Bush Presses for Democracy in Myanmar
President Bush pressed Thailandâs leader Sunday to help restore democracy in neighboring Myanmar and to push for the release of pro-democracy opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Bush and Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra met on the eve of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, likely to take up the repressive rule of Myanmarâs junta. The United States urged Southeast Asian countries over the weekend to use "all tools at their disposal" to free Suu Kyi and bring democracy to a country which has been under a military regime since 1962. Myanmar, also known as Burma, has drawn international criticism for detaining Suu Kyi, and dragging its feet on a long-standing promise to free its political system. The current junta held elections in 1990, but refused to recognize the results after Suu Kyiâs party won.
"He asked me to help push for democracy in Myanmar and for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi," Thaksin said after his session with Bush. Bush said Thaksin gave him a "sympathetic hearing" on the subject and assured him that the two countries share the same goal. "We care deeply about Aung San Suu Kyi and the status of Aung San Suu Kyi, and we would like to see her free," Bush told reporters.
|They hate it when that happens... |
About the trade embargo ...
Bush also told Chinese President Hu Jintao in a later meeting that the United States wants Suu Kyiâs "immediate freedom" and described her as a hero, said a senior administration official.
Somehow I donât think Huâs going to be impressed.
Critics say Myanmar has been let off lightly by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which it is a member. The group has not criticized Myanmar for Suu Kyiâs detention because they considered it an internal matter.
Detaining freedom fighters usually is, if you have the correct mind set.
Posted by: Steve White 2003-10-20