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The country of Myanmar/Burma is going through a bad patch (2009) with a problem government. The repressive military junta is unsurprisingly very unpopular with the people who suffer under its draconian rule, and there is now a worldwide campaign to do something about it. Here are a few of the many helpful resources on this:

www.freeburmacoalition.org - Towards an open society in Burma/Myanmar through interactions - returned!


www.FreeBurma.org - Get Involved in the Struggle to Free Burma! - lost to cybersquatters


US Campaign for Burma.org

www.dvb.no - Democratic Voice of Burma

Generation Wave - see www.gwave-network.co.cc and www.generationwave.org - fighting for freedom in Myanmar/Burma

Burma Action Ireland.org


www.ibiblio.org/freeburma - gone?!


As is typical of an evil autocracy, the government of Myanmar/Burma pretends everything is just fine and that it is a democracy and everyone is happy. Pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi would disagree with the government, so they have had her locked up as a prisoner of conscience.

www.dassk.com - Aung San Suu Kyi official site

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San_Suu_Kyi - Wikipedia entry

There was at one point a desperate attempt by the government to silence all information on the Internet. This sends a clear message to the world, doesn't it?

What's to be done about the Burma/Myanmar problem?:

Some people have criticised Lonely Planet for publishing a Travel Guide to Burma, and there has even been a demonstration outside the Lonely Planet office, as if it were the Norwegian Embassy?! The critics claim that the existence of a travel guide encourages people to go there, and as the hotels are built with slave labour the tourism is in effect supporting an evil regime. I would have thought the situation was not as simplistic as that, and writing a book about the place surely tells people how bad things really are there rather than keeping it hidden. Also, even the worst regimes have a bit of a public relations issue when they are being visited by travellers. To their credit, Lonely Planet have put up both sides of the argument at their site, which you are welcome to visit via this dedicated page: Lonely Planet. There are travel companies who arrange adventurous holidays there, so you can find out for yourself what it's really like, for example, Exotissimo Travel.

Possible US invasion of Burma

Critics of the USA have often said that the US government only takes a military interest in a country if there is oil there, presumably because invasion and conquest of small countries yields oil as the spoils of war. It's been said "There's no oil in Tibet!". However, in the case of Burma, I remember seeing the name of that country over the front of fuel filling stations, so it suggests there is oil in Burma, so, this may leave the critics wondering why the USA isn't invading the place?! Maybe it's like Saudi Arabia, where the West has clandestine agreements with the dictatorial rulers?

Regime Change

Whether by revolution, invasion, or bankruptcy, regime change tends to happen. I have heard tax haven experts say that there will come a time (presumably after the fall of the tyranny) when Burma is a place which will enjoy a new prosperity, and will be a place to invest. However, that is clearly not yet!

Update: Cyclone

After the cyclone hit in 2008, international efforts were available to help, but the government got in the way. Also see the Google campaign to try to help: http://www.google.com/myanmarcyclone/ (gone)

Update 2010/11/13: Aung San Suu Kyi released! Good News! This could be a sign that Myanmar/Burma is moving towards joining the club of nations that are in civilised international society.

Update 2011/04/29: Rambo banned?! I have heard that the movie Rambo (Rambo 4) has been banned in Burma. Surely this can't be true, can it? A death sentence for selling a movie? Sounds like the place could really be as bad as it has been imagined to be, in which case, Burma deserves the bad publicity which it has earned.

The regime has been especially cruel to the Indigenous People of Burma (the Karen) and has committed acts of genocide against them.

Links last checked for any bad links 2011/04/29