UN and Democratic Reforms in Burma: SPDC Way…?

United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Mr. Ibrahim Gambari made a red letters day trip to Burma from 9th to 12th November 2006 after more than one month the UN Security Council took the historic step of putting the country on its agenda in its 5526th meeting on 15th September 2006. The visit was internationally watched event and Gambari’s second since May 2006, when he became the first foreigner to see Aung San Suu Kyi in two years. Mr. Gambari’s arrival to Bangkok from Yangon after the trip was optimistic to international media. He like a seasoned diplomat spoke that, “It was a very good meeting,” and more than that was, “frank and very constructive”, like his previous comments in May that, “the Government after two years of isolation, seemed willing to engage in a dialogue with the international community”. However Gambari’s team missed to watch a week before the golden journey that Burma’s military junta doesn’t want him to go by his schedule to meet all sections as reported in the UN Newswire on 1st of November 2006, that, he hoped to hold talks with all the key figures in Burma during his trip. As military company’s official newspaper – The New Light of Myanmar published an interview a week’s before the Gambari’s journey on 3rd of November 2006, given by the Chairman of the Information Committee of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) Minister for Information, Brig. Gen. Kyaw Hsan. In which he categorically answered to the question of U Myat Khaing of “Snap Shot Journal” that, “Mr. Gambari will only meet State leaders because he was invited by State leaders. Besides, he will probably visit the National Convention as it is being convened…he (Mr. Gambari) has never asked us to visit Daw Suu Kyi or Min Ko Naing.” Probably the UN Newswire of 1st November 2006 doesn’t reach to Brig. Gen. Kyaw Hsan or SPDC’s charismatic PR men – Brig. General Kyaw Hsan’s press release doesn’t find its destination to UN post box.

Although the events went other way round, Mr. Gambari met not only the military leaders of Burma but also world saw rare photograph meeting Daw Aung San Suu Kyi wearing a light purple silk traditional shirt and a violet silk floral-patterned formal sarong standing beside Gambari later released to international media. UN diplomat was happy to say that she was alert and reasonably well but requires more regular medical visits & attention without elaborating on her health condition like SPDC way of working hard towards restoration of democracy through seven-step roadmap. However Mr. Gambari should understand that how important his visit was for the military brigade of Senior General Than Shwe that Burmese official media – The New Light of Myanmar, featured his arrival on last page of 10th November edition and his departure on 11th page no. of sixteen page newspaper in 13th November 2006 issue.

It is a wonderful consistent serious diplomatic initiative by UN high level officials to break the democratic impasse in Burma since 1990 initiative by Japanese diplomat Sadako Ogata. But they shouldn’t forget and learn lessons from their past failures that Military Junta’s real intention to engage and invite international and regional institutions is to legitimize their conventions & misrule like Brig. Gen. Kyaw Hsan’s probability and high hope that Mr. Gambari would visit National Convention and not Daw Suu Kyi and Min Ko Naing. It is for UN to understand that the junta’s sponsored quasi socio-political organizations Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) and National Convention (NC) would how much hold the people’s support was itself reflected in May 1990 election conducted by Tatmadaw (armed forces) themselves and the fate of then officially sponsored National Unity Party. Tatmadaw fails to read between the lines of Mr. Gambari’s other answer about Daw Suu Kyi that, “She has concern not only about her own welfare but the welfare of the people of Burma, all of them.” And history has shown many-a-times that those who lives every breadth for their people holds the heart-beat of nation. If USDA and NC has been so successful in attracting people of Burma having membership of more than twenty-one million as officially announced then why military junta is scared of giving freedom to winners of 1990 elections? If USDA has such a large support base in Burma, Let the people of Burma decides who holds the sway in the heart of people of Burma; USDA or NLD under Nobel laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi?

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One Comment on “UN and Democratic Reforms in Burma: SPDC Way…?”

  1. DR. AJAY PRATAP, Ph.D. Says:

    This is a very important and significant website. The organizers would do well to explain and underline, that without south-south co-operative networks, the south asian region, generally speaking will remain a dumping-ground for first world goods, including armaments, that does not in any way help us fight poverty and fill stomachs.

    my best wishes to organizers and bon voyage’.

    Ajay Pratap.


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