The UnAustralian

Sunday, February 23, 2003
 
Burma


Last night, I went to a Mon National Day celebration. It was basically speeches, dinner and dancing, and I had a great time (despite not speaking Mon, and thus missing a good proportion of the speeches).

For those of you who don't know, the Mon are an ethnic group who have traditionally lived in what is now Thailand and Myanmar. A brief history can be found here. Now most Mon live a military dictatorship which persecutes pretty much everyone.

Moving towards the main point of this post, Myanmer is a pretty horrible place. Executions, forced labour and terrible prison conditions are common. The Burmese are treated pretty terribly and the various minorities (who make up approx. 1/3 of the population) are treated even worse. When not as bad as Saddam Hussein, the dictatorship is comparable. Meanwhile, there is a credible opposition (which also has the benefit of having won the last (and only) free election).

What I am wondering is, will those who advocate a war against Iraq on humanitarian grounds follow it up with calls for a subsequent attack on Burma to free it's people?

| 4:29 PM