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Aung San Suu Kyi on Trial





dickyzin
As some of you may already know, the Nobel Peace Laureate and opposition leader of Burma who was under house arrest for 13 years in the past 19 years, is on trial because an American man swam to her lakeside home and stayed there for 2 days. Apparently, he did what he did to warn her about the vision he had of her being assassinated. Suu Kyi allowed him to stay because he was not capable of swimming back. Now she faces upto 5 years in prison for violating her terms of house arrest.

First of all, her house arrest is illegitimate and thus she should never have been imposed to those terms. Now the military dictators want her in prison before the election that is due in 2010. She's already won a landslide victory in the 1990 elections, which the military dictators did not accept and placed her under house arrest. This coming 2010 election will be no different. International community, especially the UN Security Council, must intervene and delivery a knock-out blow instead of small sanctions.
deanhills
All of it sounds crazy. Wonder why the world is not doing a unanimous protest about her house arrest. How is it that everyone is very upset about Gitmo and especially because Gitmo prisoners are isolated, yet it is OK for Aung San Suu Kyi to have been subjected by so much oppression by the Burmese Government.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
yet it is OK for Aung San Suu Kyi to have been subjected by so much oppression by the Burmese Government.

No, it's not OK either, but nobody expects the Burmese government to maintain moral high ground.

Really, it sounds like the situation there can only be solved by a local revolution against the government, or by international intervention, both of which would be dangerous.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
yet it is OK for Aung San Suu Kyi to have been subjected by so much oppression by the Burmese Government.

No, it's not OK either, but nobody expects the Burmese government to maintain moral high ground.

Really, it sounds like the situation there can only be solved by a local revolution against the government, or by international intervention, both of which would be dangerous.
Right. But ThePolemists in another thread may be right in this instance. The media is biased in its international coverage of events, as I did not see an outcry about this anywhere in the press.
Solon_Poledourus
deanhills wrote:
Right. But ThePolemists in another thread may be right in this instance. The media is biased in its international coverage of events, as I did not see an outcry about this anywhere in the press.
Compare this story to the widely covered case if Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi, who spent 3 months in an Iranian prison. Iran is a media-hated enemy of the west, so that story got more play in the news. Neither Aung San Suu Kyi, nor Burma in general, are subjects that most people in the western media care much about. The subject doesn't conjure scary images of evil Arabs doing evil things(which is the bread-and-butter of western media anymore). Roxana Saberi is American, she's a pretty female, and Iran is "the bad guy". That story is easy to sell to an audience who already hates Iran.

On the Burmese topic... I think ocalhoun is right. Only an internal uprising, or an outside intervention can put that country right. I generally support the revolution idea first, and providing outside support only once the revolution starts, and only if there is a call or a need for help. Any nation intervening beforehand would make themselves look like they are imposing their own will and policy upon a vulnerable country during a time of crisis.
deanhills
Solon_Poledourus wrote:
On the Burmese topic... I think ocalhoun is right. Only an internal uprising, or an outside intervention can put that country right. I generally support the revolution idea first, and providing outside support only once the revolution starts, and only if there is a call or a need for help. Any nation intervening beforehand would make themselves look like they are imposing their own will and policy upon a vulnerable country during a time of crisis.
I agree on this point as well. But do not see that happening soon. She will probably pass on as a martyr of sorts, someone else will take her role and this will continue in ad infinitum. Evil or Very Mad
dickyzin
This is such a sad case. Aung San Suu Kyi is an advocate for non-violent resistance and it seems like only violence can break the stalemate in Burma. ASEAN countries are not pressuring Burma because of their agreement on non-interference in internal affairs. Also China is vetoing any UN Security Council resolutions.

It's not just Aung San Suu Kyi that is a prisoner of conscience. There are tens of thousands of innocent civilians that are in prison for their political views. Burmese authorities would release actual criminals (murderers, thieves and rapists) to make more room for political prisoners.

There were several attempts on revolution, the latest in 2007, which was violently and brutally repressed. Alot of monks and people were killed, beaten and prisoned. I know because I was there. A Japanese reporter was gunned down at close up by the soldiers - you can still find this on youtube. Where is the international community when this happened? How much blood needs to be spilled for some international back-up?
deanhills
dickyzin wrote:
This is such a sad case. Aung San Suu Kyi is an advocate for non-violent resistance and it seems like only violence can break the stalemate in Burma. ASEAN countries are not pressuring Burma because of their agreement on non-interference in internal affairs. Also China is vetoing any UN Security Council resolutions.

It's not just Aung San Suu Kyi that is a prisoner of conscience. There are tens of thousands of innocent civilians that are in prison for their political views. Burmese authorities would release actual criminals (murderers, thieves and rapists) to make more room for political prisoners.

