The people of Burma need our help…

Burmese woman. Photo by Eric Lafforgue

The only (part)Burmese model we ever featured is Flo Jalin. And although Asian-Sirens isn’t a political blog and this post might seem off-topic, I strongly feel I should mention the current situation in Burma.

After decades of military dictatorship, the people of Burma (Myanmar) are rising – and they need all the help they can get. Marches begun by Buddhist monks and nuns have snowballed, bringing hundreds of thousands to the streets.

Burmese woman. Photo by Eric Lafforgue
(photo by Eric Lafforgue)

When the Burmese last marched in 1988, the military massacred thousands. But if the world stands up and supports their struggle, this time they could succeed. Show your solidarity to this movement for peace and democracy and sign the emergency petition supporting the Burmese people. It’ll be delivered to UN Security Council members and the UN press corps all week.

For more great photo’s of Burma, vist Eric Lafforgue’s Myanmar photoset.

Burmese woman. Photo by phitar
(photo by phitar)

CNN has the latest news on the uprising.

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0 thoughts on “The people of Burma need our help…”

  1. Bless the Burmese people.The U.N. will of course-DO NOTHING…but what will be interesting to see is how the rise of the “citizen journalist” affects the outcome of this conflict.This may very well turn out to be historys’ first full test case for whether the internet/ pen/camera/audio is mightier than the sword.The WSJ just ran a story two days ago to that effect.It used to be that Govt./Business/Newsmedia interests-usually in that order-had a monopoly on the flow of info from conflicts.
    Now that everybody has a phonecam or a computer…what will the outcome be?I hope we DON’T find out that people are prone to tolerate tyranny.

  2. It will be a long process, probably years. Some more will die, unfortunately.
    The military powers don’t seem willing to change and don’t seem weak either, at this point in time.
    International pressure is helpless, the only ones with power to act are the chinese with their behind-the-scenes diplomacy.

  3. I have to say it: this is yet another example of how the Bush administration’s current justification for the war in Iraq (bringing democracy) is total BS. Burma would be a very easy country to bring democracy to, as they already have an elected, well-loved and well-respected leader in waiting. All they have to do is take out the military, which of course would be trivial for the US. The case of Burma (and many others, such as Zimbabwe) shows that the Bush administration is only acting in its own selfish interests – they don’t really care about Iraqis at all.

  4. I hate the UN, and I hate the impotence of the “world powers” when people are mercilessly slaughtered while the world stands by and watches.

    This planet sucks.

  5. I wish I had been able to visit Myanmar when I had the chance. When I visited Thailand, we got as far as the gate into Myanmar in the town of Mai Sai (sp). We would have done it, but some people in our group didn’t have their passport with them.

    I wonder how much affect the influece of other countries will have on the conflict. China wants to look good for the rest of the world, but also has most of its energy supplies come through Myanmar, which is obviously key to its explosive growth. Myanmars military regime doesn’t seem to operate under normal principles. Their obsession with numbers and astrology really baffles me. I mean come on, to move the capital because of a numerical date is just idiotic.

  6. STRIPES, to your point regarding “Citizen Journalists”, Current TV has done many interesting reports from Burma (Myanmar). A good portion of these reports are from Citizen Journalists.

    If you visit current.tv and do separate searches for “Burma” and “Myanmar” you will see an assortment of reports. As many of these reports are presently being aired on Current TV, they are not available on the Web. There are some available for Internet viewing, though.

    Current TV is a real leader in helping to develop and expose Citizen Journalists throughout the world.

    As I doubt the .tv suffix puts an auto link in this forum, this .com address works as well:

    currentmedia.com

    (Disclaimer: I used to be associated with Current TV.)

  7. Please call it Burma.
    Myanmar is the name concocted by the military dictatorship, meaning “Strong Nation” or some such bs. So say dissidents.

    Don’t give up on them. Don’t despair. These things take a long time. But there will be justice. Good will prevail. Look at E. Europe. South Africa. The brutality of the old South in the US. It took many years for these evils to be overcome, but it happened.

