Policy Suggestions on the Exile Government of Burma NLD UK

The elected people’s representatives of Burma’s last free and fair elections of 1990 are now forming a new
cabinet for the exile government representing pro-democracy movement, especially the movement in exile. And it
opens up an opportunity, as well as the need, to discuss a lot of important and crucial issues.
No government in any democracy system can ever be formed legitimately if it is formed without a mandate
given in a free and fair election by the people whom they claim to represent.
As there are, basically, two types of democratic systems _ American style Presidential system and British style
parliamentary system_ Burmese exile government is formed along the lines of a British style parliamentary system,
because it is the system adopted by the founding fathers of the new modern nation of Burma when it became
Independent in 1948.
In the British style parliamentary system, not only the prime minister but also all other ministers must be
democratically elected members of the Parliament.
So even if the new cabinet needs to include non-elected persons without mandate_ e.g. intellectuals,
technocrats and ethnic leaders_ the core of the cabinet should be composed mainly of elected people’s
representatives, with the non-elected persons complimenting and re-enforcing the cabinet core.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
People’s adoration and love for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter of the founding father of their country
and the unrivalled champion of their pro-democracy struggle, prompted them in 1990 to come out in droves and vote
overwhelmingly for her party National League for Democracy NLD and its allies.
Although the results of 1990 election have become twenty years old, people’s respect and admiration to Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi remains still fresh and strong. The monks who organized 2007’s massive people power uprising,
known as the Saffron Revolution, marched down daily during the uprising, through barbed-wire barricades and forests
of bayonets from gun-totting soldiers, towards Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s residence, where she is kept under house-
arrest, to get motivations and blessings from her.
So, in addition to maintaining its ‘1990’ election mandate, the exile government must also be able to show that
it represents the personal authority of the people’s unparalleled leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
The main essence of Burma’s democracy movement is its strict non-violent nature.
People rose up again and again in Burma to show resentment against successive military regimes, but they
mainly use peaceful method only. And their leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi preaches, and practises herself, the noble
principle of peaceful non-violence struggle.
And twenty-first century world is not a place for violent revolutions. The international community these days
expects peaceful transitions towards democracy around the world. So the exile government must keep up Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi’s non-violent ways.

Multi-ethnic solidarity
Since the inception of Burma’s Independence, the ethnic nationalities got a solemn promise from the nation’s
founding father Aung San that they would be able to enjoy federalism and self-determination. But after Aung San’s
death, military regimes have kept ethnic nationalities under a unitary authoritarian control. As the decades long civil
war which immediately followed Aung San’s death has shown, Burma’s problems will never be solved fully until and
unless ethnic nationalities achieve their promised federalism.

continue http://www.nld-la.org.uk/

Zachary Michaelson Seeks to Raise Awareness on Burma

New York, NY — Zachary Michaelson, a New York-based financial consultant and lecturer, has announced his intention to launch an awareness campaign to further expose the plight of religious and ethnic minority groups in Burma (Myanmar). Using the Internet, media and other forms of communication, Michaelson hopes his efforts will bring much needed attention to the people of the war-torn region of Southeast Asia.

“The Burmese military government is currently intimidating, imprisoning, torturing and murdering anyone who even talks about democracy,” says Zachary Michaelson.

“We must make sure those standing for democracy and human rights in Burma are defended,” Michaelson adds.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Zachary Michaelson has championed human rights around the globe and is currently a coordinator for the Manhattan chapter of Amnesty International. continue http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=85418

Thank you Mr.Michaelson

Will Obama be ready for radical humanitarian intervention in Burma?

jan-19-09 Shan Herald Agency
Even before the euphoria has died down, following the historic inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, he moved almost with lighting speed, on his first day in the office, to tackle the issue of Guantanamo Bay detention centre closure.

By Sai Wansai
Friday, 23 January 2009

Accordingly, the prison camp in Cuba would be closed down within one year and the administration has suspended trials for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo for 120 days pending a review of the military tribunals.

Many EU countries were particularly impressed with the intended Guantanamo Bay prison closure, which was seen as a right approach to undo the Bush’s era human rights violations, and restore America’s lost moral posture, befitted for a democratic superpower.

