Saturday, May 26, 2007

Aung San Suu Kyi: Yet another year in detention!

Hi Friends,

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

Edmund Burke Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 - 1797)

It is shameful that in this day and age, Myanmar continues to mistreat its own people with impunity and in total disregard to basic human rights.

Efforts to free Aung San Suu Kyi are made more difficult by countries like energy-hungry China who are eyeing her resources.

More should be done to get the Nobel Peace Prize winner freed!

I wrote this (Does Myanmar deserve ASEAN) in July 2006 and NOTHING has changed since then!

Dr.Huang Shoou Chyuan

1. Burma extends Suu Kyi's detention

Burma's military junta has extended the house arrest of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi by one year, officials say.

25 May 2007 BBC News

The move was swiftly condemned by the United States, which called for Ms Suu Kyi's immediate release.

The pro-democracy leader's latest period of detention, which began in May 2003, had been due to expire on Sunday.

Ms Suu Kyi has spent 11 of the last 18 years under house arrest. In 1990 her National League for Democracy won polls that were annulled by the army.

She has never been allowed to take power.

The extension order was widely expected, as under Burmese law Ms Suu Kyi's house arrest must be renewed every 12 months.

A US State Department spokesman described the decision as "unfortunate" and "condemnable", and urged other countries to put pressure on Burma to release Ms Suu Kyi and other political prisoners.

Last week, 59 world political leaders including former US Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, and former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, called for her release in a letter to Burma's military ruler, General Than Shwe.

In November 2006, Ms Suu Kyi was allowed to leave her house to meet UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari for one hour.

Burma's military junta took power in 1988.

2. China will stay out of Myanmar's affairs


23 May 2007

BEIJING -- China said Wednesday that the detention of Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is an internal matter for the Southeast Asian country's government, declining to join other nations urging her release.

China's stance came a day after the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, broke with its core policy of noninterference and pointedly called on Myanmar's military-backed government to release Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that "the Aung San Suu Kyi matter is Myanmar's internal affair. The Chinese side hopes to see Myanmar maintain political stability and continue to make progress in the process of national reconciliation."

The discord between ASEAN and Myanmar - one of its members - puts China in a bind.

China has worked hard to build close relations with the group's members, seeing their support as crucial to its economic and geopolitical rise, and is trying to portray itself as a responsible world player. But Beijing has also provided diplomatic support to Myanmar's junta and crucial investment, especially in oil, gas and minerals.

In a sign of this balancing act, China, along with Russia, vetoed a U.S.-backed resolution in the U.N. Security Council in January, calling on Myanmar to end political suppression. However, in doing so, China's U.N. ambassador said Beijing would support ASEAN in its policies toward Myanmar.


Gerald said...

I'm with you on this, Dr Huang. My take on it is that if the US and EU (or any critic of the junta) is really keen on freeing ASSK and deposing the junta, they should pile pressure on its neighbours to the north and west (China and India), who are competing to see who can give more aid to line the generals' pockets (for their self-interest of course -- to get access to the Bay of Bengal and counter balance each other). Alas, the US already has enough problems with China (trade deficit, revaluing the yuan, etc), and it needs India to counter balance China. So who pays the price for that recalcitrant junta? Asean of course. Not that we are free of guilt for bringing in Myanmar to Asean in the first place (a Malaysian initiative, so I've heard) and for continuing to "see no evil, hear no evil" in the spirit of Asean "solidarity".

nofearSingapore said...

Hi Gerald,

From the statements of the junta the past few days, it looks like ASSK will never be released.

On a related note, the pro-democracy demonstrators are very brave. You see pictures of frail-looking but very determined women putting their lives on the line.

I don't see Singaporeans standing to the authorities for anything.

YCK said...

More of the same thing. Sigh.