Skip to main content

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."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Whatever democracy the Palestinians had is dying

Almost a desperate cry from a well-known, respected and sober moderate Palestinian.

Mustafa Barghouthi is secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was a candidate for the Palestinian presidency in 2005.

He writes in a piece "The Slow Death of Palestinian Democracy" on FP:

"Palestinian municipal elections were supposed to be held last week. Instead, they were canceled. A statement released by the Palestinian Authority claimed the cancellation was "in order to pave the way for a successful end to the siege on Gaza and for continued efforts at unity" between Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, and the government in the West Bank.

The cancellation of this election was an unjustified, unlawful, and unacceptable act. It damages democratic rights and makes a mockery of the interests of the Palestinian people.

But this is far more than an internal Palestinian issue. The only lasting peace between Isr…

Big Brother alive and well in the USA in 2007

The so-called "war on terror" has shown itself up in a multitude of manifestations. The most dangerous thing has been governments using the "excuse" of the war to restrict certain civil liberties, allowing government agencies to pursue a variety of things that they would otherwise would not - and should not - be allowed to do and gathering, and retaining, a variety of information on its citizens.

The Washington Post reports on the latest incursions into civil liberties of all Americans:

"The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.

The personal travel records are meant to be stored for as lo…