Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The trouble with Burma (audio), PRI, Public Radio Int'l (audio); Wisdom Quarterly
Dictator Gen. Than Shwe crushed Buddhist "troublemakers" with backing from China until US Sec'y of State Hillary Clinton started coming by and acting like the highest bidder.

The monks rose up for the Saffron Revolution
RANGOON, Burma - Myanmar is emerging from decades of repression and international isolation. The one-time military government has enacted democratic reforms, and the U.S. and others have responded by suspending sanctions. 

Now the country also known as Burma is viewed as a promising frontier economy. But there’s a downside. A rush of foreign investment could imperil Yangon’s collection of colonial-era buildings, an emblem of a time when the city was a cosmopolitan hub in the English empire.
The generals who ruled [and renamed Burma] Myanmar since the 1960s isolated the country and drove its economy into the ground. Being stuck in time has been a curse for Myanmar’s people, among the poorest in Asia. But it’s also had the unforeseen effect of preserving hundreds of ornate buildings from the 19th and early 20th century. More

Burma's Pagan or Bagan, an ancient city of thousands of pagodas and shrines (Wiki commons)
What was the "Saffron Revolution"?
Seven, Wisdom Quarterly
Burma's Saffron Revolution (Amnesty Seattle)
An explosive situation in Burma was fueled in 2007 by crushing price hikes for basics opposed by 35,000 Buddhist monks and their supporters, who defied the military dictatorship. Rising prices for essentials set off protests. A junta of generals warned peaceful demonstrators as they staged days of anti-government protests. Military leaders reacted by imposing a nighttime curfew and banned gatherings of more than five people. The country's hard-line military rulers soon resorted to extreme force to stop the biggest anti-government demonstrations Burma had seen in nearly two decades, led by the country's Theravada Buddhist monks. Soldiers in full battle gear were deployed throughout the country's largest city, Rangoon, setting the stage for a showdown with a determined pro-democracy movement previously led by "The Lady," Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who rather than being allowed allowed to rule was deposed in a military coup immediately after democratic election and kept under house arrest for years.
Burma’s "Frontier" Investor
Burma is going through some rapid transitions. In just the last year, the country’s military dictators have freed Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest and allowed [rigged] elections [that keep them in control] to be held. Now the country is opening up to foreign business as well. [Enter Hillary Clinton and other suitors.]

No comments: