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အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ က်ဆံုးမွ တတိုင္းျပည္လံုး စစ္မွန္တဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ခံစားရမယ္

Archive for January 12th, 2009

ျပည္သူလူထုႏွင့္ တပ္မေတာ္သား အားလံုးအတြက္ အလြန္လိုအပ္ေနတဲ့ ဒီမိုကေရစီ –

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စည္းလံုးျခင္းရဲ ႔ အင္အား ဘေလာ့ဂ္မွ ဗုိလ္မႉးေက်ာ္ေက်ာ္ခိုင္၏ ေဆာင္းပါးကို တစုတစည္းတည္း ျပန္လည္ေဖာ္ျပသည္။

ေဆာင္းပါးရွင္ – ဗုိလ္မႉးေက်ာ္ေက်ာ္ခိုင္

ကြ်န္ေတာ္တုိ႔ ျမန္မာ့တပ္မေတာ္ႀကီးတြင္ ဒီမုိကေရစီ၊ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရး စေသာ အသံမ်ားကို ၾကားရမွာ ေၾကာက္ၾကသည္၊ မုန္းသည္။ ထုိသုိ႔ေသာ စကားလံုးမ်ားကို မၾကားခ်င္။ သုိ႔ေသာ္ ထုိ Democracy နဲ႔ Human Rights အဓိပၸာယ္ကုိ ေသခ်ာ မသိသလို ခံလည္း မခံစားဖူးရေပ။ “ဟင္း၏ အရသာကိုဇြန္းမသိ”သကဲ့သုိ႔ပင္။

ဒီမုိကေရစီ ဆုိတာနဲ႔ပတ္သက္ၿပီး အေနာက္ႏုိင္ငံမ်ားက ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံကို “၁၈ရာစု” ကဲ့သုိ႔ နယ္ခ်ဲ ႔ခ်င္ ၍ နယ္ခ်ဲ႔လက္သစ္ ၀ါဒီမ်ား ပစ္လႊတ္လိုက္ေသာ စကားလံုးဟူ၍သာ နားလည္သည္။ ဒီကေန႔ တပ္မေတာ္ထဲက မ်ိဳးဆက္သစ္ အရာရွိ/ စစ္သည္မ်ား မေျပာႏွင့္ ယေန႔ တပ္မမွဴး Level၊ မဆလေခတ္ေမြး အရာရွိမ်ားပင္ ေသခ်ာနားမလည္။ ေသခ်ာစြာ နားလည္ရန္လည္း မစူးစမ္းၾကေခ်။


ဒီမုိကေရစီအေရး၊ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးတုိ႔ကုိ စူးစမ္းေလ့လာ နားလည္ဖို႔ ႀကိဳးစားေလ့လာသူမ်ားရဲ ႔ အခြင့္အလမ္းကိုလည္း ပိတ္ဆုိ႔ထားသည္။ တပ္မေတာ္အတြင္း၌ BBC၊ VOA၊ RFA၊ DVB အသံလႊင့္ဌာနမ်ားမွ ထုတ္လႊင့္သည့္ ေရဒီယုိ နားေထာင္သူမ်ားကိုလည္း ရႈတ္ခ်ပိတ္ပင္၊ တားျမစ္ထားသည္။ ဒီမုိကေရစီႏွင့္ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရး၏ အရသာကုိ ခံစားဖူး ၾကသူမ်ား မဟုတ္ၾကေသာ္လည္း ဒီမုိကေရစီေတာ့ လာမေျပာနဲ႔ ရန္သူ ျဖစ္သြားမည္။ ဘာေၾကာင့္ ဒီလို ျဖစ္ေနရသလဲဟု ဆင္ျခင္ သံုးသပ္မိသည္။ ယေန႔ ကိုယ့္ကိုကုိယ္ ႏိုင္ငံေတာ္ အႀကီးအကဲဟု ဆိုသူ တပ္မေတာ္ ကာကြယ္ေရး ဦးစီးခ်ဳပ္ လုပ္သူ ဗုိလ္သန္းေရႊ၏ လက္ခ်က္ပင္ ျဖစ္ပါသည္။ ၄င္းသည္ ယခင္ စိတ္ဓာတ္ စစ္ဆင္ေရး အရာရွိ (Psychological Warfare Officer) လုပ္ခဲ့ဖူးသည္။ ဒါေပမဲ့ ထက္ထက္ျမက္ျမက္ေတာ့ မရွိ။ အေတြ႔အႀကံဳ ေတာ့ ရွိသည္။ ၄င္း အာဏာရွင္ ျဖစ္စ အစြယ္မထြက္ေသး၍ ဘီလူးမွန္း မသိၾကေသး။ တပ္မေတာ္ အတြင္း၌ပင္ ျပည္သူသုိ႔ အာဏာ ျပန္လႊဲေပးမည္ဟု ယံုၾကည္ဆဲ ရွိၾကသည္။

