Monday, October 8, 2007

Serious Violations Of Human Rights In Burma

There has been enormous pressure on the United Nations from the world for more harsh actions against the Burmese military regime.

The article reported on Agence France-Presse (AFP) mentioned that despite worldwide protests in support of Burma’s pro-democracy movement, any sanction resolution would probably face a veto from China and Russia, the former being the main backer of the junta all these years. The reason given would be the turmoil in Burma is an internal affair that does not represent a threat to regional or international peace and security.

Although theoretically what happened in Burma will not affect the world in terms of peace and security, it is imperative to note that according to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it seemed that there have been serious violations of the chapter:

Article 4.

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 9.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 20.

(1)Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

Article 21.

(1)Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Didn’t the junta make use of forced labour to build bridges, military camps, irrigation systems, oil and gas pipelines? Hadn’t the junta suppressed the Burmese people who are fighting for democracy which they once enjoyed? Are these people allowed to have a congregation of more than 5 people? Is there Universal Suffrage in the country that allowed these people to elect their representatives in parliament freely and have a say in their country’s developments?

So how then should United Nations not intervene in this event?

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