Sunday, May 01, 2005

Milk Powder Revolutionaries and Burma's Pro-democracy Struggle

Quote of the Day:

"Our trade with Myanmar is overwhelmingly exports of dairy products. At a timewhen New Zealand is working with other countries to alleviate malnutrition in Myanmar, withholding products needed by families for basic nutrition makes absolutely no sense."

- Foreign Minister Phil Goff, New Zealand

This FBC Posting contains:

1). Compiler's remark, Milk Powder Revolutionaries in Burma's Pro-Democracy Struggle
2). Goff sets out NZ's position on Myanmar
3). New Zealand trade unions urge govt. for sanction on Burma - Mungpi


Compiler's Remark:
Milk Powder Revolutionaries and Burma's Pro-Democracy Struggle
Zarni, Free Burma Coalition

Since George Orwell published his masterpieces - Nineteen Eighty Four and Animal Farm - following his Burma career in the British Imperial Police Service, we have been living in the world that is becoming progressivelyabsurd.

The man who coined the memorable statement 'slavery is freedom' would indeed be turning in his grave.

A preemptive war for oil, strategic advantage, and the right wing elite's collective therapy (of bruised ego suffered during the Vietnam war) has been framed as 'Operation Iraqi Freedom'.

Killing of innocent civilians is refered to as 'collateral damage'. A former Nazi officer of Austrian origin was annointed Secretary General of the world's highest political body (the UN), symbolically speaking.

War criminals and terrorists won Nobel Peace Prizes:Henry Kissenger and the late Arafat spring to mind. A former member of Nazi youth who has hailed from Bavaria, the origin of Hitler's rise to power, andwho attacked the spread of liberation theory, that justice-minded, constructively - as opposed to destructively - engaged school of Christianity, is now freshly minted Pope Benedict.

Burma, our country, has its own share of absurd moments, episodes, and men andwomen.

Men with dictatorial tendencies are claiming to build 'discipline flourishing democracy' as they lock up anyone who disagrees with them. Blinded by their hatred toward the men on horseback many opposition exiles and their colleagues butcher truths and distort facts while ostensibly pursuing noble concepts of truth and reconciliation. The senile remants of Shan feudalists living thousands of miles away from the conflict zones of Burma declare 'independence' and warn foreigners they enter Shan states at the latter's own risk.

Many well-meaning, but pathetically ignorant western pro-Aung San Suu Kyi campaigners attempt to deprive, in effect, the ordinary Burmese any livelihood by campaigning against international travellers going to our country and doing business with even small business owners - taxi drivers, restaurant owners, tour guides, arts and crafts sellers and artisans.

The call for cutting even milk power export to Burma constitutes the opposition's most absurd, and latest push for isolating the reviled rulers, without any potentials for affecting the regime's policies or behaviors, for the better.

The Members of the Parliament-Elect in exile who nourish themselves off hand-outs from Western governments have perfected this bizzare - and mindless - push for isolating the regime by now. They now want New Zealand to stop exporting milk powder to Burma!

There is no such thing as 'hungry or malnourished generals'. Elite, especially power elite, always land on their feet. The most stringent sanctions measures against Saddam's regime led to the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi children and elderly. And when Saddam was captured, he did not look malnourished, only exhausted and frightened.

And even opposition elite such as the exiles including myself, fare better vis-a-vis our ordinary citizens.

Sadly, the call for cutting Burma of milk-powder supplies appears to be a result of intellectual malnournishment on the part of the boycotteers.

This is a great formula for democracy. The movement that started out as 'a revolutionary of the spirit' mobilized on the slogan 'Use your liberty to promote ours' is indeeding degenerating into something depraved.

A new and emerging motto should read:

Support Burmese democracy by not feeding the (Burmese) babies, our future generation of democrats!

While the senile feudalists scream mono-ethnic independence and while the political welfarists masquerading themselves as 'freedom fighters' call for cutting our country off her milk power supplies, our future generation of democrats, that is, Burma's babies may have no choice but to suck their thumbs. For many a young mothers have been forced out of textile work and into prostitutions where they have to make their nipples available not to their babies and toddlers, but the highest bidders of the day.

Welcome to the Land of the Tyrannical, the Ethnies, the Malnourished, and the Evangelical Political Lunies!

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STUFF : NATIONAL NEWS
http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3254928a11,00.html

Goff sets out NZ's position on Myanmar 20 April 2005

New Zealand will not impose economic sanctions on Myanmar but
will continue to be a strong critic of the military regime's human rights abuses and suppression of democracy, Foreign Minister Phil Goff said today.

"New Zealand will continue to work with others to apply pressure for change in Myanmar, although so far neither direct punitive action through sanctions nor positive inducements to change have had any effect on the behaviour of the military rulers," he said in a statement after meeting exiled political leaders who are visiting Auckland.

"New Zealand, in common with most other countries including the European Union and the United Nations itself, has not agreed to impose economic sanctions on Myanmar."

Mr Goff said he had listened to the exiles' views and had outlined the actions New Zealand had taken.

These actions included direct statements opposing abuses of human rights and the democratic process, including the detention of pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Mr Goff said when he expressed these views at last year's Asean (Association of South East Asian Nations) Forum, Myanmar's foreign minister walked out in protest.

"Our trade with Myanmar is overwhelmingly exports of dairy products," he said.

"At a time when New Zealand is working with other countries to alleviate malnutrition in Myanmar, withholding products needed by families for basic nutrition makes absolutely no sense."

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April 19, Mizzima News

New Zealand trade unions urge govt. for sanction on Burma - Mungpi

Trade Unions of New Zealand have urged the government and the people to support the international sanction on Burma's military dictatorship for alleged atrocities on the country's people.

The call was given after a meeting between the visiting delegation of Burmese democracy campaigners and the Council of Trade Unions in Wellington yesterday.

President Ross Wilson of Council of Trade Unions called upon the New Zealand government to stop dealing with the Burmese junta and join an international campaign against the regime.

"Burma is the forgotten country and the atrocities committed there daily by the military dictatorship are often ignored internationally," said Ross Wilson in a press statement.

The Burmese advocacy team, which includes two MPs, elected in the 1990 election, will directly appeal to the New Zealand government to stop exports to Burma and support the international sanction on the Burmese Junta. The team is led by U Hla Oo, President of the National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB) and an elected Member of Parliament.

New Zealand started export to Burma in June 2004. Milk powder, worth 4.5 million dollars, constitutes the major share of the total export, valued at 5.9 Million dollars.
The visiting Burmese team also urged New Zealand to support the swelling international pressure against Burma taking the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) next year, unless changes take place in the country in favour of democracy.
Burma, which was granted Asean membership in 1997, is set to take over from Malaysia as the Chairman country next year on the basis of an alphabetical rotation.

Earlier this month, the exiled Burmese democracy campaigners, while visiting the Philippines capital of Manila for a conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), sought a blockade on Burma's prospective chairmanship.

The United States and the European Union, both imposing sanctions on the Burmese military junta, have threatened to boycott the Asean meetings to be hosted by Burma, for its appalling human rights records and lack of democracy.

Burma, with a population of 50 million people, is being ruled by the Military since 1962. In 1990, the junta held an election but nullified the results when the National League for Democracy (NLD), led by Nobel peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, had a landslide victory.

Burma's democracy icon, Suu Kyi, has been under her third house arrest since 1990. She has spent most of her days in Burma under detention or house arrest.