The specialist blogs and commentators aside anyone who has written or reported on the ongoing pro-democracy struggle is essentially saying little more than theres an ongoing struggle for democracy.
Myanmar is such a hazy country in our minds that when asked we can’t even recall the name of its leader. We know theres a military Junta, we know theres a woman called Aung San Suu Kyi and thats about it. Whilst I support the right to self-determination of any people I honestly don’t know what to say about Myanmar other than I wish the people can live as they choose. Should I applaud the red robed monks in the street or question whether they have any alternative theocratic intentions?. Aung San Suu Kyi may be a symbol for democracy but can any of us claim to know what her philosophical ideas actually are? Unlike the North Koreans and their enigmatic leader who may claim to shun the outside world but flirt with it around a nuclear table the leaders of Myanmar are so introspective as to be invisible.
Commenting intelligently about the fast moving developments of country whose name most people don’t even know is difficult. George Bush and Gordon Brown have probably realised the political capital that can be gained from supporting freedom in this far off nation, but its really little more than political opportunism. As far as we can tell Myanmar doesn’t have any significant deposists of crude oil so we aren’t that interested in them. The vast majority of the people aren’t followers of one of the ‘Abrahamic religions’ so aren’t tied into any other political struggle.
What more can we say about Myanmar other than we hope its people find what they’re looking for?
Sunny adds: Clashes between the police and monks have now intensified.
BBC Online has an article on using Burma or Myanmar. Interestingly, using ‘Burma’ is akin to taking a particular political position, which is fine for us but may not the BBC…
There’s also a Facebook group (40k members and rising) here.
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Filed in: Current affairs,The World