Burmese government responds to UN Security Council veto

The New Light of Myanmar

The New Light of Myanmar‘s typically propagandist and lengthy article “Myanmar’s affairs internal affairs and it does not pose any threat to regional and international peace and security–Attempt of US and Britain to interfere in internal affairs of Myanmar abortive–China, Russian Federation cast double veto of draft resolution, proposed by US, Britain to interfere in Myanmar’s internal affairs, for consideration at UN Security Council” argues that

[The] attempt of the US and Britain to interfere in the internal affairs of Myanmar was abortive. In other words, it can be deduced that it was the victory of the people of the international community and the people of Myanmar who love truthfulness. All the people of Myanmar are intolerant of the US and British governments which are using the UNSC to meddle in the Myanmar’s internal affairs by levelling lopsided accusations.

Myanmar people show their sincere thanks to the People’s Republic of China and Russian Federation for their veto of the resolution submitted to the UNSC and the Republic of South Africa for her casting vote against the resolution.

The government must truly be in a daze to even consider that the Burmese people should be thankful that Burma’s humanitarian and political problems will not be addressed by the United Nations. Through this writing, it is evident that the government is anti-American, foolishly so anti-American that it invited al-Jazeera TV to broadcast news from Burma, under the false notion that al-Jazeera is anti-American.

Additionally, The New Light of Myanmar article writes

Some politicians at home, national traitors and expatriate insurgents expressed their support for the US pressure on Myanmar and committed a variety of acts synchronizing that of the US.

The true traitors of Burma are the high-ranking military officers who use public funds for their own purposes, building palatial estates in Naypyidaw, creating golf resorts all across Burma (I visited one in Kalaw, because one of my parents’ family friends is a military officer), and hosting incredibly indulgent weddings and galas for their children. Thanda Shwe’s wedding (Thanda Shwe is Than Shwe’s youngest daughter) earned the family USD $50 million in gifts. Imagine if the Than Shwe family had sold all of the gifts. There are approximately 50 million people in Burma–each person would receive USD$1, a 2 day’s worth of labor for the average Burmese person.

The article also writes

Its baseless accusations included continuing detention of political inmates; violation of human rights by oppressing ethnic minorities in the eastern Myanmar; incapability of controlling local epidemic of HIV, TB and malaria; and failure to eliminate production of narcotic drugs.

UN data shows that Burma is the world’s second largest producer of opium in the world, after Afghanistan. It continues to detain political activists (or does it not consider Aung San Suu Kyi a political prisoner), and has shown its incapabilities in controlling the continued spread of HIV in Burma (which has the 3rd highest HIV infection rates in Asia, after Cambodia and Thailand, which have controlled spread the spread to a large extent). Tuberculosis remains one of the most prevalent diseases in the country (85,500 cases per year according to WHO) as well. I’m sure that the hundreds of thousands of ethnic minority refugees can testify that the government is oppressing them. It seems rather contradictory that the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon would pressure Burma to improve its human rights situation if the government considers “violation of human rights” a baseless accusation, unless the government means to say that Ban Ki-moon is wrong (yet the government released 5 more student activists 3 days after Ban Ki-moon requested more political prisoners be released).

I find it revolting how far the government will go to convince its people that there are no problems in the country. If so, why did Foreign Minister Nyan Win unsuccessfully try to convince fellow Foreign Ministers at the ASEAN Summit to invoke solidarity among the member countries in protesting the UN resolution? The government needs to openly acknowledge that it has internal problems that ail the region and inevitably the international community as well.

5 thoughts on “Burmese government responds to UN Security Council veto

  1. dailytransit says:

    Myanmar’s junta can propagandize all it wants – the people living without electricity and running water, and those looking over their shoulder before they talk to journalists know the true state of things.

    It’s sad that the U.N. resolution was shot down, for obvious reasons, but also because it might have been one of the only things the Bush administration was on the right track about. My hope is that another will be drafted that will do more to force a revamping of Burma’s infrastructure.

  2. Tara says:

    Well, see, the junta doesn’t have any political prisoners – they only imprison ‘traitors’ and ‘destructive elements’. No politics there, nosirree.

    It is unfortunate that the resolution was shot down, but I think the sad part is how it illustrates the extent to which China and Russia can hamper efforts to push for change. Call me cynical, but I’m doubtful that the resolution itself would have accomplished much in terms of change within Burma. It could have been a good step forward in building consensus among the international community and generating attention, though. Part me just feels like the empty rhetoric of such verbal sanctions only plays into the junta’s hand – allowing them to distract the international community with ASSK while they go about trying to obliterate the ethnic minorities and other undesirables.

  3. dailytransit says:

    I agree that the resolution would do little to actually impact the junta – much like imposing sanctions on North Korea would probably not cause Kim Jong Il to starve.

    You have a great point with China and Russia; the key truly rests with them. As long as Myanmar’s government keeps selling energy (and other commodities I imagine, though I need to do more homework) to those countries, all will remain status quo. Your cynicism is warranted – choking off the buying from Myanmar’s junta will only succeed if it works in tandem with other elements pushing real social change within the country.

  4. Aung Kyaw says:

    dailytransit: It makes me wonder why the government makes such fruitless attempts to convince its people through propaganda. I feel economic sanctions would play into the military rulers’ hands, giving them more “privacy” to do as they please.

    Tara: I see, the junta’s definitions are are broad and all-inclusive (I guess common thieves could be considered “destructive elements” too :-)). China and Russia were so adamant about vetoing the UNSC resolution because of strategic and economic (Burma’s only full-fledged ally is China, and China is building ports in the Bay of Bengal/Andaman Sea so it has water access from landlocked Yunnan.) reasons.

  5. Tara says:

    I just recently read the book “from the land of green ghosts”, and the author talks about the government’s propaganda in it. I found it interesting although not entirely surprising when he talked about the extent to which the government not only lied – but essentially demanded that everyone act like everything was rosy. This was under the earlier socialist regime – ultimately, it didn’t explain the source of this need for such extreme propaganda and denial, but it does seem to illustrate that it’s a deeply entrenched behavior. What was more interesting, though, was the extent to which people did beleive some of the propaganda – when it related to other areas of the country or groups of people they were unfamiliar with. The author talks about confronting his own misconceptions about the Karen rebels and other Karen tribes as savages – even though he meets them as he’s fleeing the gov’t after the bloody ’88 protests.

    So, I guess if you throw enough misinformation and propaganda at the people, some of it will be beleived some of the time. Although people in the country seem to be becoming more aware and informed generally, the propaganda may be just enough to keep people unsure and misinformed on key topics. It probably also plays a part in keeping the people isolated, across ethnic groups and regional groups, as they are well aware of what they are experiencing, but not necessarily aware of what others are experiencing elsewhere in the country. Some propaganda will inevitably be more effective than others, but it all goes in to maintaining the status quo for the government.

    I find the actions of the junta make more sense if you think of them as a manipulative, sociopathic, abusive parent.

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