Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Most people in the world have forgotten about the atrocities happening in Burma. Lots of talk about Dafur. Iraq. Afghanistan. Drug wars in Columbia. Bolivia. That very odd poisoning of a head of state in Ukraine. But scarcely a word about Burma.

Alice cares about Burma. She travelled there in 1985, just three years before the horrible clamp down on the people by a beyond-scary military junta. She remembers having her travel plans interrupted by what the government tourist bureau called "rebels". The day before she went to Taunggyi she was told a high military official had been shot at nearby. When she got there, everything seemed very calm. But she thought it very odd that just about anyone who spoke English begged her to send them second hand books in English to help them teach children English.
A year or so later she heard from a friend working at the World Bank that the new Burmese military government planned to export food for foreign currency since their own was collapsing - despite the well know fact that exporting as much food as they planned would cause serious famine. The famine happened.
Alice never saw anyone overweight there but for some high officials she saw on a YouTube video which mysteriously was removed from the YouTube website. (I wish you could hear my little huffing cough I do when I don't like something.)

She pulled out some of her old pictures from Burma tonight. The little puppies at a temple in the center of the country. A heartbreakingly beautiful scene at sunset by the Irrawady River outside Mandalay.
Oh! When will the world care about Burma again?

When will it care about Tibet?