ICC in difficulty ten years after the Rome Statute

ICC in difficulty

ten years after the Rome Statute


17 July 2008

Thursday 17 July marks the tenth anniversary of the Rome Statute, the treaty that led to the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Set up in 2002, the ICC is mandated to investigate and prosecute crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, when national authorities are unable, or unwilling to do so.

Lauded as one of the most ambitious steps by the international community in recent history, the ICC has made significant progress in its investigations. But its work is being obstructed by serious internal and external difficulties.

Had Cyclones Nargis struck the final nail in the SPDC’s coffin?

Had Cyclones Nargis struck the final nail in the SPDC’s coffin?

Extracts from the article of Dean Johns by May 14, 08 10:52am in the Malaysiakini


burma anger 070404Some international observers are suggesting that the Burmese generals’ callous disregard of their people’s plight in the wake of could eventually prove the long-overdue death-blow to their calamitous regime.

Cyclone Nargis


Many Malaysians are sensing the winds of change too. Unfortunately, however, the scenario smack more of wishful thinking than of real or at least imminent possibility. Or do they?


It’s hard to imagine how the generals of the junta could be more hated by their people than they have become already for their illegal seizure of power in 1990 and subsequent savage crackdowns on minority groups and monks and other citizens calling for democracy.

But their response, or lack of it, to the death and destruction caused by Cyclone Nargis has discredited them, if possible, even further.

The few reports I’ve seen from journalists who have defied the regime’s media ban have described scenes of monks doing disaster work while soldiers stand around watching, and of soldiers competing with civilians for the little aid that has appeared.


Meanwhile, for an entire week since the disaster, the government has stalled international relief efforts by denying visas to outsiders or subjecting them to a two-week approval process that was further delayed when embassy and consular staff stopped work for, unbelievably in these desperate circumstances, a public holiday.

Worse even than the regime’s idleness and intransigence has been an attempt at a public relations exercise to try and cover up its disgraceful performance.

than shweAs reported by Associated Press, state television aired scenes of Senior General Than Shwe (photo) and his underlings handing out aid in boxes. One of these, the label ‘Aid from the Kingdom of Thailand’ had been over-written with the name of Lt-General Myint Swe, a rising star in the junta.

If any of the hapless Burmese people have been fooled by such contemptible propaganda, the rest of the world certainly hasn’t been. The UN and heads of nations around the world are calling with increasing urgency and anger for the generals to let aid workers in to help the people.

France has been advocating that the Burmese regime’s criminal neglect of its citizens be referred to the UN Security Council, but China and Indonesia have opposed this move on the grounds that the disaster “should not be politicised”.

hurricane katrina new orleans 050905 cars on roofEven US First Lady Laura Bush made an impassioned plea to the generals to show some mercy. But unfortunately her intervention only served to remind the world of how tardy and incompetent her husband’s administration had been with its relief effort back when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans a few years ago.

Speaking of hypocrisy, I’ve seen precious little if any mention of Asean in the international outcry for permission to come to the aid of Burma’s cyclone victims. But what more can anybody expect of an organisation that would accept the generals’ Burma as a member in the first place?


Blow ‘em away


internet media and print mediaIn any case, the sorry saga still drags on as I write this, and a million or so hungry, bereaved and homeless people are left by their rulers to fend for themselves.

I only hope that when they’ve recovered they’ll find a way, at last, to treat their criminal oppressors to such a cyclone of civil and political defiance as to blow them away forever.In any case, the sorry saga still drags on as I write this, and a million or so hungry, bereaved and homeless people are left by their rulers to fend for themselves.

I only hope that when they’ve recovered they’ll find a way, at last, to treat their criminal oppressors to such a cyclone of civil and political defiance as to blow them away forever.



Help, not crush, Myanmar Military (to reform)

Help, not crush, Myanmar Military

(to reform)

Malaysiakini news by Soon Li Tsin

Dear Malaysiakini, reporter and Malaysiakini readers, please may all of you kindly allow me to dream as if this event is about Burma, Burmese researcher writing a book on Myanmar Military e.t.c.. I have dreamt about having an interview with DSAI and wrote more than half a dozen of articles on that subject. Please, kindly allow me to continue to dream on . . .

Modified and edited the news, “Author: Help, not crush, Umno” by Soon Li Tsin in the Malaysiakini .

I have edited and adapted to the Myanmar context from the original news article. I hope that Soon Li Tsin and Malaysiakini could understand and forgive us for this. They should even be proud that they could contribute a very good article for the fellow Myanmar/Burmese citizens.

Author and academician Dr Ooi Kee Beng said Myanmar Military should be assisted (to reform) and not crushed in its attempt to reform itself.

Launching his book entitled ‘Lost in Transition: Myanmar under Military Dictatorship’ yesterday, Ooi (photo) expressed concern over the future of Myanmar Military which may resort to fascism.

“Myanmar Military is like (Taiwan’s) Kuomintang (KMT) and other parties in the region who were responsible for independence and a lot of these parties had to reform itself like the KMT – a once dictatorial party is a totally a new party today with the same name.

“It is not given that if Myanmar Military reforms itself, it would reform like how KMT did – meaning liberalize and play the democratic game. Fascism is always close at hand.

“We don’t want that to be encouraged. We should work to not crush Myanmar Military but help it along in its reforming process,” he told the audience.

The book is a compilation of articles written by Ooi – who is a fellow at the Institute of South East Asian studies in Singapore – on SPDC Myanmar Military Junta’s governance in the last twenty years.

It is a follow up to his 2006 book, ‘Era of Transition: Myanmar After General Ne Win’ which analysed Myanmar Military and tests faced by SPDC Junta Senior General Than Shwe after taking over his predecessors General Ne Win and General Saw Maung.

