Wednesday, October 12, 2011


They walk free

We heard about this possibility yesterday but held no hope for it. Could Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, really release "prisoners of conscience"?


Over 300 prisoners were released yesterday to cheering crowds.

Myanmar has certainly taken the right steps in the last year. Elections, freeing Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi after 15 years of house arrest, overturning controversial plans for an environmental disaster of a dam and now this.

Many in Myanmar are disappointed by the small numbers of people released. Just 300 out of 2,100. But all of this was unthinkable just LAST YEAR.

We'd say that they've turned the corner and that things can only get better from here.

However, the political powers that be in the Western world will not ease sanctions on Myanmar until it has released all 2,000 people. Probably rightly so in a sense, but the only people hurt by sanctions are the people themselves not the junta cronies.

This is an amazing step forward.

President Thein Sein, a former military commander is the first civilian (if you can call him that) to rule the country in over 50 years. He is really making progress here and is to be commended. He just needs to keep it going now.

Amnesty Internation is not at all impressed and thinks the reforms are slowing down actually. We think they are out of their minds. This alone is super-impressive. The country was a hell hole for over half a century and its going to take a while for it to be all right again. Amnesty needs to cool down and congratulate this guy not get him all fired up again by insulting him. Baby steps, motherfuckers. Baby steps. But steps in the right direction.

300 today, maybe 300 tomorrow? And 300 after that?

This is why Amnesty is still angry. 300 is a drop in the bucket.

News Article

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