The crackdown on peaceful protesters in Rangoon, the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis in the Irrawaddy Delta, and a flawed referendum on constitutional change have been the focus of international attention in Burma during the past year. However, a new report by the Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) suggests that violations of humanitarian and human rights law in the conflict-affected areas of eastern Burma are more widespread and systematic than ever. ()
TBBC is an alliance of eleven NGOs from nine countries working to provide food, shelter, non-food items and capacity building support to Burmese refugees and displaced persons. Apart from updating information about internal displacement, the new report compiles abuses reported during 2008 in relation to the legal framework for crimes against humanity. ()
Evidence cited in the report appears to support Amnesty Internationals recent assessment that the violations in eastern Burma meet the legal threshold to constitute crimes against humanity. Special Rapporteurs for the United Nations have consistently noted over the past decade that such abuses are systematic, rather than simply isolated acts, and that the junta has failed to implement recommendations formulated by relevant United Nations bodies. ()
iven that the Burmese junta is targeting civilians in military operations, the responsibility to protect villagers in eastern Burma must shift to the international community. The causes of this humanitarian crisis are political, so diplomatic efforts to broker tri-partite dialogue and promote national reconciliation need to be renewed. Yet it remains essential to hold the junta to account for atrocities committed in eastern Burma, and to demand an immediate nation-wide ceasefire, commented Mr Dunford [TBBCs Executive Director].
Press Release: http://tbbc.org/announcements/2008-10-22-media-release.htm
Full Report: http://tbbc.org/idps/report-2008-idp-english.pdf