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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/23/09

The Junta is Going for 'Utter Devastation'

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Message Zaw Nay Aung
Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been facing trial and likely to be sentenced for up to five years imprisonment in the ground of breaking her house arrest terms.  However, most people believe that the regime luckily found the pretext of an American man who swam across the Inya Lake to Aung San Suu Kyi's lakeside villa to lock her up  another five years , either in Insein prison or house arrest. This brutal and inhumane act by the regime revealed their genuine nature of killing the spirit of revolution for freedom, rights and justice in Burma.

The whole world should be crystal clear by this disgraceful action of whether the military regime is going along their phoney "road map to democracy."  In fact, the regime is going on the way of "utter devastation" rather than coming back to the "dialogue" which was initiated by Aung San Suu Kyi and supported by the international community. By looking at this cruel tactic by the junta, the regime seems to be determined to wipe out all the opposition forces before 2010 election.

All the key figures who can lead the people out of fear to claim their entitlement for freedom and democracy has been locked up by now. Aung San Suu Kyi, the 88 Generation Students and younger generation activists has been kept away while exiled polity could not get out of the circle of international lobbying,  which did not come to complete fruition over the years. If the international community could not take any effective actions from now on, the regime would not slow their pace on complete devastation of Burma's freedom and justice.

It is time for collective action by the whole world to stop such  ground-breaking violations and oppression of Burma's junta. It is time to judge the credibility and accountability of the international community, including United Nations and supranational bodies like the European Union and ASEAN. Burma and pro-democracy campaigners received more than enough of moral support and prestigious awards towards the struggle for democracy--but no significant practical action which could turn a new page in democratisation of Burma has arrived yet. Burma has been the victim of East and West policy labs where the junta escaped Western sanctions and secured business deals in the neighbourhood. Neither sanctions nor engagement worked, but the parties introducing these measures never thought of joining together and applying one policy at a time. Burma's junta needs to be faced with severe punishment for its atrocities by the international community through unanimous and unified actions. At this critical time, the world body, United Nations, should apply its effective conflict prevention before Burma faces unnecessary bloodshed.

Incarcerating Aung San Suu Kyi awoke the spirit of Burmese people to prepare and participate in their last battle for democracy. On the other hand, the regime will not give an inch as they have never restrained from mass killings and imprisonment.  This vicious circle of killing and being killed in Burma's struggle for democracy needs to be stopped by the whole world. Denouncing and issuing statements on junta's brutality will not stop them from committing such crimes against humanity. No matter how the global protests were staged, the media coverage on Burma will fade away sooner or later. However, the killings mounted, tortures and harassments never cease, and oppression against pro-democracy activists have been so luring for the junta over the years.

The people fighting against the dictatorship carry on their struggle from generation to generation. Although the so-called exiles could not yield any significant progress in democratisation of Burma, people inside Burma have expressed their love for freedom at the edges of bayonets, under the strikes of batons and bullets passing through their bodies. As the regime showed their true intention to root out the spirit of freedom after putting Aung San Suu Kyi on trial, people of Burma will not stay in complete silence. Everybody is outraged, disgusted and people are going to respond enormously through all the means accessible to them. 

The junta has chosen to go for "utter devastation" of the people and country for their rule to eternity. The people will also transform these challenges by strength and force in order to counter the oppression--and fight to their last breath. Bloodshed will  ensue.

It is  time the United Nations and global society intervene to save Burma from utter devastation.
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Zaw Nay Aung is director of London-based human rights advocacy and think tank, Burma Independence Advocates.
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