My day dream of speaking with former Deputy Prime Minister Part III

My day dream of speaking with

former Deputy Prime Minister

Part III



BURMA DIGEST: Dear Datuk Sri, thank Your Honour for allowing to interview you in my dreams. But today I am awake and thinking about the coming Human Rights Day. Please may Your Honour kindly allow me to day dream to day, as if we are discussing about the above topics.

His Excellency Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim… That’s all right as long as I am portrayed as the person well known for. As International Human Rights day is celebrated annually across the world on 10th December, it is quiet appropriate and I have no objection for your proposal.

BURMA DIGEST: Dear Datuk Sri, we will be much obliged if you could kindly explain us about this day and the present Human Rights violations of the Myanmar Military Government.

Answer… As you know, this date of 10th December was chosen to honour the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On 10 December 2007, Human Rights Day, the Secretary-General and High Commissioner for Human Rights will launch a year-long celebration of the 60th anniversary of this day.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour had rightly stated that_

Today, poverty prevails as the gravest human rights challenge in the world.

  • Combating poverty,

  • deprivation

  • and exclusion

_is not a matter of charity,

_and it does not depend on how rich a country is.

By tackling poverty as a matter of human rights obligation, the world will have a better chance of abolishing this scourge in our lifetime…

Poverty eradication is an achievable goal.

Question… Could you kindly elaborate the Respect of Human rights and Individual Freedom?

Answer… First of all let us look at the Human Rights issue.

  1. All human beings are born with inalienable rights.

  2. These human rights empower people to pursue lives of dignity.

  3. No government can bestow them but all governments should protect them.

Second important fact is Individual Freedom.

Freedom, built on a foundation of_

  1. justice,

  2. tolerance,

  3. dignity, and

  4. respect –

_regardless of :

        • ethnicity,

        • religion,

        • political association, or

        • social standing –

SPDC Generals must understand that dictatorships like their Military Junta have always deny and ignore the human rights and individual freedom.

However, if they wish to claim that they are walking down the road to democracy, they need to review their wrong record and start practicing the respect of the human rights and allow more individual freedom for all the Myanmar Citizens.

  1. Freedom of ideas.

  2. Free societies create a “marketplace of ideas” where people exchange their views on any number of issues.

  3. All the citizens should have the right to vote or stand as candidate in forming government.

  4. There must be laws to protect human rights and individual freedom and the justice systems must enforce them equally among the population.

  5. All the citizens must enjoy the Freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention, and torture.

  6. For each and every citizen, opposition party members or leaders, an ethnic minority, or even if one is a common criminal, there must be a basic human right.

  7. There must be a professional police force that respects the rights of all the citizens of Myanmar, enforcing the Rule of law.

  8. Myanmar/Burma’s ethnic minorities should be free to use their language, maintain their traditions and cultures.

  9. Governments should recognize the rights of minorities while respecting the will of the majority.

  10. All the Myanmar/Burmese citizens should have the equal opportunity to work, earn a living, support their families, government job appointments and promotions.

  11. All the Myanmar/Burmese citizens should have the equal opportunity in education, training, further studies and in getting scholarships or stipend awards.

  12. All the children must get special protection. They should receive at least an elementary education, proper nutrition, and healthcare.

  13. All the women’s rights should be protected, stop gender discrimination in all the laws, rules and regulations. Women’s health especially during maternity must be taken care of.

  14. All the future governments must be transparent, corruption free and must remains accountable to the people.

Question…Burma’s ethnic minorities are always fearful of total dominance of Burman Tatmadaw . Your view please.

Answer… In a democratic country:

A. Citizens are not governed by the majority of the people but by the rule of law.

B. Constitutional Republics are_ a deliberate attempt to diminish the threat of mobocracy i.e. Political control by a mob. The mass of common people as the source of political control.

C. Protecting minority groups from the tyranny of the majority by placing checks on the power of the majority of the population.

D. The power of the majority of the people is checked by

a. limiting that power to electing representatives

b.who govern within limits of overarching constitutional law

E. rather than the popular vote having legislative power itself.

F. Morever, the power of elected representatives is also checked by prohibitions against any single individual having:

a. legislative,

b. judicial, and

c. executive powers

G. so that basic constitutional law is extremely difficult to change.

H. John Adams defined a constitutional republic as_

“a government of laws, and not of men.”

I. The United States Constitution writers were notably aware of the danger of majority rule in oppressing freedom and liberty of the individual.

J. The framers carefully created the institutions within the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

K. They kept what they believed were the best elements of majority rule. But with protections for individual liberty, seperation of powers and a layered federal structure.

Be careful “democracy must not be a dictatorship of the majority”.

Question…Could you kindly explain us about the importance of the Respect of Human rights and Individual Freedom.

Answer… In all True Democracies, the Respect of Human rights and Individual Freedom is an essential and most important ingredient.

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations, after adopting and proclaiming the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration.

