A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Friday, August 11, 2006

NS on Burma

Well done to the New Statesman, in amongst its usual diet of predictable anti-Blair/US/Israel me-tooism, for drawing attention to the human rights disaster that is the Burmese "State Peace and Development Council" (surely the most misnamed organisation in the world?) military regime. They've done a special issue on the subject - most of which is online - http://www.newstatesman.com/nsspecialissue.htm

and includes the following stats:

"Burma by numbers:
  • 500,000 number of soldiers out of a population of 50 million
  • 19 the annual sum, in pence, spent per person on health
  • 30,900 hectares of opium poppies cultivated in 2003
  • 15 years in jail: penalty for unlicensed possession of a fax machine or modem
  • 540,000 estimated number of internally displaced people
  • 17 percentage of schools with safe drinking water"

The UK Burma Campaign is based in Hackney at Charles Square in Hoxton: http://www.burmacampaign.org.uk/ and deserves support.

Co-located with them is the Free Tibet Campaign, http://www.freetibet.org/ - maybe the NS should run something on the situation there as well.


Blogger El Dave. said...

How do you effect that change? Invasion? Sanctions? Hope?

10:57 am, August 11, 2006

Anonymous Arnold Keswick said...

I don't understand the Free Tibet campaign.

Tibet was liberated from a reactionary theocratic regime in 1959 by the People's Liberation Army.

Surely you don't want to go back to a state run by monks?

11:39 am, August 11, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Depends if you think the genocide of 1.2m Tibetans "liberated" them. The Dalai Lama is calling for Tibet to be a democracy, rather than "run by monks". If pushed to choose I would pick monks over Maoists.

11:52 am, August 11, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If pushed to choose I would pick monks over Maoists."

Obviously Luke was never educated by monks like the so-called Christian Brothers. (So-called because they are neither Christian nor brotherly).

At least the Maoist state has been susceptible to change, development and progress. The theocratic regime was unlikely to.

1:36 pm, August 12, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

The "change, development and progress" in China being that they now combine a Communist dictatorship with no democracy or freedom of expression with a rampant free market, environmental despoilation and increasing inequality. How progressive! They can't even claim, a la Castro, to be providing decent free education or healthcare.

3:47 pm, August 12, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...


3:19 pm, August 17, 2006


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