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More on Burma

7:13 PM, Sep 27, 2007 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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Again, Andrew Sullivan, has the best coverage of developments in Burma. The Bush administration has imposed sanctions on the leadership in Burma...I'm sure that'll do a lot of good, especially given the fact that "China and Russia signaled last night that they would block any UN sanctions against Burma." Meanwhile, a friend of Reason blogger Kerry Howley wrote yesterday with this disturbing message:

internet going down. phone lines down. bullets fired into the air. crowd not retreating.

Without the internet, it seems that Burmese have only one source of information. Again, Kerry Howley:

But while the world may be watching, I doubt most Burmese are. The country's communications infrastructure is incredibly limited. Seven people out of 1,000 own televisions, and they're not getting BBC. They're watching MRTV-3: all government propaganda, all the time. It's difficult to get a license for a satellite or an internet connection. Cell phones cost thousands of dollars; even most expats don't carry them.

On the effort to tie this to the 2008 Olympics in order to leverage Beijing's assistance, the Washington Realist quotes the Nixon Center's Drew Thompson:

"If the situation in Myanmar deteriorates further and violence ensues on a larger, systematic scale, the Chinese government will be vulnerable to accusations that it has protected and supported a rogue regime. And it bears reminding that the 1988 demonstrations in Burma that were so brutally suppressed is known as the "8888 uprising," standing for August 8, 1988, which is the day the students took to the streets. The opening ceremony in Beijing will occur is twenty years to the day from the start of the protests in Rangoon."

The Economist also weighs in:

If China proves actively obstructive to international efforts to bring the junta to book, it may provoke calls for a boycott of the games.

And if you want to see video, Sullivan links to some good stuff at YouTube. But the video below is also instructive. It shows the wedding of Thandar Shwe, the daughter of the junta's senior general, Than Shwe. And keep in mind this is a country with a per capita GDP of roughly $1,800. It's a stark contrast to the images now coming out of Burma, like the one at the top of the post from Burma Digest.