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Burma needs practical agenda ahead of sham elections

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During the 1990 election, the political parties enjoyed a three-month campaign period. It is likely to be certain that the upcoming election campaign period will be much shorter. However, the junta-backed USDP will carry on campaigning openly, while other parties have to follow the EC's restriction seeking permission for official campaign assembly. The junta has not declared an election date. So far, out of 45 new political parties 39 have been approved by the Election Commission and five existing parties have re-registered to contest in the coming elections.

The unreasonable campaign period for other political parties will be just an additional example of an unproductive election process that many international governments have already condemned as unfair and undemocratic. Threats against civilians by USDA officials are also said that communicating with opposition parties will result in their occupations being ruined.

In June, the Election Commission has appointed USDA members to guard ballot boxes during the elections, scheduled for later this year, further calling into question the integrity of the polls. The EC head, Thein Soe, pronounced earlier that international monitors would not be allowed to observe the elections.

In such a gloomy atmosphere, India's red-carpet welcome of bloodthirsty-dictator Than Shwe undoubtedly points toward that regardless of how inhumanely his military regime handle the poll-procedure to ensure an end result of its favor, New Delhi looks like to honor the result of upcoming election in Burma. In brief, while wearing a crown of democracy, India is encouraging Burmese bloodstained ruler to commit more crime against humanity.

In addition, New Delhi has a burning desire to play an important role in the world body and lobbying for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. But, India allows the man whose hands stained with the blood of Buddhist-monks is visiting Bodh Gaya. Besides, he is the same villain who imprisoned Burma's Nobel Peace Prize winner and non-violent advocate Aung San Suu Kyi and keeping her on house arrest for the past 15 years. But New Delhi shamelessly accepts Than Shwe, who is paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi, the pioneer of non-violent. Seeing New Delhi's red carpet treatment to Than Shwe, Burmese people erase their memory of India's democratic past once and for all. So, India should not dream to be a permanent member of the UNSC.

While neighboring countries are supporting the Burmese military regime so as to exploit economic benefits, Burmese people are living in a poverty trap in the ASEAN region. Although the world is entering into the age of dialogue, the international community, including the UN, EU, ASEAN, China and India, ignores making a concerted-effort to start a dialogue in support of proper political change in Burma.

Sooner or later, the people of Burma have to reach breaking point. Before it happened, International Stakeholders should not allow the military regime to repeat a fallacious anti-dialogue policy that keeps the people of Burma in a state of hopeless atmosphere.

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Zin Linn was born on February 9, 1946 in a small town in Mandalay Division. He began writing poems in 1960 and received a B.A (Philosophy) in 1976. He became an activist in the High School Union after the students' massacre on 7th July 1962. (more...)

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