19 June, 2010

Myanmar: no hope

In Myanmar, or Burma as most people think of it, it is Aung San Suu Kyi's 65th birthday.

She was married to the late Dr Michael Aris, the Tibetan specialist, and was not even able to go to her husband's funeral. As such she is, I suppose, jointly or optionally British, and yet she has been imprisoned for years without our doing anything.

Readers of this blog who fail to understand why we felt able to invade Iraq, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone but not Burma will not find much of an answer here. The regime in Rangoon is maintained by India and China. Whilst the Indians have stopped actually selling arms to Rangoon the Chinese haven't, and both have strong commercial ties which keep the money flowing.

President Obama has said Aung San Suu Kyi ought to be released, and I expect he felt better afterwards. It won't help the people of Burma. That would require standing up to China. And Obama won't do that.

Change hasn't come to Burma.

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