စိတ္ဓာတ္စစ္ဆင္ေရး ပညာ (Psy-War) ၌ အလြန္ေတာ္သူ ျပန္ၾကားေရး ဒု၀န္ႀကီး လုပ္ခဲ့တဲ့ ဗုိလ္မွဴးႀကီး(ေဟာင္း) သိန္းစိန္ ႏွင့္ သတင္းထုတ္ျပန္ေရး အဖြဲ႔ေခါင္းေဆာင္ ဗိုလ္မွဴးေက်ာ္ဆန္း တုိ႔ကို တာ၀န္ေပး၍ စိတ္ဓာတ္ စစ္ဆင္ေရး အႀကီးအက်ယ္ လုပ္ခဲ့ၾကသည္။ တပ္မေတာ္ အတြင္း၌ Psy-War နည္းျပအဆင့္ သင္တန္းႏွင့္ တုိင္းအဆင့္ တုိက္ပြဲ၀င္ စည္းရံုးေရး မြမ္းမံသင္တန္းမ်ား ဖြင့္၍ စိတ္ဓာတ္စစ္ဆင္ေရး ျပဳလုပ္ခဲ့ၾကသလို ကကျပည္ဌာန ဖြဲ႔စည္းပံုကို စိတ္ဓာတ္စစ္ဆင္ေရး စကားလံုး ျဖည့္စြက္ တုိးခ်ဲ ႔ၿပီး ရုပ္ျမင္သံၾကား ဇာတ္လမ္းမ်ား၌ ဒီမုိကေရစီ ဆန္႔က်င္ေရး ဇာတ္လမ္းမ်ား ရိုက္ကူးကာ ၀ါဒျဖန္႔သည္။ သတင္းစာေစာင္မ်ား၌ နာမည္၀ွက္မ်ားျဖင့္ ေရးသား၀ါဒ ျဖန္႔ၾကသည္။ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ အပါအ၀င္ အတိုက္အခံ အဖဲြ႔အစည္းမ်ားကို ကာတြန္းရုပ္ေျပာင္မ်ားျဖင့္ သေရာ္ေလွာင္ေျပာင္ ထည့္ၾကသည္။ အေမရိကန္ သံရံုးေရွ ႔တြင္ ျပည္ပအားကိုး ပုဆိန္ရုိး ၊ ျပည္တြင္းေရးကို စြက္ဖက္တဲ့ ျပည္ပႏုိင္ငံမ်ားအား ဆန္႔က်င္ၾက ဆုိတဲ့ ၿခိမ္းေျခာက္သေယာင္ စာသားမ်ားပါ၀င္ေသာ ဆိုင္းဘုတ္မ်ား “ေပၚတင္” ေထာင္ၾကသည္။ စစ္အာဏာရွင္တုိ႔သည္ ဒီမိုကေရစီ ဆုိသည္ကို ရုပ္ဆုိးေအာင္ ေၾကာက္လန္႔ဖြယ္ ျဖစ္ေအာင္ တင္ျပ ၀ါဒျဖန္႔ခဲ့ၾကရာ အေတာ္ထိေရာက္မႈ ရွိခဲ့သည္။ ဗရုတ္သုကၡ ဒီမိုကေရစီ၊ ေဇာက္ထုိးမုိးေမွ်ာ္ ဒီမုိကေရစီဟု အပုတ္ခ် နာမည္တပ္ပစ္လုိက္ၾကသည္။

ဒီမုိကေရစီ ရရင္ဘဲ ျပည္ေထာင္စု ၿပိဳကြဲမေယာင္၊ ဖယ္ဒရယ္ ကိုင္ရင္ဘဲ ခြဲထြက္ တိုင္းရင္းသားမ်ား ရွိသလို ဖန္တီးေပးၾကသည္။ နဂိုကမွ မဆလေခတ္၌ ေမြး၍ မဆလ၀ါဒျဖန္႔မႈ ေအာက္၌သာ ႀကီးျပင္းခဲ့ၾကၿပီး ႏုိုင္ငံေရး အျမင္လံုး၀ ရွင္သန္ခြင့္မရွိသူမ်ားကို ဒီမုိကေရစီ အဓိပၸာယ္၊ အႏွစ္သာရမ်ားအား စူးစမ္းေလ့လာခြင့္မရွိေစပဲ အဆုိးျမင္ ဆန္႔က်င္ဘက္ ရႈေထာင့္မွ သြတ္သြင္းခဲ့ၾကသည္။ “သူရဲဆိုတာ ဘာမွန္း မသိမျမင္ဖူးေသာ လူႀကီးတစ္ဦးက ကေလးငယ္ကို သူရဲႀကီးဆုိၿပီး ေျခာက္လွန္႔ ထားျခင္း” ႏွင့္ တူေပေတာ့သည္။

ထုိအခါ တပ္မေတာ္သားမ်ားသည္ စစ္အာဏာရွင္ႀကီးမ်ား အပင္း သြင္း ေဆးထုိးထားတဲ့ အပင္ကို စားေကာင္း ေသာက္ဖြယ္ထင္၍ မစူးစမ္းေတာ့ပဲ သဒၶါစိတ္သက္သက္ျဖင့္ စားမိၾကသည္။ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ငါတုိ႔အတြင္းက်က် သိရန္မလို (သိဖုိ႔လဲ မႀကိဳးစား)၊ ဒီမုိကေရစီ ဆုိတာ မေကာင္းဆုိးပါး၊ တုိ႔ႏုိင္ငံအတြက္ လံုး၀ မသင့္ေတာ္၊ နယ္ခ်ဲ႔မ်ား၏ နယ္ခ်ဲ ႔ရန္ စကားလံုး၊ ဒီမိုကေရစီ ေအာ္သူ ဒို႔ရန္သူ ဟုမွားယြင္းစြာ ထင္ျမင္လာၾကေတာ့ရာ ဒီမုိကေရစီ ေတာင္းဆုိသူ ျပည္သူလူထုႏွင့္ တပ္မေတာ္တို႔ အျမင္မတူရာမွ ဆန္႔က်င္ဘက္ ျဖစ္လာၾကသည္။ ထုိ႔အျပင္ တပ္ဖြဲ႔စိတ္ ႏွင့္ ေပါင္းမိေသာအခါ တပ္မေတာ္သည္ ဒီမိုကေရစီ ဆန္႔က်င္ေရး အင္အားစုမ်ား ျဖစ္သြားေတာ့သည္။

http://photayokeking.myanmarbloggers.org/2009/01/blog-post_3894.html

တစ္ခ်ိန္က ဖယ္ဒရယ္မူကို တပ္မေတာ္က မလိုလားသလို ယခု ဒီမိုကေရစီကို မလိုလားမႈ ျဖစ္လာသည္။ ေသေသခ်ာခ်ာ ေမးလွ်င္ေတာ့ ေျခေျချမစ္ျမစ္ မသိ။ ၾကားပင္ မၾကားဖူးေသာ သူမ်ားပင္ ေတ႔ြရဖူးသည္။ ထုိသုိ႔ တပ္မေတာ္အတြင္း၌ စိတ္ဓာတ္အသြင္းခံရျခင္းသည္ ႏုို္င္ငံေရး၌ တပ္မေတာ္ႏွင့္ ျပည္သူလူထု ထိပ္တုိက္ ျဖစ္ေနရျခင္း အေၾကာင္းတစ္ရပ္ ျဖစ္ပါသည္။

တပ္မေတာ္သားမ်ားကို ေမးခြန္းထုတ္လိုသည္? ကုိယ္ ကိုယ္တုိင္ ေကာင္းစြာ မသိ၊ မခံစားဖူးေသာ အရာ ကိစၥတစ္ခုကို စစ္အာဏာရွင္မ်ား ေျပာတုိင္း မ်က္စိစံုမွိတ္ကာ မစူးမစမ္း၊ မဆင္မျခင္ မေကာင္းျမင္ျခင္း၊ ဖင္ပိတ္ ျငင္းဆုိေနျခင္းမ်ားသည္ သင့္ေတာ္မႈ ရွိပါရဲ ႔လား။ ပိႏၷဲသီး (သို႔) ဒူးရင္းသီး ဆုိတာ ဆူးေတြနဲ႔ ကြ၊ အထဲမွာလဲ အဆိပ္ရွိမွာ ေသခ်ာတယ္။ မစားနဲ႔ဆုိလွ်င္ ကိုယ္တိုင္ မစူးစမ္း မေလ့လာပဲ၊ မသိပဲ ဟုတ္မွာပဲ၊ ဒါ မေကာင္းတဲ့ အသီးႀကီးကြ. မစားၾကနဲ႔လို႔ ေျပာေနၾကမွာလား။ ေသေသခ်ာခ်ာ စဥ္းစားၾကည့္ ၾကေစခ်င္ ပါသည္။

