Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Aung San Suu Kyi to be charged and tried
The armed thugs who claim to be the government of Burma are, apparently, about to charge Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, along with her two live-in maids, with harboring a US national secretly in Suu Kyi's lakeside home for two days.
The Golden Land is full of nutty stories, but this is one of the nuttier I can recall.
It seems a John Yettaw, which may be a vaguely Burmese name, although I could be quite wrong on that, who is from the US, swam the lake to reach Suu Kyi's home. He stayed in the home for two days, and has since been arrested, although not charged. US diplomats were able to visit him, but haven't spoken publicly about the case yet.
The 63-year-old Suu Kyi, who has been under detention of one form or another for most of the past 20 years, has been rumored to be in poor health lately. According to her doctor, she suffers from dehydration and low blood pressure. Who knows what that really means.
There's some conjecture by the Beeb that this is an effort to put Suu Kyi away until after next year's "elections", which is as good an explanation as any. Suu Kyi pretty much is the opposition, such as it is, and locking her up where no UN or Western representatives can get a look at her would certainly prevent her from making any public noise.
Still, this represents something of a departure for Than Shwe and his minions. Up until now, they've been treating Suu Kyi with white gloves. They allow her no freedom, but they have resisted the notion of tossing her in the clink or any other drastic actions. They have to know that this is going to make some headlines in the West (not to mention spark the ire of certain bloggers, which I'm sure has them quaking in their Buster Browns), but since when has that stopped them from doing anything? Locking Suu Kyi up this far ahead of the elections makes sense, in their little dinosaur brains, in that it will have faded from attention by the time it matters.
In the pantheon of near-hopeless to hopeless situations, lost causes to causes well on their way to lost, from Zimbabwe to Gaza to GM, Burma has a place of honor: The spot on this little planet of ours furthest from any sort of hope at all.