26th SEPTEMBER 2007
It has been a relief that the western media has not been so irresponsible over the delicate situation in Burmah as they were over Tiananmen Square some 18 years ago*. The oppressed citizens of the country they now call Myanmar must be allowed to judge for themselves the timing, extent and level of the demonstrations that recent economic pressures have brought to a head. A violent revolution could not possibly succeed, nor is it the way of the Buddhist monks there to start one. Violent pre-emptive repression by the military could lead to much bloodshed.

A social reorganisation to suit those calling for 'total democracy, now' is also unrealistic. What is required is the establishment of a deeper and wider dialogue with the military dictators to work out a path to elections with safeguards that permit a phased, constitutional progress that safeguards a rule of law during a transition to an economy in which the population can share, with participation, in the wealth that their nation can provide by proper exploitation of its land and offshore resources.

This requires a plan to be made in advance of elections, not elections with no agreed initial economic and social plan.

We have an apparently intelligen ambassador there. We have good relations with China and India. Surely to God we can get the appropriate people to sit down, with the help of experienced civil servants, and put up some proposals.


* OCTOBER 1st 2007
However, the media now tell us that all the pictures from Burmah they have been showing on TV all over the world are being used by the Burmese regime to arrest and imprison or kill those who they can identify. Did they seriously think this would NOT be the case? The fact is they don't care as long as they get paid and keep their job, or another one in the same business.

MAY 13th 2008
I have decided not to comment on the catastrophe of the cyclone that has devastated much of Burmah this month, or the failure of the regime to allow adequate international assistance into the country. It is a complex situation being handled as well as it possibly can by the UK and all other members of the International Community. The Burmese military dictatorship has a completely different outlook to the rest of us on what is possible in their country and as long as they use their oil wealth to fund a military government with no recourse to democratic accountability there is little we can do about it without risking making things worse. It needs the military rank and file to rebel and overthrow their leaders first. Until that is done we can only use diplomacy and attempt to negotiate.

MAY 22nd 2008
Although thousands may have died unnecessarily by now, progress has been made, thousands saved. The diplomatic road was the only one to take.

UN chief: Myanmar to allow all aid workers

By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Writer 

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on a mission to open Myanmar to international disaster assistance, said the ruling junta agreed Friday to allow "all aid workers" into the country to help cyclone survivors.

Ban's comments came after a crucial two-hour meeting Friday with the junta leader, Senior Gen. Than Shwe, the country's most powerful figure. Myanmar's junta has until now refused to allow an influx of foreign aid and experts to reach survivors of the May 2-3 Cyclone Nargis.

The United Nations chief did not say whether Than Shwe had acceded to the most urgent request by international aid agencies — to allow their foreign experts into the hardest-hit region, the Irrawaddy delta.

However, when asked if he thought the agreement was a breakthrough, Ban told reporters: "I think so."

See http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080523/ap_on_re_as/myanmar  for full news so far...

JUNE 4th 2008
Finally it turns out that the agreement of the Junta was not worth much. The US ships are now withdrawing as their efforts have been totally frustrated. Other aid workers on the ground are also frustrated by bureaucracy and road block. The fact is dictators cannot tolerate the free access of aid workers and emnergency support. They need to keep their population totally dependent. Mugabe is at this time proving the same to be true in Zimbabwe by preventing even established charities from continuing to give aid. He will now try to bribe the electorate he can't intimidate by making assistance in their plight conditional on their support at the re-run of the Presidential Election.

There is nothing we can do in Burmah or Zimbabwe as we have to get permission these days from all the tin-pot dictators we dignify with the title of heads of state of so-called democracies, most of which are totally corrupt, to go in and remove their colleagues in other countries.