No sweat no UNSC agenda, says academic
No sweat no UNSC agenda, says academic
The 22 September resolution by the US Senate calling for the UN Security Council to intervene in Burma's crisis means not that things will be plain sailing from now on but more of the old fashioned blood, sweat and tears on the part of the Opposition, warns one of Burma's scholars in exile.
"First of all", writes Min Zaw Oo, Director of US-based Outreach and Strategy, Free Burma Coalition, "the Senate's call is a resolution (and) not a bill that is a law."
Moreover, the Senate cannot ask the UNSC to launch a specific action, because the UN is not its jurisdiction but that of the government.
Also the resolution had not called on the Bush administration to bring Burma's case to the UNSC.
Min Zaw Oo, who is also serving as Thailand-based Director of the Institute for Community and Institutional Development, notes that the United States under Clinton's administration had attempted in 1997 to introduce Burma's case to the UNSC following the visit to Burma by Secretary of State Albright. "However, the plan to discuss Burma on the UNSC was quickly retreated after unofficial consultations with key council members."
The US since had put Burma on both nuclear and genocide watch list. Nevertheless, Washington has yet to find any strong reason to discuss Burma on the floor of the UNSC on these topics, although according to Oslo-based Democratic Voice of Burma, the Council did deliberate on the Burma Army's sexual violations in late October.
The world's highest organ, on its part, does not hold first class track record of either making or keeping peace in and among nations, a job for which it was entrusted either, he says.
"The UN General Assembly issued annual resolutions condemning(South Africa)'s apartheid policy after the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960, but no action was taken." "Even Rwanda's UN-intervened genocide was largely ignored by the UNSC in the beginning."
The UNSC's intervention can be provided by the following one or more reasons:
A country's threat to the regional security or world peace
Genocide and/or Crime against Humanity
Wills of superpowers
In Burma's case, not only the wills of the superpowers were wanting, but "none of the neighboring countries, especially Thailand that (has) suffered from most spillover effects of Burmese conflicts, view that Burma's potential threat is serious enough to bring the care of the UNSC."
As for sanctions, he says, "The real change depends on how the regime perceives the deprivation under sanctions." For example, "De Klerk's (South African) government had negotiated with the ANC (African National Congress of Nelson Mandela) with much better economic performance compared to the current Burma."
(The late Chao Tzang Yawnghwe, 1939-2004, on the other hand, gives a different slant to the question: There is no economic sanction per se. There is only a very soft investment sanction. The real sanction comes from the regime that does not want any economic reforms and/or economic liberalization for investment to go into Burma. The noises it makes about "economic sanctions (don't work)" are self-serving noises to get loans and assistance as in the BSPP years.)
Last but not least, Min Zaw Oo counsels that Burma's awareness campaign, which must from now on focus onto legislative campaigns rather than campus-based boycott campaigns in the past, must strive to surpass the structural constraints of the international politics.
Min Zaw Oo, a student dissident since he was 14, is a master graduate from the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. His ICID, he says, promotes progressive education among grassroots and youth leaders. He is currently preparing to continue his advance study on security and conflict management.
For more information, pleased read attachment.
Will the Security Council intervene in Burma's conflict?
The following is a section from an unpublished strategy paper (draft) written in September 2004. The recent buzz on the US Congress's resolutions calling for the UNSC to intervene in Burma's crisis has created "irrational exuberance" of hope among some sanguine dissidents.
Burmese language radios, including the British Broadcasting Service and Radio Free Asia, and their interviews with some Burmese activists indicated the call as a `bill.' One Washington-based Burmese activist `lobbying' the US Congress even delineated that the case could be brought before the UNSC if the president signed the `bill.' The border-based National Council of Union of Burma issued a statement welcoming the Senate's call. Some opposition-media even allude that China may abstain if the UNSC votes to take actions on Burma.
First of all, the Senate's call for the UNSC's intervention is a resolution, not a bill that is a law and requires the president's approval. Resolutions are symbolic pronouncements that may illuminate `sense,' not actions. For example, Sen. Mitch McConnell sponsored a resolution to recognize "the 100th anniversary year of the founding of the Ford Motor Company." The nature of resolution is merely public display of sensibility.
More importantly, the Senate cannot ask
the UNSC to launch a specific action because the UN is not its
jurisdiction. Only the
administration, especially the US representatives at the UNSC, can propose such actions to the council to make a move on Burma.
