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

Laura Bush speaks out on Burma

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/27/art.getty.laura.bush.closeu.jpg caption="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. Nancy

    Laura what you fail to realize is you are no longer relevant. When you had the chance to speak up and make a difference you kept your mouth shut like the dutiful little stepford wife you are. Nothing you, your husband or cheney says anymore is relevant and nobody cares. We now have a first lady who is using the position as it was intended and is making a difference.

    June 27, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. didi

    who is this lady? didn't she know that her idiotic hubby messes up the nation and created this mess...every tom dick and harry speaks....idiots...let her cook for her hubby...in hot texas....stupid lady...

    June 27, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  3. Speak out laura

    and don't mind the hatefull dems...they know that now in power are destroying America to the point of no return.....! We respect you Laura Bush.....First lady george w.......

    June 27, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. Irma

    Michael Jackson's child abusing father is now looking to get lots of money from the doctor who prescribed Jackson all those Painkillers that led to his cardiac arrest. It's bad enough that scumbag guy was a horrible, abusive father to Michael. Now, he's LOOKING TO CAPITALIZE and take advantage of a bad, sad situation! Sick!!

    June 27, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. funny stuff

    Stay classy liberals...

    June 27, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Well, at least she's a republican with actual constructive ideas, instead of the usual 'whine, whine, whine, and criticize Obama' routine.

    June 27, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. Peter E

    Burma has been a violent mess for years. Where was her criticizm under her husband's presidency?

    June 27, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. GI Joe

    Wonder what she will work on when W and Cheney are in prison. Can't wait to see them both on trial for ALL THEIR CRIMES against humanity and getting our American Soldiers killed.

    June 27, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. David

    Laura Bush is the one shining light of the Bush Administration. She understands human rights is not a competition, but her mission.

    June 27, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. douggman99

    I wish Laura and George W would just go away.

    June 27, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. mary macon

    I'm a democrat who like Laura Bush and Nancy Reagan. Don't lump me with those nuts who are posting here.

    June 27, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. Al, CA

    But the Bush himself – he is not in prison yet, right?

    June 27, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. Cliff

    Larry et al, are typical left-wing idiots!
    It was okay for Slick Willie to get his "cigar" puffed on but not okay for Laura Bush to have concerns about an international issue.
    Laura Bush is a lady with class..unlike Mz. Obama!
    Never heard Laura say she didn't like America.

    June 27, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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