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Why Waste Time and Procrastinate?

Prof. Kanbawza Win

   ( Prof. Kanbawza Win (Dr. B.T.Win): Incumbent Dean of Students of AEIOU Programme, Chiangmai University, Thailand. Senior Research Fellow at the European Institute of Asian Studies, Under the European Commission, Brussels, Belgium. Earlier Consultant to National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma. Editorial Consultant, "Asian Tribune." The learned Professor submitted this article for publication in the Asian Tribune.)

    "Why is the UNSC wasting its time and energy on Burma, when it has proven beyond doubt that the Burmese Generals are not in the category of civilized norms and understands only the language brute force," seems to be the common hypothesis of the international community and by the Burma watchers. The UN has passed 28 resolutions at the General Assembly expressing grave concern over human rights violations, ethnic cleansing, political repression and the lack of civil liberties. On the positive aspect it has urge the Burmese Junta to hold a tripartite dialogue (with the Junta, the National League for Democracy or NLD and ethnic minorities). But all these were vigorously refuted and completely ignored by the top brass. So Ibrahim Gambari going to Burma seems to be a symbolic ritual giving the defenders and detractors of the regime a chance to air out their bombastic esoteric cogitation, or at least a common denominator after the haggling and agonizing. It seems that UN has becomes impotent, in the initiative of brokering dialogue between the Junta and the opposition through two designated special envoys for over the last decade. Even though allowing, Ibrahim Gambari to visit the country, could be construe as a positive developments, we must recollect the 28 UN Assembly resolution urging to release all political prisoners serving lengthy sentences including the Burmese Nobel Laureate was never met. The 29th resolution now deliberating will be no exception.

   The UN Security Council has placed Burma, on the Council's agenda', citing concern over the 'deteriorating situation in Myanmar' that is endangering the maintenance of international peace and security', and result in the outflow of refugees, drugs, HIV/AIDS and other diseases' which in turn 'threatens to have a destabilizing impact on the region, even though the new nuclear cooperation with North Korea (as the latest North Korean shipment to Burma under the smokescreen of vessels in distress) is not in the agenda. The UNSC meeting of 15th Sept. took only 15 minutes, despite China's vigorous defense on Burma. At the closed-door meeting on the 29th Under Secretary-General Gambari, reported to have said that there had been some slight progress in some areas such as of forced labor in areas where the visibility is too much. However, he also stated that his 'engagement' with the Junta 'should not be for the sake of engagement', but that should be tangible results in terms of concrete progress in addressing the Burmese. Now that he had come back from Burma, the world is watching these improvements.

   Predictably, the Junta like any strong man and unreasonable groups reacted strongly with lies including the refutation at the UN General Assembly, approaching the Non-Align Movement, clarification and denunciation followed by a media blitz against the US and labeling the NLD as internal and the expatriates as external traitors, with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as destructive elements and 'power mad politicians and blah blah blaming everybody except themselves. What more, it forced the ceasefire groups to formally condemn the move of Burma putting at the UNSC. In the opening plenary session of the National Convention (NC) on 10 October devoted an entire special session in the afternoon to criticizing the UNSC action, thereby roundly condemning the US and its followers.

    To be candid we have construe that Gambari's second visit carries more weight as he would report back directly to the UNSC, as he had done in the first trip, even though, like any diplomat, will say nice things that he come as a representative of Kofi Annam. Unfortunately, many believes that until the immediate and urgent need of the people are met, he won't be able to break the ice. On the other side the crafty Junta has successfully used Gambari's visit to endorse its national convention and had smartly portrayed as a sort of legitimacy bestowed by the UN, which they hope to find a way out of the UNSC passing a resolution on Burma.

   Probably, the Junta will listen to the advice of the Chinese, as from the very outset they hatch a plan with the Chinese expert to invite Gambari and offer small concessions, so that the Chinese could defend Burma at the UNSC briefing or use their veto if the West ever introduces a tough resolution. The Burmese issue has place the Chinese in an awkward position, between the devil and the deep sea. They will either use the veto, which could be detrimental in their bid for leadership of the international community, as cropping up the pugnacious rouge regime or loosing its soft under belly (Burma) to the democratic forces led by the West, particularly the US.

   The opposition movement both at home and abroad joined the chorus of approval for the UNSC move and their expressions can be found in several social and religious occasions and is gaining momentum. The leaders of the 8888, generation inside Burma could easily unleash a formidable force which is more popular than the moribund NLD and obviously heightens the suspicions of the security agencies. The Junta has suffered a big loss of face and is probably concerned about the conjunction of adverse events within and outside the country. The undeniable fact, which everybody accepts, is that the Burmese as a people are unable to solve their own problem so much so that the UN has to come in.

   It has also drives home the fact that the military Junta's rule is one of the vilest on this planet, suppressing minority groups, crushing dissent, wrecking the economy, engaging in Stalinesque social engineering projects. The immense affection for the gentle and open hearted people of Burma, considered as the most hospital people of the world, are being traumatized by the disgusting and sordid rulers. About two million people have fled Burma in the last ten years alone is also an undeniable fact, but was still not accepted by the Burmese Generals.

   What we were made to understand is that in Gambari's planned talks include the situation in Karen State among other issues of political reform, the release of political prisoners and humanitarian assistance. Nothing is heard about these. In the meantime in Karen State it happens on a daily basis. According to the Karen National Union, Burmese troops from battalion 35 of Light Infantry Division 66 had destroyed property of more than 2.2 million Kyat (nearly US $1,667) and on Nov. 1st just one week before Gambari's visit, the Burmese army has inhumanely burned alive to a 47-year-old Saw They Shur in Play Hta village in Taungoo District. This indicates that the Junta has replied to the UN not by words but by actions and yet we could not comprehend of why did the UN representative go? It is estimated that more than 3,000 additional refugees are expected to arrive at the camp before the end of this month due to food shortages and the threat of violence in the home villages, which are all the making of the Junta.

    Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, now 61, had requested more frequent visits from her personal doctor, the only person besides her maid has been allowed contact since her detention. Her doctor's visits have been curtailed by authorities, in an effort to put an end to passive resistance, all these inhuman gestures which the Generals inherited from their Burmese monarchs were repeated again to show off their uncivilized and brutal nature, are an indirect reply to the UN for putting Burma on the agenda of the UN Security Council. Of course one understand when the United Nations envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, says he's very satisfied with his four-day visit to Burma, where held a frank and extensive dialogue with the military leader, Senior General Than Shwe. But again looking from the other perspective we tend to agree of what Debbie Stothard said that Gambari was more of the temporary detainee than temporary visitor of the Junta because he was not allowed to see the 8888 generations student's leaders nor the real ethnic leaders that are detained and has to be contend to meet person whom the Junta chooses. He even could not stay in a hotel but was compelled to move to the government house.


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