An Independent Survey of Events in Myanmar
On Burma (Myanmar), the FAC had recommended:
"We recommend that the government reiterate to the government of Burma that the current situation is still highly unsatisfactory, and that the UK will strongly advocate the re-imposition of sanctions by the EU if there is no progress over the next 12 months in improving the conditions of the Rohingya community, and in securing the unconditional release of all political prisoners. We also recommend that the UK government closely monitors whether former political prisoners who wish to stand for elections in 2015 are able to do so. (Paragraph 45)"
The UK Government's response on this recommendation may be read on pages 10 and 11 of the Report. In general, the Government shares the FAC's concerns, but concludes:
"The elections this year will be a major opportunity to consolidate Burma's progress towards democracy. Credible and inclusive elections in 2015, along with definitive progress towards sustainable nationwide peace, will be the key tests of Burma's commitment to pursuing the transition process. In the lead-up to those elections, we will continue to keep up the pressure, and continue to review, together with our international partners, what the most appropriate response should be to the human rights challenges faced by the people of Burma. For the moment, however, our judgement remains that progress in Burma is better encouraged through engagement, rather than by seeking the re-imposition of EU sanctions, which would require the unanimous consent of all 28 EU member states."
Derek Tonkin writes: It was predictable that the Government would not share the FAC's advocacy of renewed sanctions in the event of a lack of progress on human rights issues. The Government would also have been puzzled by the reference to former political prisoners wishing to stand for election as they are not currently debarred from doing so, nor were they so debarred at the time of the 2010 elections when a number of former political prisoners stood successfully, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The FAC in preparing their Report would not appear to have been well briefed by reliable and independent sources and may have attached too much importance to activist lobbying.
Murder of two teachers in Kachin State
- Swiftly 'reveal the truth' in murder of Kachin teachers: NLD - The Irrawaddy
- Murder of two school teachers under investigation - Global NLM
- Thousands gather for funerals of murdered Myanmar teachers - AFP
- British Embassy calls for 'credible investigation' into teachers' murder - Mizzima
- US urges Burma to investigate deaths of two female teachers - AP/The Guardian
But she needs the people of Myanmar to put their faith in her. That is also why she has been so reluctant to court controversy. Human rights activists can judge her harshly for her inability to advocate on behalf of the Rohingya or Kachin.
Yet, sadly, there are no votes to be won in taking a bold stand on these issues, and millions may be lost. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi – after all her sacrifices and those of her party – cannot afford to let that happen.
Derek Tonkin writes: a perceptive and realistic analysis of the prospects for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy at the General Elections later this year. "It makes sense to temper hopes of a democratic stampede". An incremental approach to power would seem to be her best strategy.