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05 avril 2006

Senator, rock star appeal for Burma

WASHINGTON The senator wore a gray wool suit and shiny dress shoes. The rock star wore a casual button-up shirt, wool vest, cargo pants and black boots. They sat side by side on folding chairs in a basement room in the U.S. Capitol, and watched "Season of Fear," a short documentary about the plight of Burmese peasants under attack by the nation's military junta.

A nonprofit co-founded by Peter Gabriel, Witness, produced the video. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., introduced the video and congratulated Gabriel, who had big hits with Genesis and as a solo artist in the '80s and '90s. "I can't even get a visa (to visit Burma), but having a song banned ... is quite an honor. Obviously, you're getting their attention," he said.

McConnell recapped the history of Burma's military junta, including the long imprisonment of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. "We are all here repulsed by everything we know about this regime," he said. "The world community needs to get a lot more concerned than it has been."McConnell and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., were co-sponsors of the bill in 2003 that levied sanctions against Burma.

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