Burma. According to
Countryaah official website, the military junta continued to oppose the
opposition. Many local branches of the National Democratic
League (National League for Democracy, NLD) were disbanded,
and thousands of members left the party following pressure
and intimidation. Several hundred were said to have been
arrested. The NLD, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, sued several
Junta members before the trial for illegal harassment, but
lost as expected in the Supreme Court.
A UN report criticized the functioning of the Burmese
judiciary as the regime's political tool. The UN and Amnesty
International also condemned the continued use of forced
labor and abuse of ethnic minorities, especially in the
states of Karen and Shan.
The International Red Cross Committee (ICRC) was
authorized in May to visit the country's prisons. Aung San
Suu Kyi claimed that several institutions were secretly
withheld from the ICRC and that hundreds of political
prisoners were removed from Insein Prison in Rangoon prior
to the delegation's arrival.
An EU delegation visited Burma in an attempt to
contribute to a dialogue between the junta, the opposition
and the ethnic minorities. The EU and the US also tried to
get the Southeast Asian organization ASEAN to work for a
political dialogue within Burma, but ASEAN defended itself
against such "interference". In October, the EU extended its
sanctions against Burma, including visa ban for official
representatives and arms embargo.
The situation in the home country in September forced
Burmese students in Bangkok to occupy their embassy for a
day. No one was injured, but the occupation was condemned by
the organized opposition.
Aung San Suu Kyi's husband Michael Aris passed away in
the UK in March. He was refused a visa to be able to meet
his wife one last time, and she declined the offer to visit
him as she feared not to return if she left the country.