စစ္မႈေရးရာ ကိစၥရပ္မ်ားတြင္ေတာ့ စစ္သားဆိုသည္မွာ အမိန္႔ကို ေျမ၀ယ္မက် နာခံရေပမည္။

ဘာသာတရားကိုင္းရွိဳင္းတဲ့ ထိုင္းစစ္တပ္

ဘုန္းႀကီးေတြက ထိုင္ကန္ေတာ့ေနရတဲ့ ျမန္မာစစ္တပ္နဲ႔ ရဲ

သုိ႔ေသာ္ ယခု ဒီမုိကေရစီ ေတာင္းဆုိသည့္ကိစၥသည္ ႏိုင္ငံေတာ္ကုိ အႏၱရာယ္က်ေရာက္မည့္ စစ္ေရးစစ္ရာ ကိစၥလံုး၀ မဟုတ္။ ျပည္သူလူထုႏွင့္ သက္ဆိုင္ေသာ က်ယ္ျပန္႔အေရးႀကီးသည့္ ႏိုင္ငံေရးကိစၥ၊ ျပည္သူ႔အာဏာႏွင့္သက္ဆုိင္ေသာ ကိစၥျဖစ္သည္။ ႏိုင္ငံေတာ္၏ အာဏာပိုင္ရွင္ အစစ္သည္ ျပည္သူလူထုသာျဖစ္သည္။ သူ႔အာဏာသူ ျပန္ေတာင္းျခင္းသာျဖစ္သည္။ တပ္မေတာ္သားမ်ားႏွင့္လည္း သက္ဆိုင္သည္။ တပ္မေတာ္သားမ်ား၏ တပ္ျပင္ပ မိဘေဆြမ်ိဳး သားခ်င္း သူငယ္ခ်င္းမ်ားႏွင့္လည္းဆုိင္သည့္ ႏုိင္ငံေရးကိစၥျဖစ္၍ ဒီေနရာမွာေတာ့ ကိုယ္ပိုင္ဥာဏ္ႏွင့္ စူးစမ္းေလ့လာကာ သတိထားဆင္ျခင္သင့္သည္။ ႏိုင္ငံေရးသည္ ႀကီးမားက်ယ္ျပန္႔ၿပီး တုိင္းျပည္အတြက္ အေရးႀကီးလွသည္။ စစ္ေရးသည္ ႏိုင္ငံေရးထဲမွ တစိတ္တေဒသသာ ျဖစ္သည္။ ႏိုင္ငံေရးသည္ စစ္ေရးထဲမွ တစိတ္တေဒသ မဟုတ္ေပ။

