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/* posted 12 Jan 6:00am 1995 by DRUNOO@xxxxxxxxxxxx on igc:soc.culture.burma  */
/* --------------" HRSUB: OVERSEAS BURMA LIBERATION FRONT "----------------- */

[Subject:  To inquire into and report on the human rights situation
and lack of progress towards democracy  in  Myanmar(Burma)  by  the
Human Rights Sub-Committee of the parliament of Australia.
        Submissions made to this enquiry   by  various  people  and
organisations are re-posted here.-- U Ne Oo]


15A, 2 Beattie Street, NSW 2041, Australia.

26 April 1995.

Ms Margaret Swieringa
Human Rights Sub-Committee
Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs,
Defence and Trade
Parliament House

Dear Ms Swieringa,

I  enclosed  following material to be included with our submissions to your
Committee, on its enquiry regarding "human rights and the lack of  progress
towards democracy in Burma".



Yours faithfully,
Sd. Philip E.Smyth.

The   recent   developments   in  Burma,  that  are  now  leading  to  dire
consequences, are  a  major  causes  of  concern  to  all  those  who  seek
everlasting peace, and prosperity in Burma.

We,  on  behalf  of  the  silenced  and oppressed people of burma, urgently
request the  assistance  and  the  indulgence  of  the  Australian  Federal
government and the Federal Members of Parliement, by using Australia's Good
offices  to  strongly  urge  the  United  Nations, especially the Secretary
General of the United Nations Dr. Boutros Boutros Ghali, to take additional
firm and active measures aganist the ruling military junta, in the  current
proces of seeking to urgently resolve the catastrophic crisis in Burma.

The  reasons for urgently seeking Australia's assistance and indulgence, in
strongly urging the UN Secretary General to act in this manner, stems  from
our  fear  and  concern that, the steps now being taken by the ruling State
Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), to secure power unto itself well
into the future, either deliverat3ly or through its stupieity or ignorance,
amy  result  in  grave  consequences  for  the  people  of  burma,  thereby
permaently  denying  them  their  aspirations  for  everlasting  peace  and
prosperity. Some of the developments that are of grave concern to  us,  and
the silenced and oppressed people of burma, are highlighted as follows:-


It  is  now  accepted  that,  SLORC  in  attacking Manerplaw has introduced
religion, as a weapon in its strategy against the armed opposition  groups,
and  has created religious tensions amongst the secular Burmese  community,
to justify its cruel acts. The SLORC janta's propaganda machinery,  is  now
blending  an  anti-Christian  theme into its usual anti-Western propaganda,
and this new potent propaganda mixture is being  widely  spread  throughout
the  nation - and polluting the minds of the ill-informed people. SLORC, in
seeking to crush its opponents, has used Buddhism, the religion  of  mercy,
forgiveness  and tolerance - as a political weapon, without considering the
effects of its creation of  religious  fanaticism  in  Burmese  society.  A
society   that   has  always  maintained  religious  harmony  and  peaceful

The Order of the Sanghas - the Buddhist clergy, and that of  the  Christian
Clergy,  have  all been cowered into submission, and silenced by the junta.
Various religious organisations and associations, are now totally under the
tight control  of  the  military  intelligence.  According  to  a  recently
monitored  news  broadcast from the junta- controlled radio stationas, even
the executive committee of an insignificant Buddhist welfare association in
Pakoku, a town situated at the  junction  of  the  Irrawaddy  and  chindwin
rivers in central burma - has not been spared. The local army commander was
appointed chairman, and othe rarmy personnel taking up positions of members
of the committee. Although SLORC has loudly declared itself the guardian of
Buddhism,  it  shows no signs of tolerance for the preaching of the Buddha,
that disapproves of its  evil  deeds  -  and  in  this  manner  it  has  no
hesitation,  in  banning one's freedom to exercise such religious rites and

Besides using  religion  as  a  political  weapon,  SLORC  has  abused  and
exploited,  the  genuine  efforts  of  both  the Christian and the Buddhist
religious leaders, who have in good faith, acted as honest mediator between
SLORC and Aung San Suu Kyi. The Reverend U Revitta Dhamma,  the  Birmingham
in  the  United  Kingdom, has perservered for a successful dialogue between
SLORC and Aung San Suu Kyi, but SLORC, with no real intention of  searching
ofr  any successful outcome, abused these meetings, by only using them as a
photo-opportuinty, to deceive the outside world by its sham indications of,
flexibility and tolerance. Recently, the Reverend  Rivitta  Dhamma  quietly
returned  to  Bhimingham,  without  disclosing  the  events surrounding his
latest trip to Burma. Sources, close to the Reverend has reported  that  he
had  been  bribed  by  SLORC,  to  persuade Aung San Suu Kyi to abandon her
struggle, and this act of SLORC's unholiness and betrayal, has infuriated -
and caused grievances and frustration to the Reverend.

