International

Defending the indefensible

The Washington Post reports on efforts by the ruling generals in Burma to justify the arrest and imprisonment of Aung San Suu Kyi.

In a rambling, seven-page letter seen by a Western diplomat in Bangkok, the junta leader, Gen. Than Shwe, accuses Suu Kyi’s followers of “conspiring to create an anarchic situation . . . with a view to attaining power.” It also says Suu Kyi attempted “to lure armed groups . . . to join in the planned uprising.” A coup was to have taken place by June 19, Suu Kyi’s 58th birthday, according to the letter.

Yeah, right. Anyway, credit where credit is due: the Bush administration backed a bill that passed Congress banning all imports from Burma because of the political repression.

The measure represents a significant policy shift for the Bush administration, which previously tried to encourage the military leadership to engage in a dialogue with Suu Kyi and Burma’s ethnic groups. But lawmakers said… that policy is dead, and that they will push for Burma’s neighbors to adopt similar actions. They said they will also press for action against Burma, also known as Myanmar, at the U.N. Security Council.

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