However, the Senate's resolution does not call the administration to bring Burma's case to the UNSC. The proper procedure would have been the Congress's pressure directly towards the administration to deliver Burma's case to the UNSC if the administration had developed willingness to do so.
If Burma's case is to be brought in
front of the UNSC, the reality check should come first with the
criteria required to bring the case
to the council. Regional security, crime against humanity or genocide and primarily the willingness of super powers are indispensable factors for a case to be appraised before the UNSC.
US Senate's call largely accentuated on the regional security as an issue that is claimed to be worthy to be intervened. Close analysis should reveal that the cases the UNSC intervened under the banner of the threats to regional security were almost always involved with dismayed neighboring countries to a particular targeted state.
Nevertheless, none of the neighboring countries are willing to drag Burma before the UNSC under the pretext of the threat to regional security. Thailand, suffering from the most spillover effects from Burma's crisis, is indifferent to make the case. Let alone the whole ASEAN, China and India.
Amidst the buzz of Burma's case to the UNSC, some western countries arranged a closed-door ministerial-level informal meeting to discuss Burma's problem during the UNGA. China and India did not attend this consultation meeting, and other ASEAN countries sent only lower level representation. Thailand, which attended the meeting, did not endorse the west-driven UN intervention.
This section of the paper attempts to explore the reality check of the international pressure on Burma.
International Pressure on the Regime and
Support to the Opposition After the NLD boycotted the National
Convention recently, the
oppositions stepped up their calls for international pressure on the regime. The calls spell out that Burma case should be brought to the UNSC for possible intervention, and more sanction, especially from the European Union, should be imposed on Burma.
Perspective of Burma's Crisis at the UNSC
NLD's spokesperson U Lwin, after the NLD's boycotted, asked the UN to resolve Burma's crisis and act more than its words. Even though what the NLD expected from the UN to intervene in Burma's conflict is unclear, it is obvious that the NLD's stress call to UN indicated that the NLD is calling for the United Nation Security Council's intervention—punish the regime if it does not make any tangible progress to dialogue with the opposition. The border-based NCUB even sent its lengthy paper, which received little attention, to the UN to initiate the UNSC's intervention. It is the time for the reality check to see if the UNSC's intervention can happen to Burma's conflict under the current international atmosphere.
The US attempted to introduce Burma's
case to the UNSC in 1997 after Secretary of State Albright, who was
wholeheartedly impressed by Aung San Suu Kyi, came back from Burma. The
attempt was initiated right after Daw Suu was manhandled by a group of
security units. However, the plan to discuss Burma on the UNSC was
quickly retreated after unofficial consultations with key council
members. Until today Burma case has ever reached to the UNSC as a key
The UNSC's intervention can be provoked
by the following one or more
1) a country's threat to the regional security or world peace
2) genocide and/or crime against humanity
3) wills of super powers
The cases that were intervened under the
banner of threats to regional security almost always involved dismayed
countries to a particular targeted state and/or strong interest of super powers, especially the US. For example, the Security Council imposed weapon embargo on Liberia under Charles Taylor because he was a threat to regional peace—Taylor supported ragtag rebel Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone that led to total state failure and triggered millions of refugees to neighboring countries. The neighbors were supportive of the UNSC's sanction on Liberia. Iraq case is the most obvious example of the US's interest and the neighbors' dismay towards Saddam.
Some activists, attempting to bring Burma case to the UNSC, claim that Burma is threatening the regional security because of the junta's endeavor to build nuclear power plant that can lead to production of nuclear weapons, drug trafficking, border incursion to Thailand, expansion of the military and refugee problems. The junta may be a threat to the region. However, none of the neighboring countries, especially Thailand that suffered from most spillover effects of Burmese conflicts, view that Burma's potential threat is serious enough to bring the case to the UNSC. Indeed, technically Burma has no strong evidence to be considered as a threat to regional security at the UNSC.
