US President Barack Obama’s made his much-anticipated second trip to Burma last week during the 25th ASEAN Summit, amid growing awareness that the reforms which he so eagerly celebrated during his 2012 trip are quickly unravelling – or being exposed for the stage-managed charade that they are.
In 2012, it was all too easy to trust the reform process. National elections had been scheduled for 2015, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had been freed from house arrest and elected to Parliament, political prisoners had been released, a nationwide ceasefire process was underway with the majority of armed ethnic groups, and restrictions on media and civil society had been drastically loosened. And so the US and the international community embraced the reforms.
Yet, last month, in her recent address to the UN General Assembly, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burma Yanghee Lee warned of the risks of backtracking. Then, earlier this month, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi labelled the process as “stalled” and remarked that “there have been times when the [US] government has seemed over-optimistic about the reform process.”
Furthermore, there has been a flurry of recent calls from civil society across Burma, directly raising their various concerns about the reform process with President Obama. The Karen Human Rights Group wrote an open letter drawing President Obama’s attention to human rights violations resulting from the ongoing government military presence throughout south-eastern Burma; [...]
Tags: 2008 Constitution, 25th ASEAN Summit, Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, Burma Government, Ceasefire Agreement, Civil Society Organizations, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Joint Strategy Team, Kachin, Karen Human Rights Group, Muslims, Peace Process, Political Prisoners, President Thein Sein, Rohingyas, Shan, UN General Assembly, US President Barack Obama, Yanghee Lee