貌强：How The World Views Burma’s Junta ？ |
By Maung Chan, Burma’s Chinese
S.H.A.N. & Burma’s News Published by Burma’s Chinese
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Surprisingly, Burma has become a huge issue in US Asia policy.
U.S. President George W. Bush said on November 16 in Japan that Burma’s junta has committed crimes far and wide, including rape, human rights violations,forced labour ,forced displacement etc. He described Burma an outpost of "isolation, backwardness and brutality".
On his way to Korea, Bush said," Burma should be one of the most prosperous and successful in Asia but is instead one of the region's poorest."
Bush urged ASEAN leaders on Novemer 17-18 in Korea’s APEC to use their influence on the Burma’s junta. The importance of progress toward democratic reform promised by Burma’s junta "which we have, to date, not seen." said he.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice used even stronger language. She said in Korea’s APEC that Burma's junta was "one of the worst regimes in the world" for its record on human rights and free speech. She urged ASEAN to do tougher and more work on the junta in order to win the release of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and force the pace of reform.
The European Parliament passed an urgency resolution on November 17,
-call on the United Nations Security Council to take action to bring about a transition to democracy in Burma,
-urge the European Union to prohibit new investments in Burma by European companies,
-call for the appointment of a high-level EU envoy to work for:
1.the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners,
2.to develop a comprehensive EU strategy on Burma:
a).to enable humanitarian aid to be delivered to the people of Burma.
b).to bring about a transition to democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law.
c).encouraging a blanket prohibition on any new investments or loans to named Burmese state-owned enterprises by EU-registered companies.
According to the resolution, the EU should also officially state that it will not accept any outcome of the regime’s National Convention, to be reconvened early next month, unless minimum conditions, including the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and the beginning of meaningful dialogue with pro-democracy and ethnic groups, are met.
The ASEAN , with a combined population of 500 million, stood firm on their policy of non-interference in members' internal affairs.
The ASEAN leaders met with Bush on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting and told Bush that they would continue to use engagement, not threats, to deal with Burma's rulers. “it is better to be talking to them instead of not talking to them, It is our strategy and our way that we believe can work” they said.
Despite the tension over Burma, ties between Southeast Asia and the United States made progress at the summit. both sides agreed "to work together to conclude a region-wide ASEAN-United States Trade and Investment Framework Agreement".
A resolution against Burma’s junta was approved by the social and humanitarian committee of 191 member-nation U.N. assembly. It requested strogly: 1.to end Burma’s systematic violations of human rights, including rape and other sexual violence carried out by its armed forces. 2.to call on Burma to release all political prisoners, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
British envoy Richard Wood, speaking on behalf of the EU bloc, called the country's rights violations "systematic and widespread" and said they were "of grave concern to the United Nations.
"The human rights situation in Myanmar is surely among the most desperate in the world today," added New Zealand diplomat Andrew Begg.
The ILO, including 178 members of governments, unions and employer groups, claimed that its representative in Burma had received 21 death threats , shortly after junta-sponsored rallies against the organisation.
“Do not intervere in our internal affairs under the pretext of promoting human rights! ” Burma’s junta said “what we need is encouragement and support, and not condemnation and confrontation,”
The UN special envoy for human rights in Myanmar, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, said on November 17:
-Burma remained committed to a transition to democracy.
-Welcome Burma’s announcement on November 16 to continue as a member of the ILO.
-Welcome Burma having released some political prisoners.
-Referring to high-profile public criticisms of the junta, he suggested that what is needed is "less noise, more competence."
-Recent long prison sentences given to a human rights lawyer and political leaders of the Shan ethnic minority were "not very helpful" for a political transition.
-Oppose "the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria" to cut all its funding to fight the diseases in Myanmar. Humanitarian aid cannot be held hostage to political agendas. "A lot of people will die because of this wrong decision,"
SDU Sai Wansai
”Dialogue is only possible if the military junta has the political will to resolve the conflict. But indications are that the junta is determined to go it all alone and continue to monopolize the political or governing power” Sai Wansai, the General Secretary of Shan Democratic Union pointed out.