01/28/2011, 00.00
MYANMAR
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Supreme Court rejects appeal, NLD still illegal

After a hearing lasting a few minutes, the ruling was read out. An attorney for the NLD plans to appeal to the chief justice, but doubts remain as to whether Aung San Suu Kyi’s party will be re-established. Burmese exiled political leader calls for an independent commission of inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity in his country.

Yangon (AsiaNews) – Myanmar’s Supreme Court has rejected an appeal against the dissolution of the National League for Democracy (NLD). Last year, on the eve of parliamentary elections, the election commission outlawed the party because it had refused to register according to procedures laid down by the military junta. In light of the ruling, it is still illegal. In the meantime, Tint Swe, a member of the Burmese government-in-exile, has said that an international independent “inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity” in Myanmar is most “urgent”.

This morning, Myanmar’s Supreme Court in nation’s capital of Naypyidaw took only a few minutes to decide against the NLD’s second legal application to have the party unbanned.

“We have to decide whether we will continue the legal process,” said Kyaw Hoe, one of the NLD’s attorneys, who still believes that it is still possible to see the party re-established by appealing directly to the chief justice.

The National League for Democracy is led by Nobel Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. It had rejected the rules imposed by the junta in connection with the phony elections it held in November 2010. For this reason, on 14 September, two months before the election, the election commission outlawed the party.

Among exiled Burmese, the fight for human rights at home continues. Tint Swe, a member of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, Myanmar’s government-in-exile, appealed to AsiaNews for an independent international investigation into human rights violations in his country.

In exile in India since 1990 when the military junta rejected the results of the election won by the NLD, he wants an UN-mandated commission of inquiry into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity. For him, the list of abuses perpetrated by the junta includes thousands of ethnic Karen forced to flee their homes on the border of Thailand as well as a crackdown against the Christian Chin and Arakan ethnic minorities.

In recent days, a Myanmar delegation submitted a report on human rights in Myanmar to the United Nations in Geneva.

However, for Swe, Myanmar must be the only country in the world where the committee in charge of human rights is led by the Interior minister, that is the same person responsible for torturing and arresting political dissidents, cracking down on peaceful protests and politicising religion. The paradox is that human rights in Myanmar are in the hands of criminals in government.

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