China quietly scolds Burmese junta

With a bunch of people having been killed, this situation in Burma is fast turning into a nightmare, but it might be one that yet has a positive outcome.

Not at all to marginalize the deaths of those unfortunate to get in the way of the Burmese security forces’ “warning” shots (incl. Japanese journalist Kenji Nagai), but I do hope the movement pushes ahead.

I realize that’s easy to say from here in the safety of my home, but hear me out. If the protesters continue their peaceful protests and the junta fucks continue to respond with violence and repression – there’s an excellent opportunity for Burma to finally shed its illegitimate leadership and get the censortive word they’ve been long promised.

“Remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall — think of it, ALWAYS.” – Mahatma Gandhi

burmamonk.jpgChina’s response has been just as expected for a nation with its own sketchy past when it comes to protesters and bullets. They clearly see the PR nightmare of Olympic proportions this could lead to if they’re not perceived to be doing their best to cool the generals’ jets.

That said, they’re not exactly leaning hard on the country, more just giving them the ole “nudge, nudge, psst” routine. But one sort of expects that from a country like China. I mean, we are talking the country that is the Axis of Evil’s golf buddy.

What irritates this blogger is the fact that India is pulling the same routine. As the world’s largest censortive word, following China’s lead is lame. But then, China comes into the equation there as well.

China, through its Three Monkey foreign policy, has developed tight ties with Burma’s military-led government and as such is reaping major rewards. Of course this creates an impossible situation with countries that want to hold themselves to an ethical standard of some sort.

burmamonk2.jpgNow India is playing the razor’s edge of wanting what China has in Burma, but not sure how to do it without compromising its integrity. Similar to Google in China in some ways, India is desperate to push into Burma as much as it can to gain some of the Buddhist nation’s natural wealth. Until now they’ve been somewhat silently doing so, but now the spotlight has flipped on them and public outcry has come from its citizens.

India’s largest English newspaper, The Times of India, has called for the government to “quietly urge [Burma] towards [censortive word]. We are not like China. We champion democratic values. Do something.” (from The Guardian)

Granted, some of India’s desire to get in bed with Burma is in effect to limit China’s control in the region, but it does create a troubling question – who’s at fault when a free nation begins to buddy with a not free nation to stop another (bigger) not free nation from expanding.

Anyway, neither here nor there… well actually, it’s precisely “here” and “there”, but… back to the issue at hand: be sure to check out the “Support the monk’s protest in Burma” Facebook group for a number of ways you can get involved and show your support for those in the front lines of putting an end to oppressive regimes.

A great thing that’s being displayed with the situation in Burma is that it’s showing that it is getting more and more difficult for tyrants to repress their people, and keep it quiet. Even with the government creating an Internet blackout, people are still getting photos, videos and messages to the outside world.

Take note oppressive regimes – the time of blanket cover-ups and mass disappearances is coming to an end.

Lets all keep our fingers crossed Aung San Suu Kyi figures out how to unlock her front door and lead the revolution.

Last night I had a dream
That the world had turned around
And all our hopes had come to be
And the people gathered ‘round
They all brought what they could bring
And nobody went without
And I learned a song to sing
The revolution starts now. – Steve Earle, “The Revolution Starts Now

H/T to Jay Gatsby for the photos, found via the Facebook group – many more here.

One Response

  1. I’ve come a bit late to this discussion, having spent a week in the countryside not wanting to run up a ridiculous phone bill for my inlaws, but here goes:

    “China’s response has been just as expected for a nation with its own sketchy past when it comes to protesters and bullets.”

    Alright, this is going to sound bad, but: so what? How is China different from anywhere else? No! This is not some childish “Well, America does it too, so it’s alright for China” argument. This is a wake-up call. America supports the House of Saud, which is hardly the world’s most friendly, liberal or democratic regime. Europe, Canada, Australia and my own New Zealand ain’t much better in their international relations. China’s just reacting the same way anybody else does- or any other government, at least.

    “What irritates this blogger is the fact that India is pulling the same routine.”

    India’s been working with the Burmese junta for years now. No news here. Like any other government, it follows what it percieves as its own immediate interests, not any kind of principles.

    “China, through its Three Monkey foreign policy, has developed tight ties with Burma’s military-led government and as such is reaping major rewards. Of course this creates an impossible situation with countries that want to hold themselves to an ethical standard of some sort.”

    What rewards? And how is China acting differently from any other country? And how many governments actually try to hold themselves to any ethical standard? To answer that last question: I can’t think of any. I love my country, I hate my government.

    “A great thing that’s being displayed with the situation in Burma is that it’s showing that it is getting more and more difficult for tyrants to repress their people, and keep it quiet. Even with the government creating an Internet blackout, people are still getting photos, videos and messages to the outside world.

    “Take note oppressive regimes – the time of blanket cover-ups and mass disappearances is coming to an end.”

    Well, yes, kind of, but it’s taking a long, long time for the internet to start actually helping people overthrow these oppressive regimes like so many naive Western commentators assure us. The only difference between now and fifty years ago is that the evidence of governmental crime is more easily, quickly and freely available. Doesn’t stop governments shooting their own people, though. Technology is neutral- it is just as useful to the Chinese, Saudi and Burmese governments as it is to their opponents.

    Sorry, mate, I don’t mean to shit on anything or anyone. My heart is with the Burmese people. It’s just that none of our governments are innocent- some are more guilty than others, yes, absolutely, but the difference in degree of guilt does not split down some mythical democracy/dictatorship line. America, India and Europe are just as guilty as China. New Zealand, Australia and Canada are marginally less guilty, but no more innocent. And what happens in Burma will not really be influenced by the machinations of any non-Burmese government or non-governmental actor.

    That said, I, too, pray for peace and freedom for Burma. And for all our other brothers and sisters on this Earth.

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