Asean Human Rights Commission Burma Report 2011:From blinkered to market-oriented despotism?

(Hong Kong, December 9, 2011) Despite signs of political change and the easing of restrictions on freedom of expression in Burma, rights abuses remain “systemic, deeply entrenched and vast in scale”, the Asian Human Rights Commission said today in its annual State of Human Rights in Asia report.

The 17-page Burma report, entitled “From blinkered to market-oriented despotism” synthesizes and analyses a number of key human rights issues from throughout the year, including civil war, land confiscations, the passing of anti-poor and anti-democratic laws in the new semi-civilian parliament, the absence of a judiciary capable of protecting human rights, and ongoing detention of political prisoners.

“It is obvious that none of the instruments and institutions available for the making of complaint of rights abuses in Burma come remotely close to what under international standards would satisfy the requirements for remedies for human rights violations,” the AHRC said.

“Despite the political changes of the year and associated fanfare, the judiciary in Burma remains inert, tied to the executive, and incapable of performing even basic functions for the defence of human rights,” it added.

Wong Kai Shing, director of the Hong Kong-based regional rights group, said that it was good that rule-of-law issues in Burma are starting to get attention, but that it would be a long time before judicial institutions could work to protect human rights, even if the political will exists.

“The beginning of a discussion on rule of law in Burma is enormously important, but the amount of work that will have to be put into giving meaning to rule of law there is enormous,” Wong said.

“In the meantime, economic and social conditions are changing quickly, and will change even more quickly in the next few years, and our concern is that this change will fast outpace any equivalent change for the better in institutions for the rule of law,” he added.

The AHRC in its report highlighted the increasing incidence of land grabbing in Burma by companies linked to the army.

“This is an emerging phenomenon in Burma and one that we have to document and research carefully to understand its characteristics and implications,” Wong said.

In the past, land grabbing in Burma was conducted mainly by the armed forces and other state agencies directly, but increasingly in the last few years it has been linked to private economic interests.

“Our concern is that within a few years Burma could go the way of Cambodia, where land grabbing is massive and practically no legal or institutional arrangements exist to do anything about it,” he added.

The report also includes details of a number of cases of illegally or unjustly imprisoned people on whose cases the AHRC is working, including those of Htun Oo and 13 other persons charged over a bombing in Pegu during 2010; 22-year-old Kaung Myat Hlaing, sentenced to 10 years in jail for allegedly sending some politically oriented photographs through the Internet; six men in 2010 were accused of having contact with an insurgent group in the east of Burma, one of whom was tortured to death during interrogation; and, the case of U Gambhira, a monk who was at the forefront of the 2007 protest movement.

God Help us: Burma Envoy Vijay Nambiar in fact been advocating for the UN and its affiliated agencies to get access to Kachin Refugees and IDP,s

(Oh,God help us, do you remember his role in Sri Lanka Civil War ??)

Hka-Dawng-Pa2Kachin IDPs and hand-made huts in Hka Dawng Pa camp in Nongdao township in Ruili district, China’s southwest Yunnan province.

Responding to questions about the role of United Nations in the ongoing refugee crisis in Kachin and northern Shan states, the UN has reiterated that its Burma Envoy Vijay Nambiar has in fact been advocating for the UN and its affiliated agencies to get access to vulnerable people displaced by the armed conflict between Burmese government forces and the Kachin Independence Organization.
In an email statement sent to the Kachin News Group, Martin Nesirky chief spokesperson for Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said that Mr. Nambiar “has consistently raised with the Myanmar authorities the issue of adequate UN humanitarian access to areas in need and to vulnerable populations in border and conflict areas, including during his latest visit to Myanmar in early November. He will continue to stress to the authorities the importance of such access, in support of and in consultation with relevant UN offices.”

Despite assurances from the UN that it is pushing for access to refugees trapped on the China-Burma border, doubts remain as to whether the UN and its related agencies will ever get access to these people. Continue reading “God Help us: Burma Envoy Vijay Nambiar in fact been advocating for the UN and its affiliated agencies to get access to Kachin Refugees and IDP,s”

China tells Kachin refugees “go back to Burma”_Where is UN

longchuanChinese authorities in Yunnan province have indicated they will shutdown 16 temporary camps located inside China along the border with Kachin and Shan states. The camps which are not officially supported by the UN or other major international humanitarian agencies are estimated to house nearly 7,000 people.
Yesterday, refugees at a temporary camp in La Ying, home to at least 2,000 refugees, were told by local Yunnan government officials they must leave or they will be returned by force to Burma.

The Chinese officials told the refugees to go to Loije which is presently controlled by the Burmese government, something the refugees do not want to do.

A list released December 9 by the Kachin relief group Wunpawng Ninghtoi (WPN) estimates there are presently an additional 4,800 refugees living in eight camps in Nongdao Township in Yunnan’s Ruili district— Nga Nawng Pa, Yang Lu, Nam Gu, Hka Dawng Pa, Nongdao, Lau Htaik, Na Kawng and Naung Taung.

WPN says that an additional 6,000 refugees have taken shelter among the large migrant Kachin population in Yunnan province in cities like Jang Hkong, Mangshi, Ruili (Shweli), Baoshan and Kunming.

In a related development, government officials from China’s Longchuan region met today with representatives of the Kachin Independence Organization at the KIO controlled Ura Bum. Doi Pyi Sa, who chairs the the KIO’s IDP and Refugee Relief Committee (IRRC) said the Longchuan officials expressed their wish to relocate back to Burma all the refugees who have crossed into China. Chinese officials have previously told the KIO to order all the refugees to return to Burma.

Doi Pyi Sa told the Kachin News Group “we will not force refugees to come back to Burma. Let the refugees make own decision about returning home, we were not the ones who suggested they come to China in the first place.” Continue reading “China tells Kachin refugees “go back to Burma”_Where is UN”

9 Chinese cargo ships will be on their way from Guan Lei port in Yunnan tomorrow, stop over for the night between Burmese and Laotain part of the Mekong

8 December 2011
9 Chinese cargo ships will be on their way from Guan Lei port in Yunnan tomorrow, stop over for the night between Burmese and Laotain part of the Mekong and arrive in Thailand’s Chiang Sean, 264 km downstream, on Sunday, 11 December. China imposed a ban to Chinese ships plying the river since 14 October, 9 days after 13 Chinese crewmen were brutally killed near the Golden Triangle. (ASTV Manager Online)