Monday, October 5, 2009

Ostensible verdict against Aung San Suu Kyi

by Tint Swe

Mizzima News - If a ruling of a court is called a verdict, it has to be called a legal judgment and the judgment has to be made by a judge. So far it seems ostensibly fine with the verdict announced on October 2 in Rangoon. However a judge is not a judge and the law is not law at all in military ruled Burma. A judge has to read out the pre-written decision from higher authorities. The law is what comes out of the mouth of military officers.

When Aung San Suu Kyi’s appeal was rejected, no one was surprised. But the legal team of Daw Suu was disappointed because the legal argument read out by the divisional judge was contrary to the true sense of law. The court accepted the argument of non-existence of the 1974 constitution but referred to the 1975 provision which is based on that nullified 1974 constitution. The township level court’s decision of last month was said to be partly wrong according to the divisional court. But the divisional judge said it was partially right. So the legal system in Burma is partial and prejudiced.

The entire month before the news regarding Burma showed of different tones by allowing Americans to visit and meet two top leaders – one none-other-then the Senior General himself and one the icon of pro-democracy struggle Aung San Suu Kyi. The professional staff of the Congressmen met NLD representatives. The foreign minister was also allowed to visit from New York to Washington, DC and a minister met senior US officials from the State department. All followed by the release of an American intruder who was obviously guilty.

The guilt-ridden foreigner was freed and innocent citizen of the country were unjustly punished. The punishment for an innocent person is an additional example of the regime showing tolerance to foreigners while it is total fanaticism for the people of its own country. It was not in accordance with the law but purely a political decision.

Since General Ne Win who governed Burma for 26 years and gave birth of dictatorial rule by the Burmese Army was portrayed as a xenophobic. Now this regime becomes obsessive to foreigners and clinically it is termed as a bipolar disorder.

The substance or lesson from this episode is that underestimation of the true nature of the regime should not be repeated by the international community.

The rejection of appeal came about a couple of days after Aung San Suu Kyi wrote an important letter to the Senior General, the sole decision maker Than Shwe. Her letter was a request cum proposal on how to deal with western sanctions. The sanctions are what the junta desperately wanted to be lifted. In 2007, the General hinted that he could engage in dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi if she dropped calling for sanctions and abandoning confrontation. As a matter of fact Aung San Suu Kyi has been calling for national reconciliation. Now she officially and publically said she was serious about lifting the sanctions.

But the Rangoon divisional court was ordered to turn down the appeal. So it is evident that the regime wants neither sanctions nor Aung San Suu Kyi. Meanwhile the regime will float the sanction issue. But they will not make any serious change to be able to lift sanctions. As the section of the west is too theoretical rather than practical, the junta may collect some aid. However small, it is just fine for them. For the military rulers the assistance from World Bank, IMF and ADB are not real wants like the successful roadmap.

The United Nations, the Secretary General, the General Assembly, the Security Council continued annual routine calls for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi. Habitually Russia and China continued blocking the strong statements at the UN. The ASEAN bloc stepped back from letter writing campaign for her release.

The UN diplomats politely commented that the junta missed the opportunity to prove its commitment in holding inclusive elections next year. In fact, for generals, it was not regarded as opportunity but the hurdle to overcome as in a military training. They are also prepared to pass through all hurdles before 2010 election. As long as all veto powers at UNSC do not change their minds, as long as neighbours maintain controversial non-interference and if the oppressed people of Burma can’t flex its muscles though feeble, dictatorial control will remain as it is.

(The author Dr. Tint Swe is the elected Member of Parliament and the Information Minister of the exiled government National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma or NCGUB)

Burma Newscasts - Ostensible verdict against Aung San Suu Kyi
Monday, 05 October 2009 13:00

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