chapter  4
The well-hidden regime of Myanmar
ByTheéodore H MacDonald
Pages 21

Unlike Sudan, Burma (Myanmar) was closely monitored by the UN after its military elite overthrew the political party elected by the people in fair and free elections in 1990. Myanmar plays an active role in the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), particularly in military matters, and ASEAN shares many of the organizational links with the UN in the area of human rights. The international community seems to have been hamstrung by regional politics being played out in the UN forum with regard to Myanmar. Amnesty International has also documented human rights abuses in Myanmar by ethnic-minority-based armed opposition groups, including arbitrary detention, torture and unlawful killings. Myanmar is an eminently suitable case study. The arguments for international humanitarian intervention are both compelling and vast. The Karens had developed a capacity for armed resistance and engaged in widespread violation of human rights, but to nowhere near the same extent as that practised by the Myanmar government.