The joint hearing of the Subcommittee on
Asia and the Pacific and the Subcommittee on International Terrorism,
Nuclear Nonproliferation and Human Rights, International Relations
Committee of US Senate held a hearing in 2004 on Burma's link with
North Korea and its nuclear reactor. Nevertheless, the hearing was a
replica of the one on ethnic cleansing issue that was hold in September
2003. It was obvious that there is no strong evidence to proceed on the
issue of nuclear proliferation except the fact that the US registered
its dismay on Burma's relationship with North Korea. At the hearing,
Matthew Daley, deputy assistant secretary for East Asia and the
Pacific, said that there was no evidence to support the fact that Burma
exchanged heroin with nuclear technology with North Korea. Later the
States Department sent an official letter to the Burmese embassy to
relationship with North Korea, including the missile transfer. The issue died down after the Burmese embassy answered the State
Department's memo on its relationship with North Korea. The US is not interested to put Burma in its top list of agenda for nuclear
non-proliferation, let alone bringing Burma's nuclear case to the UNSC.
Genocide and crime against humanity do not carry clear definitions that can lead to explicit implementation by the UNSC. Genocide at the UN is defined as an intention to kill, torture or harass a group because of its ethnicity, race, religion and belief but does not specify which magnitude of killing or harassment can constitute genocide. Even Rwanda's UN-intervened genocide was largely ignored by the UNSC in the beginning despite genocide early-warning experts warned the international community before it occurred. Actually, the Pentagon sent in its expert teams to `study' genocide amidst wanton killings but not to intervene. The fact showed that the international community was not avid to intervene in Rwanda at an early stage despite their prior knowledge of the imminent catastrophe.
It is important for the Burmese
oppositions to realize that even crisis situations like genocide do not
necessarily provoke the UNSC
intervention, for example, Indonesia's invasion to East Timor that resulted in the deaths of about 200,000 people, more than one-third of the indigenous East Timorese population. The Clinton's administration, in 1999, blocked the US's Congress's affirmation of Ottoman Empire's genocide against Armenians (1915-23) because the US did not want to strain its relationship with Turkey, a strategic ally to the US.
The International Relations Committee of
the US House of Representative held a hearing on "ethnic cleansing" in
During the hearings, the State Department testified that there was no evidence of ethnic cleansing in Burma despite some congressmen who argued there was one. However, it is important to note that such hearings are not significant to have impact on the US policies.
Sometime, the Congress holds such hearing to assert public display support to highlight some issues. Unsurprisingly, the committee did not even further the discussion on the house floor whereas the Turkey's case on Armenian genocide was brought to the floor for votes.
The State Department was obviously opposing the charge that ethnic cleansing was occurring in Burma.
Actually, the CIA is supervising
Genocide Early Warning Project through Science Application and
International Corporation (SAIC),
Virginia-based company that contracted with the US government to undertake various researches. Burma is one of the countries that have been tracked down in the project. The US government does not want to release the early warning result although the study has been done because of the complicacy of the nature of government-funded research.
As I discussed above, the genocide is
not a political appetite for super powers to intervene unless there is
an obvious interest for
them. In addition, Prof. Barbra Harff, who constructed the quantitative early warning model for the project, publicly named Burma
as one of the countries that carry high risk to genocide.
Burma case has, indeed, no strong reason to be discussed on the floor of the UNSC. Even if it were brought to the UNSC, the biggest barrier would be the resistance from China, France and Russia. Chinese policy clearly indicated that it did not want to sanction Burma, let alone the Iraq-style intervention. France is one of the prime barriers to the EU's economic sanction on Burma. Russia is another potential resistance to impose sanction on countries that were charged with crime against humanity or human right abuses.
Burma vs. South Africa
Many activists have compared Burma's case at the UNSC to South Africa under the apartheid regime. Closer look on South Africa will reveal how super powers' willingness, indisputable threat to regional security and unique case of crime against humanity are important to make critical pressure from the UNSC. These factors are major distinctions to compare between Burma and South Africa.
The UN General Assembly issued annual resolutions condemning SA's apartheid policy since 1960s after the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960, but no action was taken. In 1974, SA was expelled from General Assembly, but the vote for expulsion was vetoed by the US, Britain and French at the UNSC. Again the call for arms embargo was vetoed by the same countries at the UNSC in 1975. Later, the arm embargo was unanimously voted only in November 1977.
