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Senate Condemns Tyranny in Burma

In a symbolic gesture, the Senate this afternoon approved a resolution calling for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese pro-democacy activist and Nobel Laureate whose been under house arrest at the hands of Burma’s military leaders for most of the last two decades. The resolution also urges the leaders of Burma’s brutal regime to respect human rights and conduct upcoming elections fairly.

“The election rules that were recently announced by this regime leave no opportunity for legitimate political dialogue because they prevent key stakeholders from participating, making the upcoming elections a charade,” Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), who sponsored the resolution, said in a statement Friday. “The U.S. expects the military regime to dramatically expand political participation and create an environment free from fear and intimidation before we will consider elections in Burma as anything but a farce.”

Trouble is, Burma’s leaders haven’t cared what the United States thinks of them for decades, and they have no reason to start now. Despite being cut off from most of the West, Than Shwe and his minions have done just fine for themselves by forging lucrative gem, oil and timber deals with China, Thailand and other Southeast Asian neighbors, who’ve shown zero inclination to jeopardize those trade relations over something as petty as human rights.

Meanwhile, Suu Kyi’s pro-democracy party announced this week that it has chosen to disband rather than participate in an election that would require the party to accept the nullification of the 1990 vote that should have swept it into power.

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