The unquenchable fire in Burmese hearts
I've seen tremendous courage in the face of a freedom-hating regime.
(Page 2 of 2)
It is my belief that the Burmese with "fire" in their hearts will continue to speak out and plan further protests despite the terrible price it is exacting. Yet the success of their sacrifices seems tragically compromised as long as there are countries that support the junta's oppressive regime by selling it weapons. That's why these three actions must be taken:Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
•First, the US Senate must immediately confirm Michael Green to fill the newly created position of Special Envoy to Burma. Having a regional specialist installed in a dedicated post will bring focus to what has been a largely uncoordinated effort by advocacy, human rights, and UN groups.
•Third, we will all need to press President-elect Obama and his future administration to honor the platform that he ran on, which included strong support for human rights.
Just a month ago at the UN, 147 states voted to move forward on the creation of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Only the US and Zimbabwe voted against it. The US must not only reverse its vote but also work to ensure that the ATT includes language curbing arms sales to countries that commit egregious human rights violations against their own people. This would be a giant step forward in honoring Mr. Obama's commitment and would reassert America's role as a leader in the promotion of human rights.
By taking these steps, we could begin to usher in change for the people that, in the words of Mr. Green, "languish in the shadows as the rest of the world concentrates its energies elsewhere."
And we could satisfy the plea of my own Burmese friends, one of whom implored: "Please, Sister, do not let the world forget us." As Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's detained pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Laureate, once said: "Please use your freedom to promote ours."