Freedom of the press in Burma…

Here’s the official news in Burma: nothing to see here, move along… And through a blog: mobile phone system shuts down, internet reduced… Via 1820…

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  • devil’s advocate

    And we thought it’s been bad here for 30 years and that we still have problems- we don’t know we’re living!

  • bollix

    trocaire, which is i think the only irish NGO working in burma also has something to say about the situation here:
    http://trocaire.org/news/story.php?id=1127

    You can’t help but admire the monks who, in the face of beatings, oppression and even murder say the words of a sutra seeking love and humility.

  • Burma: Belfast demonstration of solidarity

    SATURDAY 29 SEPTEMBER 2007 – 12 NOON
    FRONT OF BELFAST CITY HALL

    BURMA: NO MORE BLOODSHED
    PROTECT THE PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATORS

    Visible public action everywhere is crucial NOW to create international pressure on Burma not to react with further violence and to urge the UN to intervene urgently. If we respond solidly we can help, even if only in a small way, to protect the peaceful demonstrators.

    More information:
    Amnesty International
    028 9064 3000 / 07740 623155

  • Dread Cthulhu

    bollix: “You can’t help but admire the monks who, in the face of beatings, oppression and even murder say the words of a sutra seeking love and humility. ”

    Certainly, especially how well they are proving the efficacy of of pacifism in the face of a ruthless dictatorship. Yes, I am a cynic. These tactics only work if the local government has a sense of shame or the greater world at large can be guilted off it’s collective arse. Given the gov’t has none and is willing to cur Burma off from the larger world, I suspect that the inertia of the status quo will be too much to overcome.

    While I can respect their belief and their adherence and devotion to the same, until and unless some outside force makes it clear that butchering the locals is poor form, it will continue until they run of of monks.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Patrick: “Visible public action everywhere is crucial NOW to create international pressure on Burma not to react with further violence and to urge the UN to intervene urgently. If we respond solidly we can help, even if only in a small way, to protect the peaceful demonstrators. ”

    Sure it will… just like all those “Free Tibet” bumper-stickers have save the Tibetean peoples from the Chinese…

  • Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness

  • I wonder…

    Government kills 13 on streets, organises destruction of dissidents, murders at random. Unionists condemn..then realise they are commenting on HMG policy since 1972…

  • I wonder…

    why do we not link ad nauseam to ATW? After all, blogging is free speech and everyone expresing a vew is a reasonable person..or would that be encouraging religios and racial hatred?

  • sammaguire

    On a lighter note, I could nearly swear I saw Peter Stringer amongst the protesting Buddhist monks on the news the other night!

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Patrick Corrigen: “Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness ”

    Going out onto your nice safe street, protesting under the watchful eye of your local cop and tucking in afterwards in the local pub isn’t even lighting a candle, Patrick. The world has tolerated the misbehavior of the Burmese junta for two decades, give to take. The protestations of some well-meaning dilletantes halfway ’round the world doesn’t bother them a whit, so all that is “accomplished” is a bunch of unwashed university feel good about themselves for being socially aware, whilst real people face real oppression.

    Western protest is worse than useless in the face of an oppressor unimpressed by the shame game. Until and unless the rest of the world decides to actually do something beyond providing police an overtime opportunity, the Burmese junta will continue to line the roadsides with the heads of their foes.

  • Dread, for once I partially agree with you. On its own, a street protest in Belfast in solidarity with the monks accomplishes little. However, when it is part os a global wave of similar demonstrations, it does send a message to our governments (rather than simple that of the junta in Burma) that we expect more action than words. Amnesty’s internationally organised demonstrations are part of a wider campaign for lobbying and campaigning at a local, national and and EU and UN level to bring about human rights chnage in Burma.
    But it’s up to each of of to decide for ourselves if it is worthwhile being part of such a global movement of action for change or if it’s more effective to stand on the sidelines making sniping comments.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Patrick: “On its own, a street protest in Belfast in solidarity with the monks accomplishes little. However, when it is part os a global wave of similar demonstrations, it does send a message to our governments (rather than simple that of the junta in Burma) that we expect more action than words.”

    Which the Burmese junta will ignore as they did last time there was a pro-democracy uprising and lined the roads with the severed heads.

    The concept you’re missing is leverage. AI and the western world doesn’t have a good handle on the Burmese junta. All the western gov’ts gave to do is hunker down and wait for something else to catch the attention of the ADD-afflicted college herds. Like I said, look at the grand accomplishment of all those “Free Tibet” stickers.

    Patrick: “Amnesty’s internationally organised demonstrations are part of a wider campaign for lobbying and campaigning at a local, national and and EU and UN level to bring about human rights chnage in Burma. ”

    The EU and the UN have neither the resources nor the stomach to “bring about human rights change in Burma.” The EU’s “soft power” is merely 20th century appeasement, repackaged for the 21st century, while the UN is corrupt, feckless and its Human Right Committee doubly so.

    Burma, on the other hand, with its reserves of gas and oil, can thumb its nose, behead its monks and ignore the jaw-jacking from the outside world, content in knowing, at least for the moment, they are secure.

    Moral persuasion only works on those with morals, Patrick. The junta, as demonstrated both two decades ago and in the now, aren’t particularly concerned with the mewling of some college students and fuzzy-headed diplomats.

    As I said before, this dog and pony show is more about raising money for AI and letting the protest-set feel good and morally superior than freeing Burma, just as all those damned bumperstickers for Tibet were a palliative for the buyer, not the people of Tibet.