Myanmar: No Justice, No Peace


November 30, 2010: When it became obvious to the tribes that the November 7 elections were rigged in favor of the military dictatorship candidates, the fighting resumed with the tribal militias. Two decades of efforts to make peace deals with tribal militias has fallen apart. The generals who run the military dictatorship hoped to absorb all the tribal militias into a new border guard force, and disarm the militias. But during the last two years, the tribal factions realized they were being played. It became obvious that the new border force would be commanded by non-tribal generals and closely watched by the secret police. This rebellion of the "pacified tribes" has been building for years. The latest one to rebel was the Buddhist faction of the Karen tribes, which had allied itself with the government in the 1990s. Now the Buddhist and Christian Karen are united in fighting the military dictatorship. Some of the tribes are also fighting to protect their lucrative new business producing and smuggling amphetamines. Northern Burma has become a major source of illegal amphetamines.

Further complicating the tribal situation are the three new natural gas and oil pipelines moving Burmese product to China. The tribal rebels are expected to stay away from these pipelines, and get some help from China in return (which already provides sanctuary for the United War Army, ethnic Chinese tribes that have long been fighting with the Burmese government).

November 26, 2010:  The government has enacted a new law that restricts the speech of members of the new parliament. If government officials decide that a member of parliament is saying something that endangers national security, the unity of the country or violates the constitution, the offender can be sent to jail for two years. The rigged November 7 election gave military dictatorship supporters 80 percent of the seats.

November 19, 2010: Four time bombs were found in a hotel in the capital, and defused.

November 13, 2010:  The government has released opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi from two decades of house arrest. The military dictatorship believes the recent rigged elections will provide cover for the generals to keep running the country without significant opposition. But Suu Kyi, who won the last free elections (just before she was put under house arrest), made it clear that she will her resume her democratic attempts to vote the generals out of power.

November 12, 2010: A UN report accused North Korea of exporting nuclear weapons technology to Burma, and several other nations. But Burma apparently has not gone very far in trying to develop nukes.

November 9, 2010: The government declared that the party created by the military dictatorship had won 80 percent of the seats in parliament. The vote was widely believed to have been rigged.

November 8, 2010: Tribal militias began fighting the army in the north. Thousands of tribal refugees headed for the Thailand border.

November 7, 2010: The first elections in 20 years were held, except in the tribal territories, where the military dictatorship concluded that it would be too difficult to rig the vote. The government declared a 90 day state of emergency to deal with the growing unrest.



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