Similarly,  the  Anglican  Arch-Bishop Andrew Mya Han has also suffered the
same fate, whilst acting in good faith as an honest mediator between  SLORC
and  the  Karen  National  Union (KNU). At a time when the Buddhist and the
Christian  clergy,  were  trying  their  utmost  to  clear   up   religious
misunderstanding,  and  to  ease  religious  tentions,  SLORC  continued to
inflame the situation to  its  advantage.  This  has  been  proven  by  the
kidnapping  of U Ba Nyunt on the 1 March 1995 - a KNU high ranking Buddhist
official, who had been residing in a Thai refugee camp. He was  taken  back
to  Burma  at  gun-point  by  SLORC's soldiers, disguised as Karen Buddhist
defectors. The kidnapping of U Ba  Nyunt,  can  only  be  seen  as  SLORC's
desperate attempt to invigorate the junta-created Democratic Karen Buddhist
Organisation (DKBO). The newly created DKBO was not gaining popular support
among  the  Buddhist  Karens,  due to its apparent lack of a credible Karen
Buddhist leader. This resulted in  SLORC  resorting  to  this  cross-border
kidnapping  operation  -  even  to  the  extent of sacrificing its friendly
relationship with Thailand.

SLORC's creation of religious tention in the Eastern Karen  State,  is  not
isolated,  as  it  has also created such similar tensions to its advantage,
amongst the Buddhist Arakanese and the Muslim  Rohingyas,  in  the  Western
Arakan   State.   Although   declaring  its  firm  commitment  to  national
reconciliation, SLORC is not desirous in  seeing  tow  different  religious
communities  co-exist,  in  a peaceful and a harmonius environment. What it
fears most is that, the Arakanese and Rohingyas from the  Burmese  side  of
the border, will receive aid and assistance from the bangladesh citizens of
Arakanese  origin,  and from the Bangladesh Muslim organisations. It cannot
be denied that, there  has  been  centuries-old  deeply  entrenched  racial
animosity  between  the two distinct communities. But, as the time went by,
the two communities buried their past animosity, and they have been  living
peacefully  and  harmoniously,  for more than a few decades. The Rohingyas,
joined hands with the native Arakanese , and demanded in  unison  democracy
and human rights during the 1988 uprising.

To  destroy  the  spirit  of  reconciliation  and  co-operation,  SLORC has
attempted to stir up the long discarded racial resentment of the Arakanese,
by ordering its troops to carry out atrocious acts against  the  Rohingyas,
with  the  sole  intention  of  gaining  the  strong  support of the native
Arakanese - during its natorious "DRAGON KING"  operation in 1990-1991. But
the junta's dreams were shattered, due to the political  awareness  of  the
Arakanese  and  the Rohingyas, and the efforts of the broad-minded clergies
of both religions, the respective leaders  of  both  communities,  and  the
local  politicians.  Failing to achieve its aim, SLORC in anger, rounded up
and  jailed prominent politicians and leaders of both communities, and some
have been tortured to death.

To many outsiders, the Rohingyas exodus appears  to  have  diminished,  but
according  to  information  slowly  seeping out of the remote Arakan State,
SLORC  is  again  inciting  racial  hatred  and  resentment,  and  creating
religious  tensions.  The news of recent incidents, such as the throwing of
fire-bombs into mosques, and the disruption of religious festivals,  subtly
by  unkinwn  vigilante  groups,  and  the  forced  relocation  of  Rohingya
villages, are now being received. Both the Arkanese  and  Rohingyas  firmly
believed that, the dreaded military intelligence and their accomplices, are
secretely  operating  as  vigilante groups, to create religious tensions in
the Arakan State.

Today, the world is encountering religious fanaticism and  governments  are
endeavouring  to  contain  the  flames of fanaticism from spreading. But in
Burma, SLORC is creating  and  exploiting  religious  faniticism,  to  gain
short-term  political benifits, without seriously considering the long-term
impact of fanaticism upon Burmese society - and in the region.


