• Sunday, October 07, 2007

    Does anyone care??

    One of so many Burmese monks, bludgeoned to death by the regime

    I'm guilty. I'm guilty as charged of caring. As much as I want to start the post by talking about the wonder that is the English rugby team which embarrassed the Australians and kicked them out of the world cup I think there are more important things to get off my chest. Sorry to be a bore but I'm talking Burma.
    For a while it seemed that people cared but, alas, it's not so. A weekend of protests just didn't happen. The only place where anyone could be bothered to make an effort was London where several thousand marched through the streets in an attempt to gain support for some kind of action on Burma. The Japanese protest was cancelled because they've decided it's all hunky dory down Rangoon way now, 100 Burmese and foreigners managed a token gesture in Bangkok and the same in Sydney. Pitiful!China, host of the 2008 Olympics. A more appropriate logo.

    It seems that no one really cares. Some have called for a boycott of the 2008 Olympics in China (China is the biggest supporter of the regime in Burma and has the power to turn off the tap, as it where) but that won't happen; after all how will people be expected to remember those silly Burmese getting slaughtered a year from now. Personally I think there should be a complete boycott of all Chinese products but then that's me. Thailand is another big supporter of the regime and pours money into the military coffers in return for gas. But the Thais have never been ones to let the slaughter of innocence get in the way of luxury and consumerism so no action from them. Will anyone cancel their holiday in Thailand as a protest? Not a chance. Or maybe think twice about buying wooden products from Thailand, many sourced from Burma where the good old practice of slavery and environmental exploitation still exists. Nope. And the same goes for the French (Total oil) and the Singaporeans (big trading partner with the regime).

    At the start of the week there was shock and horror at some of the images coming from Burma. People were disgusted and horrified. But that was the start of the week. Time has moved on and, as the saying goes, yesterday's news is today's chip paper. So just when the Burmese people need help the most no one seems in a real hurry to offer a hand. The UN is talking. ASEAN, currently chaired by Singapore, is saying that any solution must include the military. Anyone who knows anything about SE Asia and the great "Asian values" argument knows that what they mean is the solution should include an amnesty for the military and be profitable for them and the despicable neighbours (China and Thailand) who support them.

    Does anyone care??


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