Saturday, September 29, 2007

Myanmar and my little world

Were you embarrassed as I was when you heard the junta were arresting monks in Myanmar. I mean, where the heck is Myanmar anyway!

Yet it took the images of peaceful monks, thousands of them, marching peacefully in the street juxtaposed with military personnel, thousands of them, jumping out their trucks with machine guns that had me glued to You Tube and made the situation happening in Myanmar (Burma) part of my daily consumption. By week's end there was tragedy.

The government started shooting the monks and loading them on trucks bound for God knows where. Not just monks. Journalists. Activists. Pretty much anyone out on the streets.This morning, the Wall Street Journal ran an optimistic front-page article on how citizen journalists with cellphones and blogs were getting around government restrictions on the media.

Later in the day I heard on NPR that the government had turned off the internet.

What's in a name? Plenty. Firstly I get tired of not knowing my world. That my life is a daily diet of things PNM, COP, UNC, kidnapping and crime and that my colleagues and friends don't care much for what happening outside that world as long their own is safe. Finally, I'm really ticked off at me, I mean angry at myself for not knowing that a junta run government imposed a systematic name change several years ago, decreeing that Burma was to be called Myanmar and the capital Rangoon was to be Yangon. The opposition had never accepted these changes; neither had the U.S. government nor much of the world.
And I never knew. Not until this week.


No comments: