Yesterday marked the 61st anniversary of Myanmar’s independence from Great Britain and there is scant evidence this unfortunate nation will experience being part of a democratic nation in the forseeable future. Aung Shew, chairman of the opposition National League for Democracy, was very pessimistic about prospects of being able to persuade or force the ruling military junta to surrender any of its dictatorial power let alone give freedom to Nobel Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi or any of the other dissident leaders who are under some form of arrest because they dare to offer different views about life in Burma. In a speech to other members of his party and some diplomats, he said: “Hope for the present and future of the country is totally lacking.” Tough, but honest words from an independent voice who believes in freedom.
Of course, as far as the junta is concerned, “neocolonialists” were out to destroy the reputation of the nice world they had created for the Burmese people in which normal behavior is agreeing with everything said or done by the junta.
There will be protests in the streets of many cities throughout the world this week in response to war in Gaza, but no one will be marching to protest the situation in Burma.