Agam's Gecko
Tuesday, March 11, 2008

n the occasion of International Women's Day on Monday, President Bush spoke about the strong women in his life, in his administration, and around the world where they struggle for freedom and justice for their people. Here are his expressions of support and admiration for Burma's Lady, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

US lawmakers have recently put into motion a special act of Congress, undertaken in recognition of her long and fearless struggle for Burmese freedom, and for the purpose of bestowing upon her the United States' highest civilian award, the Congressional Gold Medal. The Burmese regime will of course never allow her to receive it, except that she would never be allowed to return. That's the deal they offered when her husband Michael Aris was ill with cancer, and they refused him entry to say goodbye to his wife. She could see him only if she left, forever. That's also why she has never even seen her Nobel Peace Prize award.

It wouldn't be a Bush speech without the slightest gaffe, though. He mentions the "dangerously flawed" proposed constitution, "one that bars Suu from ever leading her country." This is what the draft constitution actually does to Suu Kyi's political rights, but the President quickly changes the word "leading" to "leaving". In fact, both are correct. It's merely the junta's whim which prevents her from leaving (without going into permanent exile), while the constitution will prevent her from having any political role of leadership.

Here's to "a mighty woman."

Junta television's coverage of UN envoy Gambari's fourth day of meetings on Sunday was a big, fat nothing. Scenes of shaking hands with a few ministers and another lavish dinner -- not even worth posting. There may be something later tonight on his final day before departing on Monday, when he met Suu Kyi for a second time (I'll post it tomorrow). Supreme Leader Than Shwe refused to see him at all, and poor Gambari has nothing whatsoever to show for his efforts.


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