Friday, June 27, 2008

GJC President Janet Benshoof gives speech on Burma at Google headquarters

Janet Benshoof, President of the Global Justice Center (GJC), is an internationally known human rights lawyer and Burma expert. During this presentation, she will explain how the geopolitical favoritism afforded war criminal Than Schwe in Burma undermines the rule of law globally. The Global Justice Center in partnership with the Burma Lawyers' Council (BLC), the legal arm of the exiled democracy groups, is advocating for a Security Council Resolution referring Burma to the ICC.

Than Schwe, who controls Burma using the largest standing army in South East Asia, has routinely flouted all U.N. efforts, and, chooses to have tens of thousands of people die preventable deaths from the effects of Cyclone Nargis rather than open up access to the people of Burma.

Professor Benshoof will put the recent forced "death by disease" in the context of clearly documented and ongoing grave crimes including the destruction of villages, torture, murder of monks, systematic gang rape of ethnic women, genocide of Karen and Shan peoples, forced labor, and recruitment of child soldiers.

Although Than Schwe rules by the same crimes and terror as did Saddam Hussein, Hitler, Charles Taylor, and Molosovic, so far Burma is protected by the Security Council. This is not just about China but about all countries who have been too timid to say "stop". Thanks to Google satellite, we have seen photos of some of the over 3,000 villages estimated to have been destroyed by the SPDC in the on-going conflict in Eastern Burma in 2005. Even more villages were destroyed the SPDC than by Cyclone Nargis, but that is a story much less known.

Professor Benshoof will also point out how by declaring a victory on the May 10th referendum, Than Schwe is trying to transform his rule into a constitutional right by inserting criminal immunity for himself and his cohorts into the constitution. The constitution attempts to legitimize permanent military rule, give blanket amnesties for all military crimes, and simply put, it is possibly the worst constitution ever drafted with regard to women in modern history.

This event took place on May 21, 2008, as a part of the Women@google series.