ျပည္သူ႔ဘက္ ရပ္တည္တဲ့ ထိုင္းစစ္တပ္ကို ျပည္သူက ႀကိဳဆိုေနပံု

မိမိတို႔၏ ေက်းဇူးရွင္စစ္ျဖစ္ေသာ မိဘျပည္သူမ်ားႏွင့္ သက္ဆုိင္ေန၍ မတရားေသာ အမိန္႔၊ စစ္ေရးစစ္ရာ မဟုတ္သည့္ အမိန္႔မ်ိဳးကုိမူ မိမိတို႔ ကုိယ္ပိုင္ အသိဥာဏ္၊ သတိျဖင့္ ဆင္ျခင္ သံုးသပ္သင့္သည္။
ေရႊ၀ါေရာင္ ေတာ္လွန္ေရးကဲ့သုိ႔ အျဖစ္အပ်က္မ်ိဳးတြင္ တပ္မေတာ္သားမ်ား အေနႏွင့္ ၀ိနည္းလြတ္ လုပ္သင့္လွ်င္ လုပ္ရမည္။ လက္နက္ငယ္ နည္းပညာလို ေျပာင္းရင္း အျပစ္၊ က်ည္အိမ္ အံမက်၊ က်ည္ကန္႔လန္႔ခံ၊ က်ည္ “အ” စသျဖင့္ ဆင္ေျခေပး ေရွာင္လႊဲႏိုင္သည္။ လက္နက္ကုိင္ ရန္သူမ်ား မဟုတ္ပါဘဲ ျပည္သူလူထုထဲ ပစ္ခတ္ခိုင္းသည့္ အမိန္႔၊ ရဟန္းသံဃာမ်ားကုိ ရိုက္ႏွက္ဆဲဆုိ ပစ္ခတ္ခုိ္င္းသည့္ အမိန္႔မ်ိဳးကုိ ျပတ္ျပတ္သားသား ဆန္႔က်င္ရန္ လိုသည္။ တစ္ဘ၀သာမက ဘ၀ သံသရာ အဆက္ဆက္ႏွင့္ ဆုိင္ေသာ ကိစၥ ျဖစ္သည္။ “တပ္မေတာ္သမုိင္း၊ တပ္မေတာ္ ဂုဏ္သိကၡာအစဥ္အလာ” ႏွင့္ဆုိင္ေသာ ကိစၥလည္း ျဖစ္သည္။
ယခင္ ဆိုဗီယက္ တပ္မေတာ္၊ ထုိင္း တပ္မေတာ္တုိ႔ကို နမူနာ ယူသင့္သည္။ သူတို႔သည္ အာဏာရွင္အတြက္၊ မတရားမႈအတြက္ ျပည္သူလူထုဘက္သုိ႔ ေသနတ္ေျပာင္း မလွည့္ခဲ့ၾကေပ။ ဆိုဗီယက္တြင္ စစ္တပ္က မႏွိမ္နင္း၍ ဆုိဗီယက္ ၿပိဳကြဲျခင္း မဟုတ္။ သူ႔သမုိင္းႏွင့္ သူ ရွိသည္။ အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ က်ဆံုးျခင္း၊ ကြန္ျမဴနစ္ စနစ္ က်ဆံုးျခင္းသာ ျဖစ္သည္။
ယခု အာဏာရွင္ အတြက္ ျပည္သူလူထုကို ပစ္ခတ္သတ္ျဖတ္ေသာ စစ္တပ္မွာ ကမၻာေပၚတြင္ ထင္ထင္ရွားရွား တရုတ္ႏွင့္ ျမန္မာ ႏွစ္ႏုိင္ငံသာ ရွိသည္။ ရွက္စရာ ေကာင္းလွသည္။ မွန္ကန္ေသာ အသိဥာဏ္ရွိလွ်င္ ထိုယုတ္မာရုိင္းစုိင္းေသာ လူသတ္မႈ၊ ရာဇ၀တ္မႈမ်ိဳးကုိ က်ဴးလြန္ရဲမည္ မဟုတ္။ အကယ္စင္စစ္ လူသတ္မႈကို ေပၚေပၚထင္ထင္ ျပဳလုပ္ျခင္း ျဖစ္၏၊ စစ္ရာဇ၀တ္ေကာင္မ်ား အျဖစ္ ေရာက္ရွိေစ၏။

စစ္တပ္ကို အသံုးခ်ၿပီး တုိင္းျပည္ အာဏာ (ျပည္သူ႔အာဏာ) ကို လုယူခ်ဳပ္ကိုင္ထားေသာ စစ္အာဏာရွင္ (ယူနီေဖာင္း၀တ္မ်ား) တစ္စုသည္ မည္သည့္ ကိစၥမဆို အက်ိဳးကုိသာ ေျပာတတ္သည္။ အေၾကာင္းတရားကို ဘယ္ေတာ့မွ မေျပာ။ အေၾကာင္းတရားကုိလည္း အေသအခ်ာ စဥ္းစားဆင္ျခင္ျခင္းလည္း မရွိ။ မတတ္သာ၍ အေၾကာင္းတရားကို ေျပာရလွ်င္လည္း အာဏာရွင္တုိ႔ကုိ မထိခိုက္ေအာင္ မမွန္မကန္ႏွင့္ အေပၚယံသာ လိမ္ညာ ေျပာၾကသည္။ ထုိစစ္အာဏာရွင္မ်ားေၾကာင့္ ျမန္မာ့ႏိုင္ငံေရး “တုိင္ပတ္” ေနရျခင္း ျဖစ္၏။ အေၾကာင္းတရားကုိ မွန္ကန္စြာ ေလ့လာေျဖရွင္းလိုက္လွ်င္ ႏုိင္ငံေရးမွာ လြယ္ကူစြာ ရွင္းလင္းသြားႏုိင္သည္။ အရာရာ ေျဖာင့္ျဖဴးသြားႏုိင္သည္။ ႏိုင္ငံတကာႏွင့္ ယွဥ္ကာ တိုးတက္ဖြံ႔ျဖိဳးသြားႏိုင္မည္။

