Dear His Excellency, António Guterres and members of the United Nations
I am Nel Adams( Sao Noan Oo) a Shan British citizen living in the United Kingdom. I belong to the second and one of the oldest generation of Shans after Bamar Military’s coup in the Shan other States, Burma in 1962. For the last 6 or 7 decades my people and other non-Bamar ethnic nationalities have experienced the darkest period in our history. The first generation, that is my parents’ and their generation have all suffered tremendously under the Bamar Military, the Tatmadaw. and now all passed away, some died in prison, some during under house arrest and others killed secretly.
The immense suffering of the Rohingya was most horrific and has been brought to the attention of the UN and International Media and Communities, but as observed by the UN Rapporteur, Yanghee Lee, there are untold stories of abuse and suffering continue to dominate the lives of millions of other ethnic people in Burma as they struggle to survive in active war zones and displacement camps. In spite of the Cease -fire Agreement and Peace Process, the Bamar military continues to attack ethnic organisations, kill civilians and use rape as a weapon of war. In Kachin and Northern Shan States conflict has significantly increased, and recently also against the Karens. The Burmese military has increased their spending on arms, which are no doubt, to be used against the people.
Burma’s military has also spent decades trying to expel ethnic groups from their homeland, pushing them over the borders into neighbouring countries, in the same way it is now doing to the Rohingya in Rakhine State.
The Bamar Tatmadaw is the continuation of the Bamar military/political institute, consisting of extreme nationalist armed group, founded just before World War II. They were trained in Japan and was built based on anger, hate and revenge to fight against the British. It was not formed as a Federal Union Army with intention to defend or protect citizens, but to rule over and transform the identity of all other ethnic nationalities into one entity, the Maynmarese or Bamar. This has been their ideology since then and passes down from one generation of the Institution to the other. In order to succeed they follow a passionate belief that, they would do whatever they have to do- and so they did, by employing a long and continual process of killing and murdering other ethnic population, and destroying their identity, culture, language and religion.
Having got Aung San out of the way by assassinating him in 1947, the Tatmadaw invaded the Shan and other ethnic states in 1962. All members of Parliament including 33 Shan Leaders were imprisoned, while the whole population were left helpless, leaderless and forced to live a life of fear and terror for the next six decades. The Institution labels all the ethnic resistant armies as terrorists, but if the word terrorists refers to a group of people who terrorise other people, are members of the Burmese Military/Political Institute, who have been terrorising other ethnic nationalities for so long not terrorists too?
The military army with weapons and their unusual ideology and belief, usurped power and completely hijacked the homelands and resources belonging to the original citizens and pertrated various forms of human rights violations against them. In the case of the Shans, the worst period of heinous crimes, including mass murders, ethnic cleansing, gang-rape and even genocide was during 1997- until early 21st Century. During that period groups of villagers ranging from a few to 56 were massacred continuously besides other lesser crimes.
During those period, it was much more difficult for the UN Rapporteurs to investigate and collect facts, as the Shan and other ethnic States were hidden from the outside world, and made inaccessible to foreign media and visitors. Nevertheless, the crimes were well reported by Amnesty International, several UN Rapporteurs, well written and documented by Shan Human Rights Foundation, Shan Woman Action Network and publicised and campaigned by Shan Herald Agency for News and some citizens in exile. But sadly, the UN and Foreign Governments of whom we thought we could rely on have not heeded, but neglected and failed Shan and other ethnic citizens. The successive Bamar Generals and their Officers have successfully managed to lie, deceive and con the world.
In the case of the Rohingya, due to on-line communications and facilities available to many, the human rights violations by the Bamar Military against them can now be seen clearly by the whole world. They can no longer lie, yet they are still trying to do so in spite of mountains of evidences. The Bamar Generals, having got away once with the countless heinous crimes they committed against other ethnic nationalities during the late 20th. Century, are taking advantage, and are now doing the same to the Rohingya with greater might and power.
Should not all members of the UN honour and abide by the principles of “the Human Rights Charter” and not allow rogue governments or organisations to get away with their crimes ? Some perpetrators and many victims have died and gone, but the same Bamar military/political institution is still very much alive, and continuing to commit the same heinous crimes. Until and unless the Bamar Military/political Institution is dismantled, or completely reformed there will never be democracy or peace in the non-Bamar ethnic states of Burma. My Parents’ and the present four generations have lived a life of fear and terror under the present military/ political Institution. Forthe sake of future generations, within your power please prevent such evil organisation to exist.
The UN must act now and make sure that those who have committed crimes against their own human kind will be made accountable for their actions or else there will be many more rogue governments in the world.