The Honorable Mr.
Jerzy Buzek President of the European Parliament Rue Wiertz 60,1047 Brussels, Belgium Date: May 23, 2011 Subject: An Appeal Letter to EU to support Commission of Inquiry against Burma Dear Mr President, We are the activists overseas, who are currently residing in the EU nation states and others, struggling for freedom and democracy in Burma since 1988. First of all, we are very grateful to your leadership and relentless effort for human rights, freedom and democracy in Burma. Recently, we have learnt that the UN Human Right Council Assembly would be held in Geneva in June, and the Burma agenda - the formation of the Commission of Inquiry COI against the Burmese junta for its violations of crimes against humanity and war crimes against humanity recommended by the special human rights rapporteur for Burma, Mr. Quintana - would be discussed there. Due to the ongoing civil-wars against the ethnic minorities causing about a million of refugees fleeing into the neighboring countries and the issue of more than 2090 political prisoners of conscience, Burma’s human rights situations must be addressed for sure. Coincidently, May 30 is the 8th anniversary of the Depeyin Massacre Event– a deadly attack orchestrated by the USDA, now the ruling party USDP, causing more than 282 deaths of her followers and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi herself, who was narrowly escaped from the death-trap but was put under house arrest later as a result of it. According to the statement of Asian Legal ressource Centre concurred with the preliminary findings of the Ad Hoc Commission on the Depeyin Massacre, the attack was clearly premeditated and well organized, we quote, as indicated by the following: a) Up to 5000 persons were brought to a remote rural location for the purpose of attacking the convoy. b) The attackers were all well-armed and located strategically at two killing sites. c) Before the motorcade arrived, local authorities threatened people living in nearby villages to stay indoors. d) The authorities systematically searched for and arrested survivors of the attack. And, the statement concluded that the massacre at Depayin clearly amounts to a "widespread or systematic attack directed against [a] civilian population, with a knowledge of the attack" (article 7.1 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court) and is therefore a crime against humanity. To date, however, there has been no serious action taken on the massacre by the authority. Likewise, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has recently spoken out about the massacre and the regime’s
promises such as bringing the criminals into justice, the compensations to the victims and their families, the releases of the arrested victims and others, and to find a way to avoid the clashes in the future, which have never been implemented on part of the regime. The oxymoronic bizarre twist of the tragedy was in place when the victims and their family members including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Tin Oo were arrested instead by the regime immediately after. The criminals accountable for the massacre led by the USDA, now USDP the ruling party, however, are still on the loose, and some of them have become the members of the parliament nowadays. Also, in its resolution of Human Rights Council Sixteenth session Agenda item 4, dated on March 18, 2011, quote, HRC has strongly condemns the ongoing systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of Burma; 7. Strongly urges the unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience without delay, while expressing concern over their continuingly high number, and also strongly urges the Government of Myanmar to desist from carrying out further politically motivated arrests and to release, without delay and without condition, all prisoners of conscience, whose number is estimated to be approximately two thousand two hundred, including the Chairman of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, U Khun Tun Oo, the leader of the 88 Generation Students Group, U Min Ko Naing, and one of the founders of the 88 Generation Students Group, Ko Ko Gyi, and to allow their full participation in the political process; 11. Strongly calls upon the Government of Myanmar to take urgent measures to put an end to the continuing grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including the targeting of persons based on their belonging to particular ethnic groups, the targeting of civilians as such in military operations, and rape and other forms of sexual violence, and to end impunity for such acts without delay; 14. Calls upon the Government of Myanmar to address, as a matter of urgency, consistent reports of torture and ill-treatment of prisoners of conscience, and to ensure that proper investigations are conducted of all deaths in prison, with family members duly informed of the findings, as well as to improve conditions in prisons and other detention facilities, and to avoid the dispersal of prisoners of conscience to isolated prisons far from their families where they cannot receive regular visits or deliveries of supplementary supplies, including food and medicine; 17. Expresses its serious