  8. Myanmar is also the ancient name of the land – Marco Polo even referred to it as Myanmar – so it’s not just a product of the heartless junta. There IS historical precedent of it, and it is what the people have always called the land in their own language. Burma is actually a colonial bastardization of the main ethnic group in the country, the Bamar. (I did my master’s thesis on Burma, by the way.) I still like Burma better, however, as I think it just sounds better.

    What’s happening there is sick. I was there four years ago, and walked down the street in this video clip. I met lots of really good people there, and I’m sure that many of them have been affected by this. But, as the others have said, all that the rest of the “international community” is going to do about this is lips service and righteous indignation. Check out the clip on this Burma website: http://mizzima.com/

  9. Of course the US administration doesn’t care about democracy and evil dictators in Burma, there’s no oil there. How easy the world shows us how to dismantle stupid justifications.

    Since the military still seem strong compared to their opposition, I’d say they have another 5 to 10 years before things crumble on its own. Sad but happens in a lot of places.

  10. great pics (coming from a photographer, so they must be great!)
    anywho, i’ll take a look at that petition type thing, this does seem like a serious issue.

  11. Whitebear: ok you win, there is historical basis for “Myanmar”.

    But using Marco Polo’s writings to back up your research? What he reported as fact is full of folklore, urban myths, and damn lies. He went a long way toward painting a highly inaccurate picture of the Far East and those misconceptions live on to this day, and have led not only to problems in relationships but to major foreign policy blunders.

  12. I’m not promoting the legacy of Marco Polo, just showing that at least as long ago as in the 1300’s, the name Myanmar was in use. It wasn’t invented in 1990 by the horrible generals who’ve been running the country since 1962, as you and most people seem to believe. Other ancient documents refer to the land as Myanmar, and if you read Burmese Language, the country, language, and people are always referred to as Myanmar, and always have been. Only in other languages will you see Burma. It’s no different than Japanese people calling their country “Nihon” or “Nippon,” while most of the rest of the world uses Japan.

  13. i lived in yangon, myanmar for 2.5 years and it is the most beautiful country in asia, with the most beautiful and peaceful people.

    this uprising is at least a start of something and lets all hope that there is a positive outcome…but it will get worse before it gets better.

    my only worry is that if the demostrations stop [and who would blame the locals for stopping knowing that they will be shot if they do] the media attention will die down and people will simply forget and nothing will change.

    sanctions and international diplomacy are a waste of time. sanctions will do nothing as the country has been under sanctions for years now.

    the only way to change is through constructive engagement and the efforts of china, india and thailand.

    people that believe that there is any hope for aung san suu kyi and her party to be let out of prision and simply put in place a democratic government are kidding themselves. the government will not let go of power and even if they do, it wont be to her.

    constructive engagement and creatng a solution whereby the military can still have its power and a civilian government can be created to run the economy is the only solution….just look at vietnam and china for successful examples

  14. China and Vietnam are police states that brutally crush dissent. They are models of “success”?
    Unfortunately China is key to any resolution.
    Sanctions worked against S. Africa.

  15. “Of course the US administration doesn’t care about democracy and evil dictators in Burma, there’s no oil there.”

    Look, daznlover! My country is too damn damn busy hunting for Bin Laden in Afghanistan and fighting Iranian-backed terrorists in Iraq to do anything about Burma.

    Will India and Thailand do some about the injustice in Burma?

  16. Yeah daznlover…tell your country to do something for a change. Oh wait…the US is your country. My Bad. 🙂

  17. Looking for Bin Laden? Are you kidding? Bush wants us all to completely forget about him, as they’ve long since given up on finding him. And the US made their own problems in Iraq; what dazn is pointing out is that, instead of supposedly bringing democracy to a country that doesn’t seem to want it (Iraq), they could bring it to one that actually does (Burma). But of course, they aren’t really interested in bringing democracy to anyone – they’re only interested in oil, and looking after Israel’s interests.

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