စစ္အာဏာရွင္မ်ားက စည္းစိမ္အာဏာ ယစ္မူးၿပီး မိမိတုိ႔သာ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံတြင္ အေတာ္ဆံုး၊ အတတ္ဆံုးဟု ဘ၀င္ျမင့္ကာ ဘယ္ေတာ့မွ ႏိုင္ငံေရးကို ေျပလည္ေအာင္ ေဆာင္ရြက္ခ်င္ၾကသည္ မဟုတ္။ ဗိုလ္သန္းေရႊ ၾကည့္ပါ။ ေသသည္အထိ အာဏာရွင္ လုပ္ခ်င္သည္။ “ငါေသမွ ငါ့ေနရာရမည္” ဟုပင္ မဆုိ၊ “ငါ ေသရင္ေတာင္ ငါ့ေနရာ ငါယူသြားမည္” ဆုိေသာ လူစားပင္။ ႏုိင္ငံေရး ေျပလည္၍ ၄င္းတုိ႔ အာဏာ လက္လြတ္ရမွာ စုိးရိမ္သည္။ ျပည္သူ႔အာဏာ သက္ေရာက္ေသာ ဒီမုိကေရစီ လုပ္ထံုးလုပ္နည္း (က်င့္စဥ္) ကို အေၾကာက္ႀကီး ေၾကာက္ၾကသည္မွာ စစ္အာဏာရွင္၏ အတြင္းသရုပ္ပင္ ျဖစ္သည္။

အာဏာရွင္ ရွိလွ်င္ ျပည္သူလူထု၌ အာဏာမရွိ၊ ဒီမုိကေရစီ မရွိ”၊ “ျပည္သူလူထု၌ အာဏာရွိလွ်င္ ဒီမိုကေရစီ ရွိလွ်င္ အာဏာရွင္ မရွိႏုိင္”။ ထုိ႔ေၾကာင့္ ယူနီေဖာင္း၀တ္ အာဏာရွင္ ဗုိလ္သန္းေရႊတုိ႔ ဒီမိုကေရစီကုိ ရန္လုပ္ေနျခင္း ျဖစ္သည္။ ဒီမိုကေရစီကို ေၾကာက္ေနၾကျခင္း ျဖစ္သည္။ စစ္တပ္ကို အသံုးခ် အကာအကြယ္ယူၿပီး အာဏာရွင္ အသက္ဆက္ဖုိ႔ အကြက္ဆင္ကာ နအဖ ဖြဲ႔စည္းအုပ္ခ်ဳပ္ပံု အေျခခံ ဥပေဒကုိ အတင္းအဓမၼ အတည္ျပဳေနျခင္း ျဖစ္သည္။

http://photayokeking.myanmarbloggers.org/2009/01/blog-post_11.html
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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

January 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Global freedom on the slide: report

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theage.com.au

January 12, 2009 – 3:12PM

Freedom was on the march downward in 2008, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and the former Soviet Union, a private democracy watchdog organisation says.

It was the third year in a row that Freedom House had judged a drop in global freedom, though the pace of the decline slowed, thanks in part to significant improvements in South Asia, including Pakistan.

The group analysed 193 countries and found 89 were free, representing 46 per cent of the global population. That total was one fewer than in 2007; Senegal no longer was a member of the free club.

By comparison, 42 countries earned the “not free” designation.

They account for 34 per cent of the population – with just one “not free” nation, China, accounting for nearly three-fifths of that total.

The report on global freedom has been published annually since 1972.

“The decline in freedom has coincided with the onset of a forceful reaction against democratic reformers, international assistance to the reformers and the very idea of democracy,” said Arch Puddington, director of research for Freedom House.

The non-governmental organisation has promoted the expansion of freedom around the world since 1941.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, New Zealand, some Pacific island nations, Indonesia, India, Japan, Bhutan and Mongolia were rated as full members of the free club.

Burma and Fiji were among nations which got thumbs down.

With the biggest setbacks in sub-Saharan Africa, declines in freedom were noted in Senegal, Mauritania, Congo, Guinea, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. There were gains in Zambia, Comoros, Angola and Ivory Coast.

Puddington said there was no single, identifiable reason for the decline in Africa.

“We did, however, see a trend whereby countries in which democratic performance was already poor getting even poorer,” he said, citing Zimbabwe, Guinea and Equatorial Guinea.

