Laura Bush Calls on UN to Denounce Myanmar Government

October 6, 2007

Author: Steven Lee Myers

Source: International Herald Tribune

When the military government in Myanmar began crushing street demonstrations last month, the U.S. State Department protested. President George W. Bush later issued a statement condemning the arrests of protesters.

The administration's most forceful response, though, came from Laura Bush.

In a gesture of public policy not normally associated with first ladies, she telephoned the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki Moon, last Friday and called on him to denounce the junta that rules Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma.

"I wanted the UN to be on record saying, at least, that we know what's happened in this recent crackdown," she said in an interview Wednesday.

Bush, of course, is well known for her campaigns on literacy, education and health, but in the autumn of her husband's presidency, she has turned the fate of Myanmar and its jailed opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, into a cause of her own.