Archive for May 25th, 2007

Burma’s Junta: “And We Don’t Stop…”

The BBC reports today that the military junta of Burma (aka Myanmar) has extended the detention of democratic opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi:

Government officials went to Ms Suu Kyi’s house in Rangoon and read the detention order out to her.

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

Though the weight of this disappointment is heavy, this news hardly comes as a surprise. Indeed, Burma’s military regime has never showed signs of sympathy for its own people. State officials in Burma have recently allowed an illegitimate vigilante group to round up pro-democracy leaders (including Buddhists and non-profit workers) and arrest them en masse [via FiftyViss].

Despite international pressure to free Suu Kyi [Viss], it is likely that because of the West’s economic sanctions on Burma these cries will consistently fall on deaf ears. The junta, which is apathetic at best, has absolutely no reason to listen to either the EU or the U.S. – and in the economic sense, absolutely nothing to lose.

I’m not sure what needs to happen in Burma; I’ve no faith in bloody revolutions or military intervention, and international dialogue (unless pushed by China, which has its own share of human rights abuses) seems unlikely. Suu Kyi’s freedom would’ve been a good start towards reform, but her extended detention will certainly not mean the end of resistance.

[Photo courtesy Tap Tap Tap]

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