Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Burma Crisis Update: Non-Violent, Democratic Resistance of Burmese People Offers Stark Contrast to US Political Scene

Image: Aung San Suu Kyi, TIME 100

Burma Crisis Update: The Non-Violent, Democratic Resistance of the Burmese People Offers a Stark Contrast to the US Political Scene

By Richard Power

It has been an ugly and disappointing week on the US political scene.

In the Texas and Ohio primaries, Sen. Hillary Clinton has succeeded by emulating the viscious political tactics of Karl Rove.

At what price?

And on his first day as the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, Sen. John McCain has welcomed the lawless embrace of George W. Bush.

At what price?

Meanwhile, in a troubled land far away, a brave and defenseless people offer a very different example of what democracy looks like:

Gunmen entered a home near Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi’s residence in Rangoon ... and shot five persons in an execution-style killing.
The dead were all shot in the head by unknown assailants inside the home during the night ... The shootings occurred in a home owned by Thu Zaw, the owner of the Fuji House coffee shop, a nearby popular meeting place for opposition activists.
The dead are Mya Sandar, Thu Zaw’s wife; San San Mya, his mother-in-law; Hnin Pwint Aye, his sister-in-law; Saw Kyi Phay, his father-in-law; and Naw Ae Phew, a maid.
All six people lived in the home. Thu Zaw was away from the home when the shootings occurred ...
Irrawaddy, 3-4-08

Buddhist monks in Mandalay in upper Burma ... launched a harshly worded poster campaign urging a “Vote No” against the government’s referendum on a draft constitution, said sources close to the campaign.
Meanwhile, the All Burma Monks Alliance earlier issued a hard-hitting statement ridiculing the referendum, the election and the regime.
Teams of volunteers have put up anti-regime posters in Amarapura Township in Mandalay, a monk who asked not to be identified told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday.
“The posters say the current situation is more important than ‘a fire on your head,’” he said. “If your head is on fire, only you will die. If you endorse the constitution, the next generation will also die.” ...
Irrawaddy, 3-4-08

Throughout the world, the caring and the awakened have responded.

The annual day of prayer for Burma organized by Christians Concerned for Burma is approaching:

The Global Day of Prayer for Burma is an annual event initiated in 1997 by Christians Concerned for Burma at the request of Burma’s democracy leader, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. On Sunday 9 March churches around the world are urged to pray for Burma during their services. Inspire, 3-4-08

Canadian Friends of Burma are championing divestment:

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is investing over $1.2 billion in companies doing business in Burma. 17 million working Canadians are unknowingly supporting the regime. ... CFOB has helped found Parliamentary Friends of Burma with nearly 40 MPs and Senators. Some universities in Canada are investing their endowment and pension funds in companies that are propping up the junta with much needed financial resources. Straight Goods, 3-3-08

UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari is making his third visit to Burma since the thugocracy's savage suppression of a people's uprising in September 2007:

A UN spokesperson said today that Gambari “hopes to stay as long as necessary and to consult with a broad range of representatives of Myanmar society, including all the groups which he was not able to see during his last visit”. Democratic Voice of Burma, 3-4-08

And Sen. Clinton and Sen. McCain?

Well, they are both "ready on day one" -- but for what?

Most Recent Burma-Related Words of Power Posts

Burma Crisis Update: Talk is Cheap, Business as Usual; On Martin Luther King Day -- Remember Aung San Suu Kyi

In Burma & Sudan, Business As Usual -- What Must & Can Be Done Now!

Burma Crisis Update 11-10-07: Amnesty International on "Grave & Ongoing Human Rights Violations"; Alternate Media Vital to Resistance

Burma Crisis Update: An Open Letter to the Executives of Chevron

Burma Crisis Update: Two Weeks Into the Crackdown, China Has Not Tempered the Thugocracy's Hand; Chevron Has Not Even Slapped Its Wrist

Human Rights Update 10-6-07: Chevron, Condoleeza Rice & the Burmese Thugocracy

Human Rights Update: Blackwater, Burma, Darfur & You

Human Rights Watch to Business: "Keeping quiet while monks & other peaceful protesters are murdered & jailed is not ... constructive engagement."

Human Rights Update: Blackwater, Burma, Darfur & You

Hard Rain Journal 9-27-07: Aung San Suu Kyi was Elected in 1990, Al Gore was Elected in 2000 -- Consider What Has Befallen Both Countries Since

For a directory of Words of Power Human Rights Updates, click here.

Richard Power's Left-Handed Security: Overcoming Fear, Greed & Ignorance in This Era of Global Crisis is available now! Click here for more information.

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