The International Herald Tribune features an opinion piece by one of the most significant pro-democracy leaders in Burma (aka Myanmar). In a message smuggled out of the country U Win Tin (a colleague of Aung San Suu Kyi) first explains for the incurably optimistic how the “election” there next month is merely window dressing to ensure that the military dictatorship can claim to be a legitimate government. Then closes responding to to the incurable optimist’s next question:
One might ask what is the solution, if it is not the election. It is dialogue, which we have been calling for for many years. Meaningful political dialogue between the military, the National League for Democracy led by Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, and ethnic representatives is the only way to solve problems in Burma peacefully.
The military has no desire to talk. But if the international community seriously exercises strong and effective pressure on the regime, the combination of pressure from outside and peaceful resistance inside the country will force the regime to come to the dialogue table.
I wish that our friends in Europe would abandon their dream of expecting something impossible from the election, and start taking serious action against the regime with the aim of starting a dialogue. They should begin by creating a U.N. commission of inquiry to investigate human rights violations in Burma.
Win Tin was one of the founders of the NLD (with Suu Kyi) and is still a member of its central committee. He was a political prisoner for about two decades. His brave words should be heard! Since the “election” is approaching fast please link to the opinion piece, and perhaps encourage others to write to their representatives urging a UN Commission of Inquiry.