Mend ways

The UN was created to foster a peaceful international order. But UN’s habitual failure to protect the victims of murderous regimes in Cambodia, Rwanda and Sudan is disillusioning. And sad to say, those tragic failures of the past are being re-enacted today as senior UN officials and members of the UN Security Council acquiesce in the despotic brutality of the illegitimate military junta that rules Myanmar.

On a visit last month to Myanmar, Secretary General’s top deputy, Undersecretary General Ibrahim Gambari, raised hopes for progress toward the restoration of democracy and national reconciliation. Gambari was allowed to meet Aung San Suu Kyi. Gambari reported that General Than Shwe is ready “to turn a new page in relations with the international community.” If he intended that he would start by releasing Suu Kyi, who has been imprisoned for more than 10 years and whose party won 80 per cent of seats in Parliament in 1990 election. But no new page was turned. After Gambari’s visit, the junta announced that Suu Kyi’s confinement would continue for another year.

Than Shwe will not change his ways without sustained international pressure. The most effective action would be to place Myanmar on the council’s formal agenda, as America and other democracies are seeking to do. — The Boston Globe