Burma Stirs

The Washington Post reports on the largest protests Burma has seen in a very long time.

Yesterday, more than 1,000 Buddhist monks marched peacefully along the rain-soaked streets of Burma’s largest city, with thousands of spectators encouraging their protest. At the head of the procession a monk carried an alms bowl turned upside down, symbolically refusing to accept any more support from the military regime, one of the world’s most repressive. In an overwhelmingly Buddhist Southeast Asian nation of 50 million people, this was a withering rebuke.

The echoes of the last great uprising, in 1988, must be alarming the country’s corrupt ruling generals — the roots in economic discontent and the slow stirrings from students to monks to the general population and from the capital to smaller cities across the nation.

As the article concludes, it’s time for some real focus on an issue that has been allowed to drag on far too long.

President Bush, who has spoken eloquently of Burma’s struggle for freedom, needs to engage in strenuous diplomacy — above all with China — to make clear that this is a U.S. priority. And China, which has more influence in Burma than any other country has, needs to decide whether it wants to host the 2008 Olympics as the enabler of one of the world’s nastiest regimes or as a peacemaker.

The US has been dancing to China’s tune in some respects in regards to Taiwan recently – Washington should make it clear it expects Beijing to scratch its back in return.

Further reports from the BBC and ABC News.

Update

The BBC reports (Sunday) that 20,000 people took part in demonstrations today – now ordinary citizens are being encouraged to join.

The Discussion: 56 Comments

wow ferins! you’re fucked up!

September 30, 2007 @ 8:09 pm | Comment

I’ve known some people who can be pretty interesting when they’re fucked up on their drug of choice. But being fucked up on nationalism like ferins, is just boring as dessicated shrimp shit.

September 30, 2007 @ 8:17 pm | Comment

Laurie said, “wow ferins! you’re fucked up!” Yep, and he claims to be a genuine voice of Taiwan. I think Ferins makes Chen Shui-bian look almost acceptable.

But in any case, I endorse Raj’s call for us to adhere to the original topic of discussion.

The Guardian has a report about China’s economic interest in Burma. It partly explains why China is eager to keep the corrupt and ineffective Junta in powerful. Here is the link:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/burma/story/0,,2179815,00.html

For those of you who can’t access the Guardian, here is a short summary from CDT:

“China has expanded into key Burmese sectors such as natural gas, hydropower, minerals, wood, fisheries and farm produce as well as illicit narcotics, gems and gambling. Chinese goods are flooding Burmese markets. Parts of northern and north-eastern Burma have become Chinese settlements.

With natural gas reserves of 2.48 trillion cubic metres (1.4% of the world supply) and little capital or infrastructure to exploit it, Burma is at the centre of fierce competition between China and India to develop production and supply their home markets.”

Any comment?

September 30, 2007 @ 11:29 pm | Comment

“Do you really think that VOA/BBC etc only broadcast in English?”

Well, when the red mandarins knew how to dirupt airawes in 1989 the Junta in Burma surley knows how to do today, don’t you think so?

October 1, 2007 @ 10:19 am | Comment

Over at Beijing Newspeak there is a translation of a report at Global Times 环球时报. It’s an example of the “fair and balanced” news on Burma that the Chinese government wants Chinese people to read.

Here is the link: http://tinyurl.com/273984

October 1, 2007 @ 12:09 pm | Comment

The communist party has more than just an interest in Burma’s oil, there are quite a few more peices to this puzzle…

later.

October 2, 2007 @ 4:02 am | Comment

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