The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today’s winner is Senior General Than Shwe and the rest of Myanmar’s ruling junta. They get the award for the following

Myanmar’s most famous comedian was sentenced Friday to 45 years in prison, in the latest and most high-profile case of citizens given long jail terms by the internationally-reviled military regime.

Zarganar was arrested with sports writer Zaw Thet Htwe in June after organising deliveries of aid to victims of Cyclone Nargis, which left 138,000 people dead or missing when it pulverised the country the previous month.

“(Zarganar) was sentenced to 45 years imprisonment on three charges… There are another four charges he has to stand trial for,” Ma Nyein, Zarganar’s sister told AFP.

She said Zaw Thet Htwe was handed a 15-year jail term on Friday.

The pair join more than 100 people jailed by the military-ruled courts over the past month, with more than 20 student activists handed maximum terms of 65 years for their part in Buddhist monk-led protests last year.

I don’t think there will be any disagreement with my saying that someone being placed in jail for humanitarian relief efforts is just outrageous. That’s a understatement.

The sheer outlandishness of these criminal sentences come at the same time General Than Shwe wrote a column saying it was every Myanmar citizen’s duty to support the political process.

The head of Myanmar’s military junta made a rare call Saturday for all citizens to back a controversial “road map” to democracy.

Writing in an article on the front page of the state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper, Senior General Than Shwe said it was every citizen’s national duty to support the political process.

“The state’s seven-step road map is being implemented to build a peaceful, modern and developed new democratic nation with flourishing discipline,” he wrote on the eve of the country’s national day.

“The entire population are duty-bound to actively participate with united spirit and national fervour in the drive to see the seven-step road map,” the paper quoted him as saying.

How is sentencing journalists and relief workers consistent with democracy? It isn’t, and I name Senior General Than Shwe and the rest of Myanmar’s ruling junta today’s Knuckleheads of the Day.

Hat tip- Ann Althouse

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