- The Egypt effect
July 6, 2013
From Benghazi to Abu Dhabi, Islamists are drawing lessons from Morsi's ouster.
- Taking a stand
July 6, 2013
The Standing Man of Taksim Square helped revive the spirit of Turkey protests.
- Gun to the head
June 29, 2013
For Pakistan, it's time to harp on 'the Kashmir issue' again, this time with clear linkages to the mess in Afghanistan.
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Suu Kyi's release a military ploy?
Aung San Suu Kyi is an international hero, and rightfully so. The pro-democracy leader has spent 15 of the last 21 years under house arrest in Burma. But Suu Kyi says she that she has no ill feelings towards the brutal military junta for her interminable detention. All that she wants, she says unflinchingly, is a non-violent revolution. Suu Kyi, a paragon of integrity and determination, does not see this as a change-of-heart moment for the Burmese government. Cynics still believe that the military regime isn't keen on the restoration of anything like democracy in Burma. Nobel peace laureate Suu Kyi was released from house arrest three times before, but that had changed nothing for the oppressed people of the country. More than 2, 100 other political prisoners in Burma are still languishing in jail or are under house arrest. The elections held were obviously meant to fasten the general's tight hold on power. Many feel that Suu Kyi's fourth release is nothing more than a crafty ploy to gain some positive publicity for the dictatorial regime. Meanwhile, French President Nicolas Sarkozy claimed that the release was facilitated by China after he spoke to Hu Jintao about it. "On the freeing of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Chinese president helped me because I spoke about this person to Hu Jintao when he was visiting France in early November, " Sarkzoy said in a television interview. Also, officials claim that Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) are seeking a judicial order to reinstate it as a legal political party. The NLD lost its status in May after refusing to register for the Nov 7 general election, the first in more than 20 years. The party boycotted the election to protest a law that would have required it to drop Suu Kyi as a member if the NLD were to be put on the ballot. NLD lawyer Nyan Win said he would argue at the Supreme Court in Naypyitaw, the military government's capital, to restore the party's legal status. He said arguments in the case would take about 10 days. The NLD had won the previous national election, in 1990, by a landslide but was blocked from assuming power by the military. Meanwhile, Suu Kyi and UN chief Ban Ki-moon spoke on telephone and renewed demands for her country's ruling generals to release all remaining political prisoners. Ban had visited Myanmar last year but was not permitted to see the Suu Kyi who was at that time under house arrest.
Laureate Xiaobo's family will be absent at the Oslo ceremony
No members of jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo's immediate family can come to Oslo to receive his Nobel Peace Prize, Nobel Institute director Geir Lundestad said. Lundestad also said that the December 10 prize ceremony would go ahead, but said the Nobel Peace Prize medal, diploma, and award of 10 million Swedish kronor (1. 04 million euros, 1. 4 million dollars) would not be handed out. It is the first time in the prize's 109-year-history that neither the laureate nor a representative will show up to receive the prestigious award.
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