The government of Australia announced it would continue providing relief to survivors of the Myanmar May cyclone even though it completely disagrees with the policies of that nation’s government. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also said her country would pursue its current policy of supplying aid. The Australian and American leaders met at the annual ASEAN summit meeting which also included Burmese Foreign Minister Nyan Win. Rice emphasized, “We believe that ASEAN has an important role to play in addressing the root cause of Burma’s grave problem, the repression of the Burmese democracy movement.” Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith also called on Burmese leaders to “respect human rights, to respect the rule of law and we want to see democracy return to Myanmar.”
According to Smith, Burmese Foreign Minister, Nyan Win gave “the usual Myanmar reaction” which is to insist his nation is democratic. It just doesn’t allow elections and criticism of its leaders, but, most probably that is only done in the name of maintaining law and order. In Burma, law and order means doing what you are told by the military junta which rules the nation with an iron fist.