Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Burmese disappointment

London's Daily Mail, may be doing the most extensive reporting, with lots of photos, I've seen on Burma. Its reports also suggest the ways even newspaper reporting is changing. In a country closed by the government to most reporters, there's reliance on Web sites, bloggers, text messages, e-mails from participants and the like -- with an open invitation to anybody who has reports, photos or video to send them along.

Anyway, UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari met Myanmar's head general, Than Shwe, today. There's talk that the regime might meet with house-arrested democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyii, but who knows? The bottom line is that for now the government is still in charge and has maintained its power in a pretty decisive and brutal way. I can't help but thinking there's hope for the future -- Than Shwe is sickly and 74 and when he goes there may be a window of opportunity, or one might come along sooner. We've been reminded of reality; a country cut off from the rest of the world economically is not going to be hurt by economic sanctions, and the West really had almost no leverage beyond news coverage.

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