Burma Thumbs its Nose at Impotent World

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Kangaroo Court Verdict Against Suu Kyi Was Outragious – World is Hapless Watcher

US and European countries champion the cause of democracy everywhere in the world. They even went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan to restore democracy there, at a very high premium, of course. But then when it comes to Burma, US and European countries are impotent to flagrant violations of human rights and suppression of freedom by the ruling Junta.

The verdict was a brazen act and a challenge to the right thinking people in the world. The Military Junta’s action could be termed a direct challenge to the impotent world powers. They knew the world would not react violently against it, so they continue with their oppressive policies much to the discomfort of the US, UK and France. Russia, is yet to react.

The Military Junta that rules resource rich Burma suppresses all opposition to their rule with an iron hand. They refuse to accept the people’s verdict in the 1990 poll and jailed their leader for 14 years. The human rights violations are glaring and pro-democracy leaders are dying in detention, unable to bear the torture by prison officials.

The Junta has jailed and tortured pro-democracy protesters, do not all freedom of the press. It is a military dictatorship at its worst, while the world watches haplessly, with China blocking all moves in the UN Security Council against Burma. This is outrageous, highly condemnable in the strongest terms and calls for immediate response from the superpowers.

The sham trial of the jailed pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi by the Kangaroo court handing down a sentence of 3 years of rigorous imprisonment for violating her House arrest conditions, is nothing but outrageous.

Soon after the verdict was announced by the court, the Home Minister walked in from the backdoor to announce the commutation of the sentence to that of house arrest, speaks itself of the way justice is done.

It was clear that the Military Junta wanted to keep her out of democracy for the next three years at least so that they can conduct a farce and fixed election in 2010 and continue in power. Leaders one after another in the world condemned it including the UN Secretary General.

This is not enough. There is a talk of imposing economic sanctions against Burma. But what happened with previous efforts at sanctions is no secret.

I believe Military action is the only solution. The UN Security Council and General Assembly should pass a resolution for military action against the Junta, in the same way as the US did to Saddam Hussein in Iraq, if democracy is not restored immediately.

Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leaders, undergoing imprisonment and house arrest for 14 years, should be freed along with other political prisoners. The UN should urge the Burma government to conduct elections under international supervision, in a free and fair manner based on democratic norms in which all would participate. The release of the detained leaders is must before any election process takes place.

If the military junta there in Burma is keen to escape any punitive action and survive, it should immediately start a dialogue with the pro-democracy leadership after releasing Suu Kyi from detention.

I believe one problem for Suu Kyi was that she failed to develop a second rung leadership to carry forward the torch of protest against oppression. Had she done it, with people coming out in the streets, Military Junta may have been forced to see the writing on the wall and restore democracy. Stll it is not too late, if the world reacts strongly against the continued hardship caused to the people by the Junta.

Burma is worse than Saddam’s Iraq or the Taliban Afghanistan. If the US is afraid of China or North Korea, it does not speak well for them. President Obama has to act and the world would rally behind him. If economic sanctions and blockade does not work in the resource rich country, where people are suffering economic hardship and suppression of basic human dignity, then military action would be the only solution left to force democracy in Burma.

Neighbours like India and China are guarded in their approach to the on-going atrocities in Burma. There has been virtually no development during the years of misrule by the military junta in Burma. The economy is poor, poverty is still the catch word, and there is virtual martial law in Burma.

What is baffling is the muted response from all. British Prime Minister Brown had written a long article, condemning the atrocities and detention of Suu Kyi. But this is not enough. Now it calls for stern action, if the world is keen to see democracy functioning in Burma. Jai Hind.