By VIJAY JOSHI, Associated Press Writer Vijay Joshi, Associated Press Writer – Sun Nov 15, 9:11 am ET
SINGAPORE – told Myanmar's junta to free pro-democracy leader on Sunday during an unusual face-to-face interaction with a top leader of the ruling military. Obama delivered the strong message during his summit with leaders of 10 Southeast Asian nations, which included Myanmar Prime Minister Gen. Thein Sein. told reporters that Obama called on Myanmar to free his fellow Suu Kyi and other , and end oppression of minorities.
A joint statement issued after the summit — the first ever between a U.S. president and the— devoted a paragraph on Myanmar, a major irritant in relations between the two sides. But the statement did not call for the release of political prisoners, including Suu Kyi, who has spent 14 of the last 20 years under detention by the military regime. It only urged Myanmar to ensure that the elections it intends to hold in 2010 are "conducted in a free, fair, inclusive and transparent manner."
However, a direct appeal from Obama carries more weight as he is the most powerful leader to have conveyed the message directly to a top Myanmar official.
James: It's easy to feel compassion for the Burmese when we know that we are an extension of them, however, we must all be careful not to have pity toward them. Compassion is selfless in that it places the needs of others at the same level as our own and motivates us to give freely of our time, talents and resources to help ease that suffering a bit. Pity is feeling sorrow for someone's situation but then doing nothing about it. Or helping someone out of a feeling of obligation, which is based on your needs rather than those suffering. You're helping them to make yourself feel better because you silently judge them for being in the position that they are in. And when I say "you" I mean me as well. It is empty compassion. Pity comes from a place of believing that if the object of our pity were only like us then they wouldn't be suffering. As if we don't have a lot of suffering to deal with in our own regard!! Money and freedom aren't necessarily recipes for happiness and freedom from suffering.
~Peace to all beings~