Doing worse than the U.N.

When Buddhist monks started their peaceful protest against economic mismanagement and political oppression in Burma, the U.N. Secretary General issued a statement asking all parties to avoid provocative actions, thus equating the peaceful monks with the ruthless dictators. As the Burmese protestors got support from around the world, the U.N. sent an envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, to meet with Senior Gen. Than Shwe and pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Just after Ibrahim Gambari briefed the Security Council and reported that he saw a window of opportunity for talks between the junta and Suu Kyi, the junta reduced security in Yangon. The state television broadcast Suu Kyi’s images, referred to her respectfully as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and released monks and demonstrators, all of which are unusual.

President Bush, it seems asked the China’s foreign minister Yang Jeichi to talk to the generals privately and it was this intervention that facilitated the visit from the U.N. envoy. Following this, the senior U.S. envoy was invited by the military regime for bilateral talks and she is expected to ask the junta to start talking to the democratic opposition groups.

While China, United States and even United Nations is involved in bringing a transition in Burma, India is absent from the diplomatic effort. When the U.N.  is doing more than us, it tells a lot about how much influence or lack of influence we have in our neighborhood. 

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