June 27th, 2009
06:01 PM ET
5 years ago

Laura Bush speaks out on Burma

Laura Bush is speaking out on the ongoing situation in Burma.
Laura Bush is speaking out on the ongoing situation in Burma.

(CNN) – Former First Lady Laura Bush - who has kept a low profile since her husband's administration came to an end - is speaking out on a cause she championed while in the White House: the ongoing situation in Burma.

In a Washington Post op-ed set to be published in the paper's Sunday edition, Bush draws parallels between the events in Iran and Burma (Myanmar), and urges the United Nations to press the ruling regime there to end human rights abuses.

"In the past 21 months, the number of political prisoners incarcerated by the junta has doubled," Bush writes in the op-ed. "Within the past 10 days, two Burmese citizens were sentenced to 18 months in prison. Their offense: praying in a Buddhist pagoda for the release of the jailed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. That is only the tip of the regime's brutality."

Suu Kyi, under house arrest for 13 of the past 19 years, had been expected to be freed by the military junta last month, until the new subversion charge was filed.  Suu Kyi is accused of violating her house arrest by offering temporary shelter to American John William Yettaw, who swam to her lakeside home on May 3. She said she doesn't know Yettaw, didn't know of his plans and didn't do anything wrong.

Related: Myanmar's Suu Kyi turns 64 in prison

Her supporters say the arrest is meant to keep her confined so she cannot participate in the general elections that the junta has scheduled for next year.  President Obama urged for her release last month.

In her op-ed, Bush also says the ruling regime has forced tens of thousands of child soldiers into its army, closed churches and mosques, and imprisoned comedians and bloggers who take aim at the government.

"With U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon planning to visit Burma this summer, it is crucial that he press the regime to take immediate steps to end human rights abuses, particularly in ethnic minority areas," writes Bush. "There have been 38 U.N. resolutions condemning these abuses, yet the horrors continue unabated. Under the junta's brutal rule, too many lives have been wasted, lives whose talents could have helped all of Burma prosper."


Filed under: Laura Bush
soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. Parnell Meagre

    JJ – History has already proved that Bush is a stupid Patriot.
    EcoAz – The country owes Bush an apology the way the Murrah building owes Tim McVeigh an apology.
    Anonymous – I'm surprised you don't call them Freedom Fries –
    By the way of the two sponsors of the Freedom Fry Bill – one – Nye – is in jail for corruption and the other Walter Jones is fighting an heroic battle against adult-onset mental retardation.

    June 27, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  2. Blow hards...

    So tell me Mrs George W. Bush....

    What did YOUR president do to help your cause?? Don't you think President Obama (My President) has enough on his plate right now without out you starting to harp on him. You should have done your mouthing while your worthless husband was in the white house..OH, maybe he was as worthless to you as he was to the rest of us...

    June 27, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. Rickymo

    This women has some nerve. She should be looking at her husband and what his crimes againts humanity before she looks somewhere else. A modern day Eva Braun.

    June 27, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  4. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    Haz America politically corrected the world yet, or are we still trying?

    Gad, we're having so much success...! LOL!

    June 27, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. Austin

    What is wrong with the left side of this country??

    "hey laura, ask bush what really happened 9/11???" lol seriously

    Of course, even if its for a good cause you all still do what liberals do and just degrate people that have different views from yours instead of actually sitting down and having a rational discussion.

    Oh and to the people who were saying who cares about 3rd world countries?? You should cuz at the rate that Obama is spending money and if that stupid bill passes in the senate, which it better not, America will be well on its way becoming a 3rd world country itself.

    Read up on what the PRESENT Government is doing or planning to do... We might still have a chance to save this country. Its not too late, yet..

    June 27, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  6. T22

    I'm amazed that people can find fault with Mrs. Bush for calling on the UN to stop brutal repression in a country where people are jailed for disagreeing with the dictatorship.

    June 27, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    @EcoAZ:

    "And by the way, this country owes George W. Bush a huge apology."

    For what, exactly? He owes crippled combat vets those Halliburton billions. Start paying up NOW!

    June 27, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Wish she would have spoken out earlier. Playing Stepford wife for 8 years and then suddenly becoming a citizen of the world is a bit hard to buy.

    June 27, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. Erica Sheehan

    What a shame!! Laura Bush talks about human rights. Wasn't she living in the white House for the last eight years

    June 27, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. D.Bumgarner

    So putting two people in jail is a human rights violation, but her husband's actions, who caused about 100,000+ deaths, in Iraq is not?

