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Burma Heading Towards the Worst
by Rohingya Human Rights
2008-02-11 10:10:54
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Burma's national icon of democracy, peace and liberty, Daw Aung San Suu Kyie has cautioned the people of Burma to prepare for the worst, during a rare meeting with the members of her party, the National League for Democracy on Jan 30.2008, after she was allowed a rare respite from house arrest. She criticized the series of meetings she has held with the military junta's Liaison Minister, Aung Kyi for failing to yield any tangible result towards the achievement of any political reform. So, it is clear that Burma is heading to witness another grim showbiz of blood-bath which may be the worst in the history of Burma, if the military rulers stick to their hardline stance to grind the hopes of the people of Burma under their despotic wheel and thus to defy the international outcry to restore peace and democracy in Burma.

During the long 46 years of unbroken military rule since 1962, Burma has witnessed many episodes of brutalities and tyranny of the army who have always treated the guns as not for shooting upwards, but to shoot directly at those who raise their voice against the military rule.

On July 7.1962, the army has indiscriminately massacred more than 100 students of Rangoon University, wounded many others and arrested about 3000 students, simply because they raised their protest against some rules and regulations which were imposed upon them by the regime restricting their usual movement same as those in the military barracks, prohibiting students coming in or going out after 8 pm and signing the register book to ascertain that they were in. Such rules sent students to bed hungry because the dinner provided by the hall was served from 4.30 to 6.30 pm and supper was not provided by the hall and the students had to manage it according to their convenience.

However, in the morning of the 7th July 1962, the campus was surrounded by about 2000 soldiers. At first an exchange of abuses took place between the students and the soldiers. The soldiers were just waiting for the order to shoot. At dusk the order was given and the shooting began in no time which lasted about half an hour. The death toll of the students was 135 according to the students' source and 34 according to the govt announcement. After the shooting, the campus was cleared up, the dead and the wounded were carried away and at midnight the historic "Students Union Building" was dynamited and bulldozed. Everything was done swiftly and precisely. Next morning everything was normal and quiet. (Details in " Burma: Nationalism and Ideology", by Dr Shwe Lu Maung).

Similar grim showbiz was perpetrated by the military regime on 11 December 1974 , where hundreds of university students were brutally killed by the army following the tug-of-war over the siege of the body of U Thant, the Ex-Secretary General of the UN. U Thant was and still is regarded by the people of Burma as a most serene and brightest son of Burma. However, the students were massacred because they wanted to put the body of U Thant to final rest in an honorable site which would stand for the people of Burma as the milestone of glory and pride. But Gen. Ne Win wanted to bury the body in a common cemetery of "Kyandaw" where the body of notorious Khine May Than (Ne Win's first legal wife) was buried.

Thus, there arose a tense situation centering the siege of the body. At this critical situation, once the students seizing the body buried it in the ground of the Students Union Building of Rangoon University on 10th December 1974. But next morning at about 5 am, the army entered the campus using tanks. The Chancellor Gate was first bulldozed off. The army began arresting everybody on the way and herded them off in the military trucks. When the soldiers started digging for the body, students began to march onward to stop them. Then began indiscriminate shooting. When the body was raised, there was a tug-of-war over the body.

All those students who rushed onwards to snatch the body of U Thant, were shot dead. A popular high school girl student, Khin Khin Myint (?), was one of those who clung on to the coffin of U Thant. First the soldiers began to kick her down to depart her from the coffin, later seeing that she was not leaving the coffin off, the soldiers shot her down. Thus, the UN flag with which the body of U Thant was wrapped, was drenched with the blood of the students.

During the great Pro-Democracy Uprising of 1988 which is known as "8888 Uprising" and is regarded as a national revolution in Burma, over 3,000 democracy-seeking civilians including students, monks, government employees, workers, farmers, traders and even housewives, were brutally killed and thousands of others have been either maimed or imprisoned without any trial.

