Remember Burma?

Thursday, January 20, 2005


Written by Kelly Rauhe (Contest Entry)


Have we forgotten Burma? With Iraq, Palestine, Sudan, Afghanistan, Haiti and now the Tsunami at the forefront of today’s media releases, is there room left for Burma? Some might argue that Burma has had its share of limelight, that it is time that the media focus elsewhere. Admittedly, with over 50 years of conflict, the Burmese have easily claimed the title of ‘Longest running civil war’. However, does this justify international neglect?

1962 was a very important year in Burmese history. It was the year that the military overthrew the government and achieved totalitarian status. It was the year that people started dying.

The new authoritarian government began to quickly administer policies of ‘ethnic cleansing’. They focussed on any minority populations living within their borders who were not considered to be truly Burmese in ethnicity. The fact that many of these populations had already been living within Burmese frontiers for centuries did not qualify them to be spared.

For more than half a century the minority peoples of Burma have been subjected to tyranny and dissent from their own government. The Burmese junta has inhibited foreign aid from reaching its full potential.

Indeed, Burma is in need of help as well. It is time the world responded.


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