source: lexpress.fr - By Jeremiah Lanche
Front of the Burmese embassy in Bangkok in August 2009.
The party of Nobel peace Aung San Suu Kyi has been dissolved by the Burmese junta. What are the new power relationships that drive the country? Isabelle Dupuis, Site Info Burma answered questions LEXPRESS.
The Burmese junta in power since 1988, today announced the dissolution of the National League for Democracy (NLD), on the grounds that refuses to participate in parliamentary elections at the end of the year. The party of Nobel Peace Prize 1991, Aung San Suu Kyi , under house arrest since 2003, is the figurehead of the Burmese opposition, twenty years after his success in the elections. The generals issued in March, the new electoral laws finishing cancel the 1990 elections.
How to interpret this new setback for the Burmese opposition, more than two years after the uprising of Buddhist monks, and the bloody repression of the military regime that followed? Answers with Isabelle Dubuis, coordinator of the association Info Burma campaigning for the respect of human rights in the country.
The announcement of the dissolution of the NLD is it a surprise?
No, not really. The NLD had already pronounced the end of March, on his non-participation in the elections. The parties had two months to register, after which time they would be considered illegal and therefore punishable by ban. It was a difficult decision, and we must salute this courageous position.
The NLD has decided to oppose the election not to endorse a puppet political process, while the military has made no concessions. There are still more than 2,100 political prisoners, and the generals have refused any dialogue with pro-democracy forces, as well as ethnic minorities. The attitude of the NLD has also enabled the international community to focus on the election laws and to admit that the election has no transparency.
The NLD was already hit by a "legislative arsenal" set up by the junta to block the road to Suu Kyi (Burmese defense for married a foreigner to stand for elections, prohibit persons serving a prison sentence of belonging a political party ...). Dissolution she radically changes her situation?
Not really. Do not feel that the NLD could work freely in the country until last night. There was a terrible repression that has befallen her for twenty years, and many political leaders are now in prison. No local or regional office is authorized and only office in Rangoon [economic capital] is open. It should therefore not feel there will be a major change for the party cadres or the population. Even dissolved the NLD remain an influential political force.
As support of the Burmese opposition, do you support the decision of former executives of NLD to form a new political party?
This is a difficult question. There are many uncertainties about the new Democratic Party, and there is no indication of whether the electoral commission to allow to participate in the elections. If these people are too demanding of the NLD, they will be censored. But participate in the elections, hoping for a political change in light of the laws enacted, it is simply unrealistic, even utopian.
We support the organization of elections, we have been waiting for twenty years, but not those provided by the junta. In the absence of opposition parties, the junta has already won, and the public does not know who to vote for. But it is too early to comment on the new party, which is not yet recorded nor guaranteed to be accepted by the government.
The junta blows hot and cold on the opposition. There was the release on February 13, the Vice-President of the NLD, Tin Oo, who was arrested in 2003 and the arrest a week later four Burmese opponents, during the visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of rights. General they feel threatened before the elections?
They set up a legal framework to ensure their power. Critics say: "This election is like a football game, except that there would be only one team on the field." And even if the generals are a little clumsy, they will come to score goals because there is nobody in the cages.
There have been many changes in recent weeks, with the resignation of [his military duties] Prime Minister Thein Sein, in order to stand for election. But it is a civil façade, where military dictatorship swapped khaki to don a costume. The generals have sufficient locked these elections to ensure their total control over the political process. The constitutional amendment [submitted to a referendum passed with a score of 92.4%] gives them impunity for crimes committed during the exercise of their functions.
How do you think the attitude of the international community on the Burmese issue? Should we trust when the junta plans to hold the first elections since 1990?
This political process was initiated following international pressure. The launch of the "road map to disciplined democracy" in 2003, was launched in the year Aung San Suu Kyi has escaped an assassination attempt, and was again placed under house arrest. Burma's neighbors, including China, have also pushed to normalize a general political situation increasingly untenable .
There is a willingness on the part of the general content of the international community, and make mention of the UN. But the problem is the lack of clarity of diplomatic reactions and the lack of firm and coordinated responses, including from the Association of the Southeast Asian (ASEAN), of which Burma is a member.
The 27 members of the European Union adopted a common position, and in a vote at the European Parliament in late April, they extended for one year the sanctions imposed on Burma. Despite this, the Union has not initiated any tangible and concrete pressure on the junta, nor the UN is paralyzed, and ASEAN is hiding behind the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of its members.