Thursday, October 25, 2007

Burma is quiet, but the world is acting/ panty power campaign

Recent update on the free Burma campaign of Avaaz, which means "voice" a transnational cause oriented and human rights NGO.

From their website:

"What Avaaz members have done so far:

789,479 petition signatures, hand-delivered to UK Prime Minister and UN Security Council member Gordon Brown. (Video here.)

$315,000 raised for the Burmese democracy movement.

33,403 emails to EU leaders urging targeted sanctions.

1,952 messages sent to Singapore's Foreign Minister George Yeo.

100+ protests in cities worldwide against the Burmese regime.

1 global ad campaign, including a full-page ad in the Financial Times pushing China to act.

If they haven't yet, ask friends to
sign the petition

There are other campaigns as well, but the one that got my attention is the Panty Power Campaign launched by women and activists exasperated by the slow progress of diplomacy on Burma. These activists believe that the Burmese generals are superstitious and culturally abhor female undergarments, whether clean or unclean. Contact with undergarments are supposed to sap males of power. "Bombing" the Burmese embassies in UK, Thailand, Australia and Singapore with panties is more an insult to the generals and symbolizes their disgust at their thuggery.

I still think that countries of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) need to do more. Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo needs to step up and secure the release of those jailed, especially Aung San Suu Kyi. ASEAN should be the harbinger of human rights in Asia.

These times call for heroic leadership.

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