Wednesday, September 26, 2007

In Myanmar, impotence against a brutal regime

It is chilling and scary, and a re-run of similar such violations of people’s rights worldwide in our times, and in history. The shocking part of it is that the global community comes across as being as helpless as on most of the other occasions.

Myanmar security forces raided two Buddhist monasteries early Thursday, beating up and hauling away more than 70 monks after a day of violent confrontation with monk-led protesters left at least one dead, Buddhist clergy said, according to a report in the International Herald Tribune.

The army has begun a vicious crackdown against peaceful protesters, that largely include Buddhist monks and students. The army runs that country, and if they decide to beat up and brutalize hundreds of protesters they well can, and will do it.

We can do nothing about it ! Except watch in impotent rage.

We are no worse off than our leaders. The US, the European Union have issued a joint statement decrying the assault on peaceful demonstrators and calling on the junta to open talks with democracy activists. Other countries too have issued their protests. But the army does not falter in its resolve to repress the people’s movement.

It is a sad commentary on the way the world is organized, that the rulers in Myanmar can do just what they want within the country they run.

Something similar happened in 1989 against student protesters in Tiananmen Square in China. It happened before in Myanmar in 1988 when pro-democracy demonstrators were massacred. Is it that international conventions, treaties and laws prevent us from stopping this oppression ? Or is that despots have a better feel of world opinion and our leaders – that for all the proclamations of distress, leaders and countries do not find Myanmar democrats are worth struggling over.

China and Russia, among the few countries with influence over the junta, yesterday blocked U.S. and European efforts in the United Nations Security Council to condemn the regime for its crackdown, according to Bloomberg. India is plain watching from the sidelines. These countries have business interests in Myanmar, and clout with the junta there.

The world has not changed, not at all.

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