Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ category

Burma Review back on Web: burmareview.com is now burmareview.org

September 23, 2008

Burma Review is back on web at blogger.com / Google facilities as – burmareview.org / burmareview.blogspot.com web site. The journey of Burma Review was started on 5th of December 2006 at wordpress.com as burmareview.wordpress.com and later

shifted to the domain name: burmareview.com (which has been now taken by the other interested group to destroy the purpose of the concerned domain name, so now please don’t visit burmareview.com, the story of losing domain name on word press would be explained on other occasions, the forces behind it could be well understood) The old posts of Burma Review will remain available at bumareview.wordpress.com

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Lessons of Burma Uprising 2007

December 22, 2007

BY: Richard, Editor, Burma Dialogue (www.freesuukyi.org/blog )      

While we sit back and watch the junta predictably jump back and forth concerning the NLD and Aung San Suu Kyi’s level of involvement (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7150488.stm)  in the masquerade they call a “road to democracy” we can at least say those who stood up will be remembered in the back pages of Time’s internet pages(http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/personoftheyear/article/0,28804,1690753_1690758_1693514,00.html).    

Once again ASEAN, the UN, the US and the EU all seem to be under pressure to bring the regime under grand consequence, or the future will simply have no hope for us humanitarians. If my sarcasm is not obvious let me point it out for you. Negligence is the statue in which we embark to resolve.    Though we have done one thing I suppose. The United States passed a Bill(http://uk.reuters.com/article/oilRpt/idUKN1962807620071220) ending financial support for the flow of Burmese rubies and timber.  China will be happy to oblige. The real Burma timber market is going to China anyways.  The always reliable Telegraph (yes, more sarcasm) stated that in 2007 blogs (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=FXQWANC3XA4L3QFIQMFCFFOAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/10/01/wburma201.xml) helped the Burmese revolution.

They stated three, only one of which is actually a blog.    What the uprising of 2007 has taught me is that, it is not the action or inaction of any government or institution that plays any real role in the fight for freedom for the people of Burma. It is the individual, inside or outside of Burma that makes the case for his and her own freedom according to that which they are prepared to lay down. I have done a little here and there. I would like to do more. But no one has done as much as those in Burma, who were seen publicly, had their pictures taken and their names put on a list for questioning and imprisonment as thoroughly as the Nazi’s did it.    

But Time hides such human courage in the back pages, and names Putin, one of the junta’s largest supporters “Man of the Year”. It is clear we are on our own in this fight. I’m not saying anything new. Others know and are simply waiting for the right….Time.    

(The End)  

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Burma Review Completes One Year!

December 7, 2007

(This post was scheduled to appear on 5th of December but due to the internet support facilities failure it is appearing today)  

Burma Review has completed its one year journey on the web. On the completion of its twelve months journey of Burma Review, I would like to thank all those valuable esteemed readers of Burma Review, who have made significant contribution in its one year journey through their many comments, writings and suggestions to keep alive the flame of Burma burning for freedom and correct historical interpretation of the great nation of Asia suffering under military dictatorship.

In future, it will be more vigilant to face and unmask the claims of certain historians that it is a “democracy jihad”. In its journey towards people’s freedom, Burma Review has been able to attract more than thirty-six thousand six-hundred hits and many comments on its fifty-six posts. The visit of more than thirty-six thousands six-hundred viewers on Burma Review also indicates towards the contemporary historical reality of Burma that people sitting across the globe and inside Burma are not going to forget plight and suffering of people’s queen of Asia – Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Moreover, in its journey of one year, Burma Review has witnessed the greatest courage of Burmese people’s desires towards democracy in their August-September 2007 revolution against illegitimate ruling military regime known as – State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), which failed to recognize the May 1990 election results. It might have appeared to the ruling military regime that, Burma Review is working against them as it talks about the freedom of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners of Burma. But in fact, I have never thought that, military hasn’t got role in any nation and basically every democratic leaders of Burma & senior NLD people with whom I met, they also accepts military’s role in the nation but problem lies that, military doesn’t understands the role of personalities like Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in nation building negating the desires of the people in the lust of remaining in power.      

Most importantly, the biggest historical failure and blunders of SPDC is to understand the political-social vision of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (DASSK) on ethnic issues, which resulted in recent junta supported series of statements from ethnic groups. However, both (SPDC and DASSK) believes ultimately in “union spirit” like Bogyoke Aung San, U Nu, Dr. Ba Maw etc. However, it is few ethnic leaders, who defined the February 1947 Panglong agreement in a wrong way going beyond the ultimate historical visions of the makers of Burma like – Bogyoke Aung San, Dr. Ba Maw, U Ottama, U Nu creating not only the problem for Daw Aung Suu Kyi and NLD but also helped military rulers to perpetuate their rule in the name of “Union Spirits”. I will write in details on ethnic issues in future posts in Burma Review. For a moment in brief, Burma Review and any Indian Scholar believes in the “United and Strong Burma” because great makers of Burma like – Bogyoke Aung San also wished, worked and thought for that.  And, as far as I have understood Daw Aung San Suu Kyi through her writings, speeches and interviews, she also want to make Burma strong on the same visions of Bogyoke Aung San giving respectable space to different ethnic views to protect their culture, customs, language in the great Indian and Asian ethos of “Unity in Diversity”.

