Norway's spin on Myanmar 'peace' process vis-a-vis on-the-ground realities

Katja Nordgaard, Norway’s former ambassador to Burma, met with President Thein Sein in August 2013. (Photo: President’s Office website)

"We have to keep fighting for our freedom, for our political rights," said Thar Phone Kyaw, the general secretary of Ta'ang National Liberation Army, which also refused to sign. He said no cease-fire agreement will be signed without assurances they will get the "federal union" promised to them by Myanmar's independence leader Gen. Aung San more than 60 years ago. 

from - "8 ethnic rebel armies sign cease-fire pact with Myanmar government; major groups stay away", AP, 15 Oct.

Norway and its leading support role in Myanmar's ceasefire prcoess.

"War is Peace; Slavery is Freedom; Ingnorance is Strenght and NCA is Nation Wide Ceasefire.", a facebooker posted a variation of Orwell's timeless wisdom. 

That applies to how the ceasefire process has been framed by those who hold it up as the only bitter medicine to swallow for the oppressed - peace on the regime's terms. Norway is one of the players in promoting this false narrative - just as it did, most recently in Sri Lanka, and in the Israeli occupation of the Palestines - heard of Oslo Accord?

The sad joke about Norway is this: Norway is a warm, and fuzzy face of the USA while Israel is its nasty and ugly proxy.

Here Norway's propaganda machine is at work, again. 

On Sri Lanka, Norway spinned itself until the entire movement of the Eelam Tamils was brutally crushed by Colombo, with the approval and support of US and UK.

Today, Norwegian travellers are said to pretend they are from Sweden because of their role - alleged or real - in the destruction of a Tamil national community. And it is not clear what Norway gained from the Sri Lanka peace process, but Eelam Tamil got a mild UN support in the form of a recommendation (and a report) that a Cambodia-like hybrid UN-Colombo International Tribunal be set up to try Sri Lankan leaders for crimes against humanity.

In the case of Burma or Myanmar, in spite of the (empty) talks of 'peace dividends' - out of the failing process and the support role Norway takes pride in playing - Burma's ethnic peoples are being forced to exist in increasingly bloody and difficult conditions. 

Tangibly for Norway it is raking it in - in absolute US$ terms - Telenor's profits are up; Statoils has exploration permits for gas off the Rahine coast where Rohingya flee and drown by the hundreds. (How kind that Norway gave about US$2 million to the 'boat people'! - that will cover the expenses to retrieve the Rohingya bones from the bottom of Andaman Sea, and exhume the dead traffiked Rohingyas from mass graves in Malaysia and Thailand!)

Shame on Oslo! Down with Norway's official Myanmar delusions. 

Ceasefire agreement in Myanmar: an important step towards peace 

Press release | Published: 2015-10-15


8 ethnic rebel armies sign cease-fire pact with Myanmar government; major groups stay away

Here is how Associated Press covers it, in 3 words, "no real deal", (despite the hype).

Myanmar President Thein Sein, right, sits along with Mutu Say Po, chairman of Karen National Union (KNU), for a group photo session during the signing ceremony of "Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement" Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. Myanmar's government and eight smaller ethnic rebel armies signed the cease-fire agreement to end more than six decades of fighting, but other more powerful groups refused to come on board, signaling that peace will remain elusive for some time to come. (AP Photo/Aung Shine Oo) 


Myanmar’s Refugee Problem: It’s Not Just the Rohingya

Other ethnic groups from Myanmar are facing an increasingly difficult situation too. 

By Kirsten McConnachie
October 14, 2015

​Dr Kirsten McConnachie is Assistant Professor in law at the University of Warwick. Formerly a research fellow at the University of Oxford, she is the author of “Governing Refugees” (Routledge 2014) an analysis of camp governance and the administration of justice in refugee camps on the Thai-Myanmar border.


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