Monthly Archives: May 2011

Murray McCully refuses to answer the question

I wrote to the Rt Hon Murray McCully (NZ’s foreign minister) back at the very start of March: Double standards? An open letter to Murray McCully. That letter basically suggested that the UN operated a system of double standards:

The United Nations operates a system of double standards. When in North Africa (close to Europe as so “visible”) a military dictator begins attacking civilians the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and Security Council reacted quickly to Colonel Gaddafi’s attacks on Libyan civilians. The Security Council passed a unanimous resolution demanding an end to the attacks, imposed sanctions, and refered Libya to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In Burma ethnic minority civilians have been attacked by the state for decades.

I then mentioned the KNU’s appeal “asking UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to take effective action to immediately stop the Burmese regime’s military operations and human rights violations in Karen areas. ” and asked:

Is NZ supporting this appeal? If so how? If not why not?

Mr McCully’s answer only took about 12 weeks to compose and basically says: No, but we do support some humanitarian projects in Burma, and did oppose the unjust imprisonment of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Basically this does not answer the question. So I will reply like this:

Dear Murray,

Further to my letter of 4th March and your reply of 30th May, as I understand your answer it is a firm: No. But you seem also to claim that somehow our support of some humanitarian projects and campaigning for the release of one prominent political prisoner (out of thousands), Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, somehow absolves us from complicity in the ongoing abuse (amounting according to many observers to attempted ethnic cleansing)  of the ethnic  minorities by the regime’s armed forces. Can you please explain the logic of this to me. If it was my daughter being raped, or my brother maimed by landmines I doubt I would see NZ’s support for the release of one prisoner as a great support.

Yours faithfully,


Tim Bulkeley