We are all aware that, in this years dry season offensive against the Karen
National UNion (KNU) and its coalition forces, SLORC'S troops have shown no
respect for the sovereignty of  its  neighbour,  and  for  the  established
boundary  laws. Hundreds of shells have landed on Thai territory. Also from
inside Thai territory, rice donated by aid agencies  have  been  looted  by
SLORC's  troops,  and fleeing Karen refugees have been ambushed and killed.
The kidnapping of Karen activists from  refugee  camps,  deep  inside  Thai
territory  continues to taken place. All these atrocious acts, committed by
SLORC's troops inside Thai territory,  have  been  well  documented.  After
numerous  intrusions  by  Burmese  troops  onto  Thai  territory,  the Thai
Government, in losing its patience has  finally  protested  to  SLORC,  and
SLORC's  Secretary (2) and Vice Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Tin Oo on a recent
visit to Thailand, has officially apologised for  these  breaches.  SLORC's
blatant  disrespect  of  common borders, is unlimited and continues to this

Along the North-Western part  of  the  Indo-Burma  border,  a  cross-border
skirmish occurred in the last week of January of this year. It started when
Major  Kyi  Win  from  the  border town garrison of Tammu, and his soldiers
crossed into Indian territory,  to  confiscate  teak  logs  that  had  been
purchased by merchants , who had not paid bribes to the garrison commander.
Indian  border  security  forces rounded up and captured the intruders, and
they were released after being interrogated for twnety four hours.  Bribery
and  coruption  is  rampant  in the remote border areas, and according to a
recent report, a shoot-out occurred between  disgruntled  soldiers  of  the
50th  Light  Infantry  Regiment,  stationed at Saya San village in the same
Tammu township - over not receiving their share of  the  bribes.  At  least
four  soldiers  are  said  to have died , and eleven fled across the border
into India wiht their arms and ammunition , and later  surrendered  to  the
Indian authorities.

Indian  securit  officials  have  openly  blamed  SLORC, for the escalating
unrest and the violence in the Nagaland areas. It is  an  open-secret  that
Naga separatist grous are being supported with arms, ammunition and finance
from  the  Beijing  Government, with SLORC's assistance. The accusations of
SLORC's complexity in the Nagaland rebellion is well  founded,  as  Burmese
dissidents  groups  operation  in  the NOrth-West Frontier region, have for
some time been documenting Chinese and SLORC's  covert  operations  in  the
area.  This  is  also  a  clear  indiaction  that the junta is now actively
promoting unrest and instability, in neighbouring countries.

The incidents mentioned above,  also  indicate  that  local  area  military
commanders  act as regional warlords, with absolute power to reign in their
areas of command. SLORC's Foreign Minister, U  Ohn  Gyaw,  in  his  written
reply  to the UN Special Rapporteur, Professor Yozo Yokota, referred to the
1959 Burma Armed forces Act. Unfortunately, this Act never been invoked  by
SLORC,  as  not  a  single  member  of the armed forces has been tried by a
military tribunal, and punished or disciplined for human  rights  or  other
abuses, eventhough compelling evidence exisits against members of the armed
forces  for  their  illegal  detention,  torture,  summary execution, rape,
pillage, etc. of innocent citizens.

The Illicit drug trade, involving the production  and  the  trafficking  of
heroin,  is  one  of  the  abhorrent  results  of  the rise of the regional
warlordism.  Nowadays  in  Burma,  unestablished  byt  highly  successfully
business  practices are firmly entrenched. Whoever renders a bribe ( a term
now substituted locally as a "contribution for protection")  to  the  local
and  regional  authorities,  secures  the  person  or  persons the absolute
freedom to undertake any form of business enterprise, even to the extent of
actively participating in the illicit  drug  trade.  It  is  evident  that,
although  SLORC  has  been staging "drug-burning shows", it has neither the
intention to wipe-out the drug trade, nor does it  intend  controlling  and
disciplining  its  regional  warlords.  Coupl,ed with the drug trade, money
laundering is also booming in Burma.  This  has  been  a  source  of  great
concern  for  the  international  financial  community,  as  Burma  is  now
establishing itself as the haven for regional drug dealers and drug barons.
It is no secret,  that  almost  all  provate  construction  and  investment
"booms",  as well as the exorbitant real estate purchases, are being fulled
by drug money pouring into major Burmese cities. Over the past six years of
SLORC's rule, abrupt and dramatic changes  in  Burmese  society,  has  been
witnessed  by  the  native  Burmese.  Powerful and wealthy army commanders,
their subordinates, their cronies, and the "nouveaux  rich"  newly  arrived
non-assimilated  illegal  Chinese  immigrants, are now Burma's new class of
elites.  Whereas,  the  majority  of  the  native  Burmese  are  now  being
categorised as the new have-nots.