It was clearly stated, “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions…”

But the SPDC Government had arrested and jailed the Myanmar citizens who dare to take these copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from the UN office to distribute to the public. What a shame! Actually UNSC should punish SPDC for this crime.

SPDC Junta must allow all the Burmese/Myanmar citizens to pursue these fundamental rights. Actually SPDC must understand and accept that they must acknowledge and respect every human being’s rights and freedom whether they are:

  1. citizens

  2. tourists

  3. diplomats

  4. foreign journalists

  5. foreigners staying as permanent residents in Myanmar with FRC certificates

  6. legal and illegal migrants in Myanmar

  7. mixed blooded recent migrant citizens

  8. non-Military ordinary citizens

  9. armed rebels

  10. opposition members and leaders

  11. political prisoners

  12. other prisoners etc.

Human Rights and individual freedom covers all the aspects of humans_

  1. Social

  2. Political

  3. Economic

  4. Culture

  5. Religion

  6. Health

  7. Welfare

  8. freedom of expression, speech and assembly or even demonstration

  9. freedom of press

  10. Workers and farmers’ rights must be protected.
  11. Homeless people, retrenched people, the poor, handicapped must be taken care of.

Question…Thank you for explaining us the importance of Human Rights and Individual Freedoms. However, they seem to be just the ideals in concepts only but many governments around the world are blatantly ignoring these fundamentals of democracy.

Answer… Yes it is sadly true.

Allow me to quote Mary Robinson, Human Right Rapporter.

“… today’s human rights violations are the causes of tomorrow’s conflicts.”

UN ex-SG Kofi Annan had also said_”It was never the people who complained of the universality of human rights, nor did the people consider human rights as a Western or Northern imposition. It was often their leaders who did so.”

1. “There are no ‘white’ or ‘coloured’ signs on the foxholes or graveyards of battle.” Message to Congress 19th June 1963.

2. “We are confronted primarily with a moral issue… whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated.” Referring to race riots in Alabama in a radio broadcast 11th June 1963.

Martin Luther King Jr:

1. “Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice; say that I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.” Comment 4th February 1968.

2. “I want to be the white man’s brother, not his brother-in-law.” New York Journal 10th September 1962.

3. “The best way to solve any problem is to remove its cause.” Stride Towards Freedom 1964.

4. “We are out to defeat injustice and not white persons who may be unjust.”

Stride Toward Freedom 1964 Harry S. Truman: “Every segment of our population, and every individual, has a right to expect from his government a fair deal.” Speech to Congress 6th September 1945.

Question…Out going UNSG Mr. Annan’s in his farewell speech was disappointed with the deteriorating condition of Respect of Human Rights around the world.

Answer… Yes, Mr. Annan called for greater efforts to protect human rights worldwide in a speech marking the International Human Rights Day.

Annan acknowledged that the UN has often failed to live up to its own responsibility in the area, and expressed disappointment that his hope of establishing_

  • human rights as a “third pillar” of the institution,
  • complementing peace
  • and security,

has not materialized as he would have liked.

  1. Sixty years after the liberation of the Nazi death camps,

  2. and 30 years after the Cambodian killing fields,

the promise of ‘never again’ is ringing hollow in Burma or Myanmar.”

Annan also challenged the international community to follow anti-terrorism strategies that did not violate human rights and to help countries install mechanisms that protect human rights domestically.

Question…Tan Sri Razali Ismail and Mr Gambari were the only two persons allowed to see Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. They admired her. Do you have any thing to comment about her?

Answer… I liked her idea of loving kindness even on her jailers, SPDC Generals.

  1. She is brave and I liked her idea of “Freedom from fear.”

  2. Last of all, she had asked the world to help her by the call of, “Please Use Your Liberty to Promote Ours”

  3. While preparing for this interview, I searched and read about Burma. Your NLD and especially Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is like the Burmese traditional toy, Pyit Taing Htaung or Tumbling Kelly or billycan.

    • SPDC could throw her anywhere into the jail or put under the house arrest, she would never surrender.

    • SPDC wanted the NLD and Daw Suu to be their puppets rubber stamping their Convention. But she refused to be pulled up like the Puppets. Of course the strings are pulled by SPDC Generals.

Question… Datuk Seri, if United Nations Security Council appointed you with special powers to negotiate for the National Reconciliation and Democratization, are you willing to help us?

Answer…Yes, but the following conditions must be fulfilled. It must be a United Nations Security Council’s powerful and strong mandate.Both Myanmar Military Government and all the opposition parties must agree to my appointment.UNSC must give me a very strong mandate, backup with the rewards and punishment to be able to push for a negotiated agreement. So that I could push all the parties concerned to get a rapid pace and progress in negotiating for an agreement and be able to force all sides to accept my reasonable negotiations and decisions. In addition, there must be dangling carrot and stick from the UNSC so that all the parties would comply with the negotiated agreement we achieved.

BURMA DIGEST: Thank you very much Datuk Sri for giving an interview. May Allah bless you with good health and progressive political future.

His Excellency Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim…Thank you.

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