Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Act on Burma Now!

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 14th May, 2008

 Burma risks becoming the Rwanda de nos jours, according to Anna Roberts, Co-Director of Burma Campaign, who was the keynote speaker at a Liberal International British Group (LIBG) Forum on Burma at the National Liberal Club last night. As Nwe Aung (the other speaker), Director of the National Council of the Union of Burma’s European Office said, babies are dying literally every minute. He estimated the death toll so far at between 200,000 and 300,000. The recent cyclone is the immediate cause of the disastrous situation in that benighted country, but this is exacerbated by the callous attitude of the military junta, which is stopping foreign aid workers flying in to help, is syphoning off supplies that have arrived, and seems immune to the misery it is causing. In my opinion, the sooner the Burmese military leaders are brought before an international tribunal to be tried for crimes against humanity, the better.

But will that happen? Or will the international community just stand by, dithering, while yet more Burmese perish in their tens of thousands, from hunger and disease? The UN should invoke established principles of established humanitarian intervention. And if China or one of the other permanent members of the Security Council tries to stop this, then Western countries should act unilaterally. There will be an emergency motion on Burma at the Liberal International Congress in Belfast later this week, and I will be arguing strongly that we must do something — and quickly.



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