The  huge  difference  between  the  haves  and the have-nots, with the gap
widening every day, is creating a new form of class struggle (devoid of the
guidance of Marxism and Lennism)  being  directed,  not  only  against  the
military   dictators,  but  also  against  those  who  are  supporting  and
benefiting from the dictatorial rule, i.e. the  Chinese.  There  is  now  a
strong  anti-Chinese  sentiment  in  Burma,  and  that  the product of such
resentment, has been sighted in locally issued publications and  plays,  in
spite  of  SLORC's  tight  censorship.  The anti-Chinese resentment, is now
becoming a topic of common  interest  for  discussion  amongst  the  native

The  above  mentioned  socio-economic  impact  on  Burmese  society, is the
results of SLORC's bogus "open-door"  and  "free-market"  economic  policy,
which  totally ignores the nations political problems, and fails to address
the equal distribution of  wealth  and  opportunities  amongst  the  native
Burmese. SLORC's bogus economic policy, only encourages those who can offer
bribes  and  kick-backs.  Sooner  or  later,  the  resentment of the native
Burmese will eventually lead to public outrage, and  ugly  race-riots.  But
until  now,  SLORC  shows  no  sign of interest, nor is it prepared to even
attempt to defuse the  situation.  Instead,  it  has  granted  the  Chinese
nouveaux  rich  the  license  to  carry  arms, and permission to form armed
protection groups. The stupidity of the junta,  in  its  bias  towards  the
Chinese,  has inflamed the resentment, and further aggravates the explosive

Warlordism, drug trade, money laundering and  the  anti-Chinese  sentiment,
will  eventually  lead  to  native  Burmese outrage, race-riots, infighting
among  the  army,  loss  of  innocent  people's  lives,  and  finally   the
instability of the nation - as well as the region.


We  are  all aware of SLORC's successive condemnation by the United Nations
General Assembly, for not honouring the 1990 General Election result, which
commenced from 1991. The only attempt, made by the  junta  to  appease  the
United  Nations  in  this  regard,  was  the  holding  of the sham national
convention at the beginning of 1993. The focus continued discontent, is one
of the  guidelines  prescribed  by  tyhe  junta  on  the  drafting  of  its
constitution  -  the  participation  of  the  armed  forces in the national
political leadership role of the future State. More frictions have occurred
at the convention, after the junta disclosed its pre-written  constitution,
which contained statements granting the chief of staff of the armed forces,
the legal rights of declaring a state of emergency, and the right to demand
25%  of  the  seats  in  each  of  the Upper and Lower House of Parliament,
without the need  to  contest  and  election.  Many  democratic  opposition
politicians,  together  with  the ethnic opposition politicians and trivial
leaders, angrily protested and voiced  their  disapproval  of  the  junta's
draft  constitution.  The  juntal  responded  by  silencing their voices of
dissent, with the arrests of some of the delegates under false accusations,
and  the  harassment  of  the  rest  of  the   dissident   delegates.   The
inflexibility  of  SLORC  , has caused some frustrated delegates to abandon
the convention, and flee to the liberated areas.

U Ohn Gyaw, SLORC's mouth-piece, has boasted at  the  UN  General  Assembly
that  the  civil war in Burma had come to an end, because of the signing of
cease-fire accords with thirteen ethnic insurgent organisations.  But  what
he  failed  to  mention  is that, last year, eleven of those organisations,
which had signed  the  cease-fire  accords  with  SLORC,  have  all  become
disillusioned and formed the "Peace and Democracy Front (PDF)". Most of the
organisations  affiliated  with the PDF, are former Burma Communist Party's
allies, and  they  have  under  their  joint  control  well-equipped  armed
followers  in  the Shan State. Although the eleven organisations of the PDF
have sent representatives to the sham convention, the newly created PDF has
openly declared its disapproval and discontent, and demanded the release of
Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners - and political dialogue.  The
Kachin  Independence  Organisation  (KIO),  the  last to sign the ease-fire
accord, is now becoming increasingly frustrated and disillusioned, with the
dishonesty and insincerity of SLORC.

The main cause of the decades-old civil war in Burma, was the denial of the
ethnic nationalities rights of self-determination.  Successive  governments
have  ignored  and failed to address theis problem seriously, and it can be
stated  that  the  main  perpetrator  were  the  two  unitary  systems   of
government, set up under the constitutions of 1947 and 1974. The democratic
opposition  parties, including the National League for Democracy (NLD), and
the armed ethnic opposition organasations, have all finally agreed upon the
resolution that - only a genuine federal system of constitution, can  bring
the  civil  war  to  an  end, and achieve ever-lasting peace and harmony in
Burma. The principles for the establishment of genuine Federal Union, which
guarantee the rights of self-determination of the ethnic nationalities, was
endorsed by Aung San Suu Kyi at a meeting before her house arrest on the 15
JUly 1989. This meeting  was  attended  the  executive  members  of  United
Nationalities League for Democracy (UNLD) and National League for Democracy
(NLD)  parties, and she urged the attending members to initiate the process
of drafting the principles for the establishment  of  a  future  system  of
government. The democratic opposition organisations, including the majority
Burmese  and  other ethnic groups, have drawn up a new Federal constitution
of Burma, and it has the seals of approval of all political parties,  at  a
conference held at Manerplaw in October 1994.

SLORC's sole interest is in the signing of cease-fire accords, and it shows
no  interest  in  the  issues  of self-determination. Whenever the issue of
self-determination is raised, SLORC's  convenient  reply  is  to  urge  the
parties  attendance  at its sham convention - to discuss the matter at such
convention. The whole nation is aware of the insincerity and dishonesty  of
the  ruling  junta,  and  of  its  intention to monopolise the power of the
State, to prolong the reign of its despotic rule.  The  aspiration  of  the
entire  nation  and of its people, is to end the civil war, and establish a
Democratic Federal system of government. All  the  opposition  groups  have
fulfilled  the  aspiration  of the nation, by the drafting of a new federal
constitution, and in a favourable situation they  are  ready  to  seek  the
approval of the people, to such a constitution.

A  resolution  of  the  forty-ninth  session  of the United Nations General
Assembly, contained a statement that it welcomed the meeting between  SLORC
and  Aung  San  Suu  Kyi. The deception of SLORC has not even lasted a full
year, because the statement of Aung San Suu Kyi, (recently taken out by her
husband) refers to no new developments and she urges the oppositions not to
give up the struggle. The two meetings were  nothing  more  than  a  public
relation stunt by SLORC. After the fall of Manerplaw, anti-Aung San Suu Kyi
pamphlets  were circulated in Rangoon. Diplomatic circles and the public in
Rangoon have accused Khin NYunt and his military intelligence, of  secretly
operating  a  dirty  campaign, to discredit Aung San Suu Kyi by circulating
these pamphlets. This is again concrete  proof  that,  although  SLORC  had
publicly welcomed serious dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi, and even regarded
her  as  a  sister,  it  had no genuine intention of releasing her, and was
prepared to play along with this sham - to prevent her  from  participating
in any role in national politics.


Year  after  Year,  the United Nations General Assembly has made resolution
after resolution, denouncing and deploring the actions of SLORC, but  SLORC
instead  of  adhering  to  such  reforms, has blatantly committed even more
human rights violations - in blatant  contempt  of  these  resolutions.  It
publicly  expresses  contempt for the International Community, and shown no
signs of flexibility and tolerance. It is now implicated in the drug trade,
money laundering, and sows religious fanatism,  including  instability  and
unrest  in neighbouring countries - all of which has seriously effected the
stability of Burma, and in time effect the region.

We believe that the situation in Burma should not be permitted to continue,
and that it is now time for the United Nations to takes steps to implement,
new tough and firm measures in its engagement with SLORC, to once  and  for
all put an end to further blood-shed, and suffering of the Burmese people.

We  believe  that  it  is now incumbent upon the United Nations, to restore
human rights and democracy in Burma, by initiating the following  measures,
and in respect of which we urgently seek Australia's assistance:-

(1)  The  initiation  of  a  resolution in the General Assembly, to declare
Burma's seat vacant.

(2) The calling for Burma's least Developed  Country  (LDC)  status  to  be

(3)  The calling for the UNited Nations General Assembly to instruct the UN
agencies to cease all operations in Burma.

(4) The calling for a United Nations trade and arms embargo against Burma;

(5) The initiating of appropriate action in  the  UNited  Nations  Security
Council against the SLORC regime.

12 March, 1995.