Burma's National League for Democracy recently marked the seventeenth anniversary of its formation. In 1990, the League won a massive victory in parliamentary elections, the results of which the military junta ruling Burma still refuses to honor. The league and its founder, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, continue to be denied an opportunity to exercise their political rights.
Later this year, the Burmese junta is expected to reconvene its national convention entrenching military rule in the country. The National League for Democracy and other pro-democracy parties have been denied a voice in that process.
Aung San Suu Kyi was detained in May 2003 after forces affiliated with Burma's military junta brutally attacked her convoy, which included other members of the National League for Democracy. The junta continues to ignore requests by the United States, the United Nations, and others to investigate the attack, and refuses to take responsibility or hold accountable the Burmese officials reportedly involved in the assault.
A statement released by the U.S. State Department says "The United States affirms its support for Aung San Suu Kyi, the National League for Democracy and all others around the world who promote freedom, democracy, and respect for human rights for all the people of Burma." U.S. Under Secretary of State Paula Dobriansky says the U.S. "will continue to help the people of Burma with their struggle":
"We need to press the world to stand firm against the junta, and remind people everywhere precisely what is going on in Rangoon."
Ms. Dobriansky says, "While the dictators of Rangoon may project an image of control, those who have fought tyranny around the world and those who fight it from within Burma, know just how. . . .weak the power really is. . . .We do not know the exact day Burma's dictatorship will end, but," says Ms. Dobriansky, "we do know that it will end one day."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.