 2007 article said; Current investors in Burma’s oil and gas industry include companies from Australia, the British Virgin Islands, China, France, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Russia, and the United States. It is ironical that it include USA investor, the advocate of democracy. So finally it is not democracy, human right, for American, it is still economic consideration. Many of the freedom fighters of the minorities were supported by the USA, but apparently only make used for their political agenda during the cold war. They are more interested in Taiwan or Tibet. The investors included the neighboring countries including China, India,and the Asean countries. The rich resources of Myanmar is difficult to reject, where forest products and natural resources are in good demand. The teak timber was named blood timber by the human right activists. Economy always prevail than human right and democracy, the countries believed in diplomacy and political pressure. If you do not believe? why USA is keen on selling arms to Taiwan? the money need for their arm industry and the economic recovery, and their global political strategy for perceived potential enemy; instead of provide military support for the minority fighters. The answer is they have no money to pay...for the arms...and to pay for their limited arms, some may resorted to drug and illegal activities to pay their arms....
But Myanmar Junta is good in playing their games of delay tactic. They have all the time to wait, as they are controlling the game. A global political game by global democracy advocates and the Junta.....people suffered...
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in 2009 that sanctions alone had not succeeded in bringing political change to Burma and that the White House was seeking to engage with the generals. What type of engagement USA is going to involve?. Other than political pressure, it need the direct and equal involvement of neighboring countries, China, India, Bangladesh, and Thailand. Any domination by USA will result in failure, a sincere effort for political stability, and not political dominance. Burma is military sensitive place for the neighboring countries. A respect of their political sensitivity is required by outside parties. It will be better a UN led team is to monitor the election, to ensure a democratic and free election. A UN led military force to ensure peace of the minority states, and human right protection ensured in the states. The people need to decide their future; not the Junta,not the neighboring countries, or any interest parties... it should be more than engagement, a direct involvement by UN.
However nobody care about the situation, the civil war has been there since 1948, and Burmese people have to cope with by themselves. However it will continue bringing refugee problem for the neighboring countries, if the Junta prolong its rule. It is reciprocal, it is the reaction of action to accept the Junta. Thailand, Malaysia, Bangladesh have nobody to blame if they continue to play with Junta's political games.Burmese will continue to suffer, and refugee problem will not be solved if there is no solution in Burma to ensure political stability.
If you have forgotten the Myanmar's past history, and find time wasting reading my blog; the video will help you to remember: