Thursday, September 27, 2007

John follows George on Burma

There has been a clear understanding in Australia that sanctions against Burma’s military regime are not merely useless but potentially counterproductive. Regime’s don’t suffer from sanctions, the people do, and doubly if the regime decides to punish them for driving the interference.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Australia would not follow the US move in imposing economic sanctions because they "would have absolutely no impact".

Mr Downer argued that China was the only country with a hope of convincing Burma's rulers to speed up moves towards political reform. SMH September 27, 2007 - 6:39AM

Obviously Downer forgot to consult John Howard or Howard had not yet spoken to George.

John Howard has announced targeted Australian financial sanctions against members of Burma's military regime, including a freeze on any funds transfers, in response to a violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests.” SMH September 27, 2007 - 2:41PM

Bear in mind, ordinary Burmese have little idea of what is really going on (An Australian's experience in Rangoon) but invariably become the pawns in these international power plays.

I would encourage anyone who cares to use Google and acquaint themselves with the reality of the country. World opinion needs to be aroused, but action needs to be cautious. Myanmar is a good place to start. That page also explains why I choose to refer to Burma instead of Myanmar.

"Burmese opposition groups continue to use the name “Burma” since they do not recognise the legitimacy of the ruling military government nor its authority to rename the country." So your first step in support must be to refer to the country as Burma.

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