Sunday, January 23, 2011
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
-- For immediate release to media --
March 3, 2010, 10 am EST
International Tribunal on Burma Calls for End to Impunity of Military Regime
(New York) Nobel Peace Laureates Shirin Ebadi and Jody Williams - along with human rights experts Dr. Heisoo Shin (Korea) and Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn (Thailand) - today released the findings and recommendations developed during the International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women of Burma held this week in New York City. The quasi-legal event featured compelling testimony - the first ever - of 12 women from Burma who have suffered rape, torture, and other crimes at the hands of the military junta. The event highlighted the egregious human rights crimes, including rape as a weapon of war, and called for policymakers to demand a last resort: the International Criminal Court.
"Women should no longer be invisible when crimes are committed against them with impunity," said Jody Williams, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997. "The history of violence and oppression of women in Burma is long and sordid--and must come to an end."
A few of the women who testified are colleagues of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the opposition, still under house arrest and a prisoner of General Than Shwe. Than Shwe is the war criminal who has reigned terror over the people of Burma for decades. World leaders have rallied in support of her freedom countless times since her Nobel Peace Prize award in 1991, passing UN resolutions almost annually and demanding the release of her and other political prisoners. But these cries have fallen on deaf ears, with the international community failing to hold General Shwe and his cronies criminally responsible. The resulting impunity has given the ruling generals of Burma even more license to escalate their power and continue to inflict violence on the people of Burma.
"We live in globalized world, which means that Burma cannot do whatever it wants to its people within its own walls," said Shirin Ebadi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003. "Globalization is effective when it helps bring an end to injustice. The international community cannot stand by and let other countries to use their sovereignty to commit atrocities against their own people."
The purpose of the Tribunal was to spotlight the oppression of women of Burma in order to encourage policymakers and political leaders to take specific action now. There has never been a call to refer Burma to the International Criminal Court. The women Nobel Laureates have joined with the Women's League of Burma to highlight the systemic use of rape and other forms of violence against ethnic women in Burma. The Women's League of Burma is an umbrella organization comprising thirteen women's organizations of different ethnic backgrounds in Burma.
The women who testified now live in Thailand, Bangladesh, the US and Canada and traveled to New York to tell their personal stories and those of their families. Their stories include a range of horrific human rights violations and crimes. Testimony was organized into three categories: violence against women (rape, sexual violence, trafficking), civil and political violations (torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, harassment), and social, economic and cultural violations (forced labor, portering, relocation). Violence against women in Burma is often ethnically motivated, particularly minority groups such as the Karen who have been brutally persecuted by the military regim
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Crime against humanity
I was sitting at home the whole day watching live webcast from New York City about Women's Tribunal of Burma. I was moved by the testimonies that twelve women presented in front of International judges. The stories they shared represent thousands of other untold stories from across Burma. Stories of fear, anguish, resistance, escape, perseverance and hope for change.
I feel that most of the abuses and violations happened to ethnic nationalities area and systematically targeted by the Burmese military regime. I was also encouraged by their braveries to tell their stories as one of the judges mentioned "It is not only hard to tell your personal story but also difficult to live in your whole life with it"
Our representative from Canada told a very moving story and I would like to highlights a few sentences here. "I am deeply concerned for the next generation of refugees. I wonder how they will tell their stories. We felt like strangers in someone else's country. And I am a refugee of a refugee's child." Tribunal Judges: We most strongly urge the UN Security Council to refer Burma to the International Criminal Court. Tribunal judge Shirin Ebadi: "Globalization can be effective only when it can stop the oppression of people" More information please visit http://www.nobelwomensinitiative.org/blogs/burmatribunal
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I was thrill to read the immediate respond by the Canadian government, the Opposition Party and even the Green Party condemning the Burmese military charges against Burma’s pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi after May 5th accident. From White House to Thai parliament, the Ottawa Citizen to Irrawaddy News, Burma issue was on the front page and became the hot topic again. I thank them for their interest of Burma Issue. But apart from what was happening with Aung San Suu Kyi’s trail in Burma, I wonder if they know about what have happening in the other parts of the country (Burma) now. Daily repression and widespread abuses against villagers in Burma's ethnic-minority areas continue. The international community and Canadian government are quiet. I wonder if they haven’t read the news, no one has briefing them what is happening now or they keep quiet because they thought the attacks are not as important as the trail of ASSK. Are they not as important as human being like you and me??? I wonder!!
Paulo Sergio Pinheiro’s End Burma’s System of Impunity at the New York Times stated it clear there:
But while Suu Kyi has deservedly received a great deal of international attention over the past two decades, Myanmar’s ethnic minorities — more than one-third of the population — have suffered without international outcry. For Myanmar’s process of national reconciliation to be successful, the plight of the minorities must also be addressed.
The Karen Human Rights Group states the same thing about what is happening now in rural Burma.
Thousands of civilians in Ler Per Her, an internally displaced refugee camp inside Burma in Karen State, fled across Thai border a few days ago because the Burmese Army moved in to the area. In January this year, I had visited Ler Per Her and another IDP camp on my fact finding trip. I had celebrated Christmas and New Year with them. I had met with orphaned children, sick elderly and newly born babies and I wonder where they are now. I look back the photos that I took when I was there and I thought are they still survived because they couldn’t bring anything when they fled into Thailand. And it is raining season now in Thailand and Burma. Can you do something Canada? Please, I need your attention.
Please come back for update of the photos that I took while I was in the Ler Per Her camp. You will be amazed to see them.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Five of the world’s leading international jurists have commissioned a report from the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School, calling for the UN Security Council to act on more than fifteen years of condemnation from other UN bodies on human rights abuses in Burma. The Harvard report, Crimes in Burma, comes in the wake of renewed international attention on Burma, with the continued persecution of Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi. The report concludes with a call for the UN Security Council to establish a Commission of Inquiry into crimes against humanity and war crimes in Burma.
Another piece of information is the UN secretary-general Mr. Ben is planning to visit Burma "as soon as possible" ‘Be patients my Burma’s citizens, changes is coming but just a matter of time’ (Quote from someone who told me) And I don’t know when it the right time when tangible changes could happen in Burma!
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Why pray for Burma??
over 3200 villages has been destroyed by Burmese military
Burma has over 70,000 child soldiers
a place where mass displacement, forced labor, rape, torture, and all forms of persecution are a common reality
Hundred thousand of political prisoners
The list will go on and on........................... But you can make differences, Please pray for change in Burma! Thank you.