Among the 10-member countries of ASEAN, Burma is considered the most brutal to its own citizens. Its human rights record is unsurpassed in the region. Among its fellow ASEAN members, Burma is uncooperative. Its secretive regime, a military junta has ruled, or “misruled”, Burma for the past 43 years. The issue of Burma is no longer foreign in the eyes of many political analysts around the world. Its wanton trampling of human rights hog the headlines and sends chills to all democracy loving-people especially Filipinos who have ousted two corrupt and authoritarian governments through people power.
For the last three to five years, we have seen the international community’s unrelenting advocacy and campaign work aimed in attaining genuine political changes inside Burma. The campaign to block Burma from chairing the ASEAN this year was a major success. Various non-government organizations and people’s organizations in the region continue to picket Burmese embassies and hound their officials in their respective territories.
But despite of the pressures exerted by various human rights groups around the world, violations of human rights that include rape, arbitrary killings, forced labor, forced relocation and destruction of ethnic villages remained unchanged.
PRESIDENT Xanana Gusmao may have prophesied when he told fellow East Timorese four years ago that “raising our flag will not mean that malaria will suddenly disappear, or that domestic violence will suddenly end, or that we all will have enough food, education, electricity, roads, or jobs. We dreamed of independence, but now we dream of development and of being a developed nation.” Those words can never be more relevant at present as the world’s tiniest and youngest nation is thrust again into socio-political turmoil threatening to rip the fabric of the nation – this time from within not from without
The complex and interconnected nature of conflicts in southeast Asia has made conflict prevention an urgent call in the region. Too often, peace is broken and development is stopped by outbreaks of unrest and armed violence in the so-called conflict areas...
The saga of Bud Dahu looms tall in the myths and lives of the Tausugs in Sulu, even if a hundred years after, the process of story telling has only started. “Bud Dahu is only one of the many mountains in the world, but it has conquered world history,” proclaimed Prof. Sahie S.Udjah, a member of the Bud Dahu Coordinating Council (BDCC) at the start of the “Pagtibaw Sajahitra” (peace pilgrimage) campaign started by Sulu civil society and peace support groups in early March in Sulu.
Bantay Ceasefire investigated the reported clashes in Barangays Tapikan, Coloy and Nabundas, Mamasapano town, Maguindanao in January. BC found out, among others, that clash between 105th Base Command MILF-BIAF and 106th Base Command MILF-BIAF on January 25, 2006 in Brgy. Kaykaya, Datu Abdullah Sangki was an internal problem of the MILF Command coordination. The intervention of paramilitary troops (CAFGU’s and CVO’s) in the said conflict complicated the situation.