Comparing international outcries to Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial verdict

12 Aug

It is one of those curiosities that the Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs is able to see the silver lining in the verdict of Aung San Suu Kyi’s sham trial.

While the MFA has expressed disappointment with the sentence, it was however happy that the Myanmar Government has exercised its sovereign prerogative to grant amnesty for half her sentence and that she will be placed under house arrest rather than imprisoned’.

Little consolation to the Lady and the Burmese who are still living under a repressive military regime. However, by solely reading the MFA statement, one could be mistaken that we should feel glad that the junta has chosen to reduce the sentence to one and a half years of house arrest instead of the labour camp imprisonment. It was heartened that… … Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will be allowed to see doctors and nurses, communicate with her party, watch local television channels, read local newspapers and journals, and can receive visitors with the government’s permission and that there is a possibility that she could receive amnesty for the remainder of her sentence’.

I wonder if reading and watching the local junta media is any real consolation. Not forgetting that Aung San Suu Kyi will not be able to ‘communicate’ with her party members since many of them would be languishing in jail. Nowhere in the MFA statement did it condemn the trial proceedings nor the junta.

In comparison, the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs has chosen to adopt a stronger language: Australia condemns the conviction and sentencing today of Aung San Suu Kyi under Burma’s so-called Law Protecting the State Against the Dangers of Subversive Elements’. It has also demanded the junta to ‘release Aung San Suu Kyi immediately and unconditionally, and to release the more than 2000 political prisoners in Burma’.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office was explicit. Says Gordon Brown, ‘This is a purely political sentence designed to prevent her from taking part in the regime’s planned elections next year. So long as Aung San Suu Kyi and all those political opponents imprisoned in Burma remain in detention and are prevented from playing their full part in the political process, the planned elections in 2010 will have no credibility or legitimacy.

The façade of her prosecution is made more monstrous because its real objective is to sever her bond with the people for whom she is a beacon of hope and resistance…’

The statement from the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. show us just how far the junta is from international opinion. Not only was the UN secretary general refused from meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi when he visited Burma in July, it also noted that trial was politically motivated. Ban Ki-Moon has urged the Government to “immediately and unconditionally” release Ms. Suu Kyi and to engage with her without delay as an essential partner in the process of national dialogue and reconciliation’.

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3 Responses to “Comparing international outcries to Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial verdict”

  1. ghost August 13, 2009 at 2:38 pm #

    Uh…it should be Singapore Foreign Ministry, not Home Affairs.

  2. ErniesUrn August 13, 2009 at 3:22 pm #

    Different country …same tactics

  3. Charles August 13, 2009 at 3:40 pm #

    Apologies! It is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, not Home Affairs. Thanks for pointing that out.

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