Asked to explain the message in his new book, he said: “It was what I felt when I put the book together at the end of last year, that something very important was lost.

“There was hope that Myanmar could develop itself in a proper manner and we were actually already on the slippery slope and we did not see any force that could stop it,” he described.

Two main challenges

During the panel discussion, Centre for Public Initiatives Director Dr Lim Teck Ghee highlighted two main challenges for Sr General Than Shwe in light of the recent Safron Revolution and the alleged internal feud currently taking place in Myanmar Military.

“One that is most crucial is that he has to battle and isolate the extremists elements within Myanmar Military and its many faceless supporters in the Kyant Phut, Swan Arrshin, ex-Military associations, the civil service and the Myanmar community.

“These are elements that are paved with revenge – launched in a campaign that is sometimes quiet and sometimes quite loud – racial-baiting and incitement,” he explained.

“(The) second challenge is to move firmly and quickly on building a good working relationship with the NLD, Ethnic Minorities, Religious Minorities and together in taking on the scourge of corruption,” he added.

The former World Bank economist noted that Myanmar Military Generals should declare their assets, introduce policy reforms and a merit-based system in order to change the country’s economic performance.

“In theory these they should lead the way to an economic revitalization for Myanmar. The Military and ex-military (U Paine) hold more than 60 per cent of the gross national product (GNP). Investors all over the world place importance on transparency, accountability and efficiency, once they could form an Interim Government with the Daw Aung San Suu Kyi led opposition.” he said.

However he warned that the Myanmar Military can derail the true democratization by using military and its affiliated associations’ machinery, state funding and the civil service to play the “revenge, obstructionist or spoilers game”.

“I’m worried. So far the Myanmar Military has used it’s military apparatus and resources and are bent on punishing the opposition as we’ve seen from the 8888 Revolution, Depayin Massacre and Saffron Revolution to the arresting of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi led NLD leaders, Ethnic Minority leaders, 88 Generation Student leaders, monks and unarmed protesting civilians” he said.

Meanwhile, Ong said he would deliberate on setting up the fair and square, truly democratic election system despite calls from the opposition to boycott it.

Lim was joined by Malaysiakini’s editor-in-chief Steven Gan and Ooi during the panel discussion.

The book launch was officiated by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and was attended by about 8888 people.

Valueless, illegitimate, Killer Than Shwe’s SPDC Junta

   Valueless illegitimate

Killer Than Shwe’s SPDC Junta

Most of the western countries had progressed from the struggles for biological needs of food, shelter and security to the psychological needs for higher social values e.g. Human Rights and Individual Freedoms.

“ASIAN VALUES” defenders had given lame excuses that certain values and liberties must be compromised for the sake of Economy and development so that most of the citizens are housed, clothed and fed.

They wrongly claimed that social and political stability for the whole country is more important than individual Human Rights and liberties.

Even US and some developed countries are in reverse gear by saying that sacrifices in certain individual freedoms must be made for the safety of the country and to fight terrorism.

In Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and other ASEAN countries, there are substantial economic growth and they should start to recognize, respect and appreciate the Human Rights of all their citizens. They should give more lactitute to the individual freedom, justice and equality of their citizens. These are the Universal Values but the ASEAN Governments just labelled and smoke-screened them as “Western Values” just to scared off their citizens’ desires to adopt them.

And some of them resurrect the colonial masters as bogyman to silence the dissidents. They also use the threat of Communists, danger of assimilating into another race and religion to arouse the ultra nationalist spirit. They would not think twice to create the racial or religious conflicts or riots so that they could continue to strengthen their grip of power.

 According to “Western Values”:

  • The fight is no longer over who gets what economically
  • and who dominates who culturally;
  • but over the value systems for rights of the individual; beyond race, creed, colour, origin and religion.

But when we look at Sr General Than Shwe’s SPDC Junta_

  • they are valueless according to “Western Values”
  • or Universal Values.
  • They even do not have “ASIAN VALUES” as they could not fulfil the biological needs of food, shelter and security for all the citizens of Myanmar.
  • They have NO BUDDHIST VALUE, although they are Buddhists. They rob the country from the people and NLD. They are killing, jailing and torturing innocent people and committing rape etc. against the Buddha’s teaching.
  • The SPDC Generals even do not have the MILITARY VALUE according to the
    • International Standard
    • or even the TATMADAW VALUE according to General Aung San’s standard.
  • SPDC Generals also could be labelled as people with no FAMILY VALUES because_
    • Senior General Than Shwe’s children are becoming second illegal wives
    • and Daw Kyaing Kyaing’s marriage to Lu Min although both of them are legally still married to their spouses.
  • So even if we gauge the SPDC Generals with_
    • the pirate’s concept (I would explain below)
    • and Pagan era customs , (I would explain below)
    • nowadays SPDC Government has no value and is an ILLEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT.

     The Alexandria The Great was retorted by the pirate that_

  • was labelled a pirate because he only had a small ship,
  • but as The Alexandria The Great was called the King because he got a fleet of ship and plunder the world.

During the ancient time those KING KILLERS who killed the king became king. Now the world had changed and the Myanmar Citizens, International Governments and UN usually do not regarded those KILLERS like Killer Than Shwe.

Sr General Than Shwe’s successful silencing of the recent uprising by the arrest, torture and killing of the peaceful demonstrators, monks and Japanese Journalist could not legalize his ILLEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT.

San Oo Aung, Dr. 


May Ng said _

Dear Dr. San Oo Aung, I loved your SPDC’s ill political value article in the previous issue. Thanks for writing, to you and to all the Burma Digest family.

Customary Etiquette of Myanmar Rulers

Student group’s reminder to SPDC Junta

to follow the Myanmar’s traditional

Customary Etiquette of Rulers