Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Burma- Scared Silent

Burma (Myanmar) is a country oppressed by military and government regime led by Than Shwe since he took control in 1990. Shwe took control after the National League won democratically held, multiparty elections for Democracy (NLD). Since he was appointed Prime Minister in May 2007, Shwe has appointed current and former military officers to almost every position in his cabinet and government.

On September 27th, the government forcibly suppressed, public outcry and protest against the military regime. That day hundreds of Buddhist monks and civilian protestors were detained and ten were reported killed, although many credible reports suggest that ten is a wildly conservative figure.

The government has also placed restrictions on mobile phones and the Internet, limiting the availability for accurate real time information. Public demonstrators cannot protest without eminent threat of detainment nor can they communicate with others in the country or otherwise to relay pertinent and vital information. The government and military regime has a stranglehold on the Burmese people. Why don’t China, India, Russia, Japan or the United States react with direct and sustained reprisal of the government?

The answer seems simple: national interest. When a government considers all of the possible actions it could take, from diplomacy to declaration of war, its own national interest is primarily considered. Human rights affairs are not of enough interest to the world powers. The most that has been done is a US economic sanction against Burma. None of the Asian powers have responded, other then “calling for restraint.” More action must be taken to ensure human rights in Burma.

1 comment:

Caitlin said...

I feel that it is extremely alarming that countries such as Russia, Japan, India and China are not doing anything to stop the human rights abuses in Burma. It should not take Human Rights Watch intervention for other countries to realize that the Burmese government is mistreating its people. The unjust restrictions on cell phones and Internet coupled with the detainment of hundreds of protestors, should make other countries feel obliged to do something, but it does not. Everyone should feel personally offended when the human rights of another human being are challenged or ignored.