Saturday, June 9, 2007

Another woman’s struggle

Labeled a "threat to national peace and tranquility," Aung san suu kyi (at right), the democratically elected leader of Myanmar/Burma is still under house arrest. Affectionately called “The Lady” by her people, Aung san suu kyi was elected in 1990 and awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1991. But the ruling military junta refused to hand over the governmental reins and has kept her under house arrest—without telephone, mail or visitors—for 11of the past 17 years. Even a visit from her exiled dying husband was refused. Meanwhile, as the lawyers working with Freedom Now in Washington to represent Aung San Suu Kyi reported in the IHT:
[M]ore than 3,000 villages have been destroyed since 1996 as the military wages a relentless campaign of killing, torture and rape against ethnic minorities. A million refugees have fled the country and 600,000 internally displaced people struggle to subsist in primitive jungle conditions. More than 800,000 people are used as forced labor and the country has over 70,000 child soldiers. Myanmar is currently the world's second largest exporter of heroin and opiates as well as a major producer of methamphetamines. The junta's failure to address its burgeoning HIV/AIDS crisis has led to the spread of the disease along the drug routes into neighboring countries.
29 consecutive UN resolutions and pleas from numerous world leaders have so far failed to secure The Lady’s release. What about sanctions? Divestment?

No comments: