Aung San Suu Kyi

Defend Suu Kyi

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 October, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 October, 2003, 12:00am

Your article on the Bali summit 'Members sign democracy pact' (October 8) reported that Asean leaders dropped the issue of Aung San Suu Kyi's detention and issued a mealy mouthed statement 'welcoming a democracy pledge from Myanmar'.

I find this truly disgusting.

Asean, which purports to value freedom and human rights, displayed its lack of principles in not censuring the Myanmar dictators. Only Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi had the guts to stress his 'concern' and say that Japanese aid would remain suspended.

I am ashamed of the president of my country, the Philippines, for saying nothing about the dreadful treatment of Ms Suu Kyi, ambushed last May and placed under house arrest after her recent surgery. As the legitimate leader of Myanmar who has been thwarted by the military thugs in that country, and as someone awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, this brave lady deserves her Asian neighbours' respect and support.

Yet it seems that principles do not matter for these heads of state, who choose 'non-interference' and airy-fairy trade schemes while professing to be supporters of democracy in the region. As such, they deserve the disdain of the civilised world.


Real justice

The death sentence meted out to terrorists for the Bali bombings might be seen as justice, but it is not.

Nothing can quite manage justice after so few killed so many and the many were innocent. The point is to make a start at having real justice prevail, to make sure that these violent acts cease.

This means giving the culprits plenty of time to reflect on what they have done. Eventually they will become more aware and repent. They will feel remorse. They will have to seek personal reconciliation. Only in that can they find peace and their own freedom, even if they are incarcerated for the rest of their lives. This is the aim of the World Day against Death Penalty.

It is no good chopping off heads as the guilty die immortalised in the hearts of their comrades. Let them live with their sentencing. There is no justice in death.

TONY HENDERSON, Humanist Association of Hong Kong