Drawing upon the voices of cultural leaders to protect and assist the vulnerable, marginalized and displaced.
"While I was sitting in a Congressional House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Burma on a beautiful fall day last week, a Burmese-born American citizen who happens to live thirty minutes from Capitol Hill was languishing in Rangoon's notorious Insein prison. The Burmese courts have charged this American, Kyaw Zaw Lwin, with fraud and forgery, though the ruling regime's official mouthpiece, the New Light of Myanmar, has also accused him of terrorist activities. Kyaw Zaw Lwin's defense counsel has said that his client was physically tortured during his detention and denied any allegations that he was plotting to incite unrest. Last week, his trial began."
On Tuesday, leaders from the US, UK, France, Italy, Canada, South Africa, and Malaysia criticized the decision to sentence Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to 18 months under house arrest. Regional bodies, including the EU and ASEAN, said Suu Kyi's incarceration calls into question the legitimacy of the ruling military regime's planned 2010 elections. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon issued a statement saying he "strongly deplored" the decision and called on the Burmese military government "to immediately and unconditionally release" the Nobel Laureate, and to "engage with her without delay as an essential partner in the process of national reconciliation."
Follow the jump for a full press round-up of the global outcry over the Suu Kyi verdict.
"President Robert Mugabe vowed to work with one-time rival Morgan Tsvangirai as Zimbabwe on Tuesday marked the signing of a unity deal one year ago, but brushed off criticism of failing the fragile pact."
"The Sudanese government criticized on Sunday a decision announced by the US administration to exclude certain areas from economic sanctions imposed by the United States on the African country over one decade."
"Morgan Tsvangirai, the prime minister of Zimbabwe, took a new tough stance against President Robert Mugabe yesterday, warning: 'You misjudge me at your peril.' Tsvangirai said he would consult the public on whether the fraught unity government was still tenable.
His hard line came as the first European Union delegation to visit Zimbabwe since 2002 said that targeted sanctions would not be lifted until the political rivals had resolved their differences."
Follow the jump for the full text of the article, as well as a link to a video of Tsvangirai's speech.
"A UN-backed international body charged with policing the diamond trade has ratcheted up scrutiny of alleged human-rights violations by Zimbabwe's army and police in connection with diamond production."
"The UN children's fund says the collapse of Zimbabwe's schooling system means up to 10 pupils are sharing one text book, while some rural schools have no books at all."