Blogging For Burma 12

As the secret trial of Aung San Suu Kyi proceeds, there is a hopelessness in the lack of any serious response from Western governments, and the week-kneed bleating of regional leaders in ASEAN. There is scarcely a ripple in the British blogosphere.

It is difficult to get a media handle on Burma. It does not fit with any of the prevailing narratives. There is no Islamic dimension . There is no continuing communist dimension. There is not even an internal ethnic divide. It is simply a question of a military dictatorship hanging on to power for the personal profit of its leaders, and its own institutional entrenchment. The military now absorbs an astonishing 40% of the country’s wealth.

The people of Burma already suffer from spiralling poverty. The international community should agree on a complete ban on all imports from Burma. The military will only give up their hold on power if dictatorship is impoverishing them. Of course this means more hardship for the population – but many of them are at subsistence already.

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12 thoughts on “Blogging For Burma

  • RickB

    I would slightly quibble as to ethnic conflict although indeed it is in the context of how the junta maintain power and justify the military

    I think intelligent sanctions could help, at least track down the junta’s wealth and sequester it, that would make them sit up and take notice. Mostly though the fine words and current measures are laughed at by Than Shwe and his mob. When he dies it might be the opening for change that is needed.

    A good place to send spare pennies-

  • Polo

    My impression from some years ago was that China/Japan (can’t remember which) stood behind this regime.

  • noplanes

    I just finished reading Burmese Days by Orwell, doesn’t sound like things have changed much.

  • OrwellianUK

    Condeleeza Rice’s Chevron Oil cronies have a vested interest in Burma as pointed out by John Pilger in this address in 2007:

    Most of the infrastructure for the tourist trade and foreign (including UK) corporate interests is built by slave labour from the local population, not to mention bridges, roads and general ‘public’ projects.

    John Pilger also wrote an excellent chapter on Burma, it’s Western backed military junta and Aung San Suu Kyi in his book ‘Hidden Agendas’.

    So despite her being ‘lauded’ by some in the Corporate owned Western media, those same Elite interests help to keep Aung in permanent house arrest and fear for her life.

  • eddie

    Orwellian. What piffle. Don’t you think it would be in the interests of Western “Elite interests” to open up Burma to trade, bring democracy and end 40% of GDP being consumed by the military? Your assertions have no basis in fact.

  • Frazer

    May I suggest all who read this blog fire off an e mail to Chevron protesting thier involvement in the Burma oil industry…without the collusion of the fat cat friends of Rice et al, the junta would be forced to acknowledge that they are on the world stage under a spotlight! If needed, I have a few e mail addresses of Chevron fat cats I can post.

  • paul

    “international” sanctions are only put on people who are against capitalist interests, obviously the Burmese leadership are not, otherwise America would be in there “bringing democracy” to them.

  • Marian H

    I’m no expert but what I’ve picked up is that China, Japan and other countries are willing to turn a blind eye due to the rare metals,

    precious stones and timber that Burma supplies. If you look back at what was achieved in South Africe it’s clear that the regime might be persuaded to see reason IF there was a unified approach. So who is going to co-ordinate that one? SInce there are no oil interests and no “Islamic threat” perhaps no other governments can be bothered?

    It’s not only Suu Kyii but the fate of the minority peoples who don’t have nice lakeside houses to shelter in. One of the generals said (apparently) that they will “be history” in a few years. Check out “In the Shadow of the Pagodas” – a fine documenatary by some brave people.

  • anon

    No Islamic angle on Burma.

    I have been told by a Muslim whose family originally came from India, but which had emigrated for a few generations to Burma that the Muslims behaved very badly in Burma, virtually enslaving the local population and making themselves very unpopular.

    Racism is not permitted in Islam, but we see it on a massive scale in the way that even Muslim, Asian workers are treated in Arab countries.

    Craig has drawn attention to Muslims’ corruption in getting round immigration rules and their exploitation of the benefits system at the expense of the UK’s working class. The rules are open to exploitation and not enforced, especially with regard to working while on benefits or falsifying earnings in order to claim Family Credit.

    I had therefore come to the conclusion that the Dictorship in Burma was motivated as much by refusal to be exploited by their Muslim, fellow Asians as by the secular or Christian West.

    New Labour has consistently backed so called Moderate Muslims, who line their pockets and refuse to show a good example of Islam. I listened to the BBC World Service last night about Pakistan.

    Same old garbage about the evils of the Taliban. Why do the Zionists hate the idea of reform in Islam? Because the whole world despises corrupt Muslims and they want us to carry on despising them till the end of time.

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