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Report on the Human Rights Situation in Burma (January – March 2011)

By Network for Human Rights Documentation - Burma  •  May 18, 2011

The Network for Human Rights Documentation – Burma (ND-Burma) launches its periodic report online. The findings of this report demonstrate from January through March 2011 ongoing human rights violations committed by the regime and its proxies after the Election and just become new structure.

In the reporting period, significant political developments have taken place.  On 31 January the new Parliament, elected through a fundamentally flawed election held in November last year, convened for the first time.  On 30 March, Senior General Than Shwe officially dissolved the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) to transfer authority to the nominally civilian parliament.  However, it is evident from ND-Burma’s documentation that despite these structural changes, human rights abuses committed by the military regime continue unabated and the necessity of establishing a United Nations Commission of Inquiry (CoI) in Burma to end such atrocities and to prevent future violations.

“When we look through the collected evidences from the network, it’s quite surprised to see that the military junta and its supporters continued the violating of the rights of its own civilians even they’ve formed a new civilian government. On one hand, it is very clear to say that the same power seems to be still remaining in the hands of the military junta. The information from each field researches shows that there is no guarantee to human rights and no positive changes towards the genuine democracy.”

“Although the President Thein Sein said that his government will guarantee the rights of peasants and protect the fundamental human rights of Burma’s citizens, there are still land confiscations from farmers, extortion, used of forced labour and summary execution” Nai Aue Mon, Management Board member of ND-Burma, said.

“There are no real changes; right after the elections, fighting has intensified between DKBA, other non-ceasefire groups and Burma military troops. As the consequences, ethnic nationalities who live in the areas are suffering from human rights violations as before”.

“In ethnic areas, there are no significant developments because local authorities cannot manage any developments freely. Currently, people from Palaung region have to work abroad; in Thailand, China and Malaysia due to the economic hardship. Even after the elections, Ta’ang (Palaung) National Party (TNP) cannot really do anything for the economy of the people. The unemployment problem has been even worsening” Lway Dang Jar, Management Board member of ND-Burma, said.

Human Rights Violations Documented by ND-Burma: January – March 2011
This report documents the human rights situation in Burma, January to March 2011.  An assessment of this period is important, as it follows the elections and includes the convening of the new Parliament.  Following the elections the ruling military regime of Burma underwent many surface-level changes.  On 31 January 2011 a Parliament convened for the first time in over 20 years.  The ruling military junta (SPDC) was officially dissolved and power was handed over to the new ‘civilian government’ on 30 March 2011.  Despite the structural changes that have taken place, power in Burma remains in the hands of its military elite and the cronies they protect.  The human rights abuses committed by the military regime have not decreased in response to the changing political situation on the ground.  ND-Burma documented 167 cases of human rights violations committed by the regime and its supporters during the period January to March 2011. This report includes cases from all over the country and covers a range of human rights violations and other elections-related irregularities.

The following violations were recorded:

Arbitrary/illegal arrest/detention 11 cases
Confiscation/destruction of property 31 cases
Disappearances 1 case
Forced labor 33 cases
Forced relocation/Forced displacement 3 cases
Human trafficking 7 cases
Killings 4 cases
Obstruction of freedom of expression, assembly and association 12 cases
Obstruction of freedom of movement 10 cases
Rape 7 cases
Use of child soldiers 21 cases
Torture, inhumane or degrading treatment 19 cases
Arbitrary and corrupt taxation/Extortion 8 cases

The Network for Human Rights Documentation – Burma (ND-Burma) includes 12 member organizations, collectively using the truth of what communities in Burma have endured to challenge the regime’s impunity for human rights violations through advocacy and to prepare for a peaceful democratic transition.

Despite the restrictive conditions, human rights groups, political organizations, media and ethnic groups from both inside and outside of Burma (including ND- Burma) managed to collect information on violations related to the 2010 elections. As a human rights network, ND-Burma monitored the 16 categories of human rights violations.

Download the full report.

For further information, please contact –
Ms. Lway Dang Jar: 082 225 1569, lwaydjar@gmail.com
Nai Aue Mon: 086 167 9741, auemon@gmail.com

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