The life of women and girls under SPDC
The word“rape” is not good to hear for everyone. But in Burma, the members of State Peace Development Council (SPDC) are still raping women and girls with heartlessness. Does it happen because of the victims’ fate or is it because of the daily cultural practice of SPDC? When SPDC practices Human Rights violations, where is the legitimacy of Universal Declaration Human Rights in Burma?
By Lieng Lern
The Burmese junta should respect the UDHR as Burma is one of the countries that signed in 1948. Since the military coup in 1962, the Burmese soldiers have been involved in committing atrocities by killings, raping, robbing people’s properties and forced labour without respect for human dignity.
The number of battalions has increased substantially throughout Shan State. Having more battalions means having more rapists in the region. Sexual violence by the military is still prevalent around Burma, particularly in ethnic regions. Soldiers, captains, commanders and others SPDC officials are committing human rights violations everyday. Innocent women and girls are the victims of Burmese soldiers. Women and girls are unsafe from sexual harassment under the current military regime.
Women and girls are raped in their homes, farms, jungles and while they are walking alone in the forest. They also suffere on the double from the military while they are doing forced labour in the day time and raped by the officials in night. All of these indicate that sexual violence has been taking place in all frontier areas.
When women are raped by soldiers, the village headmen and parents usually inform the military commanders. But nothing is being taken action as the military do not care about the victims and sometimes they even threaten the victims not to tell anyone or report. The victims’ lives will be in danger if they reveal their story and do not obey what the military commander says. If the military commander acts like this, what can the victim expect from the perpetrators? Is it fair to forget the whole thing without punishment or compensation for the victims?
Nowadays, the number of woman activists have significantly increased. They are active in politics to remove the military regime.
Many Shans and other ethnic people flee to neighboring countries due to the oppression of the military regime. They are aware that they will become illegal workers, cheap labourers or prostitutes in those countries. But life is much better than under the military government. In Burma, apart from facing starvation, other uncountable human rights violations such as torturing, raping, killing are common. People are no longer able to bear under the repressive military government. Nobody want to leave their homeland, none of these people would migrate to neighboring countries if the country is peaceful and the government has a good policy like developed countries.
Since the military coup by Gen Ne Win in 1962, everything has become worse such as education, economy and communication compared to other countries. Prior to the military coup, it was very seldom that women and girls were raped by soldiers. The economy was also good at that time. Now I often hear from the news or observation that sexual violence such as systematic rape and other human rights abuses are common in Shan State and other parts of Burma.
People of Burma are helpless. They don't want to live under the repressive government that controls and abuses them. But most of them have nowhere to go. They also feel hopeless as it is hard to remove the military government that has arms. The only hope they have is the intervention from UN and other countries. UN Security Council can overthrow the military regime but Burma’s neighboring countries such ASEAN and China are still standing on the regime side. ASEAN and China should consider the life of 55 million people in Burma rather than a group of military regime.
Can the people of Burma expect the military’s seven step Road Map? Will this Road Map bring genuine democracy in Burma? Currently, they are under fear of repression, they have no right to oppose the military’s sexual violence and other human rights abuses. They can only pray that the nightmare will be over soon so that they can lead peaceful life. Everyone hopes one day peace will return in Burma. But when will that be?
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