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Burma's exiled ethnic nationalities seminar held in North America

(Lawi Weng)
The Burmese military has released five senior members of the NLD (National League for Democracy) who were detained on May 30th 2003. They were released shortly after the U.N.'s human rights envoy Mr. Paulo Sergio Pinheiro visited Burma's prison in the first week of November. Mr. Pinheiro demanded that the Burmese regime release all political prisoners. He also urged them to release older political prisoners because it tarnished the country's reputation to see old political prisoners being held in Burma he said. By releasing the NLD's five members of the central executive committee, I believe the regime is much like a fox, which wags its tail in front of his owner. But when his owner is no longer looking, he tries to steal the chickens in the cage, again. The Burmese fox awarded five of the chickens amnesty to highlight to the audience that he wouldn't eat them. Indeed, the chickens really made him hungry, but he turned a blind eye so the audience didn't know that he wanted to eat them. Meanwhile Burma's military leaders were drooling over the prisoners they freed.
I still am skeptical about why the regime gave amnesty to those five prisoners. I know that the regime didn't want to release those five people even though they are old. There are older people than them in prison. Why doesn't the regime release all the seniors in their jails? The regime might think that if they give some rice to other chickens, they will be easy to catch them whenever they want to. By feeding a carrot to the NLD, it will be easier to capture the ethnic ceasefire group’s leaders who are going to step right into the regime's trap and will be put in prison when they attend the next national convention. Instead of releasing those five political prisoners, why doesn't the regime release the NLD key players in politics such U Tin Oo, U Lwin, U Myint Shwe and most importantly, Aung San Sui Kyi? The regime may think that they are younger and have more strength to resist them. They are worried the Depayin's mass killing crimes they committed will come out into the open. They are aware that if they release Aung San Suu Kyi, she will try to call for the international community to set up a commission to investigate the incident of the mass killing. After the May 30 ambush killing, some of the democracy movement organizations, which are based along the Thai-Burma border, tried to implement an ombudsman commission in order to find out what really happened in the Depayin's evidence. They also urged the U.N (United Nations) human right commission to put more pressure on the regime to let the commission investigate the case. Otherwise, the regime is trying to ignore the May 30 ambush's issue. They don't want to have a nightmare, for instance, that the Dead Lord is coming to call them to go to the hell and out of power.
From my point of view, it is not possible for the U.N to set up a commission for the democracy movement groups in Burma because we may see a similar event to the genocide killing that happened to the innocent people in Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge. The U.N has tried to set up a criminal court for a long time in Cambodia. But it has never worked out because the Cambodian government doesn't want to cooperate with the U.N. human right’s commission. The Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen was also involved in the mass killing of his people because he was a member of the Khmer Rouge at that time before he fled to Vietnam. If the U.N. sets up the court, he will also be prosecuted in court.
The Burmese military is afraid like Hun Sen of Cambodia. If they allow an investigation into the May 30 ambush, what of other crimes they have committed, such as the mass killing that occurred in the 1988 student uprising? The regime is going to have to confront the atrocious crimes they have committed and will lose power and have to live in prison for the rest of their lives; the same as Milosevic's Yugoslavian dictatorship. They are looking for a way to hear from the people of Burma while giving them amnesty to all the crimes. They also want Aung San Suu Kyi to forget all the crimes from 1962 to 2003. If they continue to refuse to give power to Aung San Suu Kyi they will continue to remain free of all their crimes.
If Aung San Suu Kyi agrees not to talk about the Depayin case after they release her, I am sure that they will release her earlier than the last time. Not only has Aung San Suu Kyi asked for an inquiry, but also the NLD spokesman U Lwin asked for an inquiry into the May 30th ambush to investigate the ambush.
Some people may view Aung San Suu Kyi as a hardliner because she doesn't forget the past. She still would like to find out the truth, even though she is under house arrest. And also U Kyint Maung has mentioned if the regime falls, he is going to send them to the War Tribunal. It seems that his voice has intimidated them.
It is said, "no one can predict the future." But the regime can predict the future of what will happen to them. This is why the regime doesn't want to release Aung San Suu Kyi and doesn't want to start the national reconciliation process. They don't want to have peace and sustainable democracy for the people of Burma because that would mean they would have to face up to the crimes they have committed against the people of Burma. So, to have peace and sustainable democracy for Burma, should we forget the past? 
Kao Wao News No. 58, December 203


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