Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Aung San Suu Kyi receives international support

As reported in world news today, Burma's spiritual leader and Nobel Peace Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to another year and a half under house arrest by Myanmar's military regime, most probably in order to keep her out of the country's electoral process.
Political leaders around the world have made statements condemning the ruling. There is pressure now, even from leaders such as Britain's Prime Minister, Gordon Brown and members of the European Parliamentary Caucus, for the UN Security Council to issue a global ban on weapons sales to Myanmar. This will mean convincing Myanmar's trade partners, notably China, Russia and India to concede to such an embargo.

Once again, one can see how the weapons trade influences politics and how certain countries are willing to go only so far in pressing for human rights. Foreign weapons sales still represent the largest export of the US.

President Obama issued a strong statement today in support of Aung San Suu Kyi, calling for her release, but stopped short of expressing approval for an international weapons embargo on the junta in Myanmar. Why?

Portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi by artist, Shepard Fairey, who created the most well-known Obama campaign portrait

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