Burmese Military Regime Must Accept Humanitarian Aid
- Int. Solidarity
- 2008.05.29 (16:32:37)
- 첨부 1
The worst cyclone to date, the trail of ruins by Cyclone Nargis has left Burma destitute. It is estimated that at least 130,000 people have died or been injured and 2,000,000 cyclone victims have been created as a result. Many of these survivors are suffering from famine and disease. Although the Burmese people are suffering from lack of water and food at this very moment, the Burmese military regime has not taken any measures to protect its people, let alone accept relief aid from the international community. This action of the Burmese military regime can only be seen as an inhumane act that will result in the mass killing of its own people. PSPD urges the Burmese military regime to take urgent action in providing relief for its people as well as immediately cooperating with the international community in receiving humanitarian aid.
The Burmese military regime been rejecting the entry of search and rescue teams from international relief organizations as well as entry of foreign press members. Furthermore, it has also been deporting relief aid workers who are already present in Burma. The military regime has been consistently behaving in inhumane ways towards its people, even as far as confiscating relief materials and deterring relief actions by the Burmese Buddhist monks. Currently in the hard-hit Irrawaddy River delta, communicable diseases such as cholera are rampant, and 20% of Burmese children are complaining of diarrhea and stomach pains. If the Burmese military regime continues to neglect its people whose right to live have been threatened, its actions will bring about a huge calamity to humankind.
However, the Burmese military regime continues to ignore the miserable state in which its people are in. In contrast, in order to maintain its political power, the military regime has been enforcing the referendum for revision of the constitution upon its people as well as regulating foreign assistance. In addition, in order to enforce the referendum, the military regime has formed a police force as well as a military force to intimidate and hold the voters under the regime's control. In a word, the military regime held a referendum under an unfair and politically oppressed situation. In this manner, the Burmese military regime-with no concern for disaster relief activities-has been solely focused on the maintenance of its political power. PSPD can not help but become enraged at these behaviors of the Burmese military regime.
UN, ASEAN, and the international community as a whole are strongly urging the Burmese military regime-which is neglecting the deaths and damages caused by Cyclone Nargis-to receive relief aid for its people. According to principles set up by the UN, the victims of Cyclone Nargis have been classified as internally displaced persons (IDP) and in this case where Burma can not provide emergency disaster support on its own, it can not purposefully withhold intervention of humanitarian aid organizations. Therefore, if the Burmese military regime continues to refuse relief aid, the opinion that "forced humanitarian intervention" must be enforced will only keep getting stronger.
The international community is unfolding solidarity activities such as a signature-seeking campaign and donation collecting campaign so that the Burmese military regime can actively accept support from the international community. However, the reality is that the citizen's organizations efforts are not being communicated to the people of Burma due to the Burmese military regime's political interests and corruption. Responding to the current pressure by the international community, the Burmese military regime has been showing a movement to accept ASEAN and the international community's relief aid. However, because the issue involves the survival of the Burmese victims, the military regime must not restrictively receive aid from only ASEAN nations, but immediately and without condition, broadly receive aid from the international community, and promptly open Burma to relief aid so that it may reach the victims directly.
The Korean government can not just look on thinking that it has completed its responsibility as a member of the international community by providing the bare minimum. The Korean government must strongly urge the Burmese military regime to promptly meet the demands of the international community. The Korean government must also provide necessary support at the political level so that the assistance provided by the Korean people can be directly transferred to meet immediate needs of the Burmese victims. As a developed nation, the Korean government has stated that it would actively pursue a diplomatic policy that contributes to the international community. Therefore, the Korean government must contribute to the democracy and protection of human rights in Asia by participating in an active role regarding the catastrophe in Burma.