By Kyaw Myint Tun (Paris)
We hope Myanmar’s neighbours and other third world countries are listening and taking note of the following.
There is a famous saying, “the third hurts”. And, the truth is often not allowed to be applied at the same level across the board. Certain corners of the societies, hiding under cover of “righteousness”, always escape having to face the truth. Hypocrisy trumps the truth more often than not.
South American country of Chile is a beacon of stability
The constitution in Chile was approved in 1980 under the notorious Augusto Pinochet and fully effective since 1990.
Only in October 2020, 30 years after Pinochet stepped down and 15 years after his death, a national referendum was held in Chile to write a new constitution. On Sunday, 16 May 2021, the Chileans went to the polls to elect 150 architects who will draft the new constitution. Another referendum will be held in Chile in 2022 to adopt the new constitution.
Pinochet orchestrated constitution is the same constitution. The current United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet served comfortably two times as the President of Chile, first from 2006 to 2010 and again from 2014 to 2018 (Very recently!). No one rushed to change the Pinochet constitution! not even Mrs Bachelet
Chile did not become a beacon of stability by transforming the country irrationally.
Let’s shout out to all these elements, especially external elements, who relentlessly lobby for the quick changes in Myanmar.
Let us say in South America
The world is seeing what is happening in the South American country of Colombia. Where are these so-called United Nations rights experts of South American descent, who are always most vocal when it comes to Myanmar? Many of them have made a living off Myanmar over the decades while doing so enabling them to travel endlessly, drop in at tropical locales for endless “discussions” and “ roundtables”, stopover at big think tanks in the major western countries, allowing them for sponsorships or lucrative consultancy, has anyone heard from them? But when it comes to Myanmar, it’s a faraway country, and there is no harm for them. Such selective interest!
Talk about tropical locales, reports in recent days stated United Nations “Special Envoy” on Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, that she plans on staying in the Southeast Asian region in the coming weeks. Who can blame her? After more than a year of being cooped up in her native Switzerland, who can blame her for wanting to remain in the tropics? This the “ Special Envoy” with no experience in dealing with the political crisis of any kind and yet, still being appointed by the United Nations. And now, she’s being thrust into bare-knuckle Myanmar politics. As Ms Schraner looks at the situation in Myanmar from the perspective of all that she learned in the classrooms at a prestigious university in Switzerland, let us wish her well.
Then there is the so-called United Nations Human Rights Rapporteur, who is an American and based in Washington D.C., who has been constantly in the media. Really? Who does he really report to? Are Myanmar’s neighbours paying attention?
All usual suspects have come out of the woodworks in the recent weeks.
There former United Nations officials who have served in Myanmar in the past, trying to hold on to their self-appointed title as “experts” on Myanmar affairs, there are some former senior politicians, even a certain Australian former Prime Minister of a bygone era, who has no chance of any political life domestically, but desperate in trying to get an appointment with the UN. It’s an opportune time to keep their names on the radar.
Can’t blame them because senior appointment in the United Nations is highly coveted. These positions come with perks, like being able to hold the United Nations Diplomatic Passport and all other related privileges that come along with it.
The United Nations is very good at interfering in small third world countries under the guise of liberal slogans, and there are no checks and balances. Absolute carte blanche is accorded with no questions asked!
But, when the big powers are involved, the vice of the United Nations is nowhere to be heard, UN voices are drowned out or outright ignored by the western elements.
Just to mention one instance, what was the United Nations able to do when there was an indiscriminate attack on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan?
Let us not also forget that the United States banned the top International Criminal Court Prosecutor from entering the country. Did the UN or anyone in the International System manage to do anything? Imagine if Myanmar or other small countries did the same? The pressure on the country will be relentless. Sanction! Embargoes! All sorts of kitchen sinks will be thrown at that country.
Shall we turn to the developments in the Middle East? Say no more!
This is the same United Nations, which has never had a woman at the top since its foundation more than 75 years ago, while at the same time preaching the advancement of women’s rights around the world. Since the current Secretary-General is slated the top coronation for another five years, the United Nations will not have a woman at the top position for a while.
Instead of continuing the path of point fingers at others and endlessly proclaiming self – righteousness, the United Nations might wish to look in the mirror and reform its self-first.
Until then, let us continue to enjoy nice wording statements from the United Nations.
(The views and opinions are only those of the author).