Burma’s Much-Awaited News Finally Arrives
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Burma’s Much-Awaited News Finally Arrives

By THE IRRAWADDY Friday, January 13, 2012

(Page 2 of 2)

The events this week will legitimately increase the calls for sanctions to be eased, especially if fighting in Kachin State ceases and the April 1 by-election goes smoothly.

It is also time for the US to consider upgrading its diplomatic relations with Burma.

Many people and organizations deserve thanks and congratulations for the role they played in gaining the release of the prisoners, including Burmese activists who unrelentingly called for their colleagues to be freed, members of the international community who pressured the government, and as we have said, Thein Sein and the other government reformists who granted the release.

But the real heroes today are the men and women who spent years in prison, sometimes in solitary confinement, but were strong and resilient enough to unfalteringly engage in a non-violent struggle to overturn a brutally violent regime.

Suu Kyi recently said that Burma is on the “verge of a breakthrough” in democracy. Today’s prisoner release could be that breakthrough, but for that to happen we must keep in mind that we are at the beginning, not the end, of Burma’s long road to democracy and human rights. Suu Kyi acknowledged this when she went on to say that the path “might be full of difficulties.”

Maybe Burma did not realize a “Mandela moment” immediately after Suu Kyi’s released, but since the time that Thein Sein took office, she and the president have jointly led the way to an unexpectedly amazing year in Burma.

Hopefully, 2012 will see even more momentum for change and produce even deeper reforms and progress towards democracy and the rule of law. It must be remembered that the detention of political prisoners, as well as the fighting and human rights abuses in ethnic areas, are things that should never have occurred in the first place. So the release of all prisoners and cessation of conflicts and abuses simply puts the country at square one.

At least this time, however, certain members of the Burmese government will apparently be standing on square one together with the people.

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KML Wrote:
I would like to appreciate President U Thein Sein for releasing political prisoners, particularly U Kyaw Min, MP for Buthee-daung. U Kyaw Min & family were charged under Section 18 of 1982 Citizenship Law, 100% politically motivated. http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2009/3116/
In fact, 1982 Citizenship Law is the ugliest form of legislation Burma could effort to keep going with changing political, social and economic circumstances. Discrimination has no place in this mordent civilization. Ye Myin Aung may be unhappy to learn that.

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