I’m sure no one is surprised by the latest travesty going on in Burma:
A Myanmar court convicted democracy leader on Tuesday of violating her house arrest by allowing an uninvited American to stay at her home. The head of the military-ruled country ordered her to serve an 18-month sentence under house arrest.
The 64-year-old Nobel Peace laureate has already been in detention for 14 of the last 20 years, mostly under house arrest, and the extension will remove her from the political scene when the junta stages elections next year.
The ruling — which also convicted the American, John Yettaw, and sentenced him to seven years — drew immediate criticism from world leaders, with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown calling it “monstrous.” French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged the European Union to adopt new sanctions, calling the verdict “brutal and unjust.”
But the term was less severe than the maximum sentence she faced — five years in prison — and shorter than the one the court initially ordered Tuesday — three years with hard labor.
Five minutes after that sentence was read out, Home Minister Maj. Gen. Maung Oo entered the courtroom and read aloud a special order from junta chief Senior , cutting the sentence in half and saying it could be served at home.
‘s order, signed Monday, likewise reduced the sentences of Suu Kyi’s two female house companions, Khin Khin Win and Win Ma Ma, to 18 months. Both are members of her political party.
The junta leader said he commuted the sentences to “maintain community peace and stability” and because Suu Kyi was the daughter of Aung San, a revered hero who won Myanmar‘s independence from Britain. [AP]