Select Committee calls for UN Commission on Burma

Pressure has been building since March for the UN to set up a Commission of Inquiry into the Burmese regime’s human rights abuses. The initial call came from UN Special Rapporteur on Burma, Tomás Ojea Quintana, and has now been backed

by Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States


I don’t always believe in following the other “Anglo” countries – New Zealand was right not to join the invasion of Iraq – but in this case it would be a good thing.

Amnesty International has documented the crimes of the Burmese regime including unlawful killings, torture, enforced disappearances, forced labor, arbitrary arrests, and

various forms of collective punishment


The elections scheduled for November will hardly be democratic when the junta refuses to free the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and has dissolved the party she leads,

the National League for Democracy


The New Zealand government would do well to follow the lead of our Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee (of which I am a member) on this matter. Earlier this month

the Committee issued a report

on Burma recommending “that the New Zealand Government support the creation of an international inquiry into alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes in Burma and work with like-minded nations to secure this outcome.”