Arroyo has no moral authority to denounce Myanmar atrocities — Bayan

Oct. 01, 2007

DAVAO CITY — BAYAN in Southern Mindanao denounces the massive human rights
violations and killings of political activists in Myanmar, which
already claimed thirteen (13) lives and hundreds incarcerated. The
economic and political crisis in Myanmar, which triggered series of
protests tackling variety of issues from oil price increases and human
rights violations, is similar to what the Filipinos are experiencing
under the Arroyo administration.

GMA’s statements in the 62nd United nations General Assembly urging
Myanmar “to go back to the path of democracy”, are mere rhetorics that
simply contradict her real records here in the Philippines. She has
lost the moral ascendancy to talk about human rights violations since
2001, when hundreds of activists summarily executed.

We believe that Myanmar’s ruling junta should be made accountable of
the crimes they have committed to the people of Myanmar. They should
be prosecuted of widespread human rights violations, which have been
compiled for so many years under an authoritarian rule. But, with GMA
and the Philippine government, which is a member of the UN Human
Rights Council, to be tasked of asking Myanmar’s junta to stop the
crackdown against protests will not be helpful for the United Nations.

Under GMA’s authoritarian rule, close to a thousand activists,
lawyers, journalists and civil libertarians are summarily executed by
the military’s death squads. The Arroyo administration is also
responsible of more than one hundred ninety (190) cases of enforced
disappearances since 2001. The international community, which involves
organizations of lawyers, parliamentarians, journalists and even the
United Nations Special Rapporteur on Political killings, had denounced
political killings in the Philippines.

With GMA’s speech in the United Nations General Assembly centered on
Myanmar’s atrocities, it only manifests that she’s trying to evade and
divert the issue of political killings in the Philippines. Instead of
answering allegations of political persecution in her own country, she
managed to wipe the dirt into her fellow dictators in Myanmar.

BAYAN calls on the United Nations to act swiftly on the cases filed by
human rights groups in the Philippines on GMA’s atrocities against the
Filipino people while addressing the massive human rights violations
in Myanmar. It is also time for the United Nations to sanction
authoritarian regimes in Southeast Asia, which use military power to
quell legitimate protest.#

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