That's Totally Lame

June 29, 2010

So the Government of India claims that its approach towards its human rights violating neighboring Myanmar (aka Burma) is all swell as the dickens.

Um, no.

In fact, as Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s most famous prisoner of conscience and Nobel laureate languishes in prison for another year, India has been totally lame in its approach towards the Myanmar  This is especially the case as Myanmar is set to hold elections widely seen as not conducive to promotion of human rights.

With Myanmar’s first elections in two decades approaching, the three freedoms – of expression, association and peaceful assembly – essential for people to freely participate in the political process, are increasingly being denied. Daw Suu Kyi is one of some 2,200 political prisoners in Myanmar. None of them will be able to participate in this year’s elections under new election laws – laws that the Indian government has failed to condemn.

What was particular lame was India’s decision to cop out of condemning Myanmar’s pretty horrible human rights record at the UN Human Rights Council.  Not only that, but India is even considering selling weapons to this odious regime.  That’s not only lame, that’s jhol.

As the Myanmar elections approach India needs to do the right thing and to publicly call for the three freedoms – of expression, association and peaceful assembly – to be guaranteed throughout the election period. This is the time to show true human rights leadership as befits a key regional player – and not the time for silence.

In other words, India, stop being totally lame about the way you deal with Myanmar.