Aung San Suu Kyi
Four years ago today, gunmen under orders from Burma's dictatorship came to a house in Thailand in broad daylight and shot dead a man as he sat on his veranda. The man who was assassinated was the General Secretary of the Karen National Union (KNU), Padoh Mahn Sha Lah Phan, one of the most prominent spokesmen for Burma's ethnic nationalities.
When a democratically elected president is forced to resign by rebels within the police and military, threatened with bloodshed if he refuses, frog-marched by police and military to a press conference to announce his decision, detained for several hours, beaten up as he addresses a peaceful gathering of supporters, and then a warrant for his arrest is issued, I call that a coup d'état.
For much of the last 50 years only a true optimist would have believed there were prospects for real change in Burma. For all that time the people of Burma have suffered repression. Burma's former military regime appeared impervious to international criticism of its human rights record...
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