Speaking Out On Behalf Of The People Of Burma
Mrs. Bush Stands With The People Of Burma In Support Of Human Dignity And The Rule Of Law
Mrs. Bush is bringing the plight of the Burmese people to the national and international forefront in hopes of alleviating their suffering. For nearly 20 years, Burma's oppressive military regime has crushed peaceful dissent and jailed thousands of political prisoners. Aung San Suu Kyi, the head of the democratically-elected National League for Democracy, has spent more than 12 years under house arrest since 1989.
As a voice of the Bush Administration, Mrs. Bush has called on the regime to stop their terror campaigns against their own people, to release all political prisoners, to commit to a meaningful, unrestricted dialogue with opposition leaders, and to take steps to foster a democratic transition.
The United States Has Called On The International Community To Support The People Of Burma In Bringing Peaceful Change To Their Country
As part of her ongoing call to the international community to assist the Burmese people in their struggle for democracy and human rights, Mrs. Bush traveled to the Thai-Burma border. In August 2008, Mrs. Bush visited the Mae La refugee camp and the Mae Tao clinic to learn first-hand of the refugees' plight and their dedication to education and freedom. Mae La, the largest of nine camps along the western Thailand border, shelters over 35,000 refugees, and 300-400 people come to Mae Tao clinic each day for free care.
Mrs. Bush urges the United Nations and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to take action in condemning the violence in Burma and to help prevent future violence in one of the world's most isolated and repressed countries.
In public statements, editorials, and interviews, Mrs. Bush continues to praise the courageous individuals who labor for Burma's freedom and encourage international support for their efforts. As part of a Vital Voices Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C. in April 2008, Mrs. Bush honored Burmese women for their courage in the fight for democracy and basic human rights.