Activists send female underwear to Burmese embassies
Friday October 19, 2007
Activists exasperated at the failure of diplomacy to apply pressure on Burma's military regime are resorting to a new means of protest against the regime's recent crackdown: sending female underwear to Burmese embassies.
Embassies in the UK, Thailand, Australia and Singapore have all been targeted by the "Panties for Peace" campaign, co-ordinated by an activist group based in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The manoeuvre is a calculated insult to the junta and its leader, General Than Shwe. Superstitious junta members believe that any contact with female undergarments - clean or dirty - will sap them of their power, said Jackie Pollack, a member of the Lanna Action for Burma Committee.
Obviously Tom Jones isn't in their government...
"Not only are they brutal, but they are also very superstitious. They believe that touching a woman's pants or sarong will make them lose their strength," Ms Pollack told Guardian Unlimited.
So far, hundreds of pairs of pants have been posted, according to another campaigner, Liz Hilton. "One group sent 140 pairs to the Burmese embassy in Geneva," she said.
The campaign was a serious attempt to allow ordinary women to express their outrage at the regime's response to democracy demonstrations led by Buddhist monks, Ms Pollack said.
"Condemnation by the United Nations and governments around the world have had no impact on the Burmese regime. This is a way of trying to reach them where they will feel it," she said.
"The junta is famous for its abuse of women: it is well documented that they use rape as a weapon of war against ethnic minorities. This is a way for women around the world to express their outrage..."
If this is how women are expressing their outrage today...Let me just leave that thought right there before I get myself in trouble. I'm NOT saying that women have OTHER ways of expressing outrage that are more, um, err...Yeah, leaving that one alone.
Look for more on the situation in Burma in the coming days.
Once and Always, A Highly Amused American Fighting Man