The economic sanction from the Security Council was materialized only after internal dynamics in those countries pressured the governments to punish the apartheid regime. The US sanction bills on new investments were introduced to the US congress, but President Regan attempted to veto the legislation. Nevertheless, the internal support to sanction was so strong that Regan had to concede to the call to impose limited sanction, but amended the strong measurements with lenient punishments, in 1985. In the same year, 10 EU countries, except UK, imposed broader sanction, and UK joined the group two weeks later. Actual economic sanction on new investments, the passage sponsored by French, was passed at the UNSC in 1985 because of internal dynamics supporting sanctions in those countries. The willingness of the superpowers was crucial to impose economic sanctions on South Africa whereas Burma case does not have such a strong support from the veto-holders.
Moreover, South Africa had long struggle with the UN not only in the apartheid issue but also in the case of regional security. South Africa was defiant of the UNGA's vote to terminate its mandate over South ?West Africa, later known as Namibia, in 1966. The International Court of Justice ruled that SA's presence in Namibia was illegal in 1971. South West Africa People's Organizaton (SWAPO), a guerrilla force supported by Angola, engaged SA security forces in 20 years of arm conflicts. Well-armed SA military forces occasionally invaded Angola in large scale military campaigns to crash SWAPO's activities.
SA governments armed and funded right-wing guerrillas fighting the black government of newly independent Mozambique until late 1980s. The UNGA and UNSC made a number of discussions and took actions on the issue of SA's threat to regional security during the reign of apartheid regime. However, Burma does not fit into this scenario in any comparable magnitude. Furthermore, none of Burma's neighboring countries is interested to bring Burma case to the UNSC under the context of threat to regional security.
The sanction on South Africa was also based on the banner of crime against humanity whose definition is unclear to mark a line on specific actions and magnitude to be punished. South Africa was charged with crime against humanity, not because of simple human rights abuses, but because of apartheid. Charging apartheid as a crime against humanity intentionally contrived to avoid inclusion of other human rights abuses under this banner. Both the west and communist governments did not want to bring the case of human rights abuses to the UNSC because they or their allies carried the risk of being charged with such abuses. The issue of human rights was and still is merely a moral and symbolic issue in real politick of international governments. The arguments to affirm Burma's human rights abuses as crime against humanity are too weak to make the case to the UNSC.
Amidst the prison scandals in Iraq, growing reports of abuses in Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan, human rights abuses are not popular events to the US to highlight on the stage of international arena.
Moreover, many US's strategic allies are well involved with plethora of human rights abuses in their dealing with the opposition movements.
China will doubtlessly oppose any case to bring a country in front of the UNSC under the banner of human rights abuses. Indeed, Burma is not the worst case of human rights abuses in the current international politics. For example, Uzbekistan, US's important ally in central Asia, housed from 5,000 to 7,000 political prisoners, according to the oppositions and reports from human rights watch dogs, including the Amnesty International. However, Uzbekistan is not in President Bush's list of the most suppressive countries in the world. Although the economic sanction of EU may seem to be more possible to occur, compared to that of UNSC, economic sanction is not a popular political lexicon for EU countries. Nevertheless, French, Germany and Italy are not knee to support the EU's economic sanction on Burma.
Even though some countries in EU, especially Sweden, are exploring the possibility of "targeted sanctions" on Burma, feasibility is still low because of complicacy of such sanction. Targeted sanction usually requires precise intelligence to make it effectively strangle the regime. One year after the Depayin incident, the issue of targeted sanction is diminishing among EU countries. It is unlikely that EU's new sanction is feasible unless the regime commits another major atrocities similar the Depayin incident, in near future.
Very recently, an assessment team from EU went inside Burma to analysis political situation. The team concluded that the opposition movement has been too weak to be a catalyst to make a change in Burma, according to a source close to the team. Moreover, the oppositions' strong supporter Norway even showed its interest to join the "Bangkok Process" which hailed the SPDC's transitional plan based on "the Road Map."
The resolution of European Parliament called for consideration of economic sanction on Burma after the Depayin attack. However, European Council that does not show its interest to impose new sanction on Burma, makes major political decisions of EU. Pro-democracy movement's moral superiority always attracts moral supports to its struggle but fails to turn them into critical material assistance to the movement.
