Burma: The ongoing tragedy next door

By “the nation” Thailand’s new govt must not pander to the Burmese junta as its predecessors have done

It is interesting to watch how the situation in Burma develops, as well as the behaviour and thinking of the key stakeholders, especially the Rangoon military junta and the international community including the United Nations. For the past two decades, the former has been able to outmanoeuvre the latter in all circumstances.
The UN and its special envoy to Burma have become the main tool the junta uses to buy time to further consolidate its power and tighten control over the population. Now, the UN is desperately trying to think of new ways to deal with Burma. But the conclusion so far is simple: all efforts since 1988 to revive the democratic process have failed to produce any tangible results.

The Burmese regime is stronger than ever, due in part to its increased foreign exchange through the export of energy resources plus the influx of humanitarian aid both in cash and in kind. All the junta has to do, it seems, is wait and be patient. The international community, especially the UN, wants to see democratic progress in Burma – but it is more than possible that the UN, through receiving gullible advice, has become more flexible with Burma. The trick, that the generals understand well, is that they do not need to change their hardline position. The junta can continue to arrest and suppress its own people. The outside world has to accommodate the cruel regime if it wants to see any progress. to continue http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2009/01/02/opinion/opinion_30092264.php

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