Burma

Burma

The BBC has started a series of articles about life in Burma

I was only in Burma for a short time, but I quickly found out how uncomfortable it is to be under surveillance

The article reminds us of the plight of Nobel Prizewinner Aung San Suu Kyi, and further reading reveals that she may be ill at the moment

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has spent most of the past two decades under house arrest. She has been in 'protective custody' continuously since 2003

Aung San Sun Kyi's detention

As expected, Burma, aka Myanmar, is to extend the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi by another year. This is becoming an annual formality.

Aung San Suu Kyi was elected as leader of Burma, but the military junta has refused to recognise the result.

As of today, she has been under house arrest for 10 years and 34 days. The ten year anniversary was last month.

In an unrelated move, the junta has relocated the capital in the last few weeks. Speculation is that they're worried about a US attack, but this makes no sense to me, as the US could equally well attack a new location. A cynic might say that the chances of Bush looking at Burma is small.... they don't have oil, do they?

See also: The Free Burma coalition, the Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's pages and this article on prospects for Burma, Internet Censorship in Burma (which makes the great firewall of China look positively permissive)

Aung San Suu Kyi

Today, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has her 60th Birthday; If I've planned this right, several of the site graphics should have automatically changed in honour of this. Suu Kyi has had a very difficult life, to say the least. In the last 16 years she has spent around 10 years under house arrest in Burma (Myanmar). In 1999 her husband, a British man, was dying of cancer. The Burmese authorities offered to allow her to travel, but she refused as she thought that she would not be allowed back into the country.

In 1990, the Burmese Junta called a poll of its citizens, which Aung San Suu Kyi's party won. The result was ignored by the Junta as at the time she was under house arrest and disqualified from standing.

Two days ago, 68 people were arrested for protesting outside the Burmese embassy in Malaysia, the protest was an 'unlawful assembly'. This is something which could easily be repeated in the UK from this summer.

Songs for Suu

Artists, including R.E.M., Travis, Paul McCartney(!), U2 and Coldplay have got together to record an album to keep Aung San Suu Kyi and the situation in Burma in the public eye. The album is in aid of the US campaign for Burma, is called 'For the Lady' and has been banned in Myanmar (Burma). The US has a trade embargo on Burma.

I will post a reminder on the day that the album is due to be released.