Once again, the news from Burma rings with echoes of despair. The latest mission from the international community has ended in embarrassment — not for the despotic generals who rule Burma (renamed Myanmar by its illegitimate regime), but for the United Nations and its ineffectual efforts. It seems no one who matters wants to waste any more time meeting with the U.N. envoy. And now, unconfirmed reports say the iconic leader of the pro-democracy opposition, the Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, may have started a hunger strike. Once again, Burma stands like a conscience-searing mirage on the Asian horizon, […]

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CONTINUING CONCERNS ABOUT CHINESE HUMAN RIGHTS — The spectacular Olympic picture China has sought to paint for a world audience continues to be marred by human rights abuses, as media outlets, human rights groups and international diplomats put pressure on the Olympic host to ease controls on the Chinese people. U.S. President George W. Bush made several public calls for China to end repression during his high-profile visit to Asia and the Games, including an appeal outside a Beijing church, where Bush told journalists “God is universal and God is love, and no state, man or woman should fear the […]

Editor’s note: Rights & Wrongs covers the world’s major human rights-related news and appears every week in World Politics Review. To browse past editions of Rights & Wrongs, click here.MELANCHOLY BURMA COMMEMORATES 8-8-88 — Pro-democracy supporters both inside and outside Burma last week marked the 20th anniversary of that country’s Aug. 8, 1988, uprising against military rule with demonstrations around the globe, but few held out much hope of impending change. The military presence inside Burma was high for the anniversary though no major demonstrations were reported. Millions of Burmese took to the country’s streets in the summer of 1988 […]

Editor’s Note: Rights & Wrongs covers the world’s major human rights-related news and appears every week. Click here to browse the Rights & Wrongs archives.REPORT: CHINA’S TIBET CRACKDOWN HAS INTENSIFIED — China’s crackdown on Tibet has only intensified in days before the Olympic Games, according to a new report from the International Campaign for Tibet, a human rights group with offices in Washington and Europe. “Despite its promotion of a ‘peaceful Olympics,’ China has intensified its crackdown on Tibet this week following the most significant uprising in nearly 50 years,” the Aug. 5 report, “Tibet at a Turning Point: the […]

The excitement — however artificially stimulated by opening rock bands and generously inflated crowd estimates — of Barack Obama’s speech in Berlin is now passed. What remains are some serious questions: notably, for German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit. The two leading Social Democrats — both touted as possible candidates for the chancellorship in the 2009 German elections — were also the two politicians most closely associated with the push to have the American presidential candidate give a high-profile public speech in the German capital. It is a well-established principle of international law that […]