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Not even Burma

Posted by Helen Thursday, September 27, 2007 , , , ,

The world is watching in some shock as the police kills monks, raids monasteries, beating and arresting their denizens and no, I am not talking about Tibet for a change. Nobody is too shocked about what happens there.

This is Burma, the bad boy of international politics that has been criticized by all and sundry, whose opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been the pin-up for all right-minded people and even for trendy Hollywood fruitcakes and their followers.

The outrage has been voiced, with a strange unanimity, by all politicians, Gordon Brown and David Cameron, President Bush and EU leaders. What is the one organization that is being a tad mealy-mouthed?

That's right, it is the United Nations, which has just spent some time hosting such luminaries as President Ahmadinejad (to be fair, so did Columbia University) and whose SecGen has been holding forth at great length on the need for all to fall into line and be controlled by transnational organizations on the question of man-made climate change.

What of its supposed role to deal with human rights and democracy? Well, um, that depends on how you look at it.

As the Scotsman reports, China and Russia, as usual have blocked any thought of sanctions against Burma (not that these work or affect the right people, anyway) and the Security Council

… last night pressed Burma's leaders to permit a special UN envoy to visit the south-east Asian country as they urged "utmost restraint" be shown towards peaceful protesters.
Not, in other words, outright condemnation. This is not Israel, after all. SecGen Bah ki-Moon has not been particularly forthcoming on Burma (Myanmar) during the unfolding crisis of the last couple of weeks.

Don't get me wrong. I do not think condemnation by the UN would amount to a hill of beans but this is an organization who claims and on whose behalf others claim absolute moral authority.

Meanwhile, there is some indication that the UN Development Programme (UNDP), already in trouble about its operations in North Korea and busy sacking one whistleblower after another, has also been handing over funds in Burma (Myanmar) and has refused to open up its books.

The Scotsman also reports that the Burmese bloggers are on the job, reporting the situation as they see it. These people's courage never ceases to astonish and overwhelm me.

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