Meanwhile, Burma has been hinting that new US President should change Washington’s tough policy towards its military regime and end the “misunderstandings” of the past, according to the AFP report on Friday.

In Obama’s inauguration speech, he states, “To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist”.

Also, in the administration’s foreign policy agenda, a paragraph reads, “Seek New Partnerships in Asia: Obama and Biden will forge a more effective framework in Asia that goes beyond bilateral agreements, occasional summits, and ad hoc arrangements, such as the six-party talks on North Korea. They will maintain strong ties with allies like Japan, South Korea and Australia; work to build an infrastructure with countries in East Asia that can promote stability and prosperity; and work to ensure that China plays by international rules”.

One wonders, whether the overtures or hinting of the Burmese military regime to have a better relation with Washington could be a fresh start for reconciliation and the beginning of a win-win outcome solution for the conflict within Burma and as well, the hostile Burma-U.S relationship.

Arranging a kind of the six-party talks, like in the case of North Korea, could be a possibility. The only condition to get it started is the give-and-take nature of compromising must be available. While the US-led team wouldn’t pose a problem, the Burmese military regime will have to budge from its stance of insisting only to play by its own game plan and rules. In other words, the acceptance of political accommodation, all-inclusiveness and level playing field would have to be the agreed precondition.

The Burmese military regime couldn’t expect to better the relation with Washington without genuine compromise to end its tyrannical rule, oppression and political monopoly.

While the ethnic resistance and democratic opposition groups are well aware that Obama’s plate is full with heavy issues like global financial crisis, US troops withdrawal from Iraq, climate change, improving America’s relationship internationally, brokering peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and empowering, supporting Afghanistan government against the Taliban, which would be given priority in his decision making, they are confident that the moral and humanitarian issue involving Burma would also be definitely part and parcel of his foreign policy agenda, down the line of his priority-setting.

As it is, the Burmese military has never been ready for compromise or flexibility, where power-sharing or political accommodation is concerned. In such a situation of continued rejection from the part of Burmese military, Obama would be forced to alter his approach to help deliver reconciliation and democratisation process in Burma.

Although the diplomatic overtures to woo the Burmese military for genuine democratic change and all-inclusiveness should continue without fail, Obama could also up the ante by innovative and radical humanitarian intervention, short of military undertaking by US forces. For example, Washington could work with Bangkok, hand-in-hand, to create sanctuaries along Thai-Burma border, where the bulk of 500,000 internally displaced persons (IDP) are struggling to survive on a daily basis. All these could take place within Burma, close to Thai border, with the help of ethnic resistance movements like Karen National Union (KNU), Shan State Army (SSA) South, Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the likes. This way, the US military wouldn’t need to be involved physically, but only need to come up with material needs and know-how, under the supervision of UN or agreed international establishment, on how to manage and protect such sanctuaries.

If this happened, a row of other humanitarian devices and forms of aid could be carried out across the border without having to deal with the military regime. In other words, the international community could bypass the regime to help the badly needed oppressed population along the border.

For such a scenario to become a reality, Obama needs to secure Bangkok’s involvement in implementing humanitarian aids. It should be possible for the US President to co-ordinate and work closely with the newly elected Thai PM Abhisit Vejjajiva, notwithstanding ASEAN, known to be a real democrat with broad vision and not shy to take hard decision.

Imagine how such radical approach could weaken the Burmese military front-line soldiers, in contested areas, physcologically, which could lead to defection to the ethnic-democratic opposition side, provided there are facilities to accommodate and handle them. If this happen, the power of Burmese military based on coercion and fear would crumble like a house of cards.

Of course, this is just one out of many options in thinking out of the box to end the stalemate and create a new balance of power, so that the Burmese military would be willing to come to the table for genuine give-and-take discussion.

At the end of the day, a two-pronged approach of “pressure and engagement” would be the only viable approach to deal with such an entrenched military dictatorship.

What the people of Burma really need now is a real physical commitment from international stakeholders, with the lead of the United States, to give them a helping hand, once another massive uprising like last saffron revolution take place, and not just mere lip-service.