There were several attempts on revolution, the latest in 2007, which was violently and brutally repressed. Alot of monks and people were killed, beaten and prisoned. I know because I was there. A Japanese reporter was gunned down at close up by the soldiers - you can still find this on youtube. Where is the international community when this happened? How much blood needs to be spilled for some international back-up?
Amazing that the Media can make such a big fuss out of Gitmo and measuring this up to what you have just described makes no sense to me. Would seem there is one set of rules for one country and a different set for another country. Probably exactly how the Holocaust happened on a "hands-off" basis.
dickyzin
The Burmese authorities have postponed the trial for 1 week. They are postponing to their own will because Burma does not want to get grilled this week when they go to the ASEAN meating. So they postponed the trial to after the ASEAN meeting. There is no law in Burma - the judge is just a puppet and have no say in the outcome of the trial. If the sentence will no go in favour of the military regime, the judge and anyone involved in the trial will be fired and may even be imprisoned for some insane reason.
deanhills
dickyzin wrote:
The Burmese authorities have postponed the trial for 1 week. They are postponing to their own will because Burma does not want to get grilled this week when they go to the ASEAN meating. So they postponed the trial to after the ASEAN meeting. There is no law in Burma - the judge is just a puppet and have no say in the outcome of the trial. If the sentence will no go in favour of the military regime, the judge and anyone involved in the trial will be fired and may even be imprisoned for some insane reason.
Sounds grim. Possibly she is the safest in her house, maybe it is a form of protection for her too?
dickyzin
House arrest would be better than prison. When she was freed for a while in the past, the military would hire thugs to harass her during her campaign. Then they will put in another house arrest in the name of her safety. Right now, she needs protection against the military and no one else.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
Amazing that the Media can make such a big fuss out of Gitmo and measuring this up to what you have just described makes no sense to me. Would seem there is one set of rules for one country and a different set for another country. Probably exactly how the Holocaust happened on a "hands-off" basis.


This has been answered above more than once, yet you repeat the charge. Are you alleging an anti-American bias or something? Gitmo was a "big fuss" because the US, a (once the) recognized world leader of democracy and human rights, started a prisoner camp that overtly shredded international human rights, Geneva conventions, etc. Also, because it was a big fuss inside the USA, and news about the US tends to dominated news everywhere.

What I find remarkable about this story is the part about the American who caused Suu Kyi to end up in prison again. Time magazine asked "Is John Yettaw crazy or just eccentric?" Well, "eccentric" implies harmless, and he's done real harm to Suu Kyi at this point.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Amazing that the Media can make such a big fuss out of Gitmo and measuring this up to what you have just described makes no sense to me. Would seem there is one set of rules for one country and a different set for another country. Probably exactly how the Holocaust happened on a "hands-off" basis.


This has been answered above more than once, yet you repeat the charge. Are you alleging an anti-American bias or something?
Did you read that in the above quote? I was referring to the media. And I stand by that. The media tend to focus only on that which is "newsworthy" and perhaps Gitmo was more newsworthy than the goings on in Burma. That does not knock Gitmo. I've said it many times before. There are many people suffering probably even worse in the part of the world that is not being covered by the media. People think Rwanda and Congo are OK, nobody is making an issue out of Sri Lanka Government and killing civilians in its fights with the Tamil rebels. Etc. etc. It would appear that the global cosmos of problems are restricted at those that the media tend to focus on. And it could be misleading, unbalanced and unfair for many other people who are suffering on the planet. You yourself mentioned the gypsies from Europe. People are being massacred in Africa as we speak.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
Did you read that in the above quote? I was referring to the media. And I stand by that. The media tend to focus only on that which is "newsworthy" and perhaps Gitmo was more newsworthy than the goings on in Burma. That does not knock Gitmo. I've said it many times before. There are many people suffering probably even worse in the part of the world that is not being covered by the media. People think Rwanda and Congo are OK, nobody is making an issue out of Sri Lanka Government and killing civilians in its fights with the Tamil rebels. Etc. etc. It would appear that the global cosmos of problems are restricted at those that the media tend to focus on. And it could be misleading, unbalanced and unfair for many other people who are suffering on the planet. You yourself mentioned the gypsies from Europe. People are being massacred in Africa as we speak.


