Dr Osman Abd. Hamid @ Than Aung jumped out of the Myanmar frying-pan into the Malaysian fire

Dr Osman Abd. Hamid @ Than Aung

jumped out of the Myanmar frying-pan

into the Malaysian fire

ACA must made sure that there is fairness in investigations regarding the case of the Burmese Doctor from PUSRAWI.

In his SD, Dr Osman Abd. Hamid alleged the intimidation of police and attempted manipulation of his Medical Report.

In his statutory declaration, the doctor claimed that he had fled the country with his family following several visits by the police.

Among others, Osman also claimed that the police attempted to tamper with his statements.

No one seems to be investigating from that POV (Point of view) or complaint. Instead we are witnessing the threatening of the complainant and whistle blowers.

Comment written by ultraman kite, in Malaysia Today, August 22, 2008 | 11:17:38

WHY IN HELL THE POLICE TOOK THE SCANNER AWAY????

YOU CAN’T STORE ANY INFORMATION INSIDE A SCANNER!

Cops raid RPK’s house over doc’s SD

Malaysiakini news

Malaysia’s most famous blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin’s house was once again raided by the police. This time in connection with a statutory declaration made by a doctor from Hospital Pusrawi.A five-member team from the Bukit Aman police headquarters arrived at the blogger’s house in Sungai Buloh at 8am. They confiscated a laptop computer, a scanner and some documents.

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Rule of law

Rule of law

From Wikipedia

The rule of law, in its most basic form, is the principle that no one is above the law. Thomas Paine stated in his pamphlet Common Sense (1776): “For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.”

In England, the issuing of the Magna Carta was a prime example of the “rule of law.” The Great Charter forced King John to submit to the law and succeeded in putting limits on feudal fees and duties.

Perhaps the most important application of the rule of law is the principle that_

governmental authority is legitimately exercised only in accordance with written, publicly disclosed laws adopted and enforced in accordance with established procedural steps that are referred to as due process.

The principle is intended to be a safeguard against arbitrary governance, whether by a totalitarian leader or by mob rule.

Thus, the rule of law is hostile both to dictatorship and to anarchy. Samuel Rutherford was one of the first modern authors to give the principle theoretical foundations, in Lex, Rex (1644), and later Montesquieu in The Spirit of the Laws (1748).

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RESPONSE OF INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY ON PERSECUTION OF MUSLIMS IN MYANMAR

RESPONSE OF INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
ON PERSECUTION OF MUSLIMS IN MYANMAR

  

  1. On discrimination of Muslims in Myanmar.
  2. On the Anti-Muslim riots in Myanmar.
  3. On the undemocratic Myanmar Military Government.
  4. On discrimination and Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims of Arakan State, Myanmar.
  5. On the Myanmar Migrants including Myanmar Muslims and Rohingyas.
  6. On the various Myanmar Refugees.
  7. On the Myanmar Citizens visa for various purposes, Social visit, Tourist Visa, Student    Passes, Work Permits, Employment Passes, Professional Passes, Dependent Passes  etc.
  8. On the Permanent Residence and Citizen applications.
  9. On the issue of taking tough actions on Myanmar by the ASIAN.
  10. On the investment and trade in Myanmar.
  11. On the opposing parties in and outside Myanmar.
  12. The stands and responses of the various media, NGOs, opposition leaders of foreign   governments, UN, Human Right Associations, ILO, Islamic Organizations and Amnesty    International etc.
  13. Myanmar citizens opinion on the international community including ASEAN.Myanmar Muslims opinion on the International Muslims and on Muslim governments of  ASIAN.
  14. Myanmar Military leaders opinion on the International community, west, ASIAN, Muslim   countries and etc.

Note: I had compiled these data and written this article since early 90’s. So although it may look as an old issues at the first look  but sadly they are still relevant at the present. International community and Muslim countries around the world and ASEAN are in the same stage of closing their one eye on the atrocities of Myanmar Military on the Muslims in Burma. Although after the photo-video evidence of the recent brutal crack down on the peaceful demonstrations of Buddhist Monks and the people, stood as the clear evidence of what the Myanmar Military would commit inorder to be able to continue grasping the ruling power. The worse is their remaining half opend one eye was also partially blind with greed of their self interest of investments in Myanmar.

The following is the news report taken from The Star April 5 1993.(Malaysia) in order to guess the Malaysian Government’s stand on the Muslim Refugees from Myanmar. 

Poser over status of Myanmar Refugees

By SHAHANAAZ SHER HABIB. 

KUALA LUMPUR-. 

It is difficult to believe that those coming from Thailand were genuine Rohingya refugees, said-Deputy Home Minister Datuk Megat.

Junid Megat Ayob said yesterday.“Rohingyas are from the western part of Myanmar. It is impossible for them to pass through themainland of Myanmar and through Thailand down to Haadyai and to Malaysia without being caught”.

Surely, if they are pressed by the government, they would have been caught in Yangon as theywere trying to come over,” he said.Megat Junid was commenting on the 4,800 Rohingya Muslim refugees, claimed by the UNHCRto be in the country.

“Those coming by boat to Penang from west Myanmar might be genuine Rohilngyas”, Megat Junid said. He was speaking to reporters after opening the Malaysia-China Friendship Association’s first annual general meeting.

To suggestions that there were over – 4 000 Rohingyas refugees in the country, Megat Junid said he had to determine if it was true. He said there were many who claimed to be Rohingyas to take advantage of the good times in the country.

They would be deemed as illegal immigrants and will be sent back to their country.

Megat Junid said there had been cases where the respective embassies refused to take responsibility for the illegal immigrants.

  1. In such cases, we will detain them,
  2. have them work in prison
  3. and earn their passage back to their country,” he said.

They would not be allowed to work legally in the country, he said.

Asked whether Malaysia was practicing double standards,

Megat Junid said it was not so as the refugees should “come in the correct way”

“The Bosnians proved they had been pressed and were real war refugees.

]But as for the Myanmarese who came  in through Haddyai, it is very difficult to say whether were war refugees”, he said.

He also said Abim or other associations could take up the Rohingya cause.

According to UNHCR acting representative for Malaysia and Brunei, Sten  Bronee, to date some 4,600 Rohingyas here had been registered with the UNHCR as having refugee status.To a question, Bronee said the Rohingyas worked illegally in the country to support themselves.

That was in 1993. We have to thank the Malaysian Government even for closing their one eye SOMETIMES, allowing our Rohingya brothers to temporarily stay and work illegally in Malaysia. But they are still not accepted officially by the relevant authorities here although there were repeated “official” rumours but still need to renew the pass at the UNHCR office every six months.

We here by want to thank UNHCR and ABIM for helping our brothers. They are just refugees and they accept the help from ABIM, because the responsible Malaysian Government Authorities like the Deputy Home Minister at that time had officially advised them, which could be seen in the above Newspaper report: The Star April 5 1993.(Malaysia).

But now that very powerful (at least his remarks reported above were cruel, false, ill advised and AGAINST the International norms as ILO could take action to any government using forced labour in detention centers.)  That Deputy Home Minister (believed to be acting like defacto Home Minister) lost his job, lost his parliamentry seat and also his new wife and is in ICU with terminal Prostate cancer.

Our brothers, Burmese Muslims and Rohingyas are like drowning person; if some one extended the helping hand, they no choice or have a chance to look at the face but to accept that. The most important and right thing to do is to hold the extended helping hand to get out of the water. So ABIM extended the helping hand and the Malaysian authorities advised the Rohingyas to accept that.

May we just refresh the events then with the newspaper reports.Let’s look at the another article published in_

 Berita Harian, 2 May 1997.

Report by Mohd. Shah Abdullah from Kota Bharu.

“Before Accepting Myanmar (Burma) into ASEAN”

Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) asked Malaysian government and ASEAN countries to study more from different aspects about the Burmese military junta’s behavior before accepting as a new membership.

ABIM’s president Asst.Prof Dr. Mohd Nur Manuty questioned about the very much unsatisfactory human right record of Burmese junta in general and its ill treatment on Muslims in particular. 

He mentioned that ABIM have the full information about the juntas role behind the recent razing of several mosques in Rangoon, Mandalay and other big cities in central Burma as well as the new exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Arakan State.

He also pointed out that the Burmese military junta didn’t respect the opinion of Muslim community and OIC( Organization of Islamic Countries),on the issues related to the Muslims in that country. 

“Whatever the good result will be (after accepting Myanmar into ASEAN), the ill fate of Muslims must be put into strong consideration “, he told to reporters after opening the ABIMs 24th. State Annual General Meeting in Kelantan.

ABIM was asked to comment about the American State Department spokesman Nicholas Bum recently lobbying ASEAN to put pressure on Burma and not to accept into ASEAN this year.  Burn stated that it would make more democratization process and better human rights record in Burma. 

However, Malaysian Foreign minister Datuk Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (now the PM of Malaysia)said ASEAN have the independent decision to bring Burma into the grouping and the American pressure will not effect it.

Also present at the meeting was YDP ABIM Kelantan Mostapha Mohammad, Deputy Secretary of the Kelantan State Kassirn Mohammad and Deputy YDP of Kelantan Islamic Affairs Council (MAIK) Datuk Ashaari Azmi Abdulla.  Dr. Mohd Nur said ABIM is not influenced by Washington’s policy but urging ASEAN to be careful about the human right record of Myanmar before attempting major decision.

According to Dr Mohd Nur, ABIM was called for a discussion with the Secretary General of Foreign Affairs on Myanmar issue earlier.  ” ABIM is ready to meet again and discuss more details with Malaysian Foreign Minister, Ambassador of Myanmar in Kuala Lumpur and ASEAN Secretariat about the Myanmar’s entry into the ASEAN.”

“We also believe that the Burmese military junta is hiding and misleading information related to the Muslims in Burma”.

Below is the another view of a Malaysian on the treatment of Migrants in Malaysia and Australia.

How are we different from Pauline Hanson?

By Verna Kanargaratnam.Kuala Lumpur. Star Newspaper. March 1997.

I AM compelled to agree with Stephanie Poh Shan Shan in her letter entitled Aussies are against racism too (Speaking Up, Feb 25).

I have lived in Western Australia for three years as a student and returned to Malaysia in 1994.  Since my return I have been back to Australia twice on holiday to visit my friends who are all Australians.

The current issue on the statement by Pauline Hanson has been blown out of proportion in our papers here.  During my visit to Perth last December, I asked my friends what they thought of her statement.  All my friends opposed it, saying it was unjust and unfair as most Australians are against racism.

Racism happens in almost every country and most often against the minority group. 

I find it really hypocritical of Malaysians who claim that Australians are racist when they themselves are racist.

  • Take for example the Indonesian and Bangladeshi workers in our country today.  There have been reports that there are_
  • too many of them so much so
  • they are jeopardizing the jobs of our local people. 
  • They have also been blamed for the increase in crime rate,
  • for spoiling our manpower market since they are willing to work for very low wages and longer hours, and the list goes on. 

Now, which profit-making company will not employ them rather than our locals if their profit margin can be increased?  It’s simple economic sense. Likewise, this situation also happens in Australia where Asians are a minority and quite willing to work below minimum wage. 

Hanson also states that the crime rate will increase if Australia is ‘swarnped’ by Asians which is not a very fair statement.  Her statement about Asians migrating to Australia is similar to what we are saying about immigrants from our neighbouring countries. 

So in what way are we different from Pauline Hanson?

From my experience, Australians in general are very warm people and I have lived with them for three years as a student with no racial problems.I also think it is very rude to go to a country and call its people lazy and stupid.  What right have we got to judge them on their own soil?  They have different priorities from Malaysians.  Just because Australians are not as materialistic as Asians does not make them any more lazy than we are greedy.Calling them stupid is a joke, because we willingly pay thousands of dollars for our children to be educated by these so-called less intelligent human beings.  Now, would you accept people who did and said such things about you with open arms?

So Malaysians, give it a break. If you really try, I am sure Australia won’t be as bad as you perceive it to be. Stephanie and I are living proof. 

 Let’s read this Bernama report printed in The Star, March 9, 1992. 

KUALA LUMPUR:

Malaysia has asked Myanmar to stop the oppression of Rohingya Muslims, many of whom have been forced to flee the country.

Foreign Minister Datuk Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said yesterday, that the refugees should be allowed to return to Mynmar with the promise that no action would be taken against them.

He said Malaysia viewed with grave concern the action that had been taken, particularly by the Myanmar military against the community.

The Foreign Ministry would convey Malaysia’s stand to Mr U Ko, the Myanmar ambassador here.

He said Malaysia would also inform its permanent representative in the United Nations to support any decision of the world body on the matter. “We have been observing developments following action taken against the community.”

Abdullah said_

  1. Malaysia did not think that its position meant interference in Myanmar’s domestic affairs because
  2. Myanmar’s action had burdened neighbouring countries
  3. and might disrupt stability in the region.
  4. He said Yangan should cease all actions against the Rohingya Muslims in order to stem the outflow of refugees from the country.

We hope that his eyes would not be blurred now by Malaysia’s investment and trades with SPDC.  

Newspapers reported that some 135,000 Rohingya Muslims from the Arakan province had fled into Bangladesh so far. The arrival of the refugees had worsened the economic and social problems of Bangladesh, which has a population of 111 million. An officer of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said yesterday in Dhaka that Bangladesh would be faced with a “major disaster” unless the flow of the refugees was checked.      

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mahathir Mohamad had said on Saturday that the plight of the Rohingya Muslims should be resolved immediately.

He said this after chairing a meeting of the Umno Supreme Council here. 

New Straits Times, Malaysia,

THURSDAY, MARCH 12,1992

Islamic nations slam Myanmar for  persecuting Muslims

NICOSIA, Wed. – The 46 nation Organization of ‘Islamic Conference (OIC) today condemned Myanmar for what it termed a campaign of repression and persecution against its Muslim community.

OIC secretary-general Hamid al-Gabid urged member States and foreign countries to provide “generous assistance” to Bangladesh where around 180,000 Burmese Muslims have taken refuge since December.

The OIC “strongly condemns the campaign of repression and persecution being waged by the Myanmar authorities and which is characterized by flagrant abuses of the human rights of the Muslim  Myanmar people,” he said in a statement.

The campaign, which Gabid said, was accompanied by “threats and intimidations” against Dhaka, had led to the exodus of more than 180,000 Muslims  known as Rohingyas to Bangladesh.

He said the OIC, based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, has sent a mission to Bangladesh to study relief needs.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has appealed for US$27.5 million (MR-71.5) in emergency aid for refugees, who it says may number 300,000 by the end of April.

In Singapore, the Foreign Ministry expressed concern that the influx of Myanmar Muslim refugees into Bangladesh could lead to regional instability.

“The influx of large numbers of refugees from Myanmar into Bangladesh is creating a potential area of instability for the region and human suffering.”

Singapore hopes that the Myanmar authorities would take action that would allow the refugees to return home safely and thus defuse a potential source of regional in stability and tension,” a Ministry spokesman said in a statement.

In Islamabad, a Foreign ministry spokesman said Pakistan had conveyed its concern to Myanmar. “We have been in touch with the Myanmar Government,” he said, adding “we hope that the Muslim minority will be treated with sympathy and understanding and their freedom and human rights will be respected”.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh went on a diplomatic offensive and flew a group of 45  Western, Asian and Arab diplomats to the camps.

A Bangladesh Foreign Ministry official said the diplomatic visit was part of a Government plan to “internationalize the issue to force Myanmar to take back its nationals and guarantee their safety”.

“We are also seriously working on the possibility of calling an emergency meeting of the UN Security council to discuss the issue,” he said. – Agencies.    

The following is one of the best articles I have read in Malaysian Newspapers. We want to congratulate for her well-done research and bravery in writing the truth against the will of some people in authority. It was written in the_

Sun Newspaper on August 24 1996, by Sheryll Stothard. 

“Malaysia’s moral blackout”.

A media release I received last week ended with a quote from Cenpeace spokesman,Fan Yew Teng

“Last week, we had an electricity black out and our Prime Minister said he was as ashamed.

This week we have a moral black out and no one talks about it.”         

He was referring to the five day state visit of General Than Shwe, head of Burma’s- oh- sorry Myanmar’s SLORC.

As a Malaysian, I have to question the inconsistency in our foreign poicy as far as repressive leaders are concerned. 

As a taxpayer, I protest that some of my tax dollars have been spent on hosting representative from one of the most repressive immoral and backward “governments” in the world. I am not an activist. In fact, I frequently am irritated by the holier-than-thou exhortations NGOs are sometimes given to.  Yet, in this situation, I am sure I echo the feelings of many non-NGO, non-activist Malaysians as far as the SLORC is concerned.

Why do I feel so strongly about this? Why can’t I accept Asean’s poli-constructive engagement” with the SLORC.

For one thing, I cannot reconcile myself with Malaysia’s split I identity problem when it comes to human rights abuses in foreign countries. Flying in the face of established Western agendas over the last decade, Malaysia has been laudably vocal in condemning human rights abuses such as Bosnia, the Middle East, Chechnya and South Africa.

However that well-known Malaysian moral outrage tapers off into a whimper as we get closer to home. We dismissthe atrocities in East Timor even to the extent of saying that Malaysians  who get killed in the crossfire deserve it.  Indonesia is a member of the Asean and we cannot criticize our partners – which seem to be the underlying reason.

With Myanmar, we don’t even, have that excuse, however feeble.

Why invite Southeast Asia’s version of Radovan Karadzic as a state guest to our country?

  1. The economic reasons aren’t even compelling enough to warrant mention.  Surely, we’re making enough money economically in Vietnam, Cambodia and various impoverished African states.  Why Myanmar? 
  2. Take away the bleeding heart liberalist rhetoric of Western proponents of democracy. 
  3. Take away even the personality cult of Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi.
  4. Take away the Western threats of economic sanctions. 
  5. Take away all that, even John Boorman’s silly movie Beyond Rangoon. 

What do we have?

The SLORC was formed in September 1988 and promptly declared martial law. 

This was just an academic continuance of the brutal regime of Ne Win and his military cronies who assumed power after a coup in 1962. 

Earlier in 1988, the army gunned down pro-democracy students and started a nationwide offensive against the country’s brightest- who were the only hope Myanmar had for a long time.

How can any one shoot their children?

Why bother to educate them and then gun them down like defenseless animals in the streets.

How can we accept this?

Why rave about Bosnia when we accept and condone the same in Myanmar?

What does that say about us.Malaysians are frequently referred and look up to by the international Muslim community as respected spokesman for the faith.

Yet we have invited a representative of a “government” responsible for the decimation of Rohingya Muslims in the Arakan area of Myanmar. Since the SLORC took over till 1992, over 26o,ooo Muslim Myanmarese have fled the country. Backed by the SLORC, a border development programme was introduced for the purpose of forcibly removing the Muslim population from the country’s north-western frontier. The SLORC says that there are 690,000 Muslims in the Arakanese area. Muslim groups and the Bangladeshi government calculate the population at 1.4 million. 

That’s quite a lot of Muslims for the SLORC to kick out rape, maim and kill.

I have been using the word “government” loosely in reference to the SLORC/SPDC. 

  1. Well, technically and morally I am wrong and so is anyone else who thinks so.
  2. In May 1990, the National League for Democracy won a landslide victory in Myanmar’s general elections, winning 392 of the 485 seats available, despite the harsh conditions imposed on the NLD and on Aung San Suu Kyi by the military.
  3. When it was time to hand over power to the elected government, the SLORC responded by throwing NLD-MPs into jail. 
  4. Many have been tortured and killed since.
  5. So whom have we invited to Malaysia and aligned ourselves to?
  6. The leader of military generals who are completely in their willingness to kill and enslave the people of Myanmar.

To businessman who has jumped on the bandwagon to Myanmar, some cautionary advice is in order. Even if you amoral, doing business with the SLORC is a huge investment risk. 

  1. You might initially make some money off a population enslaved by the SLORC.
  2. But enjoy the short ride while it lasts.
  3. If the SLORC/SPDC can decimate and kill its own people, it is unlikely that they will honour any agreement made with foreigners the moment higher bidder – whether Asian or Western turns up.
  4. Malaysians have a responsibility to ensure that our reputation for tolerance and moral integrity in this region is not compromised, The future of Myanmar is in the hands of Asean, not the West.  We are in the position to effect much needed change in that country. 
  5. In light of the SLORC’s history, “constructive engagement” is not the way to go. 
  6. We are not doing the people of Mvanmar a favour by inviting their leaders to our country to talk business.
  7. Instead, we have justified the oppression. 

And in the case of Malaysian companies doing business there, we’re just twisting the knife in deeper.

And for that, I am truly and deeply ashamed.  Surely, we are better than that.  Or are we? 

And the following is the response of the Thailand Newspaper.1.6.97.

THE NATION EDITORIAL. 

“SHAMEFUL FOR ASEAN TO EMBRACE BURMA” 

Asean will never be the same again. 

  1. By embracing Burma as a member it has itself become a pariah organization. 
  2. Coming as it does on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the decision yesterday will have repercussions far beyond whatever Asean leaders may envisage. 
  3. It has indeed irreversibly damaged the organization’s integrity and setback some three decades of achievement.
  4. We firmly believe the applications for membership by Burma, Laos and Cambodia should be judged on their individual merits and readiness, just as it has always been in other regional organizations. 
  5. But still, these qualifications are secondary to their peoples’ desire for freedom and democracy.
  6. To accept Burma without any conditions is to ignore the aspirations of the Burmese people., who voted for Aung San Suu Kyils National League for Democracy (NLD in 1990.
  7. Why bless a regime that is clearly not legitimate? 
  8. A regime that is willing to go back on its word.
  9. From the beginning, the Burmese junta’s motive in bidding for membership of Asean was obvious a regional aegis to prolong its own repressive rule and to fight against Western pressure for openness. 
  10. By exploiting Asean’s strengths and weaknesses the junta leaders have been able to turn the membership issue into an East-West divide – Asean against the West.
  11. In the two years Burma has sought a closer rapport with Asean it has never lived up to regional or international norms of conduct and behaviour. 
  12. Now, Asean would like us and the world to believe that as a member of Asean, the Slorc leaders will be more enlightened, Open-minded and less oppressive.
  13. The Asean leaders’ decision yesterday was a triumph of evil over humanity. 
  14. There is a Thai saying that one rotten fish can spoil the whole basket of fish.

