What to say about the guilty verdict and three year jail term with hard labour—commuted by Senior General Than Shwe to 18 months under house arrest—handed down to Nobel Peace Laureate and Burma’s democratic opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi? My point is merely that the trial has been yet another travesty of justice perpetrated by the regime since it illegally assumed power in 1988, and that, as Tate Naing, Secretary of AAPP (Assistance Association for Political Prisoners), puts it, “there is no justice, no rule of law, and no independent judiciary in Burma,” and that “the continued detention of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is the jailing of Burma’s future.”
As everybody knows the military rulers used the trial to prevent Aung San Suu Kyi from campaigning ahead of the next general elections, which are the first since 1990, that is when Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won 392 of the 485 parliamentary seats but was never allowed to rule. To this end they fulfilled their purpose.
For now we can only hope that the international community will respond to this latest injustice with a clear message to the junta that its tyrannical actions will no longer be tolerated.
August 12, 2009