For the longest time, Burma’s junta has been under scrutiny and backlash from the international community. However, the junta has remained resistant and defiant to the international backlash nonetheless. Back in 2007, the violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests by the junta was widely condemned by the international community.
Early in May, there was international criticism in regards to the vote for Burma’s referendum on the constitution. Under the constitution, it would allow the military to remain active in the politics of the country. There was only a “Yes” vote present. Voting was not optional. Reports had come in explaining that Burma’s junta has resorted to fear and intimidation. The referendum won a “majority” vote.
Days before the voting was set to take place, Burma was hit by Cyclone Nargis. Burma’s junta was criticized for the handling of the situation and handling of the foreign aid offered. While the cyclone was supposed to eclipse the voting, Burma’s junta focused on the voting rather than the getting the necessary aid. That too had brought forth more international backlash.
Now, the latest action has brought forth more criticism from the international community. The junta has decided to extend Aung San Suu Kyi’s house detention. Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest back in 1990. She and her National League for Democracy Party won the elections in 1990. However, the junta refused to accept the results and placed Suu Kyi under house arrest.
There have been attempts to put Burma’s junta on record. But, such attempts were blocked.
While the junta came under harsh criticism on its handling of aid received, the criticism exploded as a result of extending Suu Kyi’s sentencing.
“The sooner restrictions on Aung San Suu Kyi and other political figures are lifted, the sooner Myanmar will be able to move toward … restoration of democracy and full respect for human rights,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. He too had expressed disappointment in the junta’s actions.
United States President George W. Bush too expressed disappointment and concern over the junta’s actions. Recently, the US House has urged Bush to intervene in Burma.
The issue of Burma could end up as a possible hot topic in the 2008 US Presidential elections.