Jean-Jacques Cornish

Aung San Suu Ky deserves support until the military junta in Myanmar is thrown out

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They currently number among the bravest people on the planet.

The hundreds of thousands who have taken to the streets protesting against the military coup in Myanmar.

The railway workers who are ensuring the trains don’t run-on time, the bank employees who are watching the the ATM dispensers run out of cash. The footballers who won’t play for their country while the soldiers try to run it. The engineers whose protests stop the cogs of progress turning.

Many have been out risking death, beatings and lengthy jail terms for opposing the February 1 coup.

But the soldiers’ repression cannot stop them.

There are fears of a massive crackdown.

United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar Tom Andrew says he’s terrified of this happening.

Western members of the UN Security Council warn that the army leaders will be held accountable for any violence or repression.

China has not yet condemned the coup.

The military, who overturned the landslide electoral win by the National League for Democracy led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate  Aung San Suu Kyi last November have not produced evidence to support their allegations of electoral fraud.

They say 40 million of the 53 million Burmese support their action.

The mass demonstration today was designed exactly to fly in the face of this.

The NLD leader appeared in a virtual court hearing today on tripod up charges of importing communications equipment and violating Myanmar’s natural disaster legislation.

She has been detained since the coup.

Her international fortunes have waned since she supported the military by denying that they were responsible for ethnic cleansing against the Muslim Rohingya minority.

This woman, who spent 15 years under house arrest during the nearly six decades that the military have held powerMyanmar in  remains the undisputed leader of the overwhelming mass of Burmese.

Until the military coup is reversed, she deserves international support.Note

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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.