During the recent anti-military protest known as "Saffron Revolution", the world has awfully witnessed how brutally the army can quash the peaceful demonstrations led by the revered Monks. It was the biggest anti-junta protests for nearly 20 years. During this anti-military protests tens of thousands of the people took to the streets with the monks leading the demonstrations, wearing deep maroon robes, where over one hundred peaceful demonstrators including monks, students and the public were killed and thousands of others were arrested.

There is no denying the fact that the words of frustration of Daw Aung San Suu Kyie came out due to the lack of any progress at the current pace of her talks with the military junta's Liaison Minister for political reforms in Burma, because the military regime has no interest to listen to what the people of Burma want or to what the international community says.

However, It is no more difficult to understand that Professor Ibrahim Gambari who has been appointed by the UN Chief as an special envoy to Burma to assist "in the process of national reconciliation through dialogue", has already been bracketed by the military rulers and there is no more way for him to play an effective role in the process of democratization of Burma.

It is nothing unusual that the army who have enjoyed the taste of absolute power in celestial delight for nearly half a century, can not give it up so easily. They will stick to their position at any cost, no matter for them what amount of bloods are spilled on the streets of Burma or what amount of tears are rolling down the cheeks of the groaning people of Burma. But the point which seriously frustrates the international peace loving community is that the Security Council of the UN, which is believed to be the custodian of the world peace, has failed to adopt an unanimous resolution to compel the junta to bow their head to the international pressure, due to stiff resistance from veto-wielding council members China and Russia, except showing some face-saving episodes .

Nevertheless, the people of Burma have demonstrated many times in the past that they have the courage to stare at the eye of death and to move onward under the shower of bullets and the flash of machine guns, no matter whether they are bruised or bleeding or racked with thirst. They did not wait to see whether the UNSC can move or whether the ASEAN can give up their soft stance on Burma in line with its general policy of non-interference in domestic affairs (?) of Burma.

The people of Burma have never given up their struggle of defying the military rulers in whatever means they could avail. They have been resorting to hit-and-run protests in different parts of the country including Rangoon. They are posting posters calling for the release of all political prisoners, Buddhist monks and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. They are raising their voice through all available means against the despotic regime, be that music or short story or internet or any other literary works. Now, it is clear that the people of Burma will not wait to see whether Mr Gambari can bring any tangible result or whether his travel to a number of countries including Burma's neighboring country like India can make any difference. They also will not wait to see whether there will be any progress in the efforts of Mr. Peiro Fassino, the European Special Envoy for Burma, who has been continuously taking initiatives and seeking cooperation from China, India, ASEAN countries and Japan.

Now, it is time for the international community to see what notch of the worst episodes is going to be added in the scale of brutalities of the Burmese military rulers.#


Ahmedur Rahman Farooq

Chairman, The Council for Restoration of Democracy in Burma (CRDB) and a member of The Union of Rohingya Communities in Europe (URCE).

Address: 2975, Vang i Valdres, Norway . Media Contact:+4797413036
Email: rahman567@yahoo.com, rohingyascrdbinfo@gmail.com

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Get it off your chest
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A. Rahman Farooq2008-02-27 17:42:17
Ref: RHRC/B10/2008
Dated: Feb 10.2008

Change of Name:

With a view to further specify our political activities with our ethnic identity "Rohingya", the name of our existing organization,"The Council for Restoration of Democracy in Burma(CRDB)" has been changed into "Rohingya Human Rights Council(RHRC)" with unanimous decision. But our organizational structures as well as our objectives for the restoration of democracy in Burma, restoration of human rights of Rohingyas and restoration of Communal Harmony among all communities of Arakan particularly the Rohingyas and Rakhines, will remain unchanged. An online journal by name of "Rohingya Human Rights Review" will serve as the mouthpiece of our organization.

With thanks and best regards.

A. Rahman Farooq
Rohingya Human Rights Council (RHRC)
Address: 2975 Vang i Valdres, Norway
Contact: +4797413036
Email: rohingyas.rhrc@yahoo.com, rohingyas.rhrc@gmail.com

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