irrawaddynews, The international community responded to the disaster with sympathy and offers of material aid. The US, Britain and France sent warships to the area, loaded with food, medicines and other supplies. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon toured the cyclone-flattened region and met leaders of the military government, urging them to allow more aid into Burma.
Not surprisingly, the junta opened the door slightly to aid agencies after dragging its heels on the dispatch of emergency relief to the cyclone victims.
At the same time, the regime went ahead with its sham referendum, claiming 92 percent approval for its proposed constitution.
Then, to the surprise of many, the regime launched its “shock and awe” strategy, handing out heavy prison sentences to prominent opposition leaders and humanitarian workers and sending them separately to remote prisons.
Now it is shocking to learn that Gambari has suggested that governments should offer Burma financial incentives to free its political prisoners, estimated to number more than 2,000—including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi—and to initiate democratic change.
The Nigerian diplomat must be insane to think that the corrupt generals who terrorized the whole nation can be bribed into compromise.
The influential Washington Post has reported: “In the months ahead, the UN leadership will press the Obama administration to relax US policy on Burma and to open the door to a return of international financial institutions, including the World Bank.”
Several years ago, when the World Bank offered the Burmese regime US $1 billion in return for political reform, it was told, in effect: “Don’t give us bananas, we are not monkeys.”
Minutes of a meeting between Gambari and a UN Burma team led by Ambassador Kyaw Tint Swe—obtained by The Irrawaddy—seem to suggest that Gambari, a citizen of one of Africa’s failed states, is giving advice to some officials from a failed state of Southeast Asia. continue http://www.irrawaddy.org/opinion_story.php?art_id=14853