Wed 29 Jun 2005
Filed under: International,News
The Chin people of Burma, represented by Chin National Front, became the 52nd member of the international organization claiming to fight for the Right to Self Determination of the oppressed peoples all over the world at the three-day session of its General Assembly at The Hague, 24-26 June, according to reports from Europe.
Nine other new members included Khmer Kampuchea Krom from Asia. Among Burma’s neighbors, Manipur from India and Hmong from Laos, who attended as observers, have expressed interest in joining the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, whose founders in 1991 reportedly included the Dalai Lama of China’s Tibet. Other members from Burma are Karenni, Mon and Shan.
The Chin delegation was headed by US-based Kenneth van Bik, Mon by Denmark-based Bee Htaw Monzel, General Secretary of Mon Unity League, and Shan by Germany-based Sai Wansai, General Secretary of Shan Democratic Union. The Karenni was the only absentee from Burma at the General Assembly held at the historic Peace Palace, where Slobodan Milsosevic, former Serbian strongman, went on trial.
The Assembly, condemning the military rulers of Burma for its non-stop human rights violations, calls for a stop to all rights abuses, release of all political prisoners and urges the international stakeholders, particularly China, India, Japan and Asean countries “to help materialize the 1990 nationwide election results and pave the way for national reconciliation, democratization, equality and rights of self-determination, as clearly expressed by the people of Burma”, among others.
The SDU, while insisting that the Shan State is a sovereign country under “alien occupation” since the 1947 Constitution, “the main bond between Burma and the Shan State,” was abolished by the Burma Army in 1962, has nevertheless adopted what is regarded as a middle-of-the-road “Democratic Federal Union” political goal set by Burma’s largest ethnic coalition, Ethnic Nationalities Council. Which, for its critics, is doomed to failure from the start, because, to Burma’s hardliners, federalism is still “secession in disguise.”