Nature of Sanctions
After 16 years of sanction, isolation
and constructive engagement on Burma, Burma apparently changes almost
nothing politically. Economic sanctions are constructed as a punitive
measure against the regime as it continues to behave contrary to
certain international norms, rather than as a part of a strategy
package focusing on regime change. While the west is orchestrating
sanction and isolation as a major tool to pressure the regime, ASEAN is
fraternizing with the regime under
It is important to understand how the second round of US sanction emerged. The Washington-based Free Burma Coalition attempted to introduce a legislation to ban imports from Burma long before the attack on the pro-democracy supporters, simply by reasoning that more pressure was necessary to force the regime to talk with the NLD. Although the support for the import ban legislation gained small momentum in the US Congress in early 2003, the feasibility of its outcome was uncertain. For this reason, the senators sponsoring the bill were hesitant to put it on the floor.
The attack on Aung San Suu Kyi's motorcade angered US lawmakers and prompted them to find a stick to punish the perpetrator. The bill to ban Burmese imports into the US became the nearest stick with which the US Government could spank the Burmese junta.
However, the US lawmakers' desire to punish the regime did not go through any serious study on the impact of the legislation before being imposed. The scope of consequences, such as the disruption of money flow, was largely unknown when the sanction was imposed. The State Department later had to introduce some legislative amendments to allow some imports for academic purposes because existing bills banned anything coming out from Burma.
However, the respective law enforcement agencies were not active in enforcing the bill on Burma. For example, despite a number of the regime's close families living and studying in the US, they were not deported to Burma under the current legislation, Democracy and Freedom Act of Burma. Such ignorance and impassiveness on the legislation were quite obvious when the Bush's re-election campaign used made-in-Burma shirts after the sanction bill was singed.
Over the last decade, the world has witnessed the collapse of three sanctioned regimes where the pressure of sanctions did not play any significant role. Saddam Hussein of Iraq was removed by the US's mighty military. Charles Taylor of Liberia was overthrown by a well-armed rebel movement supported by the neighboring countries.
Well-organized mass uprisings in Serbia, enabled by the relatively tenuous existence of civil space for non-violent actions, terminated Milosevic's reign.
Sanctions weakened these regimes but did not alone lead to their demise. Saddam survived the toughest sanctions in world history for over a decade, even while the CIA injected millions of dollars to support the Saddam's oppositions and incited splits among Saddam's military commanders.
Sanctions are merely the strongest
diplomatic protest against an undesired regime. Sanctions reinforce
other means of regime change but do not cause the change per se. All
these overthrown regimes faced multi-lateral sanctions imposed by
international bodies such as the UN Security Council and the NATO.
Unilateral sanctions are a much weaker instrument to significantly
affect the change than multilateral actions. Sanction policies in
Burma's case are not the exception. Even if the UNSC imposed
multilateral sanction on Burma, the Burmese regime would be likely to
survive, for example the Saddam's regime in Iraq. Indeed, actual
economic deprivation does not necessarily force the regime to make a
change in the country, even in South Africa. The
real change depends on how the regime perceives the deprivation under sanctions. The perception of the regime towards the economic deterioration is more influential on the regime to make a decision to change than actual slump. South Africa's economy was much stronger than the current Burma's status when Willem de Klerk's government went into dialogue with the ANC and later released Nelson Mandela in 1990.
Even having been suffered by the
sanctions, political violence, workers' strike, South Africa's budget
announced in March 1989 totaled US $ 25.5 billion wherein education
accounted for 19 percent and the military for 14 percent of total
When Mandela was released from prison in 1990, the government's total expenditures was US $ 28.05 billions and revenues at $ 24.98 billion with trade surplus of at least US $ 1.8 billions. In contrast, with a trade deficit gap, Burma's export was US $ 2.6 billion and import, $ 3 billion, according to the data from Economic Intelligence Unit, London, July 2002. Burma's current Human Development Index is 0.549 out of 1 whereas South Africa's HDI at 1990 reads 0.734, equivalence to current Turkey. De Klerk's government negotiated with the ANC with much better economic performance compared to the current Burma. The fact shows that economic deterioration per se does not lead the leaders to the dialogue table, and the leaders' perception towards the deterioration is the key generator to construct a change.
Moreover, De Klerk's administration was
an elected civilian government despite its exclusion of black's rights
to vote. It tended
to feel more pressure from white middle class and business enterprises while the sanctions were hurting the SA's economy. At the same time, development of private enterprises and market economy generated considerable sensitivity to the elected government while the government policies directly caused economic deterioration. In contrast, Burma is ruled by the recalcitrant soldiers who are taught to pursue their goals at all cost. A famous motto of the Tatmadaw reads, "No excuse for a hole in canteen, water must be carried."
