Way to go First Lady
Laura Bush / Wall Street Journal:
Stop the Terror in Burma -- Millions have also been stunned by the junta's shameful response: nonviolent demonstrators struck down with batons, tear gas, smoke grenades and bullets; civilians, including children, seized at random; innocent men and women slain.
The generals' reign of fear has subdued the protests -- for now. [...]
President Bush has directed the U.S. Treasury Department to freeze the assets of 14 senior members of the Burmese junta. Our State Department has identified top junta officials and their immediate families -- more than 200 people -- as subject to a ban on entry into the U.S., and President Bush is preparing further U.S. sanctions against the dictatorship.
Gen. Than Shwe and his deputies are a friendless regime. They should step aside to make way for a unified Burma governed by legitimate leaders. [...]
As part of a peaceful transition process, the generals must immediately stop their terror campaigns against their own people. They must commit to a meaningful, unrestricted dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi and other opposition leaders -- including the demonstrating monks, the 88 Generation Students and members of Ms. Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party. The junta has taken a small, promising first step by appointing its deputy labor minister as a liaison to Ms. Suu Kyi. Now, the regime must release her -- and all members of the political opposition -- so they can meet and plan a strategy for Burma's transition to democracy.
Meanwhile, the world watches -- and waits. We know that Gen. Than Shwe and his deputies have the advantage of violent force. But Ms. Suu Kyi and other opposition leaders have moral legitimacy, the support of the Burmese people and the support of the world. The regime's position grows weaker by the day. The generals' choice is clear: The time for a free Burma is now.
comment: Notice that Laura Bush calls Burma, Burma, and not Myanmar. On 18 June 1989, the Burmese dictatorship adopted the name “Union of Myanmar.” This was recognized by the United Nations, but not by the US or UK Governments. So why does the NY Times use the name Myanmar (see below)?
First lady calls on Myanmar's ruling junta to 'step aside'
Laura Bush to Myanmar's Junta: Make Way for Democracy
Laura Bush: More Burma sanctions possible
USA Today [interview]:
Laura Bush: Burma has 'days' to act
US first lady blasts 'friendless' Myanmar regime
"What is happening on the streets of Rangoon . . . will shape the future of China's relations with the world." -- Outside the Embassy of the PRC on Sunday, the activist I interviewed on video handed me a piece of paper. I put it in a bag and forgot about it until today.
The paper is a statement by a Thai-Burmese activist group that calls itself the Joint Action Committee for Democracy in Burma. I thought the letter really set a strong and positive tone for confronting China on Burma. Anyway, I was sufficiently impressed by the letter to reproduce it here. [...]
China doesn't have heart for those who had been killed by junta -- We need to organize the people all over the world to boycott the bloody china Olympic. I would like to request to people; if you have any idea of what we can do effectively. [...]
Shall we work together and show to CHINA what is the real power of people all over the world?
Howard W. French / NY Times:
China Opposes Sanctions on Myanmar -- China signaled its “resolute opposition” to United Nations sanctions against the government of Myanmar after the violent suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations there this month. “Any action adopted at the Security Council should be extremely prudent and responsible and helpful to the mediation efforts of the secretary general,” said a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Liu Jianchao.
comment: It's Burma, pinheads. Note the NY Times is kind enough to include a 'Myanmar' link.
Gary Player hits Mandela golf tournament bunker over business ties to Burma -- Nelson Mandela has withdrawn an invitation to Gary Player, the former Open champion golfer, to host a charity fundraising tournament in the name of the ex-South African president because of his business ties to Burma. [...]
Mr Player said he was "very disappointed" that his "integrity and support for human rights has been brought into question" over Burma and that his company's involvement in the country was "taken entirely out of context" because it began five years ago when the military regime appeared to be relaxing its grip on power.
Mr Player and his company have designed hundreds of golf courses around the world including the 18-hole Pride of Myanmar frequented by Burma's military rulers. [...]