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China, Burma & Mr. George Fernande

Subject: China, Burma &  Mr. George Fernandez

Friends, We can all be thankfull that there is such a voice and man of
intergrity in this world as Mr George Fernandez, today's India Minister
of Defense, and stalwart defender of human rights and democracy. We all
know of his close support to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and as he is
a sincere and long-time supporter of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her fellow
persecuted democratic adherants of the free burma movement, it is to his
credit, and to India's credit as the largest democracy in the world, not
to bow to the type of hyper-hysteria and ridiculous buffoonery that
comes from Rangoon as often as Peking goes out of its way to obstruct
His Holiness the Dalai Lama's struggle for freedom in Tibet, for so long
repressed by the paymasters of the Rangoon general's economy and
billions of dollars of armaments. Yes, George Fernandez is known
throughout the world never to be bullied, not by Indira Gandhi, nor her
assassins. He is a man that the Rangoon junta might choose to follow, if
they were not so inept and dog-mindedly corrupt and anti-democratic.

> > > Now we can hear China's dog barking in Rangoon at its India neighbor
> > > below and west of its border. George Fernandez is not one ever to be
> > > duped or bought by such foolishness. We can all hear him laughing in New
> > > Delhi at the generals' rage, while their Chinese masters beat them on
> > > their brow. George Fernandez is an independent thinker and great
> > > democrat, if only the Rangoon junta would begin to learn from his
> > > example.
> > >
> > > dawn star
> > >
> > > Thin Thin Aung wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Burmese protest against George
> > > > By Rezaul H. Laskar
> > > > Asian Age, 6 February 1999
> > > >
> > > > New Delhi, Feb. 5:
> > > > Burma has officially protested to New Delhi against defence minister
> > > > George Fernandes's alleged support to dissident Burmese groups.

> > > > sources told The Asian Age that the protest was lodged during a
meeting of
> > > > senior home ministry officials of the two countries held in Burma in
> > > > mid-January. The Burmese side minced no words in expressing their
> > > > displeasure at Mr. Fernandes's support to dissident Burmese
students, with
> > > > the issue being listed as the first item on the agenda drawn up for
> > > > meeting by the Burmese authorities.
> > > >
> > > > During the discussions, the Burmese authorities claimed that the
> > > > defence minister had extended financial assistance to students who
> > > > "absconding" from Burma. The home ministry officials, after hearing
> > > > their Burmese counterparts, sought to explain that the defence
> > > > support to pro-democracy activists in Burma was a "personal
matter", the
> > > > sources said. Mr Fernandes was reportedly told at the "highest
levels" not
> > > > to publicly air his views on Burma and the country's military junta
> > > > following the development. "Rangoon has never sought to hide its
> > > > for the defence minister's support to Burmese dissidents, but the
> > > > Home ministry officials were taken aback by the prominence given to
> > > > matter during the meeting," the sources said.
> > > >
> > > > Mr Fernandes has often come out in open support for organizations and
> > > > groups opposed to the Burmese military junta and his official
residence at
> > > > 3, Krishna Menon Marg served as the headquarters for dissident
groups like
> > > > the All Burma Students League even before he became the defence
> > > > last year. Sections within the Union Home ministry and the armed
> > > > are in favour of fogging stronger links with the military regime in
> > > > for strategic reasons. They feel the military junta is too
> > > > to be dislodged by pro-democracy forces in the near future, and New
> > > > would stand to loose if it did not take steps to counter the growing
> > > > Chinese presence in Burma. Cooperation between the armies of the two
> > > > countries reached a high point during Golden Bird, a joint operation
> > > > conducted in 1995 against militants from various northeastern
groups while
> > > > they were trying to sneak into India from Burma.
> >
> > All this goes to say that no one oblivious to the increasing threatening
> > stance of the junta in its military, economic and defense dependance on
> > China. In addition to billions of dollars in military drug-funded sales
> > and credits, numerous reports in the world press over the past years
> > have cited that in addition to chinese equipment, and here lies the real
> > and important issue that Rangoon is ashamed and afraid to address,
> > china's military has assisted in the construction of naval bases and
> > radar installations on Burma's seacoast, and that Rangoon has granted
> > China naval access to Andaman sea ports. All the while, Beijing
> > obliquely dismisses Burma's role in its strategic design for military
> > access to the Indian Ocean, an issue very much on George Fernandez's

> > agenda, as well as the human rights violations and needs of the Burmese
> > exiles in their determined defense. And although China says it has no
> > intention of suddently thrusting its military influence there, military
> > experts say that Rangoon and Beijing have a different defintion of
> > stability in the region. All the more to be weary of Rangoon's allliance
> > with dictatorships at the expense of democracy, and now more than ever.
> Futhermore, do not forget that chinese weapons and chinese made
> helicopters are being used against burmese ethnic groups in a quid pro
> quo deal with Rangoon against its own people as they were used against
> the Karens three years ago pushing them out of strategic positions along
> the Thai border, and together with their proxy clients are directly
> responsible for the border refugee crisis today.
> In his lifetime George Fernandez has come a long way since the days of 
Bogyoke Aung San, Burma's independence and the leaders of modern
democratic India, Nehru and Mr. Fernandez's own political mentor JP
Narayan, who passed away some twenty years ago, but not before he saw
this rising star rise to the challenges of his times, still burning
brightly with the legacy of India's proud past qcross the threshold into
the next century.

Dawn Star