Burma Times: Kyaw Moe- 25 July 2015
Cylcone Nargis spread considerable death and damage in Burma’s largest city, Rangoon, and all but wiped out the Irrawaddy Delta. Burmese military junta did not provide advance warning to the people living in Nargis’ path, and took no steps to protect them and refused to let international relief workers enter the country. The international community is outraged by the junta’s inhumanity.
And as horrible as that campaign has been to date, the SPDC quickly moved to finalize the 2008 sham constitution with its hand-picked delegates had been drafting for more than a decade. The 2008 constitution mocked the democratic principles that it purported to espouse. The constitution permanently entrenched the military in every facet and department of a governmental structure.
The military junta smugly proclaims that the constitution will only be adopted if at least 50% of the Burmese citizens participate in the referendum. Of course, in so doing, the junta ignores the fact – and most of the world has not appreciated – that the generals also proclaimed that a failure to participate in the referendum is a punishable crime.
The military government knows that their continued existence and power is derived from the sponsorship of a few powerful foreign governments and corporations that provide them with the weapons and the resources to kill and torture. They know that their long-term survival depends on their ability to maintain relations with foreign sponsors, both governmental and corporate.
Through a rigged referendum conducted in the absence of international witnesses, they are quickly moving to adopt a 2008 sham constitution to create an illusion of legitimacy. Several countries have condemned the junta’s constitution and referendum as a sham. . Now, however, the burning question is whether the world will let the junta profit from its fraudulent scheme.
The consequences of doing nothing this time have never been greater. After it rigs the referendum and declares the adoption of its constitution, the junta locked in its military repression and dare the world to stop it as it embarked on the final stage of its campaign to snuff out its opposition, by arresting, killing and forcing into exile Burma’s leaders of the democracy movement.
And with that, the flame of democracy itself will flicker perilously close to extinguishment. When the military junta announces the adoption of its 2008 constitution, time will then be on its side. Military junta participated in a national parliamentary election that, surprisingly, even it could not rig. As each day passes, they are yet another day closer to the end of their lives and another day further removed from the legitimacy.
It is a bitter irony, therefore, that the junta has not won the support of the people of Burma, but today is on the brink of cementing its hold over the country simply because the world has allowed it to wage a war of attrition where both guns and the passage of time are killing off the legitimately elected leaders of Burma. The time to revoke that license is long overdue.
Given the highly unusual and reprehensible circumstances that exist in Burma today, the international community can start converting its words to deeds by supporting NLD – the “right to protect” doctrine and provide direct humanitarian assistance to the victims of starving. Thein Sein government terrible record of atrocities against the people of Burma appropriately gives rise to accusations against it of crimes against humanity. These crimes not only affect the people of Burma, but also threaten to destabilize Southeast Asia and elsewhere.