SPDC Senior General Mugabe and Zimbabwe President Robert Than Shwe

SPDC Senior General Mugabe and

Zimbabwe President Robert Than Shwe


Sorry, sorry, forgive me dear readers. I mixed up those incarnated-

devil twin bastard dictator-brothers.


By Juan Mercado
Cebu Daily News
First Posted 14:21:00 06/10/2008
Are Burma and Zimbabwe “Bonnie and Clyde” gangsters embarrassing no end the 193 plus countries who make up today’s international community?

A freckled Bonnie Parket and thick-mopped Clyde Barrow went on a crime spree in 1932. Both were cut down two years later. Their story anchored the “Bonnie and Clyde” movie.

Today, Burma’s Gen Than Shwe, in Asia, and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, in Africa, are twins in felony. Their abuse of starving fellow citizens-and human beings-skirts genocide, as controversy on food aid shows.

Mugabe lectured the Rome Summit on hunger while Harare banned distribution of food aid. Oxfam, Care, Caritas and NGOs were stopped from feeding one in three of Zimbabwe’s 12.3 million people. “Obscene,” snapped the Australian Foreign Minister.

Zimbabwe’s infant mortality rate is eight times that of Malaysia. “Children are already suffering”, protested UNICEF’s James Elder. Once a South African rice granary, Zimbabwe is now a basket case. Only one in five adults has a job.

Inflation exceeds 165,000 percent. A Zimbabwean’s life expectancy is 40 years, below a Filipino’s 70.2.

Like Zimbabwe, Burma (population: 47.7 million) justified blocking aid after the deadliest cyclone to smash Asia in 38 years. “Nargis” left 134,000 dead or missing. Up to 2.4 million were beggared.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon secured grudging junta approval for supplies and aid workers.

We hope “all who are ready to help (will) enjoy effective access to places where it is needed most,” Pope Benedict XVI stressed to 14 Burmese bishops making their mandatory five-year call.

“We don’t need chocolate bars,” scoffed The New Light of Myanmar. Irrawaddy had huge edible frog populations. “Let them eat frogs,” Washington Post titled its report that 60 percent of victims hadn’t received so far.

“Killing citizens is what the generals know,” the Telegraph noted. “Providing emergency relief seems beyond them.” The junta crushed democracy protests of 1988, the 2007 Saffron Revolution 2007, and dissent against its farcical May referendum.

“Yangon has 1.69 billion barrels of oil and other resources. But misrule saddles it with shortages. The “Saffron Revolution” erupted after the junta jacked up, overnight, fuel prices by 500-percent – roughly half the monthly wage of a worker.

Than Shwe’s doctor doubles as health secretary. Of every 1,000 Burmese infants, 106 die before their fifth birthday. Thailand has whittled those deaths to 21. A Burmese’s life expectancy is 60 years, way behind a Singaporean’s 78.

Often pilfered by the military, aid stockpiled in Yangon hasn’t reached victims. The junta has seven obsolete helicopters. Yet, it refused clearance for 22 US helicopters, standing by in next door Thailand.

The junta, meanwhile, empties “tented villages.” Worse, the Tatmadaw harass Burmese who help. They detained comedian Maung Thura (stage name: Zarganar) because he gave food, blankets, mosquito nets and medicine. Monks seeking donations for Buddhist relief convoys are threatened.

“This demonstrates simmering confrontation between pillars of Myanmar life at village level,” New York Times reported. The junta “views such private undertakings as a reproof.”

“Here in Burma, we are born afraid,” a senior monk told BBC. Fear also rules in Orwellian Zimbabwe. Harare bans rallies for its runoff polls. Voters have been beaten while British and US diplomats were detained. “Zimbabwe is now run by the equivalent of a junta”, wrote the UK newspaper “The Independent.”

“Mugabe is using food as an electoral weapon,” writes Alex Duval Smith, France 24 correspondent. Only Mugabe supporters will receive food doles. “Is the June 27 ballot…worth the price of people losing their homes and lives for an election that looks increasingly like it won’t be free or fair?”

Burma also grabbed for a fig leaf of legitimacy, while starving citizens. By herding cyclone traumatized voters into a referendum, Burma claimed a “ratified constitution it lacked since 1988.

“Isn’t it amazing?” Gen. Than Shwe marveled to the UN secretary general. “Over 92 percent of voters ratified our new constitution.” And in the joke, Ban Ki-moon replied: “What’s amazing is I keep meeting the eight percent who rejected it.”

Handpicked delegates took 14 years to write a draft. Few Burmese read it. But the charter locks a quarter of parliament’s seats for the military. They’re immune from prosecution for past crimes. Presidential candidates with foreign spouses or children (Nobel Laureate Aung Sang Suu Kyi’s husband was Oxford professor Michael Aris) are barred. Buddhist monks were disenfranchised.

“Is the world willing to accept such an absurdity?” asked Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Vaclav Havel, president of the Czech Republic and former Germany president Richard von Weizsacker.

“Today’s greatest atrocity is the blocking of aid from Burmese starving from cyclone Nargis aftermath,” they said. “Neighbors in ASEAN should stop looking the other way.”

ASEAN is now linked with UN to get aid flowing. “ASEAN’s credibility is on the line,” says political analyst U Naing Oo based in Thailand. Saving Burmese lives may turn out to be inseparable from saving ASEAN’s reputation on the 40th anniversary of its founding.

“If Burma sinks, than the much-touted ASEAN community of 2015 and the cause of southeast Asian integration may well sink with it,” he adds. So will twin Zimbabwe with sham elections as a millstone.

source:Cebu Daily News


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