The biggest disappointment must be those Thai leaders who failed to play appropriate roles in leading Asean.  Partisan politics and self-interest on the part of various authorities completely destroyed the unanimity of Thailand’s positions and policies.  They will have to beat responsibility for the future of the Burmese people.Nonetheless, we welcome the decision to take in Laos and Cambodia, despite the political uncertainty in Phnom Penh.  Laos has been preparing for this eventuality the longest, knowing full well their inadequacies.  The Laotian and Cambodian peoples are supportive of their governments’ desire to join Asean.

Actually Thailand Newspapers_

  1. are independent
  2. and not the mouthpiece of the Thai government.
  3. They are usually critical
  4. but always give fair reporting in any subject about any country.
  5. They have a lot of dignity
  6. and command respect.
  7. Not only in reporting
  8. but comments
  9. and even sometimes predictions also done sometimes.
  10. They are famous for the investigative reporting,
  11. which is very rare and impossible to find in this part of the world.
  12. For example, the Nation published the full page article of Bertil Lintner, predicting that Ne Win will create an anti-Muslim riots in 1988, two months earlier than the actual happening.
  13. He had even predicted correctly that, that racial riots will backfire and the resulting snowball effect will cause the downfall of Ne Win.
  14. When compare to the news blackout regarding the Anti-Muslim riots of Burma in Muslim Asean countries, it was a very brave stand we all should applaud.
  15. We had sent the news to those “Muslim” newspapers, personally as well as by post- but they refused to publish giving the lame excuse as those were sensitive news for their countries. What a BULL SHIT, New Straits Times and Stars. The Stars decided it is not sensitive when their fellow Chinese were suffering in Indonesia during Anti-Chinese Riots.
  16. Although Thailand is a Buddhist dominant country, have a sizable population of Muslim population, situated very near and even shared a common border with Burma, they never cover up those racial riots against Muslims by giving lame excuse as a sensitive issue.
  17. They even published the colour photographs of the Buddhist Monks destroying the Mosques and tearing and throwing the Holy Korans.
  18. But the Asian Muslim newspapers cowardly blackout those even when offered the photos.

On 17th. Jan 1999 night on Malaysian NTV7’s Date line programme_

  1. we have seen a disgusting and a shameful comment from a Chinese Journalist from the Star English newspaper from Malaysia.
  2. We even want to vomit. While denouncing the foreign newspapers, he mentioned that even the Asean newspapers are the same and he especially picked the Thailand newspapers.
  3. He complained that the Thai newspapers keep on writing about Myanmar.
  4. What is wrong with that, my stupid “Syncophant journalist”?
  5. You have no right to comment about Thailand and Myanmar.
  6. You are disqualified to comment according to your “ASEAN SPIRIT”.
  7. Don’t interfere in our internal affairs.
  8. We know your very poor basic general knowledge when you comment to the CNBC that United States is a racially homogenous country!
  9. CNBC representative hit you back immediately with irrefutable proof that he himself is a “Black” and there are a lot of sensitivities to be careful in his country but they have to always reveal the truth.
  10. And you have stupidly said that there is no such thing as investigative reporting as far as you are concern.
  11. And you have shamelessly agree that your profession here is to support establishment. Don’t call yourself a journalist. You are just the propaganda specialist or advertisement section officer only.
  12. We don’t care your “duties” here, even if you refused to print the atrocities against the Muslims in Myanmar but please do not stupidly interfere or condemn the Thai newspapers’ good job of reporting of Myanmar.
  13. We hope you are not the victim of “turn over” by the Myanmar Military.
  14. Who knows, the carrot and stick can come from any-where. But fear and favour should not dictate a good journalist.

The previous youth leader although a Muslim, announced in the newspapers that he had recently came back from Myanmar and there were no Anti-Muslim activities there.

  1. He was later removed from office because of unrelated another reason but who knows, may be because of that sin against the religion.
  2. His deputy promised to head a team to go to Myanmar to probe the truth.
  3. But no official report came out when they returned.

In Islam, if some one commit a sin or wrong doing, we must respond in one of the three grades of responses, according to our Iman or Faith.

  1. If we have enough power, we have to physically use forced to stop that.
  2. If we are weak to use force, we have to verbally protest our displeasure and tell to stop that.
  3. If we are too weak and dare not open our mouth, at least we have to hate that act in our heart. This is the weakest Iman or Faith in Islam.This is our faith and is a mandatory in Islam.
  4. If we help the wrong doer by covering up, it is a sin not only according to the religion, but also committing a crime according to the human laws.
  5. If someone knows that another person is committing a crime and kept quiet, it is a sheer cowardice.
  6. But if his silence is for some hidden agenda or undisclosed benefits he could get from that person i.e. to save his personal interest he also is guilty and partially responsible for that crime.
  7. And we must consider the possible consequent mischief of, for example the repetition of that crime or progression into committing of more atrocities.
  8. If that person covers up and says that nothing is wrong, he is guilty for obstructing the justice.
  9. It is curious to note that not only the Muslim countries in ASIAN but also the remaining Islamic countries have failed to help the Muslims of Myanmar effectively.

OIC countries, leaders and all the Arabs are almost always busy with Palestinian-Israel and Iraq problems and infightings amongst themselves.

  1. But the Christian welfare organizations,
  2. Christian Western Countries
  3. and the “notorious” (more correctly famous for the Myanmar Muslims) George Soros (of Jew faith) are helping the Myanmar Muslims.
  4. Even the Rohingya leader Professor Zakaria had voiced his concern about those strange phenomena. He is rightfully worried about the possible consequences of the growing influences of those non-Muslim donors and helpers.
  5. No wonder not only the whole population of Myanmar peoples but the Muslims there hate all the governments of Asean.

Asean said that they were accepting the Myanmar as a country. But all these governments done all the dealings with the Military government. Myanmar peoples are neglected.

  1. Even among the Asean countries, ordinary civilian Myanmars are discriminated.
  2. Although we are Asean members we need visa to enter Asean countries. Visa exemption is for the cronies of the Myanmar Military government only.It is even more difficult to get a visa nowadays. Before joining Asean, Myanmars could enter Singapore without visa. Now we are Asean members, but we now need a visa not like other members.
  3. Although some Asean leaders especially Chinese Chauvinist  Singaporian leaders are shouting about meritocracy and some of them declaring that their law never look at the colour of the skin nor discriminate, Myanmars are denied the chances those great, fair ASEAN leaders have reserved for other foreigners.
  4. For them, white skin people from US and EU, rich people from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Arabs and other ASEAN (except Myanmar) e.g. Thailand, Indonesia, Philippine, Singapore and Malaysia and some common wealth countries are important. All the facilities, favours and jobs must be reserved for them. Not for Myanmars, even if that Myanmar happens to be a Muslim and the host country is a Muslim dorminent country.
  5. Even Myanmar workers are not allowed to register at their Immigrations, except special approval on and off. Even among the illegals in the detention camp, the citizens of few most favoured countries are allowed to register and so legalized but not Myanmars. (In  80’s up to early 90’s but when Bangladesh refused contract to their oil company and awarded the tender of US oil company but Myanmar SPDC allowed their oil company to invest, they stopped Bangalis and started to accept Myanmars)
  6. In Singapore and Brunei, most of the Myanmar professionals are not allowed to register, although the same qualified person may be registered if sponsored by the Myanmar Military government or if they can show the registration from the west(although they got the degree from Myanmar Universities.)
  7. Even to get a student visa or to get a training post or to get a dependant visa, these governments made it difficult for Myanmars.
  8. Even in Singapore, Indian citizens and of course Chinese foreigners are treated much more favourably than Myanmars.
  9. And for the PR and citizenship applications there are discrimination laws or Rules and Regulations or Government secret Circulars in all Asean countries. Once we were surprised to be told by a cabinet Minister that there is a Cabinet ruling to be careful on Myanmars and there was no exemption even for Myanmar Muslim Professionals legally working here. But we have to be fair by recording here that almost all of the authorities are willing to extend their help to us unofficially.
  10. Myanmar Embassy told us that the mutual tax exemption agreement is for the government’s official business only. So what is the use benefit the ordinary Myanmars got by entering ASEAN.
  11. All of us know that the children and the friends of some of the ASEAN leaders got big projects and contracts in Myanmar.

Kim Dae Jung, former political prisoner and the former President of the Republic of Korea’s views told to the Asiaweek (Sourse Reitures)

  1. As the president of the Republic of Korea, I should not comment on the affairs of another country. 
  2. In the past, for example, I took great interest in the situation of Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar. 
  3. I sent letters and worked with Corazon Aquino [former president of the Philippines] through an international forum. 
  4. More than 100 Korean National Assembly members wrote a letter to the Myanmar government urging it to hold dialogue with Suu Kyi. 
  5. Nowadays, it is not easy to comment on such things.”
  6. There is concern, in particular among Asean’s older, more developed members, that letting in authoritarian countries such as Burma has damaged the groups ties with the West and endangers efforts to promote transparency and democracy.

‘Myanmar has provided a valuable lesson, that you can’t really change a country. Even though Asean tries to constructively engage Myanmar, the change has been too slow,” said Kao Kim Hourn, director of the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace think tank

‘Myanmar has damaged Asean but it’s in Asean’s ultimate interest to make sure it’s united – all 10 countries,” he said. , “That’s very important if Aean wants to play on the international diplomatic stage, be it engaging China, Russia or India.

Military-ruled Burma did join Asean last year despite objections from some of the group’s Western allies over its dismal human rights record and political suppression.  Laos also joined at the same time, bringing the group’s membership to nine.

The more liberal Asean members fear the conservatives could put the breaks on Political and economic reform and tarnish Asean with their political and rights problems.

“People like Thailand and the Philippines don’t want to create a situation in which they’ll be continually outnumbered by the hard-liners,” said Steve Heder of London University’s School of oriental and African Studies.

If Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam line up on certain issues,

  • whether it’s human rights,
  • democracy
  • or international trade,

then the old Asean independence of action is severely compromised,” he told. 

People like Surin Sukhumbh and senior foreign ministry officials in the Philippines, they’re good  liberals who genuinely believe the way forward for the whole of southeast Asia is further democracy and transparency,” Heder said, referring to Thai Foreign Minister Surin Pitsuwan andhis deputv. Sukhumbhand Paripatra.

They don’t want to be dragged down by the  Khin Nyunts and the Hun Sens,” he said referring to Burma’s powerful military intelligence chief Khin Nyunt.

“If anything there’s been negative progress.” Heder said,  “Military intelligence is increasingly taking over. This is not what Asean envisaged.

