The people of Burma are among the bravest human beings on this planet because they continue fighting for the rights of free people despite living in a closed society in which a military junta uses its power to imprison and brutalize any who oppose their totalitarian rule. Phoebe Kennedy, a reporter for the Independent, found the offices of the National League for Democracy(NLD) the party of house detained Aung San Suu Kyi, who won the only free election in recent history, but was denied the right to assume control of the government. In recent months a variety of opposition leaders ranging from a comedian to politicians have been sentenced to fifty years or more in jail for daring to openly express their views.
Ms. Kennedy found a crowd of about 80 people gathered openly to discuss issues while members of the secret police watched from across the street. She asked several people if they were frightened and most responded: “No. We don’t care.” They were stating their conviction that fear had long since left their lives because they know if they surrender to obedience to the military junta, their dignity as humans has vanished.
A pseudo election will be held in 2010 by the military and the NLD has to decide whether to play along with the charade or find a way to oppose participating in the “elections” whose outcome is already known.
It is easy for those thousands of miles away from the brutality that is known as Burma to urge standing up for rights. We cannot use such words. These brave people will do what they believe is necessary and whatever they do will be an expression of freedom.