The former Soviet Union was the only region to show consistent decline during the past decade.

Among the factors, he said, were the presence of a number of “petro-authoritarian” states in the region, such as Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, and the continued authoritarian legacy of the Soviet Union and the strong influence of Russia on its neighbours.

The report said democracy declined significantly in Russia and US-backed Georgia, as well as in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova.

South Asia showed the most progress, the report said, with big improvements in Pakistan, Maldives and Bhutan.

“South Asia was the bright spot in 2008,” Puddington said.

“This is especially important because South Asia has experienced so many years of chaos and upheaval.”

The organisation says the survey ratings and narrative reports are used by policymakers, the media, international corporations, civic activists, and human rights defenders to monitor trends in democracy and track improvements and setbacks in freedom worldwide.

Key findings:

*Free: The number of countries judged by the report as free in 2008 stands at 89, representing 46 per cent of the world’s countries and 46 per cent of the global population. The number of free countries declined by one from 2007.

*Partly Free: The number of partly free countries is 62, or 32 per cent of all countries assessed by the survey and 20 per cent of the world’s total population. The number of partly free countries increased by two.

*Not Free: The report designates 42 countries as not free, representing 22 per cent of the total number of countries and 34 per cent of the world population. Nearly 60 per cent of this number lives in China. The number of not free countries declined by one.

*Electoral Democracies: The number of electoral democracies dropped by two and stands at 119. Developments in Mauritania, Georgia, Venezuela and Central African Republic disqualified them from the electoral democracy list, while Bosnia-Herzegovina and Bangladesh became electoral democracies.

Worst of the worst:

Worst of the Worst: Of the 42 countries designated not free, eight received the survey’s lowest possible ranking for both political rights and civil liberties: North Korea, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Libya, Sudan, Burma, Equatorial Guinea and Somalia. Two territories are in the same category: Tibet and Chechnya. Eleven other countries and territories received scores that were slightly better: Belarus, Chad, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Laos, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Zimbabwe, South Ossetia and Western Sahara.

*Sub-Saharan Africa: Twelve countries and one territory – about one-fourth of the regional total – experienced setbacks in 2008. In addition to Senegal and Mauritania, declines were also registered in Burundi, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Namibia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Somaliland. The region’s downturn comes after several years of modest improvement. Positive developments include gains in Zambia, Comoros, Angola and Cote d’Ivoire.

*Asia: The most significant progress occurred in South Asia, where several countries saw improvements linked to elections. In addition to significant improvements in Pakistan, Maldives and Bhutan, some progress was also seen in Nepal, Kashmir, Malaysia and Thailand. Declines were registered in Afghanistan, Burma, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Singapore and Tibet. China increased repression instead of delivering human rights reforms pledged in connection to hosting the Summer Olympics.

*Middle East/North Africa: After several years of modest gains earlier in the decade, the Middle East/North Africa is now experiencing stagnation. Iraq is the only country to show improvement because of reductions in violence, political terror and government-sponsored Shia militias, although it retains its Not Free status. Jordan, Bahrain, Iran, the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli-Occupied Territories also declined.

*Western Europe and North America: The region continues to earn the highest scores in Freedom in the World. The election of Barack Obama as US president could lead to reforms of problematic counterterrorism policies. Two European countries experienced declines in 2008: Italy and Greece. The survey also voices concern about potential threats to freedom of expression in Canada and Great Britain.

© 2009 AP

http://news.theage.com.au/world/global-freedom-on-the-slide-report-20090112-7f03.html

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

January 12, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Posted in Varieties in English

Tagged with , ,

World focus on Burma (12 January 2009)

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Two Singaporeans defending Burmese workers arrested
Mizzima.com, India –
Seelan Palay and Chong Kai Xiong, who were demonstrating outside the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) office in Singapore, to highlight the plight of Burmese …

MYANMAR: Capacity challenges remain
IRINnews.org, NY –
… told IRIN in Yangon, the former Burmese capital. More than two million people were affected when Nargis struck Myanmar’s low-lying Ayeyarwady Delta on 2 …

East Timor President Calls for Review of Burma Sanctions Policy
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said, “The goals of Western countries and the countries in the region for Myanmar [Burma] are not different – we all want …

State of Exception
Webdiary, Australia –
… putting an immediate distance between her and Howard – took up the issue of women, and support for Burma ’s silenced democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. …

Nationwide polio campaign launched
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
Dr Myint Oo, secretary of the Myanmar Medical Association (Upper Burma), said the country had been declared polio-free in 2003 but the disease had …

