I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know by watching Burma VJ (which can be viewed on YouTube). But witnessing, even second-hand, the police brutality of a repressive military dictatorship regime is eye opening – and heart wrenching too, of course. The Burmese people are aching to be free.
I was rather distressing to learn that a Canadian mining conglomarate Ivanhoe Mines, is, according to Canadian Friends of Burma,
in a 50/50 joint venture with Burma’s ruling junta [and] operates the biggest foreign mining venture in Burma.
It appears our former Prime Minister, Jean Chretien, was appointed only just last month as “senior international adviser to the company”. I hope his advice is beneficial to the Burmese people.
John Ralston Saul writes an op-ed in the Globe and Mail about his impressions of the corrupt military Junta.
The New York Times continues its report behind the return to apparent normalcy.
The BBC reports that three key activists are arrested.
The BBC web site has a Profile of Burma which also has a lot of other backround material on the events of September / October 2007, including video footage and commentary.
The Globe and Mail’s Geoffrey York continues his first-class reporting from Thailand about the corrupt Burmese military regime and the desperation of ordinary Burmese people.
The Sunday New York Times of October 7th, has a revealing analysis of the dynamics of the Burmese military.
Thich Nhat Hahn speaks on the Burma uprising (and also the war in Iraq) in this Time Video
Listen to the interview by Michael Enright (14MB in mp3 format) on the October 7th edition of the CBC radio show The Sunday Edition, with his guests Professor Robert Thurman and Sister Elaine MacInnes.
I believe there is a minor error in that interview, where Professor Thurman asserts that Burmese monks are monks for life. I believe this is not true. My understanding is that monastic vows in Theravada countries are often taken for short periods of time.
The Business section of the Globe on Oct. 6th also reports on the unwillingness of multinationals to cease operations in Burma.
There is a documentary film called “Total Denial” about the successful legal battle in US courts that some Burmese residents in the jungle undertook against the oil multi-nationals Total and Unocal. It won the 2006 Vaclav Havel Special Award For Human Rights
On October 6th, the Globe and Mail’s Geoffrey York discusses the tacit support for the Burmese military regime by neighbouring Thailand, China and India.