    June 27, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Peter (CA)

    I respect Laura but it is hard to understand why this was not a concern when her incompetent husband was in charge. Right wingers are clueless about anything more than 3 feet away from them. Iran is the perfect example-Obama has played it perfectly. If it was up to the right wingers, we would have further ruined any chance to make peace with them in order to look like a bully once again.

    Love the right wingers who come on here and complain about liberal hate. You guys started all this the day Clinton was elected president and you have perfected it ever since. Liberals are the ones who think of the possibilities–all the gray between the black and the white. You should try it sometime.

    And for the Willy Browns of the world who come on each blog and post the same inane spew with no ideas on how to fix anything-what do you do to make this world a better place??

    June 27, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. Gerald

    Burma is the model Obama is striving for , you know Ameribuma. Cap and trade , Health care for all paid for by few , the best part is all union members will not be taxed. Of course all libs quickly forget that the the congress has been controlled by them for the last three years. What a joke wake up America , stop socialism and send ten bucks in support of Burma in Laura's name

    June 27, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. pt

    It appears some people are so addicted to hate they are unable to stay on topic. The subject is "Laura Bush speaks out on Burma" not her husband and not Obama and his wife. All presidents' spouses have and will continue to do charities and speak out on good causes. Most of the negative comments can be applied to all the past and present presidents' spouses.

    June 27, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. Avi Shlomo

    Laura, Laura and your husband saved life. His record is worst that those Junta; over 1 million Iraqi dead and injured. Close to 5000 dead American and over 30000 injured. Where was your voice when you slept every night with a man with blood on his hands? Ever thought of those mothers and children in Iraq and the terror the faced and still face because of your husband and his Boss? And do not forget he aided the massacre of Palestinian refugees in Jenin and encouraged and provided both financial and moral support for the Feast of Lights in Gaza. I do not see the moral equivalence all of this. What a paradox? It is like the kettle calling the pot black. Save me from all your rambling last and go back to Texas and hide in some library.

    June 27, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  15. Bob Mackay

    Please Laura Bush GO AWAY.
    Guaranteed- the majority of Americans are glad that the nightmare of
    Bush' es in the White House is over. America is trying to re-build itself, from the ruination caused by the last 8 years of Bush rule.
    The last thing we want to read about, is anything with the Bush name on it.

    June 27, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  16. Joe

    People on here are amazing. I only read the comments to see what yahoos can complain about Laura's statement. You did not disappoint.

    June 27, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  17. Bill

    Go back to texas.

    June 27, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  18. malclave

    And the liberals here at CNN are still celebrating their hatred.

    I bet they cheered when Private Long was murdered.

    June 27, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  19. KirksNoseHair

    As much as I despised Bush and feel he ruined this great nation's reputation on the world stage while decimating our economy with his insane spending, I always thought his wife was a class act and often wondered how such a nice lady ended up married to such a.....um....person.

    June 27, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  20. Save America

    IMPEACH OBAMA NOW.

    June 27, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Denna

    Willie Brown and Anonymous: What the heck is your problem? Contrary to what old Lush Limpbrain spouts, we liberals actually work at responsible jobs, pay taxes and support our troops. It is people like you that helped torpedo the GOP in the last election. That crap you people spout or regurgitate from Rushiepoo turned off quite a few voters. Just keep up the brain-dead, no ideas blabbing and you WILL ensure that President Obama serves a full 8 years. I for one thank you and your henchmen. By-the-by, why don't you get a job or are you busy sitting at your computer guzzling beer between listening to Rush, Sean and pleasuring yourself with by Annie Coulter's voice? If you don't have any solutions to present or any useful comments, why not shut off your computer to save power. America will thank you.

    June 27, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. Hopeful Optimist

    @ EcoAz:

    You're in need of a good rehab and a little formal education. You are the personification of ignorance.

    June 27, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. Carol

    It's a shame that Laura Bush was so quiet when she was First Lady, she probably had many ideas that trumped her husbands and were never heard.

    June 27, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  24. Joe

    What's the point in putting this in the political ticker? Just to see how many morons take the opportunity to complain about Bush?

    June 27, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. Jena, NV

    Really, she's now trying to make us believeshe cares when she should have been more concerned and still had the influence to stir things up from the WH as the then first lady. It's all about saving a dwindlining legacy. No Laura, your time is over.

    June 27, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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