Report: Rape Used as “Weapon of War” by Burmese Military
Relations between the US and Burma (Myanmar) are once again strained following a report by Thailand-based human rights activists that charges the Burmese military with using systematic rape of ethnic civilians as a war tactic. In recent months, the Burmese government—aiming to gain favor from the Bush administration—released Nobel Peace Prize activist Aung San Suu Kyi and also hired a lobbying firm to facilitate the relation-building process. However, the report released by the Shan Human Rights Foundation and the Shan Women’s Action Network has prompted the State Department to issue warnings to the junta, calling for full investigation of the charges and punishment for “those guilty of such heinous crimes,” said a State Department official.
In a letter to Myanmar’s ambassador to the United States, the Burmese government rejected the report’s documentation of the rape of at least 625 girls and women in the largest ethnic minority state of Shan, which is currently seeking independence. “You will find that they are nothing but unverified testimonies said to have been provided by the so-called victims on the other side of the border.”
Media Resources: Washington Post 7/4/02; Associated Press 7/7/02
1/27/2016 Taiwan Elects First Woman President - In a landslide victory, the leader of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Tsai Ing-wen won the country's presidential election, becoming the first woman in Taiwan's history to hold the position.
Emphasizing her party's commitment to maintaining Taiwan's independence from China, Tsai won over young voters eager to usher in a political changing of the guard following some 70 years of dominance by the pro-Chinese unification party, the Kuomintang (KMT), chaired by presidential opponent Eric Chu. . . .