Tuesday, June 3, 2008

MIAMI HERALD: Burma's rulers sink to new low

The Miami Herald

In appalling display of contempt for international public opinion and their own people, the generals who rule Burma have extended for one year the house arrest of democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi. This completes a trifecta of tyranny for the junta. Over the last few weeks, it has denied access to international-aid workers following a devastating cyclone, held a sham referendum designed to tighten its grip on power and prolonged the punishment of the world's only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize laureate. How's that for telling the world to go fly a kite?

Suu Kyi has been a target of the junta ever since she and her pro-democracy allies won the parliamentary elections of 1990 but were kept from taking office. She has spent 12 of the ensuing 18 years in jail or under house arrest. This time around, the generals didn't even bother to file new charges against her, as the nation's own laws dictate when extending an expired sentence. They did it because they can. They're used to thumbing their noses at the rest of the world and getting away with it.

Tuesday was also the anniversary of the abortive 1990 elections, prompting a few of Suu Kyi's allies to make a brave public protest against her detention. Most of them were immediately hauled away by the police - par for the course in this forlorn country.

No comments: