Contact: Roland Watson, firstname.lastname@example.org
ARE YOU READY TO ACT?
September 17, 2006
The situation in Burma, specifically the gross human rights violations committed by Than Shwe and his fellow generals, and the threat the SPDC poses to international security and peace, is now formally on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council. This is tremendous news. It puts Burma on the same level as North Korea, Iran, and the Sudan. Congratulations to all the people and organizations that have worked for many years to achieve this goal.
Thanks to the United States Government for its moral leadership on the issue of Burma, and for persevering to negotiate the support required from other Security Council member states.
It is notable that Japan voted for the agenda item inclusion. When put to a public vote, it would not back a regime guilty of the types of atrocities that it itself committed in World War II.
China of course led the opposition. Everyone should protest China, and boycott goods made in the country and also the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Ask any Chinese nationals that you meet, in any part of the world, why their government backs such a despicable gang of criminals. (China was one of Japans victims. Why are SPDC crimes acceptable by the Chinese leaders, when Japanese crimes are not? This position is hypocritical.)
The next step is Security Council action. This too will likely take some time to organize, although the U.S. reportedly has drafted a resolution. This should not be a general resolution. When an SPDC thug tortures a political prisoner until he or she goes insane or dies, this is a specific act. When Tatmadaw soldiers gang rape an ethnic minority woman, this is also a specific act. So too is the mass murder of Shan, Karenni, Karen and other ethnic villagers. There have been countless such acts, and they demand a specific response: precise steps to immediately bring these crimes against humanity to an end.
The most obvious steps include:
- Imposition of an international arms embargo.
- A formal investigation of whether the SPDC is committing genocide in Eastern Burma.
- The organization of an international peacekeeping force for Eastern Burma.
- Expulsion of Burma from the United Nations General Assembly until such time as the democratically elected government is able to take office.
The people of Burma must also find a way to respond, publicly, to the news. There must be strong pressure for change from both inside and outside the country. Now is the time to show that you yearn for freedom, and that you will settle for nothing less that the end of the military junta and the establishment of a true democracy.
Inside Burma, many people adhere to a policy of non-violence. However, it is important to emphasize that non-violence is not the same as non-action. There must be action. You must make your voices heard. The Security Council is waiting for your response. Do you truly want freedom, now?
If you, personally, are unable or unwilling to act, for whatever reason, please do not block others who are ready to go.