Thursday, September 06, 2007

Bush Slams Burma

Bush attends APEC in Sydney, obviously all of us would want to take to the streets and be heard. John Howard implements all sorts of "security equipment" tall fences, water canon and even a ban list.

Now Bush goes to Sydney and slams Burma for their crackdown on protest marches. The sheer irony.


US PRESIDENT George Bush has slammed Burma's military regime, promising to use the APEC conference to speak out against a crackdown on protest marches.

"It's inexcusable that we've got this kind of tyrannical behaviour in Asia," Mr Bush said at a press conference with Prime Minister John Howard.

Small bands of Burmese took to the streets of the capital, Rangoon, to protest at a Government hike in petrol prices. In some cases, the cost of fuel soared by five times. In response, regime-sponsored gangs beat protest leaders. So far, the military has stayed in its barracks.

The Burmese junta is sensitive to organised protests, fearing they could become a campaign for political change.

Protests in 1988 opened the way for elections two years later, won by the National League for Democracy, the party led by Nobel peace prizewinner Aung San Suu Kyi. The military refused to accept the result, keeping Ms Suu Kyi under house arrest for much of the time since.

Mr Bush yesterday said people in free societies needed to speak out against human rights abuses.

Australia has a ban on military exports to Burma and visits by senior regime figures. Last week, Labor's foreign affairs spokesman, Robert McClelland, called on the Government to condemn the latest crackdown.

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