concern at the continuing discrimination, human rights violations, violence, displacement and economic deprivation affecting numerous ethnic minorities, including, but not limited to, the Rohingya ethnic minority in Northern Rakhine State, and calls upon the Government of Myanmar to take immediate action to bring about an improvement in their respective situations and to recognize the right of members of the Rohingya ethnic minority to nationality and to protect all of their human rights; 20. Also strongly calls upon the Government of Myanmar to put an immediate end to the recruitment and use of child soldiers in violation of international law by all parties, welcomes the recent engagement of the Government on this issue and urges it to intensify measures to ensure the protection of children from armed conflict and to pursue its collaboration with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for children and armed conflict, including by granting access to areas where children are recruited, for the purpose of implementing an action plan to halt this practice. The resolution itself has reflected that the HRC is fully aware and well informed what really is going on in Burma, and we are much obliged for that. However, time and time again, the UN and its concern organizational assemblies have been releasing similar resolutions with regard to Burma since 1988 without any substantial action to contain the regime’s aggressive behaviors and human rights violations until today. Thus, the regime has continued to consume the benefit of doubt by the member states hoping whether some sort of good news might come out of the regime’s “change” within. And, the world simply has ignored the regime’s “delay and defeat” technique to retain the power with the help of China, Russia, India, ASEAN and some greedy international companies and corporations. As a result, the people’s “fear” of helplessness on part of international help continues to hinder our effort to restore freedom and democracy in Burma.
One thing is for sure though that the current trend of government system and “new government” via the regime’s 2008 constitution will never bring democracy in Burma unless the international governments find a way to deter and punish the regime for its bad behavior effectively. Even the Khmer Rogue leaders have to do their times for the committed crimes under the quasidemocratic rule of their own puppet named Hunsen at some point. In comparison to ICC’s legal action to Col. Gaddafi of Libya for his notorious crimes for forty days, then, Than Shwe and his gangs, who have been happily killing, torturing and arresting the people of Burma for decades, could be rotten in hell or cells under the ICC’s verdict this time around if this is the case for sure. The political calculations by the superpowers may be varied but not “law”, which can’t be double standards in any circumstance. That is the reason Burma’s ongoing human rights violations call for the sympathy and enthusiasm of the superpowers to do the right thing in line with the international law. We honestly believe that this is a good time and opportunity for the international community to bring justice for what Than Shwe junta had done to its own people, and to let the new breeds of Burma army leaders know the severe consequence of human rights violations and the antidemocratic behaviors against civilized world. Moreover, the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry against General Than Shwe and his thugs would signal the new government to turn away from the human rights violations, and to bring freedom, justice and democracy in Burma instead. Also, it would have an opportunity for the new government to show its genuine desire for democratization of Burma by co-operating the international call for COI. Therefore, we would like the EU Governments and HRC to lead the COI issue by pushing the member states to vote for the formation of Commission of Inquiry against General Than Shwe and his gangs for their crimes/war-crimes against humanity, which is the right thing to do for international community. We are looking forward to your leadership and guidance in this regard to free the sixty million people in Burma from the existing military dominant rule in Burma. Sincerely yours,
Co-operative Organizations 1 ) Overseas National Students' Organization of Burma ( H.Q ) Denmark Tay Za Thura General Secretary E-mail : email@example.com 2 ) Burmese Democratic Community ( Netherlands ) Ko Myat Thiha Political Department E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org 3 ) International Foundation for Burma National Congress ( USA ) ( I.F.B.N.C )
Ko Htun Hlaing Director of Political Action Committee E-mail : email@example.com 4 ) National League for Democracy ( L.A ) Netherlands Ko Hla Myint Naing Chairman E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org 5 ) Burma Bureau Germany Ko Sonny Aung Than Oo Foreign Affairs E-mail : email@example.com 6 ) Burma's National Reconcilation Action Committee ( Norway ) Ko Aung Htun Central Executive Committee E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org 7 ) All Burma Monks Representative Committee ( India ) Ashin Thavara General Secretary E-mail : email@example.com