“Too late, the Constitution’s already been written”. So replied General Kyaw Hsan, Burmese Minister of Information to UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari when the latter asked that the military junta amend the draft Constitution it intends to have approved by referendum in May. As I’ve posted, the draft Constitution was written entirely by the junta and assures that the military continues to play a major role in the constitutional government. Last month I wrote that the junta had added a criteria for electoral eligibility aimed directly at excluding democratic opposition leader and Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi from holding any role in the new government: no one who is or has been married to a foreigner may run for office. Gambari is in Burma/Myanmar to mediate the constitutional referendum’s organization. In telling Gambari that it was too late to amend the Constitution—and boost its credibility with Western nations—General Hsan accused him of partiality and exceeding his role as mediator: during his November 2007 visit to the country, Gambari apparently had published Suu Kyi’s statement that she was ready and willing to work with the military regime to foster national dialogue. Hsan went so far as to intimate that Gambari himself wrote the statement.
Ah, the paranoia that comes with stolen power.