Myanmar Activists Use Internet To Fight For Freedom

The new world of Internet activism is being used by Burmese dissidents to fight Burma’s corrupt and oppressive military junta. A Tokyo based group of overseas Burmese belonging to Burma Democratic Union, is drawing upon telephone communication vie cell phones with their comrades in Myanmar to broadcast a true version of conditions in their nation. “This is an editor from ‘Maykha Internet Radio.’ Can I talk to you,?” asked Lay lay, one of the editors who was speaking to a spokesperson for the National League For Democracy in Burma. Each night the program provides interviews inter-mixed with hard news about conditions in their country. Hisao Tanabe, founder of the People’s Forum on Burma operating in Japan, notes how opposition organizations based in Japan are getting out information regarding what really is happening in Myanmar. These groups enable activists still in Burma to communicate reality since the military junta will not allow even the semblance of free press in their nation.

Each day, political leaders are becoming increasingly aware of how the Internet or MySpace or Facebook are altering the scope and function of communication in the 21st century world. It becomes increasingly difficult for governments to cut off communication as alternative sources sprout up throughout the world. Will information disseminated by Burmese activists in Tokyo change what will happen in Burma? Most probably their information will not lead to the overthrow of the junta, but it may cause them to pause in carrying out death and destruction.