Despite the costs, Asean has little choice but to try and manage its members’ political turmoil. The group says Cambodia’s membership is only a question of time.

“Asean should manage diversity,” said Kao Kim Hourn. “Burma has damaged Asean but it has been able to deal with that. If it’s a mature regional organization it can handle Cambodia.”

EU/ASEAN end impasse over Burma for now.

Since the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (Asean) inclusion of Burma in its regional grouping in July of 1997, the European Union (EID has cancelled bilateral meetings with Asean because of concerns over the Burmese government’s poor human rights record.  But for now, the impasse between the EU and Asean over Burma has passed, and the delayed 13th Asean-EU Meeting is planned to be held in Bangkok.Hand in hand with this decision to meet with Asean is not only the EUs renewal, but also strengthening, of sanctions against Burma.According to a Burma watcher, the meeting is a one-shot deal to work out the glitches of EU financial assistance to Asean, which has been put on hold because of the delay over Burma.

In addition to the previous sanctions, which include_

  1. a ban on visas to the Burmese leadership,
  2. the suspension of high level government visits,
  3. an arms embargo,
  4. as well as the suspension of non-humanitarian aid,
  5. the new sanctions ban entry visas for officials
  6. and transit visas for military authorities.Armed forces officers and members of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) will be forbidden to enter EU member countries to go on to third countries.
  7. Why should European airports or capitals be open to SPDC officials as a convenient stopping points –
  8. and shopping or tourism havens – on the way to meetings in New York or Geneva?” pondered one British-EU official.

This is the first response by any major non-Asian government to the recent deterioration of the political situation inside Burma.  SPDC actions have included the provocation of two highway standoffs between the government and the National Democracy League (NLD) of Aung San Suu Kyi, the arrests of hundreds of NLD members, and persistent attacks in the Burmese press against Suu Kyi.

Furthermore, the recent rejection of an EU proposal for senior EU officials to talk with NLD officials did not help the positions of EU advocates for engagement.“The Burmese basically said get lost, which strengthens the argument of those countries that want to see the sanctions toughened up”, said a senior EU diplomat.

The proponents for a tougher approach to Burma are Britain, Denmark, and the Netherlands.  However, the EUs position is hardly united as French officials opposed sanctions and Britain’s proposals for tourism restrictions.

It seems now that Burma is split over whether the decision to join Asean was a good idea.  It was originally thought to be a source of support but now it has become a source of pressure for reform from the outside. 

“Burma thought that Asean would serve as a shield to ward off foreign criticism,” says Josef Silverstein, professor emeritus of political science and a Burma scholar at Rutgers University in New Jersey. 

But it has only created further pressure from its neighbors.  The problem is that the rest of Asean feels it has to pressure the generals in Rangoon into mending their ways, so as not to jeopardize ties with the EU. 

“Asean has provided no shield for Burma, no protection not even a fig leaf”, says Silverstein.

The EU has modified its strategy for applying human rights pressure on Burma, so that it can engage the rest of Asean.  But, Burma’s future participation in EU dialogue will hinge on improvement in its human-rights record. 

But how long can the rest of Asean bear the burden for Burma especially in light of their seemingly reluctance to change. 

Perhaps Asean and the EU will be back to square one in eighteen months when the next conference is scheduled or, alternatively, a major change in Asean protocol.              

The Congressmen called for the immediate release of these and other political prisoners and noted that: “The prosecution, imprisonment and possible execution of these individuals for the legitimate exercise of fundamental political rights is an affront to the values of civilized nations.” 

Most Reverend Archbishop Desmond Tutu in his foreward to Burma, Country in Crisis, wrote,

“I asked to use this booklet to learn about Burma. And I urge you to turn that knowledge into action. In South Africa, we gratefully learned that the people’s voice raised is indeed a most powerful tool. It is time we raised our voices together to demand that our governments and the world community take effective action to bring respect for human rights and democracy to Burma.”

“Burma turned into a backwater hell”

NATION, Thailand’s independent newspaper,

THURSDAY, JUNE 18,1992.Sydney.

AN AUSTRALIAN judge yesterday called for western and Asian countries to overthrow the government of Burma, which, he said had turned the country into a mass, poverty-stricken concentration camp.

In an investigation of Asian refugee trouble spots, judge, Marcus Einfeld said he found in Burma mass atrocities, human fights violations and a government policy of exterminating Aids victims with cyanide injections.

Like Cambodia’s Pol Pot, he said, Burmese leaders “have turned Burma into a backwater hell and disguised it all as a pantomime of charming touristic folklore.”

There should be widespread at what was once a free and rich being turned into a mass poverty-stricken concentration camp.”

If the world had done to Burma even a fraction of what it had done to South Africa the government of Ne Win would not have been able to hold on, Einfeld said.Instead it had taken refuge in withholding official aid while allowing the private sector to hone in on the opportunities thrown up by a regime

“whose priority is the repression and vandalizing of peaceable and kind human beings,”

But he described the situation in Bangladesh, which had received 268,000 Burmese refugees as one of the most serious refugee problems in the world. Nevertheless, Bangladesh had developed a “generally” excellent capacity for disaster relief.Einfeld’s investigation was commissioned by the Australian refugee aid organization Austcare. The Australian branch of the International Commission of Jurists was also involved.

Apart from the brutality and repression, he said there was also evidence that to counter an Aids epidemic the government was killing infected people by injecting them with cyanide.

This was done “apparently in the vain hope of eradicating the disease“, which was growing out of control in Burma.“This monstrous policy dramatically manifests yet another reason why this regime must be removed.

The active intervention of Western and Asian Countries would be needed, he said, to overthrow the regime.

The Burmese junta is largely armed and supplied by China and financed by the drug trade, by democratic countries and by their commercial enterprises.

But he said up to now, businessmen of democratic countries were still operating “their peculiar brand of exploitative amoral-or immoral profiteering” in Burma.

There are hundreds of reports of atrocities and human rights violations, enforced slave labour and “rape on an appalling scale.

He had seen signs of the brutalities in the Arakan region, Einfeld said.“There are hundred of reported cases where women have been abducted and forced to carry heavy loads through mountainous terrain, raped repeatedly every night and fed almost nothing.”

THE STAR MONDAY March 16, 1992. Malaysia.

THE immense sufferings of the Rohingya Muslims should persuade the Malaysian and other Asean governments to address the one fundamental issue inMyanmar today – a harsh, haughty, dictatorship, obsessed with the perpetuation of its own power, whatever the costs and consequences.

It is a dictatorship, which has suppressed and suffocated the voice of its own people as few repressive regimes have done in recent times.

  1. Even after the people rejected the ruling junta through elections, which it tried so hard to rig, the junta has refused to surrender power to the people.
  2. The message from the masses could not have been clearer.  Though its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi was under house arrest, the National League for Democracy (NLD) won 392 out of 485 seats in Parliament in the May 27, 1990 elections.
  3. The junta sponsored, National Unity Party, on the other hand, obtained only 10 seats!
  4. After the elections, the junta began imprisoning the elected leaders of the NLD.  According to one source, in the second half of 1989 alone, 3,000 persons were imprisoned for political reasons.
  5. Even before all this, in September 1988, the military junta crushed a nation wide pro-democracy revolt with such brutal force that it shocked high level Yangon bureaucrats themselves. 
  6. It is estimated that about 12,000 protestors, many of them students, were killed mercilessly.
  7. Since January 1990 as many, as 500,000 people in different parts of Myanmar have been forcibly expelled from their homes and relocated in new areas, as part of the junta’s drive to weaken grassroots support for the NLD.
  8. The junta began a massive military exercise to break the back of minority rebellions, which have been going on for a long while.The Karens, a largely Christian minority, are now under tremendous pressure. 
  9. So are the Muslim Rohingyas.The plight of the Rohingyas then is part of a much larger problem.It is true that in some respects the Rohingyas are in a more desperate situation than most of the other victims of the junta’s repression.
  10. The Rohingyas were an independent people who ruled their own land, Arakan, for centuries until it was invaded and annexed by the Burmans in 1784.This is one of the main reasons why the Rohingyas have always resented what they regard as Burman colonization of Arakan.They allege that the military junta is trying to change the very character of their homeland by destroying entire communities, demolishing whole villages.
  11. In November 1990, for instance, 30,000 Rohingyas were uprooted from their villages.Many of these uprooted Rohingyas are regarded as ‘stateless’ by the junta, though they had lived in Arakan for generations.
  12. But the tragedy that confronts the Rohingyas and the people of Myanmar as a whole can only be overcome if the junta is made to relinquish power.
  13. For a start, Asean governments should demand that the junta transfer power to the NLD – ineffect, the legitimately elected government of the day.
  14. This will of course require the immediate release of Suu Kyi and other political, prisoners from the NLD. 

If the junta cannot be persuaded to act responsibly, then Asean governments should contemplate the following measures: 

  • THE cessation of all arms supplies to the junta, whether direct or indirect, from any source within the region. 
  • THE cessation of all forms of economic collaboration with, and assistance to, the junta emanating from both the public and private sectors in the region. 

In this concern, Thailand, in particular, should act with integty and honesty.In a nutshell, the time has come for Asean to act, for the people of Myanmar cannot wait anymore.

DR CHA.NDRA MUZAFFAR, Penang, Malaysia.

The following is the very strong article written in 1992, now the views, perceptions and reports become unbelievingly softer.

“Strangers in their own land”,

New Straits Times, March, 11, 1992. 

THE rulers of Myanmar have been afflicted with xenophobia for a long time, preferring that the country make-do and improvise with scarce resources and in seedy circumstances rather than risk infection by foreign ideas and influences. 

Now, their xenophobia has spread to encompass thousands of Muslim Rohingyas in the Western State of Arakan.  People who have lived in Myanmar for generations have suddenly been classified aliens. 

To encourage their leaving the country, soldiers have been torching homes, stealing property, and raping women, killing hundreds and detaining thousands.Myanmar has been denying the tales of atrocities, charging that they are fabrications of foreign enemies. 

Sounds like either xenophobic paranoia or a whitewashing of complicity.

Is one to discount hundreds of graphic eyewitness accounts of pillage and slaughter and mass graves? 

What explains the hurried exodus in the past three months or so of up to 170,000 refugees fleeing into Bangladesh? 

Would people, under no, compulsion, willingly give up home and field for life in refugee camps, subject to diseases and the charity of Bangladesh and international aid organizations?

There are also reports that Myanmar has put close to 100,000 troops in the border regions next to Bangladesh.  If one is not to see this as the prelude to war with Bangladesh (and there is no discernible reason for such an event), then one must see this large force as being emplaced to prompt a fleeing of the remaining “aliens” and to ensure they do not return to their homes.

The world has seen another nation shutting out the outside and; turning against its own people in a rampant fit of bloodletting. 

Cambodians still bear livid scars and memories of that ghastly dark time. One hopes the current situation in Myanmar is not a prelude to another grisly nightmare. It is one thing to send in troops to take on hill tribes who want separation and independence.