Messenger in the Dark
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –

Fear follows Burmese artists even when they venture abroad, according to the leading painter Chaw Ei Thein. The self-censorship they practice within Burma …

Warrants Issued for Santika Owner, Manager
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Among the dead were three Singaporeans, one Japanese and one Burmese national, Win Kyaw Phyo, 26, a graduate student at Assumption University of Thailand …

When the Market Speaks
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
The junta undertook a partial “liberalization” of Burma’s energy market by allowing Myanmar Economic Holding, Ltd, which is owned by the military, …

New Bangkok Governor has Big Plans
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, Thailand –
Sukhumbhand Paribatra has also been a strong critic of the military regime in Burma. The Democrat Party-led coalition won 20 of the 29 House seats in the …

Thai FM reviews cyclone victims aid with Myanmar official
Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand –
BANGKOK, Jan 12 (TNA) – Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya met Monday with a senior Myanmar official to review progress in distributing, delivering and …

Malaysians want what we want
guardian.co.uk, UK –
Parts of Sarawak and neighbouring Saba are still pretty remote and much of the peninsula – the long finger down from Thailand and Burma – are not as …

Myanmar rat infestation causing food crisis: NGO
ABS CBN News, Philippines –
YANGON – Tens of thousands of people in remote northwestern Myanmar faced a food crisis after their farmlands were destroyed by a rat infestation, …

Burma needs reform, unified and balanced structure
Mizzima.com, India –
“Myanmar is highly expected to make an exit from those similar circles in history,” the observer remarked, adding that new actors/agents or new …

Urbane Nomads Organizes Tour to Remote North-Eastern Myanmar by …
Emediawire (press release), WA –
Some of the tours Urbane Nomads is promoting in 2009 include a private jet tour covering Golden Triangle Thailand and Myanmar, before moving on to Putao, …

Political prisoners denied family visits
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
Jan 12, 2009 (DVB)–Families of political inmates in various remote prison across Burma said they were refused permission to see their detained relatives …

2 arrested for protest
Straits Times, Singapore –

They wore red T-shirts and held a banner that read ‘Stop ill-treatment of Burmese activists’. The protest was in support of two Myanmar nationals, …

Authorities crack down on Myaing oil workers’ protest
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
Four young villagers named Yeh Htut Win, Yazar Aung, Myo Aung and Than Shwe were arrested the following morning on suspicion of arson and taken to Pakokku …

Lawyer plans to appeal sentences of 11 students
Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway –
… Federation of Student Unions for Upper Burma, Bo Min Yu. “The ABFSU leader, Bo Min Yu, was sentenced to over 100 years in prison,” Myint Thwin said. …

Cambodia’s PM to attend summit in Thailand
Australia Network News, Australia –
Thailand currently holds the rotating chairmanship of ASEAN, which groups it with Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Burma, the Philippines, …

“International Artists Collaborate in Fight for Freedom”
Absolutearts.com –
… a key political figure who was placed under house arrest in Myanmar (formerly Burma) 19 years ago over her bid for political freedom. …

VDO – Andaman News Monday 12 January 2009; 6 items
Thailand National News Bureau, Thailand –
Item—2— Thai hospitality operators are participating in the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Vietnam held during January 5-12. The Tourism Authority of Thailand …

Twittering away
New Europe, Belgium –
YouTube was used by Burmese bloggers to bear witness on the crackdown of the Saffron Revolution in lieu of world media who were banned from entering the …

Global freedom on the slide: report
The Age, Australia –
… Maldives and Bhutan, some progress was also seen in Nepal, Kashmir, Malaysia and Thailand. Declines were registered in Afghanistan, Burma, Fiji, …

Crisis may lead to more non-tariff barriers
เดอะ เนชั่น, Thailand –
A new FTA is likely to be negotiated in cooperation with the Asean countries, in line with the bloc’s plan to integrate its 10 member states into an Asean …

Bid to boost trade with neighbours to life exports
เดอะ เนชั่น, Thailand –
Cross-border trade covers Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia. According to the Foreign Trade Department, in the first 11 months of last year, …

Today in History
Reiten Television KXMB Bismarck, ND –
In 1909, actress Ann Sothern was born in Valley City, ND; UN Secretary-General U Thant was born in Pantanaw, Burma. In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson …

Not standing up and being counted on Burma
Manila Times, Philippines –
THE Philippines missed out on a gilt-edged chance to make a principled stand on the burning question of Myanmar—or Burma as the civilized world remembers …