`New Myanmar govt continuation of junta`

Pro-democracy Myanmarese groups have asked the junta to conduct dialogue with all stakeholders to revise the 2008 constitution.

Last Updated: Apr 30, 2011, 16:46 PM IST

Washington: Asserting the new "Thein Sein`s
government is just a continuation of the military regime,"
eleven pro-democracy Myanmarese groups have asked the junta to
conduct dialogue with all stakeholders to revise the 2008
constitution.

Based on the 2008 Constitution and the 2010 elections,
these pro-democracy groups, in a report, have analysed the
formation of new governing structures in Myanmar and claimed
to have produced evidence that "Thein Sein`s government is
just a continuation of the military regime".

These groups include the All Burma Monks` Alliance
(ABMA), the 88 Generation Students, All Burma Federation of
Student Unions (ABFSU), and other dissident organizations.
These all were involved in organising of the 2007 Saffron
Revolution.

Many members of these groups are still in jails among
over 2,100 political prisoners.

The report claims "the 2008 Constitution is a
constitution of military junta`s domination and that the
government emerging from the 2010 election is also a
militarist USDP government that would rule the country through
the militarist constitution."

They regard "the government of ex-Gen Thein Sein as the
USDP military regime which would carry on oppressing the
people of all ethnic nationalities", and proclaim "they
will continue their efforts in the interests of entire people
to abolish the military dictatorship and the 2008
Constitution."

"When the post-2010 government led by President U Thein
Sein the ex-General arose, it is found that junta`s top brass
have entrenched themselves in the State`s crucial legislative,
executive and judicial branches in the form of uniformed
military officers, civilian-veiled army officers or as members
of USDP sponsored by the military," the report said.

In the executive branch, twenty-six out of a total
of thirty-five minister posts are assumed by military officers
with USDP members filling up the rest, it stated.

As such, the group demanded the Thein Sein`s government
to unconditionally release all political prisoners;
immediately stop the civil war and conduct internal peace;
repeal decrees and notifications prohibiting fundamental
democratic rights inn political, economic, social and cultural
realms; conduct dialogue with all stakeholders to revise the
2008 Constitution and others.

Meanwhile, 13 eminent American NGOs have supported the
decision of the Obama Administration to back the creation of
an international Commission of Inquiry for Myanmar as
recommended by the UN Special Rapporteur Tomas Quintana.

In a letter to the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,
the NGOs appealed to her to lead the effort to create such
a commission at the June session of the UNHRC in Geneva.

"Effective diplomacy by the United States in Geneva over
the past year on issues such as Iran and freedom of
association and assembly shows that leadership makes a
difference," the letter, dated April 25, stated.

"Now is the time to make a difference on Burma and
actively lead other members of the United Nations to support
the creation of a Commission of Inquiry," the NGOs said.
UN Human Rights Council will convene its 17th Session in
Geneva from May 30 to June 17, 2011.

"We strongly urge you to follow through on your decision
last fall to back the creation of an International Commission
of Inquiry for Myanmar and lead the effort to create such a
commission at the June session of the UN Human Rights
Council," it said.

"For too many years, the regime in Myanmar has carried
out with impunity widespread and serious violations of
international human rights and humanitarian law," they said.

Since 1991, the United Nations has expressed serious
concern about Myanmar through numerous resolutions, reports
and documents.

During this time, the Secretary-General has used his
good offices to engage with Myanmarese regime authorities.

Two decades of efforts at engagement and dialogue by
the international community have failed to end violations and
alleviate the suffering of the Myanmarese people, the NGOs
pointed.

Noting the global support for an investigation into
ongoing human rights violations in Myanmar has been
steadily growing since March 2010 - when Quintana recommended
the creation of a Commission of Inquiry, the NGOs said 16
countries, including the US, have publicly endorsed the
recommendation.

As Quintana reported to the Council, "it is essential for
investigations of human rights violations to be conducted in
an independent, impartial and credible manner, without delay"
they added.

PTI