Advancing a Free Society

Step up, India

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The world's largest democracy and Asian regional power must put aside short-term interests and embrace its principles to help a nonviolent, democratic movement succeed in Burma.

If we want to help pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the cause of freedom in Myanmar (also known as Burma), we must hope that India rediscovers the spirit of its better self. The world's largest democracy needs urgently to review its approach to one of the world's worst tyrannies, which squats like a toad on its very doorstep. Otherwise, it seems highly unlikely that the weak, divided opposition forces inside Burma and Western support outside can generate the leverage needed to help to success the nonviolent, negotiated revolution that the liberated heroine has again evoked. So long as Burma's generals can rely on China's strategic and commercial realpolitik, and on the trade and energy-hungry equivocation of Thailand and other ASEAN countries, the only external power that can change the balance of forces in and around Burma is India.

Continue reading Timothy Garton Ash in the Los Angeles Times

(photo credit: Andrew Becraft)