Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Burmese Farce

Wall Street Journal
November 16, 2010

Saturday's nominal release of Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi from seven years of house arrest is being compared by some misty-eyed Western well-wishers to Nelson Mandela's release from prison in 1990. Would that it were so. Mr. Mandela's freedom was a clear signal that South Africa's white rulers intended to do away with apartheid. Ms. Suu Kyi's release is yet another gambit by the Burmese regime to extend its grip on power.

This is not the first time Ms. Suu Kyi has been "freed" by the regime that first imprisoned her in 1989. On previous occasions—amounting to six years out of the last 21—she has been at some liberty to receive visitors in her home and even make or receive phone calls.