It could be argued that a government has the right to suppress separatist movements by force of arms.However, in the case of the Rohingyas, Myamnar seems to be persecuting an ethnic, religious community without even bothering to justify the violence by saying that it had anything to do with the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (which does advocate armed insurgency to free Arakan).

Malaysia has chosen to maintain relations with Myanmar because it believes persuasion rather than isolation is a better course of action to influence events in the country.

Myanmar has clearly shown that it is prepared to go its own course without the support of other countries (though relying heavily on Chinese military supplies for its current spate of campaigns), so international ostracism is no real threat. 

One hopes Malaysia’s expressed concern over the reported persecution of the Rohingyas will influence the government in Yangon to re-consider its policies and practices.  Myanmar may feel that when it comes to the crunch, it does not need friends, but no regime can be maintained indefinitely by fear and killings. 

  • Sooner or later there will be an accounting. 
  • Professing to be Buddhists, the generals, should realize that.
  • It is alienating its own peoples.
  • It is alienating its neighbours. 
  • Are compassion and peace such alien concepts to the generals? 
  • What is the point presiding over a depopulated land?

Since 1992 the SLORC had accepted a Chinese offer to build a deep-water port on Hainggyi island at the mouth of the Bassein River. 

  • Defense analysts suggest that the island could become a base for the future Chinese ballistic missile submarine fleet.
  • Yangon had allowed China access to three islands off the Myanmar coast for signals intelligence :
  • Ramree island south of Akyab in western Arakan State,
  • Coco island in the Indian Ocean,
  • and Zadetkyi island or St Matthew’s island off the Tenasserim coast in the south-east. 
  • Satellite images indicate that a 45-metre antenna for monitoring radio traffic has been set up on Coco island.

Economic and military support for the regime has come from its Asian neighbours and near neighbours, primarily Thailand, China and Singapore.  China is Myanmar’s most important ally. 

Since 1989 more than a dozen economic and aid agreements have been signed between the two countries.Human rights have become an important test of attitudes to Myanmar.

In May 1991 the European Community (EC) foreign ministers condemned Myanmar’s human rights record, halted sales of military equipment and invited their Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN) colleagues to do likewise.

The ASEAN group refused to take this approach, preferring instead to pursue a policy of “constructive engagement” with Yangon. 

The chief focus of Western human rights concern hasbeen Aung San Suu Kyi, who, until July 1995, had been held under house arrest for more than five years.  The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to her in October 1991 gave her an even higher profile and, combined with the exodus of Rohingya Muslim refugees to Bangladesh and the annual offensive against the Karen rebels, meant that by early 1992 Myanmar was more isolated internationally than at any time since the 1970s. 

The Muslim countries of Indonesia and Malaysia condemned the junta’s treatment of the Rohingyas and ASEAN refused Myanmar’s request to attend its annual foreign ministers’ meeting in Manila.

However, in September 1992 Myanmar was allowed to rejoin the Non-aligned Movement, which it left in September 1979. 

Most foreign governments welcomed the relaxation in the SLORC’s policies from mid-1992.  US blasts Myanmar junta for rights abuses.

The Sun,

March 1, 1999.Bangkok, Sun:

An annual US government report on human rights has accusedMyanmar’s military authorities of condoning a range of abuses.

The Burma Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1998 said the people of Myamnar, especially women and children of ethnic minority groups, are subject to severe mistreatment.

“Citizens continued to live subject at any time and without appeal to the arbitrary and sometimes brutal dictates of the military dictatorship,” the report said.

There continue to be credible reports, particularly in ethnic minority dominated areas, that soldiers committed serious human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings and rape.

“Prison conditions are harsh and life threatening.“Arbitrary arrests and detentions for expression of dissenting political viewscontinued with increasing frequency in an effort to intimidate the populace intosubmission in the face of deepening economic and political instability”

About 200 opposition MPs had been detained since September and there weremore than 1,000 political prisoners in custody, it said.

Such accusations, made frequently by international human rights groups, arerepeatedly denied by the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).

The report said women and children of ethnic minorities were being forced toperform arduous manual labour for the military, harassed, raped and sometimessold as prostitutes in neighbouring Thailand.

“During tlfe SPDC’s anti insurgency operations, members of the military forcesare responsible for arbitrary killings, rape, village relocations, the destructionof homes and property, and forced labour inflicted on ethnic minorities,” it said.

The SPDC, formerly known as the State Law and Order Restoration Council,has ignored the results of the 1990 elections won easily by the National League fordemocracy under Nobel laureate Aung San Sun Kyi.In a rare press conference on Thursday,  Suu Kyi said that authorities she wasreleased from six years of house arrest in 1955 she was still unable to enjoy a normal life.

The International Freedom Act of 1998

Shack, John, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights,and Labor before the Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate

“The International Freedom Act of 1998”, 5/12/98ABSTRACT –

The Honorable John Shack testified before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, concerning the work being done by the U.S. State Department to promote religious freedom around the world and to present its perspectives on Senate Bill 1868 (International Freedom Act of 1998). He emphasized that freedom of religion is a bedrock issue for the U.S. and its citizens, relating to the concept of democracy itself.

The present situation of religious persecution and violent intolerance toward minority populations in Burma …. is reviewed. Concerns about the proposed legislation are discussed with respect to the definition of religious persecution and how to provide incentives for improvement in the situations discovered. Throughout the world, the United States upholds human rights, including the principle that freedom of religion, conscience and belief is a universally recognized human right and fundamental freedom.

As President Clinton declared on Religious Freedom Day, January 16, 1998,

“We must continue to proclaim the fundamental right of all peoples to believe and worship according to their own conscience, to affirm their beliefs openly and freely, and to practice their faith without fear of intimidation.”

Freedom of religion is a bedrock issue for the American people and its government.

Indeed, the United States in large part was founded by people who fled religious persecution and intolerance. Their desire for religious freedom prompted the establishment of many of the colonies, where they wrote the principle into their laws and charters.

As the poet James Russell Lowell wrote, religious freedom was the seed that produced democracy.

Our country’s founders recognized the importance of religious freedom.

Thomas Jefferson called it “the creed of our political faith [and] the text of our civil instruction.”

He recognized the inherent link between religious freedom and freedom of speech, assembly, and association.

That is why he and the other Founding Fathers insisted on the prominent placement of freedom of religion in the Bill of Rights, as the First Amendment to the Constitution.  

If people lack religious freedom, other human rights violations, intolerance and violence are more prevalent

Mr. Chairman, it would be a mistake to regard religious freedom as a uniquely American value.

  • It is a concept basic to every one of the world’s major belief systems.
  • It also is an internationally recognized human right.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights recognize that all citizens have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

This right is inherent in the dignity of every human being.

No government can legitimately deny it, no matter what the justification, for it is universal, inalienable, and endowed by virtue of birth.

Unfortunately, however, there are some in the world today who refuse to recognize this fundamental right and who discriminate against, restrict, or even persecute those of other faiths.

Whether Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jew, Hindu, Baha’i, or of another creed, believers around the world continue to suffer for their faith.   

Statement by Lim Kit Siang – Malaysia Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, 29th November 1996.

ASEAN Informal Summit in Jakarta tomorrow should take serious note of the resolution by the UN General Assembly’s social, humanitarian and cultural committee deploring Myanmar for continuing violations of human rights

The application by the Myanmar military junta, State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), to join ASEAN is expected to be one of the main issues at the ASEAN Informal Summit in Jakarta tomorrow, especially as the Chairman of SLORC, Gen Tan Swe, has been invited to the Jakarta meeting.

The ASEAN Informal Summit in Jakarta should take serious note of the resolution by the UN General Assembly’s social, humanitarian and cultural committee on Wednesday deploring the continuing violations of human rights in Myanmar.

The UN General Assembly committee passed a resolution by consensus rebuking SLORC for

  1. suppressing opposition,
  2. using forced labour to build its economy,
  3. torturing prisoners,
  4. abusing women
  5. ]and conducting summary executions.

This resolution would be transmitted to the UN General Assembly for formal adoption next month, and by past practice, the General Assembly invariably reflects the stand taken by the committee.

ASEAN should advise SLORC/SPDC to-

engage in substantive political dialogue

  • with Aung San Suu Kyi
  • and other political
  • and ethnic leaders

for national reconciliation and democratic reforms.

However, the National Convention is no longer a legitimate process since the National League for Democracy (NLD) which won the 1990 general elections in Burma has suspended its participation in the National Convention.

The continuation of the present National Convention is a direct violation of the principle established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that “the will of the people shall be the basis of authority of government”.

ASEAN’s “constructive engagement” policy must be one_

  1. where the ASEAN leaders can give constructive views to SLORC
  2. as to how it could return to the mainstream of the international community.
  3. It must not a blank-cheque to the Myanmar military junta to disregard international opinion
  4. by continuing with its violations of human rights against its people
  5. in return for opening up economic opportunities for ASEAN countries to exploit in Burma. (29/11/96)  

Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang

Call on Dr. Mahathir to exert pressure on SPDC to have genuine dialogue with NLD and ethnic minorities for greater political and economic reforms in Burma during his visit in Rangoon next week 

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad should exert his influence as a key leader in ASEAN on the ruling State Peace Development Council (SPDC) to have genuine dialogue with the leadership of National League for Democracy (NLD) and ethnic minorities to seek the best solution to the problems faced by Burma during his visit to Rangoon from 9th to 10th March 1998.

The Secretary General of NLD Aung San Suu Kyi has been calling for dialogue with the military junta for many years and has expressed her willingness to work with SPDC to solve the problems faced by Burma,

but the military junta has been ignoring her call and has shown its insincerity in its superficial dialogue with NLD last year

which purportedly excluded the key leaders of NLD, especially Aung San Suu Kyi, U Kyi Maung and U Tin Oo.

It is clear that there has been no improvement in the political and economic situation in Burma since it was admitted into ASEAN in July 1997.

The universities have been closed for more than 16 months, besides the continuation of human rights abuses in all parts of that country.

The only change made by the military junta after being admitted into ASEAN was the change of name from State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) to State Peace Development Council (SPDC) in last November

which brings no significant changes to the policies and system of that country.

The continuation of human rights violation and deterioration of economic situation in Burma after the admission of Burma into ASEAN shows to the international community that the Constructive Engagement policy of ASEAN has failed.

The Constructive Engagement policy with Burma has been seen as a lip service of ASEAN rather than a sincere engagement policy with the military junta of Burma in bringing betterment of social and political reforms to the suffering people of Burma.  (6/3/98)

Another Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang

DAP calls for a “constructive intervention” policy on inter-ASEAN relations Malaysia should support the Thai proposal to end the ASEAN policy of non-interference in one another’s internal affairs.