OK I get you. Yes it's sometimes sad and weird what is determined newsworthy over other things. Partly it's the herd mentality, and especially how smaller news outlets must take their leads from the bigger ones, and so the bigger one set the agenda.
Lucy
Basic common sence can tell you that it was not her fault. But comming in contact with others was violating her house arrest terms. My guess is, she will be facing prison time.
dickyzin
The thing that gets me is if she wasn't unlawfully placed under house arrest, this issue would never have happened. The military regime is charging her for violating her house arrest conditions where such conditions are imposed on her wrongfully. She is facing prison sentence because an American man swam to her home. Now who is putting the military generals on trial for genocide and human rights abuses?
deanhills
dickyzin wrote:
The thing that gets me is if she wasn't unlawfully placed under house arrest, this issue would never have happened. The military regime is charging her for violating her house arrest conditions where such conditions are imposed on her wrongfully. She is facing prison sentence because an American man swam to her home. Now who is putting the military generals on trial for genocide and human rights abuses?
As far as I understand, this man did not only swim to her home, but he was put up by her in her home. So that must have been the equivalent of the proverbial red flag to the bull. The story also sounds quite strange to me. Imagine people swimming to her home, why not use a boat? Strange story.
dickyzin
deanhills wrote:
dickyzin wrote:
The thing that gets me is if she wasn't unlawfully placed under house arrest, this issue would never have happened. The military regime is charging her for violating her house arrest conditions where such conditions are imposed on her wrongfully. She is facing prison sentence because an American man swam to her home. Now who is putting the military generals on trial for genocide and human rights abuses?
As far as I understand, this man did not only swim to her home, but he was put up by her in her home. So that must have been the equivalent of the proverbial red flag to the bull. The story also sounds quite strange to me. Imagine people swimming to her home, why not use a boat? Strange story.


The man swam to avoid being detected by the army patrolling Aung San Suu Kyi's lake-side house. I have actually been chased by the army guards when we got a bit close to her side of the lake while canoeing in the lake. What I'm more surprised about is how that American man managed to get into the heavily guarded place. Either the army deliberately turned a blind eye, so they can jail Aung San Suu Kyi, or all the guards were asleep or drunk. The man was asked to leave the house immediately but he was not in the condition to swim all the way back. So he was allowed into the house to rest. Some people reckon the American man was working for the Burmese dictators.
deanhills
dickyzin wrote:
deanhills wrote:
dickyzin wrote:
The thing that gets me is if she wasn't unlawfully placed under house arrest, this issue would never have happened. The military regime is charging her for violating her house arrest conditions where such conditions are imposed on her wrongfully. She is facing prison sentence because an American man swam to her home. Now who is putting the military generals on trial for genocide and human rights abuses?
As far as I understand, this man did not only swim to her home, but he was put up by her in her home. So that must have been the equivalent of the proverbial red flag to the bull. The story also sounds quite strange to me. Imagine people swimming to her home, why not use a boat? Strange story.


The man swam to avoid being detected by the army patrolling Aung San Suu Kyi's lake-side house. I have actually been chased by the army guards when we got a bit close to her side of the lake while canoeing in the lake. What I'm more surprised about is how that American man managed to get into the heavily guarded place. Either the army deliberately turned a blind eye, so they can jail Aung San Suu Kyi, or all the guards were asleep or drunk. The man was asked to leave the house immediately but he was not in the condition to swim all the way back. So he was allowed into the house to rest. Some people reckon the American man was working for the Burmese dictators.
It still sounds strange to me. She could have let the Burmese know that someone has landed on her door step without advance notice to her. And ask for permission to allow her to assist him.
atul2242
handfleisch wrote:

OK I get you. Yes it's sometimes sad and weird what is determined newsworthy over other things. Partly it's the herd mentality, and especially how smaller news outlets must take their leads from the bigger ones, and so the bigger one set the agenda.


Reminds me of Citizen Kane.
The Burmese Military Junta is of course very oppressive. But it still cannot survive alone in this world. It is quite well known that they are actively supported by the Indian government.
deanhills
atul2242 wrote:
Reminds me of Citizen Kane.
The Burmese Military Junta is of course very oppressive. But it still cannot survive alone in this world. It is quite well known that they are actively supported by the Indian government.
Shocked Shocked You must be joking! Is there any evidence for this?
dickyzin
The Burmese military is supported by China to begin with since China is the military regime's business partner. China is buying gas from Burma and are helping the Burmese with infrastructure. India is also trying to compete with China in Burma. Through Burma, China has access to the Indian Ocean which they can use for trade and also militarily. That is why India will try to keep good relations with the Burmese junta. India is also buying gas from Burma. Since Burma is between two giant nations, the military regime is reaping all the benefits from them, which is why the UN sanctions on Burma aren't affective. The Russians are also dealing with Burma through oil exploration and the building of MIG fighter jet engines. Just recently the US is shifting its policies on Burma and will also start having dealings with Burma. I hope the US will be in for the people of Burma and not for their share of the pie.
deanhills
dickyzin wrote:
Just recently the US is shifting its policies on Burma and will also start having dealings with Burma. I hope the US will be in for the people of Burma and not for their share of the pie.
Maybe this would be like light relief, the Burmese Government may get a little more open-minded, and open its doors for trading and tourism. Must be an interesting country to visit, and probably they need all the revenue they can get.
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