Yesterday was Aung San Suu Kyi’s 64th birthday but this occasion was not celebrated by her or the people of Burma. All the people of Burma were waiting for her release at the end of May 2009 – the day that would bring about change to the future of the people of Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi was going to have power but Burma’s military junta would never allow this to happen in order to sustain its power. Despite her release, she was arrested again and faces five to seven years imprisonment, observes Merhrom.
Despite international pressure, the military junta remains stubborn and arrogant. International pressure does not have any impact on Aung San Suu Kyi’s plight. Recently, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and his Special Envoy to Burma, Ibrahim Gambari, received a petition from over 670,000 people from around the world urging them to pressure the military junta to release all political prisoners. The signatures were collected in 220 countries. It was very sad to see a very small number of the world population supporting the petition to release the political prisoners. The Burmese people are hoping for more support and pressure from the international community to bring about change in Burma.
We hope for a bright future with the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, but we were taken backwards with her unjustified arrest. There must be a genuine effort to end the gross human rights violations in Burma.
Today, people around the world celebrate her birthday but it was meaningless with her being in prison, waiting for her sentence. She suffered health problems while in the prison. But we do not know whether she has access to medical treatment. Together with her, there were another 2,100 political prisoners in various prisons. They were continuously abused and tortured by the military junta and remained imprisoned for a very long period.
The Myanmar Ethnic Rohingyas Human Rights Organization Malaysia (Merhrom) urges the United Nations to take stern action against the military ruler. The General Than Shwe and others involved must be brought to the International Court of Justice for the humanitarian crimes they have committed. Any delay in doing this will only allow them to harm more people and increase the number of the Burmese refugees in the region.
Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani
Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation Malaysia (Merhrom)