Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Junta stoops before Suu Kyi



“It is not power that corrupts, but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.” (Freedom from Fear: Aung Sang Suu Kyi)

M
yanmarese junta once again proved they are still struggling to get rid of the fear that a fragile looking freedom fighter Aung Sang Suu Kyi has incited in their hearts two decades back. The junta’s punishment to the uncompromising advocate of democracy on Tuesday underlines nothing, but this very hard truth.

As expected the junta court sentenced Suu Kyi; of course generosity from junta is least expected. But this time junta has deliberately tried to show leniency towards Suu Kyi. The court, which has ruled three years hard labour, reduced the punishment to 18 months upon a dramatic letter from junta with the option of allowing visitors in a case long-term jail was expected for the champion of democracy.

The trial stemming from an intrusion into Suu Kyi’s heavily guarded lake-side villa by a 54-year-old American John Yettaw brought Suu Kyi back into discussion. Yettaw too got punishment along with Suu Kyi. He has been given 7 years which includes three years hard labour for violating country’s immigration rules. Suu Kyi has been charged with violating rules of house arrest. So to the junta, putting a person under 14 years detention in the form of house arrest is not a violation in any form. When will they realise that the biggest violators of rules who are afraid to face the people power?

But who is this John Yettaw? Is he an agent blocking Suu Kyi’s freedom? What was he trying to prove by swimming to Suu Kyi’s detention centre and staying with her? Even if he was trying to make known the world that Suu Kyi can be contacted under detention, he should have thought about the consequences such a visit might result. With his visit, which according to him a ‘godly intervention,’ he gave the junta an edge giving them a chance to charge and trial Suu Kyi for unwanted reason. Anyway his intention was not to free and take Suu Kyi away from the guarding junta. If Suu Kyi wanted to escape from her aim, she should have done it in 1999 when the junta allowed her to attend husband’s funeral with one condition-Never to return.

But Suu Kyi did not leave her country.Again the junta failed before her. Her intentions were vehement, unchallenging. They were fighting with a spirited personality never felt fatigue of fighting. She never succumbed to their pressures to end the bloodless struggle. The only time Burma witnessed a bloody uprising was in 1988, August 8 which is called 8888 Uprising which the Myanmarese observed this year too. The junta court actually had to give the verdict on Suu Jyi and Yettaw on Aug 8. But fearing a unrest, they postponed it to Aug 11 and now they have extended her house arrest with the intention of keeping her away from the upcoming election which the pro-democrats already called as illegal.

But as long as there won’t be any global effort to exert pressure on junta, Suu Kyi and her people will be recorded as a generation who fought for freedom from the country’s own established rulers. Suu Kyi has already spent 14 years of her 20 years in detention to bring back democracy to her homeland. Nobody knows, how many more years she has to languish her life for her country? She has before her the sacrifices of India’s Mohan Das karam Chand Gandhi and South Africa’s Nelson Mandela before her to attain her goal. A Gandhian true to Gandhi, she is against violence. Unlike other countries, India’s century-long freedom struggle has seen only a little bloodshed. Gandhi was the man who made it possible. But Gandhi had a huge following giving unrelenting support within the country.

The so-called global powers, which are very particular to establish democracy in all parts of the world, become meek before the Myanmarese junta. It’s true the junta is not heeding to the calls of mightless organizations like UN or NGOs or human rights activists.

If Suu Kyi and her fight for democracy have gained attention like Gandhi or Mandela, the junta would have freed her long back. Is it because she is not demanding missiles and tanks that her mission is not reaching anywhere? Many countries have showered her with awards. She is a recipient of Nobel Peace Prize too. But the sincere effort at least to free her from detention is not happening. Now the effort has been carried out by people across the world on a virtual level who believes in social networking and YouTubing. This will definitely help to make known what’s happening inside Myanmar as international media has restrictions. Other than expressing solidarity, the online protests will do little impact. 

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