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.