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Burma: The World Averts its Eyes

The riots in Burma last year attracted the media's attention, as did the cyclone which hit the country and which caused such human and physical devastation.

But then Burma faded off the agenda. The country snubs its nose at the world and the world, whether it be via the UN or otherwise, doesn't blink. Now the latest outrage as the TimesOnLine reports:

"An internet blogger and a writer who disguised an attack on Burma’s dictator in the form of a love poem were among dozens of activists sentenced to draconian jail terms as the junta ordered a fresh crackdown on dissidents.

Nay Myo Kyaw, 28, who wrote blogs under the name Nay Phone Latt, was sentenced to 20 years and 6 months in jail by a court in Rangoon. The poet, Saw Wai, received a two-year sentence for an eight-line Valentine’s Day verse published in a popular magazine.

Aung Thein, the lawyer for the men, was given four months in prison on Monday for contempt of court during his defence.

More than a dozen people arrested during the protests last year against the ruling junta were handed harsh prison terms yesterday. “Altogether 23 activists were sentenced today at Insein prison. They were sentenced to 65 years each,” a family member of one jailed activist said.

Other sources said that 14 people from the Generation 88 Students group, who spearheaded the revolt against Burma’s military rulers in 1988, were jailed for 65 years. Ten rank-and-file members of a provincial branch of the opposition National League for Democracy party were given sentences ranging from 8 to 24 years."

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