Thai Foreign Minister Surin Pitsuwan had proposed last month that Asean members, which traditionally avoid delving into one another’s affairs, should change this policy, adding that this would result in greater flexibility which would help Asean recover some of the clout it has lost due to the Asian financial crisis. Philippine Foreign Under-secretary Lauro Baja has said that the ASEAN foreign ministers, which will meet in Manila later this month, will discuss the Thai proposal. Baja also confirmed press reports that the Philippines was already taking a position of “flexible engagement” with Asean member Burma, aimed at helping avoid a political upheaval in that country. Malaysia should in fact go one step further to propose that ASEAN adopt a “constructive intervention” policy on inter-ASEAN relations. The first country for such an ASEAN “constructive intervention” policy to be put into practice is undoubtedly Burma, where opposition groups in the country had recently warned that serious social unrest was set to erupt in that country amid rising tensions with government forces. Burma’s military Government has lashed out at Thailand and the Philippines for “presumptuous” comments about its internal situation and warned their interference could damage ASEAN unity. Thailand, the Philippines and hopefully Malaysia should not allow such threats from steering ASEAN into the new territory of “constructive intervention”. (11/7/98)   ASEAN should learn from the failure of the “constructive engagement’ policy on Burma and craft a new pro-active approach to protect ASEAN’s international credibility by helping Burma embark on the road of democratic reforms and national reconciliation  Media Conference Statement – the launching of the book “From Consensus to Controversy – ASEAN’s Relationship with Burma’s SLORC” by Lim Kit Siang  It is most regrettable that despite the failure of ASEAN’s “constructive engagement” policy on Burma and widespread objections in the region, Burma would be admitted into ASEAN next week.In giving legitimacy to the repressive military junta in Burma, ASEAN stands the risk of undermining its international credibility and legitimacy, especially if the State Law and Restoration Council (SLORC) uses its new-found legitimacy to crack down on the National League for Democracy and Burmese opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.It is very sad that on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Matyrs Day, Burma is no nearer to a new democratic beginning. On the contrary there are ominous signs that the Burmese military rulers might be setting the scene for a new wave of repression after Burma had been officially admitted into ASEAN next week.Two weeks ago, for instance, Lieutenant-General Tin Oo, one of the country’s four most powerful elements, warned that the military government had been watching “destructive elements” – SLORC’s code word for NLD and Aung San Suu Kyi – and would take action against them if they did not mend their ways.ASEAN governments must make it very clear to the SLORC leaders next week that admission into ASEAN is not a licence for gross violation of human rights and that although ASEAN countries do not interfere in each other’ domestic affairs, SLORC should not undermine ASEAN’s international image, credibility and legitimacy through a new wave of repressions against pro-democracy activists.In fact, ASEAN should learn from the failure of its “constructive engagement’ policy on Burma.The time has also come for ASEAN to give greater meaning to the regional grouping on its 30th anniversary by showing the world that South East Asian nations could not only become economic powerhouses, but also become human rights models.There is no more meaningful way to mark ASEAN’s 30th anniversary than the establishment of an ASEAN Commission of Human Rights to uphold human rights in the region and address regional concerns that Burma’s admission would be a setback for democracy and human rights, not only in Burma, but also for the other ASEAN nations.The ASEAN Commission of Human Rights should be an important plank of a “comprehensive ASEAN policy on Burma” to help Burma embark on the road towards democratisation and national reconciliation.(18/7/97)   OPEN LETTER to ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow to discuss the timing of full membership for Myanmar by Lim Kit Siang. 30th May 1997 Honourable ASEAN Foreign Ministers Myanmar’s membership in ASEAN  The human rights record of SLORC had worsened since it had acquired observer status in ASEAN. It had continued to defy the annual United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for democratisation and it had refused to co-operate with ASEAN countries to make a success of the ASEAN constructive engagement policy in the past seven years to achieve tangible or measurable progress in democratic reforms and national reconciliation.While ASEAN governments do not want to ostracise Myanmar, they should not reward SLORC for its poor human rights record by admitting it into ASEAN this year.The ASEAN Foreign Ministers should take seriously the warning of Aung San Suu Kyi in a videotape to ASEAN leaders that admitting Myanmar into ASEAN might trigger an increase in the SLORC repression of political and human rights.Suu Kyi said in the videotape that Myanmar under SLORC is not going to be any credit to ASEAN. But she thinks is the possibility that admission into ASEAN will make SLORC even more obdurate and oppressive than ever.”Just as any regional or international organisation which admitted South Africa in the heyday of the apartheid regime would rightly incur international opprobrium, ASEAN Foreign Ministers must be fully aware of the great damage to the international reputation of ASEAN if Myanmar is admitted without any improvement in its abysmal human rights record.Furthermore, Burma’s admission into ASEAN must be contingent on SLORC co-operating with ASEAN countries to make a success of the ASEAN constructive engagement policy to promote democratic reforms and national reconciliation.For the past seven years, ASEAN’s “constructive engagement” policy had been very one-sided, confining its contacts with SLORC, when the ASEAN governments should reach out to “constructively engage” with both SLORC and the pro-democracy forces led by Aung San Suu Kyi. The ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Conference should respond positively to the invitation by Sui Kyi in her videotape message that:“If ASEAN is truly interested in constructive engagement, it should try to engage with both sides in Burma, with the (regime) as well as the democratic opposition.“ASEAN should be engaged with the National League for Democracy as well, because we are the party, which was elected by the people in the democratic elections of 1990”. The ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ should seriously consider the hosting of a dialogue between SLORC and the pro-democracy forces led by Aung San Suu Kyi in the hope that such a dialogue under the auspices of ASEAN could help break the present political impasse in Burma and move Burma towards the road of democratisation and national reconciliation – and pave the way for Burma’s eventual admission into ASEAN.Thank you.Yours truly,Lim Kit Siang Parliamentary Opposition Leader Secretary-General, Democratic Action Party Malaysia (30/5/97)  Aliran’s Media Statement “Democracy Further Stalled in Burma”. Aliran views with deep concern the recent political stand-off between Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the country’s military junta. In the recent incident, Suu Kyi was prevented by the military from travelling freely in her own country to exercise her democratic rights and to meet her political supporters. This prompted her to stay put in her Toyota Mark II sedan as a mark of protest. The military regime’s latest action against her would have had serious implications for the health of the already ailing opposition leader. It also reflects the regime’s increasingly arrogant display of political barbarism. The political recalcitrance flaunted by the Burmese military regime makes an ugly mockery of the much-hyped ASEAN notion of “constructive engagement” and the zealously guarded policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of member countries. Fellow ASEAN member states must in no uncertain terms make it known to the Burmese regime that enough is enough and that Suu Kyi and her colleagues should be given their rightful democratic place in Burma. ASEAN as a regional group cannot afford to be seen as being selective when it comes to reprimanding nations that have breached international norms of justice and democracy. Unless ASEAN corrects itself in this respect, its international reputation will be jeopardised and, worse, it will be perceived as a group that doesn’t practise wha it preaches to other, especially those in the West; in short, it is often seen as a group that practises double standards. Dr Mustafa K. Anuar Asst. Secretary 30 July 1998.           

RULE OF LAW Limits the Government’s legal authorities on citizens

RULE OF LAW

Limits the Government’s

legal authorities on citizens     

 

Every official_

  1. from the Prime Minister

  2. or Minister

  3. down to a police officer

  4. or a income-tax officer,

  5. or any government officer

  6. or a peon

  •  
    • is under the same responsibility
    • for every act done
    • without legal justification
    • as any other citizen.

All the officials_

A. From the appointed government officials

B. to elected politicians, alike

C. and all subordinates,

(a) though carrying out the commands of their official superiors

(b) i.e. supposedly or could claim as done or act during performing their official duty

(b) are as responsible for any act which the law does not authorize  

i. as is any private

ii. and unofficial person.

 And they all must be …

i. brought before the courts,

ii. and made,

iii. in their personal capacity,

iv. liable to punishment, or

v. to the payment of damages,

vi. for acts done in their official character

vii. but in excess of their lawful authority.  

— Law of the Constitution (London: MacMillan, 9th ed., 1950), 194.

Another definition can be found at Halsbury’s Laws of England, Vol: Constitutional Law and Human Rights, paragraph 6

 The legal basis of government

Basic principle of legality

( referred to as the rule of law) 

This may be expressed as a number of propositions, as described below.

(1) The existence or non-existence of a power or duty is a matter of law and not of fact,

and so must be determined by reference either to the nature of the legal personality of the body in question and the capacities that go with it, or to some enactment or reported case.  

                 i.    Many public bodies are incorporated by statute and so statutory provisions will define and limit their legal capacities.

                 ii.  Individuals who are public office-holders have the capacities

       that go with the legal personality that they have as natural persons.

                iii.    The Government or Crown is a corporation sole or aggregate and so has general legal capacity, including (subject to some statutory limitations and limitations imposed by European law) the capacity to enter into contracts and to own and dispose of property.

 iv. The fact of a continued undisputed exercise of a power by a public body is immaterial. 

(2) The argument of state necessity is not sufficient to establish the existence of a power or duty  

i. which would entitle a public body to act in a way that interferes with the rights or liberties of individuals.

 ii.  However, the common law does recognize that

in case of extreme urgency,

when the ordinary machinery of the state cannot function,  there is a justification for the doing of acts needed to restore the regular functioning of the machinery of government. 

(3) The doctrine that the existence or non-existence of a power or duty

  • is a matter of law,

  • it should be possible for the courts to determine

 1. either or not a particular power or duty exists,  

2. define its ambit

3. provide an effective remedy for unlawful action.

4. The independence of the judiciary is essential to the principle of legality.

5. The right of access to the courts can be excluded by statute, but this is not often done in express terms.

6. A person whose civil or political rights and freedoms as guaranteed by the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (the European Convention on Human Rights) have been infringed is entitled under the Convention to an effective right of access to the courts and an effective national remedy.

On the other hand_

  • Powers are often given to bodies other than the ordinary courts,

  • To decide questions of law without appeal to the ordinary courts,

  • And sometimes in such terms that their freedom from appellate jurisdiction extends to their findings of fact or law

  • on which the existence of their powers depends.

(4) Since the principal elements

  • of the structure of the machinery of government,

  • and the powers

  • and duties

  • which belong to its several parts,

    •  
      • are defined by law,

      • its form and course can be altered only by a change of law.  

From the British Laws,

now we look at the father of all the democracies,

American law.

John Adams drafted for the constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,

The principle of separation of powers: 

In the government_

1. The legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers or either of them:

2. The executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them:

3. The judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them:

 To the end it may be a government of laws and not of men. 

— Massachusetts Constitution, Part The First, art. XXX (1780).

The last phrase,

“To the end it may be a government of laws and not of men,” has been quoted with approval by the U.S. Supreme Court and every state supreme court in the United States.

A similar concept is found in Common Sense (1776) by Thomas Paine:

. . . The world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy,

1. That in America THE LAW IS KING.

2. For as in absolute governments the King is law,

3. So in free countries the law OUGHT to be King; and there ought to be no other.

The concept “Rule of Law” is generally associated with several other concepts, such as:

1. Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine praevia lege poenali – No ex post facto laws 

2. Presumption of innocence

All individuals are “innocent until proven otherwise” 

3. Double jeopardy

Individuals may only be punished once for every specific crime committed.  

 4. Retrials may or may not be permitted on the grounds of new evidence.

See also res judicata.

 5. Legal equality

All individuals are given the same rights

without distinction to their social stature, religion, political opinions, etc.

 6. That is, as Montesquieu would have it, “law should be like death, which spares no one.” 

7. Habeas corpus – in full habeas corpus ad subjiciendum, a Latin term meaning “you must have the body to be subjected (to examination)”.

o A person who is arrested has the right to be told what crimes he or she is accused of. 

o And to request that his or her custody be reviewed by judicial authority.  

o Persons unlawfully imprisoned have to be freed. 

11. The concept of “Rule of Law” per se says nothing of the “Justness” of the laws themselves, but simply how the legal system upholds the law.

12. As a consequence of this, a very undemocratic nation or one without respect for human rights can exist with or without a “rule of law”, a situation which many argue is applicable to several modern dictatorships.

13. However, the “Rule of Law” is considered a pre-requisite for democracy, and as such, has served as_

14. A common basis for human rights discourse between countries such as the People’s Republic of China and the West.

 The Rule of Law is an ancient ideal
first posited by Aristotle
as a system of rules inherent in the natural order.

1. The concept of impartial rule of law is found in the Chinese political philosophy of legalism.

2. Although Chinese emperors were not subject to law, in practice they found it necessary to act according to regular procedures for reasons of statecraft.

3. In the Anglo-American legal tradition rule of law has been seen as

  • a guard against despotism

  • and as enforcing limitations on the power of the government.

4. In the authoritarian and totalitarian states the discourse around rule of law centers on the notion that laws ultimately enhance the power of the state and the nation, which is why the authoritarian and totalitarian states government adopts the principle of rule by law rather than rule of law.

5. Rule of Law is opposed by authoritarian and totalitarian states.

For much of human history,

Rulers and Law were synonymous –

Law was simply the will of the ruler. 

1. A first step away from such tyranny was the notion of rule by law, including the notion that even a ruler is under the law.

2. Democracies went further by establishing the Rule of Law.

3. Although no society or government system is problem-free,

  • Rule of Law protects fundamental political, social, and economic rights

  • and reminds us that tyranny and lawlessness are not the only alternatives.

4. Rule of law means that_

  • no individual,

  • president

  • or private citizen,

stands above law.

5. Democratic governments exercise authority_

  • by way of law

  • and are themselves subject to law’s constraints.

6. Laws should express the will of the people,

not the whims of _

  • kings,

  • dictators,

  • military officials,

  • religious leaders,

  • or self-appointed political parties.

7. Citizens in democracies are willing to obey the laws of their society, then, because they are submitting to their own rules and regulations.

8. Justice is best achieved when the laws are established by the very people who must obey them.

9. Under the Rule of Law_

  • a system of strong,

  • independent courts

  • should have the power and authority,

  • resources,

  • and the prestige

to hold government officials, even top leaders, accountable to the nation’s laws and regulations.

10. For this reason, judges should be_

  • well trained,

  • professional,

  • independent,

  • and impartial.

11. To serve their necessary role in the legal and political system, judges must be committed to the principles of democracy.

12. The laws of a democracy may have many sources:

  • written constitutions;

  • statutes and regulations;

  • religious and ethical teachings;

  • and cultural traditions and practices.

13. Regardless of origin the law should enshrine certain provisions to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens:

14. Under the requirement of equal protection under the law, the law may not be uniquely applicable to any single individual or group.

15. Citizens must be secure from_

  • arbitrary arrest

  • and unreasonable search of their homes

  • or the seizure of their personal property.

16. Citizens charged with crimes are_

  • entitled to a speedy and public trial,

  • along with the opportunity to confront

  • and question their accusers.

17. If convicted they may not be subjected to cruel or unusual punishment.

18. Citizens cannot be forced to testify against themselves.

19. This principle protects citizens from_

  • coercion,

  • abuse,

  • or torture

  • and greatly reduces the temptation of police to employ such measures.

In the Nazi Germany,  the government possesses the inherent authority to act purely on its own volition and without being subject to any checks or limitations.

Dr. Cooray wrote, The Australian Achievement: From Bondage To Freedom:

“All persons_

  1. individuals,

  2. institutions

  3. and government are subject to law.

Supremacy of the law is a fundamental concept in the western democratic order. The rule of law requires both citizens and governments to be subject to known and standing laws. The supremacy of law also requires generality in the law. This principle is a further development of the principle of equality before the law. Laws should not be made in respect of particular persons.

As Dicey postulated, the rule of law-

  • presupposes the absence of wide discretionary authority in the rulers,

  • so that they cannot make their own laws

  • but must govern according to the established laws.

Those laws ought not to be too easily changeable.

Stable laws are a prerequisite of the_

  •  certainty and confidence

  • which form an essential part of individual freedom and security.

Therefore, laws ought to be rooted in moral principles, which cannot be achieved if they are framed in too detailed a manner.

The idea of the supremacy of law requires a definition of law (to which the above principles may go some way).

This must include a distinction between_

  • law

  • and executive administration

  • and prerogative decree.

 A failure to maintain the formal differences between these things must lead to_

  • a conception of law as nothing more than authorization for power,

  • rather than the guarantee of liberty, equally to all.

The rule of law ensures that_

  • individuals have a secure area of autonomy
  • and have settled expectations by having their rights and duties pre-established
  • and enforced by law.”

  

Dream Interview VII, Rule by Law (of the Jungle)

Dream Interview VII

Rule by Law (of the Jungle)

BURMA DIGEST: Good evening Datuk Sri. Kindly allow me to continue with our dream interview. May you kindly explain us about the concepts of Rule by Law.

H. E. Mr Anwar Ibrahim…The SPDC Junta is seen to be worse than using that Rule by Law. They are seen as not even using the proper Law to suppress the unarmed peaceful demonstrators and the whole country.

Let’s start with the concept of the Mobocracy where_

i. Political control by a mob.

ii. Using the mass of “common people” as the source of political control.

You could see this trend becoming popular nowadays because the dictators around the world became modern, they are more concern about their image among their people and in front of the political spectators around the world.

We noticed the use of SPDC affiliated civilian thugs USDA, Swan Arrshin together with Military Intelligent Provocateurs or instigators disguised as civilian demonstrators in the Monks led peaceful protests in Burma.

BURMA DIGEST:How do you see the “Laws” of the SPDC?

In contrast to the democracy where the ultimate power of the government is in the hands of the people, where did the SPDC’s power based?

Answer…After all for the Military Dictators like SPDC, “the power came out from the barrel of the guns.” Any thing came out from their mouth became the order or Law of the day to be obeyed by all the civilians and the Tatmadaw.

The SPDC Generals don’t want any excuses, job done or report of mission accomplished only accepted.

The Military Personals are only taught strictly to just obey the orders. No questions nor excuses or reasoning are allowed to scrutinize the order whether it is right or wrong, just or unjust, appropriate or not etc.

Military people are trained to fight, assault, kill and obey the order given by their superiors only.

They should not be the masters or leaders of the country, giving the orders to the people. The politicians who are chosen by the people are qualified to lead and give orders not only to the people but even on to the whole military.

BURMA DIGEST:In Myanmar, the military rulers are above the Law. The double standards in the implementation of law are ever present under dictator Myanmar Military rulers. Any comments?

Answer…There is one privileged law for the ruling elite like SPDC Generals, staying even above all their own laws and another unfair cruel suppressive law for the rest especially for the opposition.

All the ordinary citizens are coerced into submission, cowardice and obedience by the Rule by the Law. Their Military Laws or Martial Laws are also could be regarded as the Laws of the Jungle.

Under the SPDC there are another few sets of Laws:

  1. For the ceased fire rebels

  2. For their cronies and families

  3. For the rich who could grease the local and central Military authorities

  4. For the opposition

  5. For the Ethnic Minorities

  6. For the Religious Minorities, especially for the Rohingyas etc.

To be called a democratic country;

  1. we must enact just and fair laws for all the citizens of Burma/Myanmar.

  2. In addition, no one must be above the law: whether he is from Military, a General, Senior General, King, President, Prime Minister, Cabinet Minister, opposition leaders or opposition party members, mixed blooded relatively new citizens or Ethnic Minority.

  3. We all need the progressive, longsighted Governments that always avoid or refrain from interfering in the way of their citizens’ ability to make a living and progress will always end up ruling over the wealthiest countries.

BURMA DIGEST: Could you kindly analyze the so called “Laws” of SPDC?

Answer…In the SPDC’s Rule by Law_

  1. there is almost no pre-written just and fair law.

  2. Even if there are Laws, they never respect nor protect the rights of each and every citizen.

  3. No one is above the law except the military rulers, cronies and families

  4. and they are more than ever ready to prosecute or persecute any opponents

  5. by using their unjust laws.

Myanmar Military dictators rule by law_

  • not because the law is higher than theirself

  • but because it is convenient to do so

  • to protect their total and permanent dominance.

BURMA DIGEST: What about using the Emergency or Security Laws to lockup the opposition?

Answer…In Rule by Law, the governments like SPDC use laws as the most convenient way to govern or subdue the people.

For example, Emergency Acts section 5 of Myanmar or Internal Security Acts or Terrorism Prevention Acts and all the “Laws” in many countries that could lock-up the opposition leaders and members conveniently without needing to formally charge in the conventional criminal courts, are cruel and inhumane.

The opposition leaders are_

  • conveniently denied their rights of self defense

  • in a proper court of Justice

  • but sometimes arrested without hearing

  • or are forced to appear in a Kangaroo courts

  • to face the trumpeted charges

  • in front of subservient eunuch Judges

  • without the help of legal representation

  • or presence of their defense lawyers.

And most of the dictators use the unfair, restrictive laws such as Printing Press acts, and various restrictive acts, rules and regulations to control the every citizen’s daly life.

Question: Let’s go back to the Rule of Law to see the differences between them.

Answer…Rule of Law is opposed by authoritarian and totalitarian states like Myanmar SPDC Junta.

But even many of the authoritarian and totalitarian states accepted and partially practice the rule of law because some of these laws ultimately enhance the power of the dictators disguising as for the security of the “state” and the “nation”.

They used the bogyman, neo-colonists, communists, foreigners, internal traitors.

They used the excuses of peace and stability of the country, security of the country, for the sake of economic progress, scarring away the foreign investors and tourists etc. asking all the people to stay united behind them, (read: not infront of them, opposing or confronting the great leader and not to support the opposing person or party.) and continue to support them.

So it is more convenient for those governments to adopt the principle of rule by law rather than rule of law.

But for the SPDC Military Junta rulers and law are synonymous —

  • Sr General is the ruler

  • and his words are LAW.

So the laws of the SPDC are simply their will or desire or orders for the citizens to obey without any questions.

The new LAWS, acts, Rules and regulations are ordered on and off according to their whims and fancies.

In the SPDC Military Junta_

  • the government possesses the inherent authority to act purely on its own volition

  • and without being subject to any checks or limitations.

Rule by law can be both ad hoc as the Orders or Laws from the SPDC according to their whims and fancy (which is genuine despotism) or principled.

Principled rule by law theory shares with rule of law theory the arguments that a stable, generally recognized law is needed in order to maintain generality, impersonality, and effectiveness of government.

Thus principled rule by law theory allows for what Fuller has called “the internal morality of law” to the extent that this is prudentially justifiable as conducive to the ends of government.

The SPDC Junta Rule by Law, because the Myanmar Military government uses law as the most convenient way to govern or subdue its own people.

Question: What is the basic flaw of SPDC Laws?

Answer…The basic flaw or the mother of all the problems with the Laws of the SPDC and successive military governments in Burma is that_

  • it is run by military,

  • and they are almost uneducated,

  • inexperienced,

  • no training nor experience in management,

  • no training nor any experience in the Judiciary and Law

  • no training nor any experience in the economy

  • they have no common sense

  • they are megalomeniacs

  • intoxicated in power

  • corrupted

  • greedy

  • no proper moral and religious education

  • and are flawed in character.

The military personals are not virtue machines. Even the best of us as human beings are vulnerable to the call of the low:

  1. to greed,

  2. conceit,

  3. insensitivity,

  4. ruthlessness,

  5. the desire to show_

  • we’re in control,

  • in charge,
  • in command.

So the all powerful Myanmar military generals became megalomaniacs and autocrats”

So the problem with SPDC military government is that it is_

  • run by military

  • and not, saints

  • nor angels

  • nor technocrats

  • nor experts.

And they do much mischief. They inevitably produce a great deal of injustice, corruption and heartlessness.

Question: Is that the standard behaviour of all the powerful governments? What should we do?

Answer…The military leaders or generals in the SPDC government often get carried away with their unlimited, unchecked power and authorities.

And they don’t always even mean to. The SPDC government is like a steamroller; the force of forward motion carries them along.

There is inevitably unaccountability, and in time, often indifference about what the steamroller rolls over. Moreover, no one is looking out and being protective of what the steamroller is rolling over–

    • traditions,

    • shared beliefs,

    • individual rights,

    • old assumptions,

    • oppositions,

    • ethnic minorities,

    • religious minorities

    • and even Buddhist Monks are being rolled over today.

This is essentially, why people of Burma don’t like the SPDC government.

“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, and it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.

George Washington.

That government is best which governs the least.

Thomas Jefferson

Question: Could we Burmese expect the Rule of Law in the future Military promised democracy?

Answer… I don’t think so.

The Rule of Law is not practiced under the present political leadership of Sr General Than Shwe, and that we are a far cry from the day when we can even call our country a guided or disciplined democracy which SPDC is promising.

For those die-hards_

  • who are hoping against reality that

  • Myanmar Tatmadaw will bring us the much yearned for reforms,

  • and who still insist that SPDC must be given more time to fulfill its pledges,

the present ruthless crushing of the peaceful demonstrations of the monks episode is the proof that they are wrong.

I wonder why there is no international court of laws where citizens could conveniently or easily file a case against their corrupt governments like Myanmar SPDC?

Isn’t there anything anyone can do about it?

Why ASEAN, EU, UN and the rest of the worlds’ leaders could just close one eye on SPDC generals,

  • regarding or giving a lame excuse this as an internal affairs of a country

  • which they should not interfere

  • and morally corrupted greedy governments shamelessly continue trade and exploiting with the half opened remaining eye.

  • And worse of all most of them failed to help the ordinary Burmese citizens inside and outside Burma.

I could sadly see the Burmese people’s role as only performing the duty of rubber-stamping the SPDC Constitution for the permanent dominance of Military.

So the future role of nonmilitary ordinary Burmese Citizens are sure to be degraded to just confirming or approving the showcase of sham elections not unlike the elections under communists and dictators.

The SPDC is going to stream-rolled the so-called seven steps to democracy with their tanks on all the citizens and seems to be ready to sacrifice by even flattening the monks.

BURMA DIGEST: I could hear the voice of Azan for morning prayers Datuk Sri. We really thank you for giving the whole night for our dream interview.

Please kindly send my regards and heart felt thanks to the following persons_

Your Mrs, Justice Party Chief, YB Datin Sri Wan Aziza Wan Ismail for the kind (real) interview and very kind support of our Burmese opposition especially the supports on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Your Justice party Deputy Chief, Encik Azmin Ali and wife, for helping our family on numerous occasions.

Encik Ahmad Azam Abdul Rahman, Chairman of the Global Peace Malaysia, for the (real) interview and numerous request to Datuk Sri, on our behalf.

DYMM (HRH) Raja Petra Raja Kamaruddin for the Free Anwar Campaign (he was my hero because he had done a lot for Datuk Sri, which I even could not or even dare not dream.)

National Laurate, Datuk Syed Ahmad Bin Jamal and wife Datin for the numerous request to Datuk Sri, on our behalf.

Your lawyer, Aasil Ahmad Anwar Ibrahim & Associates for the kind reply but short of approval.

Ms Elizabeth Wong for sending the Press Statements of President of Keadilan to me.

Kindly allow me to apologize again for writing this VIRTUAL DREAM INTERVIEWS as FICTION without prior consent from Datuk Sri and lawyers.

H. E. Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim… Hmm… I have to think over and talk to my lawyers what to do with your dreams. Any way, we have no much time because your dream is so long, I even hear the sound of calling for the morning prayers, let’s go to the mosque together, for the morning prayers.

So both of us went to the National Mosque, all the people including the Imam of the mosque requested DSAI to lead the morning prayers.

TQ very much DSAI to include in the prayers for Burma, all the citizens of Burma including Burmese Muslims, Rohingyas, Ethnic Minorities and refugees. My tears flow down when you remember to include the safety, health and release of Daw Suu and other political prisoners of Myanmar.

Yes, you are 100% right Datuk Sri, we have no choise, no power except for the prayers for Burma.

 

The Judiciary

The Judiciary

by Tommy Thomas

The Court’s first duty is to stand between citizen and State; a citizen aggrieved with any decision of the State should be able to turn to an independent judiciary for justice.  

“The guarantee afforded by the Constitution is the supremacy of the law and the power and duty of the Courts to annul any attempt to subvert any of the fundamental rights, whether by legislative or administrative action or otherwise”.

The  judiciary’s second duty is to act as the sentinel of the Constitution; that is, to protect, preserve and defend the Constitution from legislative or other attack. Its third duty is to interpret the Constitution. This explains the rationale of the celebrated remark of Chief Justice Charles Hughes of the United States Supreme Court:

“We are under a constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is.”

The Indian Courts, ever vigilant in the protection of very similarly worded fundamental rights in their 1950 Constitution, had creatively pronounced the “basic structure” doctrine whereby Constitutional amendments by Parliament could not go so far as to have the effect of destroying the basic structure and features of the Constitution, which included prohibiting Parliament from abrogating human rights. The Federal Court rejected this doctrine and gave judicial imprimanteur to the right of Parliament, itself a creature of the Federal Constitution, to amend in whichever manner it so chose, its own creator, the Federal Constitution. The major casualty in this exercise of judicial abdication of its constitutional duty is human rights.

First, from India , the principle that in testing the validity of any state action (whether executive or legislative) which impacts upon any Part P fundamental liberty, the Court’s duty is to consider whether such state action “directly affects the fundamental rights or its inevitable effect or consequence on the fundamental rights is such that it makes their exercise ineffective or illusory”. Secondly, from the Privy Council, the principle that a constitution should not construed rigidly or with austerity; instead, it should be interpreted generously befitting its special status and character as a living constitution.

not only in the Indian Constitution, but also in the European Convention on Human Rights, the Canadian Charter of Rights and in the Human Rights legislation of England, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. Thus, human rights jurisprudence from the very respectable judiciaries of these Commonwealth countries is most valuable and instructive. In the cases of India and Canada, they have the additional benefit of constitutional support. Yet, some judges do not seem to be interested in developments there. Thus, the practise of constitutional law is a lonely one which does not seem to attract the lively interest of either litigant or lawyer; itself, a poor commentary on the state of affairs of human rights.

Infringements of human rights by state agencies in these countries are very similar, the experiences are similar, and case law and their reasoning from their Courts should be followed by our Courts, as happens in other branches of law.

The “Justice in Jeopardy: Report was very critical of some of the controversial decisions; the report concluded with this hope:-

“The Judiciary also has an important role to play in softening the effect of the laws through interpretation and application of the principles of justice and equity. We urge the judges to have the courage to rise up to this challenge. Otherwise, judges will continue to be considered as a tool to quell political dissent and free expression.”

“All along people were confident that the last place they could get justice is in the courts but in the light of certain cases before the courts and certain goings on in some courts, they realized that the courts have let them down miserably. It used to be that the tinting of judges cars was for security but now I say it is to hide my embarrassment.”

History is replete with examples of creeping authoritarianism, it moves quietly, insidiously, step by step. Oppression seldom happens overnight. Loss of freedom is usually gradual. In the graphic words of Pastor Martin Niemoeller:-

“In Hitler’s Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

Who is responsible for the bleak of human rights in 21st century ? I would suggest that all of us are to blame. Even if primary responsibility rests on the State in denying space to its citizenry, what has the citizenry done about it. What have all of us done. I am sorry to say, nothing. I am as guilty as the next person. Ultimately, a society gets the human rights it deserves. As James Baldwin said:

“Freedom is not something that anybody can be given; freedom is something people take and people are as free as they want to be”.

Clarence Darrow’s comment is in the same vein.

“You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man’s freedom. You can only be free if I am free.”

Justice Learned Hand of the US Supreme Court offered this acute observation:

“Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it.”

I hope, and pray, that we have not reached the stage where liberty has died in the heart of the average citizen.

Justice in Islam

Justice in Islam

 

From Universal justice,

Muslim and Non-Muslim Relations

By Jamal Badawi, PhD

The Arabic term for justice is_

adl, meaning “to be in a state of equilibrium, to be balanced.”

That balance is inherent in the cosmic order and ecology as much as it is inherent in spiritual and ethical values. The Qur’an warns against disturbing that balance. Within that broad context, we can examine the concept of justice as it relates to human relationships based on Islam’s primary sources.

Briefly, that concept has the following characteristics:

Justice is not mere “political correctness” only but for the believer, it is a divine command.

Justice is at the heart of prophetic teachings.

Justice is a universal concept that should be observed without nepotism, even with the “enemy”:

“O you who believe! Stand out for justice, as witnesses to Allah, and even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor.”

(An-Nisaa’ 4:134)

“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety and fear Allah, for Allah is well acquainted with all that you do.”

(Al-Ma’idah 5:8)

The above concept of universal justice relates to peace in at least two ways:

1. It is inconceivable to secure genuine lasting peace without justice. In fact, doing justice is a prerequisite to peace.

2. To harm, persecute, or fight against any person on account of his or her religious convictions is one of the worst forms of injustice, which is condemned in the primary sources of Islam.

There are many verses in the Qur’an stating that_

“Those who coexist peacefully with Muslims are entitled to justice, compassion, and respect, irrespective of their religion (60:8-9) as long as they are peaceful with Muslims.