Friday, 28 September 2007

Myanmar’s D-Day has finally come?

For years you do not hear a thing about the country. A page 6 comment from time to time, about the cruelties of the military regime, the extension of Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest, the continuation of suppression or the brutal violation of human rights. And then suddenly, last week, the Day is there!

Finally a revolt has broken out; the people stand up, speak with one voice and show the world, but especially themselves, the guts they have to openly challenge their military rulers. Under the leadership of some organized monks, thousands of protesters are hitting the streets for over a week now. Perhaps last week is the beginning of the end. Will this be Myanmar’s D-Day?

Their timing could not be better, the annual meeting of world leaders at the UN headquarters in New York started on Mon and the Security council has demanded the military regime to ‘respond mild’. The world press is watching and the people from Myanmar (aka Burma) feel encouraged by the ‘unofficial’ officials from the US, British and French embassies who strongly support this coup attempt. But, how unexpected, it is not more than a handful of advice and recommendations coming from New York. It is now up to the Burmese people: if they will be able to destabilize the country in such a way and for a decent amount of time, then they can just hope for enlightening within the country’s elite or a military response which must be so unreasonable and internationally seen as ‘disproportionate’ will they get established regional superpower China withdraws its support and will make the long awaited changes possible.
If that is not going to happen, and the current leaders of Myanmar will continue to feel strengthened by the backing of Beijing, then the events of last and this week will go down in history as courageous, intense and important, but also nothing more than another (like in 1988) failed attempt to oust this regime and a confirmation that this government is unstoppable unless (military) aid comes from the outside world. If that is how the Burmese people will start be feeling in a few weeks, they better prepare for a disappointment, since it is crystal clear not any of the mayor superpowers which support the protesters is waiting, or capable, to sent their ‘boys’ to Myanmar.
(pic: New York Times)