Around 1997, General Maung Aye ordered
all units to adapt themselves into the current difficulties to survive
amid sanctions and economic deterioration by sustaining self-support.
His message followed by ration cut in the military prompted various
units to engage in variety of income-earning activities, ranging from
extortion, drug smuggling to investment in local business. Central
command put blind eyes on these irregular functions of the military.
Recently, South Eastern Command ordered each battalion under its
command to collect 3,000,000 kyats (about US $ 3300) annually to
support the command. The military's coping mechanism to endure economic
slump simply imposed more burden on general publics and expended the
control and power over
the population. Burma's collapsed economy, indeed, does not prompt the regime to seek a dialogue-based solution with the opposition as long as the junta perceived the deterioration as a worthy cost to pursue their goals and survival.
Awareness versus Structural Constraint
of International Politics Some leading activists in the FBC used to
think that raising the
awareness of Burma crisis would eventually lead to proper international intervention to resolve the country's crisis when free Burma's international campaign reached its peak of momentum around 1998. The very same activists now realized that the grassroots campaign has reached its maximum extension, and Burma's problem in international arena is no longer the awareness of its crisis but the structural constraint of international politics.
Around 1995, the grassroots campaign
struggled hard to place Burma under the international spotlights.
Consequently, the campaign focused on divestment from Burma to choke
the regime economically. The FBC's success became obvious when Pepsi
pulled out from Burma. Pepsi campaign was successful because of its
focus on university campuses. However, the impact of Pepsi campaign
would have been much less effective if its focus had set on American
publics. The campus-based campaigns were much easier to produce
efficacy if Burma activists could convince the student governments that
pressured the university
to kick Pepsi out of their campuses. Student bodies in US university campuses were, in nature, quite ignorant of student governments which were usually occupied by a handful of enthusiasts and activists.
Pepsi, losing millions of profits on sanctioning campuses, decided to abandon its minuscule operation inside Burma.
Most companies pulled out of Burma were those with small investment in the country. Many of them, especially those importing apparels from Burma in small quantity, stopped trading with the regime, when the grassroots campaign launched protests at home. These companies chose not to sacrifice their public relation image in the expense of little investment or trade with Burma. Moreover, the high-risk nature of investment in Burma, malpractices of the governments and poor long-term profit perspective were important impetus driving the companies out of the country. Internationally, consumer boycott among general publics has never been a factor to drive the companies out of Burma whereas black's consumer boycott in the US was an effective tool to divest companies out of South Africa.
The second round of US economic sanction
effectively finished the function of boycott campaigns in the US.
Grassroots campaigns now their focus onto legislative campaigns which
carry much more constraints than campus-based boycott campaign in
nature. Only a handful of elected representatives in the US are
interested of Burma's crisis. They become the prime agenda setters for
Burma's policy in the US Congress. Since there is no significant US
interest in Burma and trade relationship, whether sanction or
engagement is not really an important matter to the majority of the US
Congress. Normally, the elected representatives make their decisions
based on three factors: the interest of their constituencies including
their big-business contributors, the promotion of their chance to be
re-elected and common sense. The first two are the most import factors
weighting on decision making of elective representatives in the
Congress. Burma's case falls into the last one. Burma's grassroots
campaigns and exiled
populations are not strong enough to influence the first two factors in decision making. Every international grassroots campaign has limitation, so does the efficacy of awareness. Tibet campaign is much more well-known internationally, compared to Burma's grassroots campaign in which most people do not even know where Burma is. International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), Washington-based million-dollar NGO, is much more pervasive to the US Congress and the administration than Burma's grassroots lobby campaigns. Apparently, the US does not even threaten China with economic sanction for its human rights abuses in Tibet, let alone imposing it. As long as internal politics in China does change radically ?or as long as the Chinese Communist Party is the dominant political entity--Tibet will remain a part of China. Although the ICT is one of the most well established grassroots and lobby campaigns and has succeeded in driving public awareness to Tibet cause, structural constraints of international politics does not place Tibet freedom to the critical front page of policy making matters. Burma is no exception. Burma's awareness campaign, which is much weaker than Tibet's, has reached to the margin where it can not surpass the structural constraints of international politics.