Burma Voices from BDC Poem

bv1 23.January

I have not read the news, I dont get a newspaper, nor have I seen TV in over a year.
Yet still voices echo against stone and concrete walls, voices
that make no sound yet cry out in solitude.
Forced labor, imprisonment, furnaces in vain attempts to burn the proof of the
truth of so many lives taken….
I cannot go to visit Burma as tourist…
I am a man of Peace. Would not the same fate befall me?!
I hear these voices, and wish those in isolation would also know,
they are not alone, I am with them.
Nothing is done behind closed doors that is not known to all that exists.
The tighter those doors are closed to keep out the eyes of the world,
the louder the voice becomes to the eyes of the total of all that is.
So what is thought to be hidden, balances, and shouts to that which created
No pain that is inflicted in isolated forests or locked cells,
goes unknown but the more hidden the more it shouts and is HEARD.
What things are being built of forced labors, that I may learn of them and not
contribute to their gains? Pipelines and Palaces I will not support by buying
nor visiting for the burden that was put on the people is to much to bear.
I bear witness ever single day to the suffering of innocents.
My prayers for them, are for myself, that I may some day
know a day
of peace.

by Tree Thunderchild

Thanks to Tree Thunderchild for his supportive words for Burma epic through the poetic hands


Nordic Ministers visit cyclone-affected communities in Myanmar

Source: Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); Government of Myanmar; United Nations Country Team in Myanmar
Yangon, 23 January 2008 – A Nordic delegation hosted by the Tripartite Core Group (TCG) has for the past two days been visiting cyclone-affected communities in Myanmar. The delegation comprised Mr Erik Solheim, Minister of the Environment and International Development of Norway, Ms Ulla Toernaes, Minister for Development Cooperation of Denmark, their respective Ambassadors to Myanmar, Mrs Merete Fjeld Brattested and H.E. Mr Michael Sternberg, and colleagues. They were accompanied by TCG Chairman U Kyaw Thu, Special Representative of ASEAN Secretary-General Dr Anish Roy, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Bishow Parajuli and senior members of the TCG.

During the two-day visit, the delegation met the cyclone-affected people in Bogale, Labutta, Mawlamyinegyun and Kungyangon Townships. They visited project sites that are run by non-governmental organisations and programmes which are assisted by the UN, ASEAN and the Government, such as health clinics, shelter projects and education activities. The delegation also met the Danish and Norwegian non-governmental organisations operating in the Ayeyawaddy Delta as well as UN agencies and the international donor community based in Yangon.

Commenting on the work of TCG, Danish Minister Ulla Toernaes, said; “It was impressive to see the progress that has been achieved so far. A lot remains to be done and it is important to now look beyond the emergency phase. I would like to commend the TCG-mechanism on the work they have carried out to coordinate and facilitate the effort. Without the TCG we would never have received similar results. It is essential that the TCG continues its important work”.

Her Norwegian colleague, Minister Erik Solheim, said; “The humanitarian relief and early recovery efforts after cyclone Nargis have been more successful than expected. Many schools and homes have been rebuilt, but still there are areas with great need for support. What is important now is the continued and increased access for humanitarian workers”.

The Nordic countries have provided substantial support to the affected population of the worst natural disaster in the history of Myanmar. Currently, 64% of the UN funding requirement of USD 477 million has been met. Denmark’s contributions and pledges stands at USD 11.4 million, while Norway has contributed USD 7.7 million to the Revised Appeal, according to the OCHA Financial Tracking System.

“A review conducted recently has shown that while relief efforts have reached all the affected communities, there is still much that needs to be done in terms of building back the livelihoods of the people. As such, international assistance is required to provide continued support to the cyclone affected people. The visit of the Nordic Ministers is an indication of this continued support,” said Dr Anish Roy Special Representative of ASEAN Secretary General. .

“Eight months into the humanitarian response, the immediate humanitarian needs are increasingly met and early recovery is underway. Continued support is needed to achieve sustainable recovery for all 2.4 million affected people,” said UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Bishow Parajuli, adding that international donations are crucial for the success of the three-year Post-Nargis recovery plan that will be launched next month.

Thugs and Thieves…