In my recent article, Burma: The Political Cancer Is Spreading, some people criticized its characterization of Aung San Suu Kyi. They said it – notably this – was too harsh:
“To summarize: An unprincipled and for that matter unskilled leader, with a background of extreme privilege as well as dictatorial tendencies, and a racist to boot, will be the new and unchallenged leader of Burma, to work hand-in-hand with a gang of war criminals.
Again, what could possibly go wrong?”
It now appears that if anything, this was too mild. Burma’s Legal Aid Network has just released an analysis of the possibility that her recent meeting with dictator Than Shwe was to discuss an amnesty for regime members, for the egregious crimes that they have perpetrated. This would be passed by the new NLD-majority Parliament, and would supplement the amnesty in the dictatorship’s 2008 constitution.
This, evidently, is the secret “grand bargain” – at least the first step – to which my article referred. If so, it is abominable.
In the United States, murder is the one crime for which there is no Statute of Limitation, and where the penalty is regularly life in prison. Unincarcerated murderers look over their shoulders every day for their entire lives. In Germany, people are still being arrested for crimes they committed during World War II, now over seventy years ago.
Suu Kyi, though, seemingly is willing to go against internationally recognized rule of law, and give the regime’s killers a pass. Indeed, she has been laying the groundwork for this, by arguing repeatedly that “everyone” – but by this she actually means the victims and their families – should just forgive and forget. She is trying to pressure these victims – through doing this she is adding insult to their injury – and ensure that they never receive justice.
Now we know why the NLD competed in ethnic nationality constituencies, and defeated ethnic candidates. She needs an absolute majority for her party for her plan to succeed. Indeed, no one has yet asked the question: In the new Parliament, how many MPs will be Burmans, and how many will be from other ethnic groups?
This is relevant because of another piece of information, and which is also as yet unavailable: The ethnic group breakdowns from the national census. The results were held back prior to the election, but in late October U Nyi Nyi, Director of the Department of Population, said that they would be disclosed by year-end.
Many Burmans argue that they represent 70% of the nation’s population. Many ethnic nationalities in turn say that this is false. Burmans are only 30%, and all the other groups as a whole are 70%. The point is this: If the latter is even close to the truth, but Parliament is almost entirely Burman, then even though it was democratically-elected it is not representative. Through the regime prohibiting voting in large ethnic areas, and Suu Kyi pushing her candidates in the others, together they have assured that Burmans will control the new government. And, their first act will to be to pass an amnesty for the regime criminals, the worst victims of whom were the ethnic nationalities.
She has the audacity to call this democracy. It’s really treason.
This issue needs to be opposed as widely as possible. The Burman amnesty for Burman criminals needs to be stopped dead in its tracks. Stop the ethnic dictatorship of Aung San Suu Kyi and Than Shwe!
This article appeared at Dictator Watch.