Brutal and Beautiful: The two faces of Burma

Thailand is hardly a bastion of democracy, freedom, truth and good governance....but, if things are that bad, then why do boat loads of Burmese immigrants regularly turn up on the Thai coast or flee to jungle refugee camps in the border regions?

What is so dreadful, that it forces Burmese citizens to risk life and limb to reach Thailand? When most of them are well aware of the historic animosity between the two nations and knowing that they will receive a less than coridal welcome and leave themselves open to exploitation.

The reason is very clear and his name is General Than Shwe, head of the Burmese military Junta.

Don't be fooled by that smile, because underneath lurks a nasty, brutal and treacherous despot, who, for nearly 20 years, has run a regime synonymous with violence, murder and political oppression.

I am not normally one for politcally-motivated rants or explicit demonstrations of support for particular regimes or individuals, as I think most people involved in politics are avaricious and corrupt!!! But, I am a supporter of free speech and democracy, which is the principle of choosing your government (albeit corrupt!!!!), through free and fair elections.

This is why, I feel it necesssary to use my blog to support the people of Burma in their struggle.

Burma is due to be holding a general election soon and the international community needs to ensure that the rights and choices of the Burmese citizens are respected and the election isn't rigged or subject to interference!!! But I fear that may be wishful thinking, as governemnts around the world have been indifferent to Burma's plight for nearly 50 years!!!

On the occassions when the Burmese have protested against their dictatorial regime, this is what happens.......


An excellent website, highlighting human right's abuses in Burma and worldwide, can be accessed by clicking on the link below. But, caution is advised as there are plenty of graphic images of dead bodies!!!!

http://www.dictatorwatch.org/phshows/murdervictims.html

Here is an equally good website supporting Burmese democracy and freedom.....

http://www.burmacampaign.org.uk/

When Than Shwe and his cronies are finally brought to justice, the beauty of Burma will finally emerge and even more tourists will be able to experience the history, culture and majesty of this neglected country.

Just look at some of the spectacular sites below!! They rival anything you will see in other popular South East Asian destinations...


My girlfriend, Apinya, who as you know is Thai, beautifully summed up her feelings about Burma, during a recent trip Ayutthaya and Sukothai.

Looking at some of the blackened temple ruins, destroyed during one of Burma's many invasions over the centuries, she began shaking her head and turned to me full of indignation and exclaimed......."bad, naughty Burma"!!!

The simplicity of her argument, yet the forcefulness with which she made her point, caused me to break into fits of laughter!!!!

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