Friday, July 11, 2008
My Inner French-Canadian Woman has something to say:
A humanitarian crisis of catastrophic proportions has been playing out in Burma for more than 20 years. Thousands have been killed and many thousands more arrested, forced into slave labour or displaced from their villages by the ruling military regime. Burma’s women have endured rape and other forms of systematic sexual violence employed by the military to enforce its control over the country’s ethnic minorities. On May 3, 2008, Cyclone Nargis brought new and terrible suffering to the people of Burma, suffering made only worse by the military regime’s refusal to promptly accept the international community’s ensuing offers of humanitarian assistance. What began as a natural disaster was soon supplanted by a catastrophe rooted in the pride, paranoia and corruption of Burma’s military rulers.
The Panties for Peace Campaign
The Panties for Peace campaign was launched by the women’s organization Lanna Action for Burma (LAB) on Oct. 16, 2007, in the hopes of bringing an end to the military regime’s rampant abuse of Burma’s population – and the abuse of Burma’s women in particular. Founded in the wake of the military’s brutal response to monk-led pro-democracy uprisings in Burma last fall, the Panties for Peace campaign has been given new and pressing importance by the regime’s self-interested and inhumane response to the devastation of Cyclone Nargis. The campaign has been already launched around the world, in Australia, the Philippines, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, the USA and in Brazil.