I don’t know, what has happened in the United Nations Security Council meetings on the issue of arms embargo on Burma? But I would like to remind the member nations of the world’s largest body that, ten years back on the occasion of the 53rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Geneva, held on 8th of April 1997, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had made an appeal, which is still to be fulfilled and realized.  In which, She spoke with pain that, “The main obligation of the international community is to do every thing it can to implement the terms of the General Assembly resolution.  As I said earlier it is a good resolution but it shouldn’t just remain on paper, it needs to be implemented.  And since it was passed unanimously I think the international community does have an obligation to try to implement its terms. To take it seriously, not just to regard it as a piece of paper.” However the event in Burma suggests that, it is still remained on paper. Furthermore, it is a mockery of world institutions like UN and ASEAN that despite their many official calls for the freedom of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, she is still in house arrest and not allowed to meet the world press.         

Burma Review has a special important role to play as it is also a “Voice from India” for the freedom of Burmese people and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, analyzing Modern Burmese history on the correct perspective of the vision’s of Burma’s great leaders like- Bogyoke Aung San, U Nu, Dr. Ba Maw and many great sons and daughters of Burma on the basis of available historical facts. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is very special for India, not only because she has spent some years in India during her studies, but because she has been also a great disciple of our great father of the nation – Mahatma Gandhi and truly following the path of non-violence against heaviest odds. There have been many posts on Burma websites concerning themes that, “Don’t forget Burma” and many like these words, so in the next post Burma Review will analyze on this very important issue utilizing the research tools of historiography taking examples of Asian history. I have also not finished the second and concluding part of the comparisons of “Quit India Movement with 8888 Quit Dictatorship Movement” post, which will appear in January 2008.     

Once again thanking you all for visiting Burma Review,   

Rajshekhar

Editor, Burma Review 

INDIA

5th of December 2007  

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Human Rights Watch: UN should Impose Arms Embargo on Burma

December 5, 2007

Press Release: Human Rights Watch, December 5, 2007 

Human Rights Watch, in its press release issued today, has appealed to the United Nations Security Council to impose an arms embargo on Burma in response to the Burmese military government’s continued recruitment of children for its national army. Human Rights Watch further stressed that, Burma’s ruling military regimes claim to redress the problem of child recruitments are wholly insufficient.    

The press release has been issued addressed to the tomorrow’s meeting of the UN Security Council’s working group on children and armed conflict, which is scheduled to discuss the recent report submitted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, that has found well documented “grave violations” against children in Burma, including patterns of underage military recruitment.     

According to the Press Release issued today by HRW, the UN secretary-general has issued five reports since 2002 citing Burma’s national army, the Tatmadaw, for violating international law prohibiting the use of child soldiers. The reports have also cited several non-state armed groups in Burma for recruiting children, including armed opposition groups. 

Burma’s army has recruited thousands of children to fill its ranks,” said Jo Becker, children’s rights advocate for Human Rights Watch. “The Security Council needs to show Burma’s generals that they cannot get away with such horrendous practices.” The Security Council’s working group on children and armed conflict must now consider what action the Security Council should take in response to the secretary-general’s new report on violations in Burma. In past resolutions on children and armed conflict, the Security Council has stated that it will consider targeted measures including embargoes on arms and other military assistance – in cases where governments and armed groups fail to end their use of child soldiers.    

It is important to note that, in a report released in October, Human Rights Watch documented how children as young as 10 are recruited by force into Burma’s army. At recruitment centers, officers falsify documents to register new recruits as age 18, even if they are clearly underage. Former soldiers reported that in many training camps, children made up more than 30 percent of new recruits.  After putting children through military training, the Burmese army uses them in combat against ethnic armed opposition groups, and sometimes to participate in human rights abuses against civilians. Children who try to escape are typically beaten, re-recruited, or imprisoned.     

The army’s forced recruitment is designed to fill personnel shortages as a result of both increased desertion rates and army expansion. This expansion includes new units established to utilize arms purchased from China, India, Russia, and Ukraine. Under Burma’s national law, the recruitment of anyone below age 18 is prohibited. The recruitment and use of child soldiers below the age of 15 is considered a war crime under international law.     

In 2004, the military government, known as the State Peace and Development Council, established a high-level committee to prevent the recruitment of underage soldiers. Human Rights Watch’s investigation found that the committee had taken little action to end child recruitment, and instead repeatedly denied outside reports of child soldier use by government forces. There is no independent oversight of this committee, nor is there monitoring of recruitment centers or access to military bases throughout Burma’s hinterland, where many child soldiers are deployed.     

In addition, Human Rights Watch advocate for Children’s right – Mr. Jo Becker has pointed that the, “The Security Council should not be fooled by Burma’s repeated promises to address the army’s use of child soldiers,” and stressed that, “Nothing short of an arms embargo is likely to make Burma’s military government end all recruitment and use of children.”    

Non-state armed groups in Burma also use child soldiers, though practices vary widely. Some groups actively recruit and use children in armed conflict, while others, including the Karenni Army and Karen National Liberation Army, have taken steps to end the recruitment of children into their forces. In its report, Human Rights Watch noted that cooperation by the Karenni Army and its efforts since 2002 to end the use of child soldiers had eradicated the practice, and recommended the armed group be removed from the UN secretary-general’s list of parties using child soldiers.     

Mr. Jo Becker further said that, “Burma’s diplomatic supporters in the Security Council, China and Russia, are also its main arms suppliers. These countries sell weapons to Burma with scant regard for the impact on the civilian population.”      

(The End)   

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