Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Obama Calls for Release of Suu Kyi

President Obama and supporters in the Oval Office. He is calling for dissident's release.

(CBS) President Obama condemned the conviction in Burma/Myanmar of Aung San Suu Kyi today, calling for her "immediate unconditional release." Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace laureate, was sentenced to 18 months of house arrest Tuesday after allowing an uninvited American man (John Yettaw) to stay at her house in May.

In a statement released by the White House, Mr. Obama said the ruling violated "universal principles of human rights" and showed "continued disregard for UN Security Council statements."

"Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away," Mr. Obama said. "Today’s unjust decision reminds us of the thousands of other political prisoners in Burma who, like Aung San Suu Kyi, have been denied their liberty because of their pursuit of a government that respects the will, rights, and aspirations of all Burmese citizens."

It is important to note that Mr. Obama referred to Myanmar by the pre-junta name of Burma. The name changed after a coup d'├ętat in 1989 by the military junta. The United States does not officially recognize the name change and still refers to the country as Burma. More>>