Reactions to Burma: Japan, India, - Reacciones vs Birmania: Japón, India

lunes, octubre 01, 2007

As I wrote these last days, one deeds which have arisen general condemnation has been the killing -totally deliberate- of video journalist Kenji Nagai.

Well, the Mutant Frog Travellogue writes about the Japanese position on the subject and how the public has made the Government change its initial position:

The Japanese government has gone from a basically hands-off approach to demanding full explanations at the highest level. Still, new prime minister Yasuo Fukuda has not gone ahead with sanctions and has decided only to demand an explanation and lodge an official protest over the incident. However, most significant is that major commentators have begun calling for Japan to initiate sanctions against the junta, which has so far not been a popular position as Japan has had a policy of so-called dual engagement, giving aid to the country while trying to maintain relations with democracy leaders as well.

Fueling the change in the government’s stance is the fact that Nagai’s death has put a face on the ugliness of tyranny for the Japanese public and the blunt shove and rapid-fire of bullets that felled him symbolize the almost casual brutality that Burma has faced for decades.

The protests’ coverage in the media was transformed overnight at the news of his death and intensified when it was learned that he was killed so brutally, going from the usual “instability in a foreign country that doesn’t affect us” sort of coverage to much more involved reports of the protests that more closely resembled the BBC’s intense up-to-the-minute reporting.

Just read it all. It’s very interesting the whole post.

Another news which shows the nature of this “Burmese way to Socialism”:

The Church’s low profile probably has something to due with this story from the beginning of the year?Burma ‘orders Christians to be wiped out’.

Talking about peaceful guys, hein???

Some videos from Burma. From that link: Burmese blogs around the globe.

Kate was asking yesterday why India was silent:

Delhi’s unease over the protests was clearly illustrated when Petroleum Minister Murli Deora left for the troubled south-east Asian country at the weekend.

Before leaving, he ran into a protest by Burmese pro-democracy activists in Delhi.

The protesters carried placards reading “Deora, don’t go for gas, go for democracy” and “India stop supporting Burmese military rule”.

As Mr Deora reached Burma, the huge street protests against Burma’s military rulers were beginning to peak.

‘Watching developments’

India’s reticence over developments in Burma dates back as least as far as 1988, when the military brutally crushed student protests.

Nandita Haksar We cannot have democracy at home and support military tyrants in the neighbourhood. India must do all it can for the restoration of democracy in Burma Nandita Haksar,
Human rights lawyer

A senior Indian external ministry official said on Wednesday that India was “closely watching the developments in Burma”.

But he was quick to add: “We have no desire to interfere in the internal affairs of Burma.”

An official statement on Mr Deora’s visit said: “He had wide-ranging discussions to explore the possibilities of enhancing bilateral co-operation in the hydrocarbon sector with Burma’s Energy Minister, Brig Gen Lun Thi.”

Mr Deora was also present on Monday at the signing of Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) for three deep-water exploration blocks between India’s ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) and Burma’s Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) .

“These contracts are a happy development and augur well for expanding the co-operation between the two neighbours,” Mr Deora said on his return to India.

When it comes to Burma, the priority for the world’s largest democracy under economist Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is now quite clear.

With a fast-growing economy, India is desperate to access any major source of energy in the neighbourhood from Iran to Burma and beyond.

And more:

The reason for India’s tardy reaction is clear: The crisis in Burma puts its neighbour to the west in a very difficult position. “India is proud of being the biggest democracy in the world,” says Gerhard Will, Southeast Asia expert at the Berlin-based German Institute for International and Security Affairs. “But at the same time they have an international partner who is repressing democratic movements.”

India’s interest in Burma is largely motivated by the country’s importance to its main economic and political rival. “India is afraid of China’s influence in Burma,” says Will.

And more h/t Global Voices:

India wants Burma’s help fighting rebels on their shared border. In return for this help, they are helping Burma bypass the EU arms embargo, and even helping train the Burmese military. This is pretty heavy support.

The other is that India wants Burmese natural gas, and is afraid that China will take advantage of it if they do not. So both to feed their own economy, and to block China’s, they are willing to make deals with the junta and leave the Burmese people to … fend for themselves against the military that they have helped to arm and train. Given that the Burmese military is a almost a half a million strong (just a smidge smaller than the American active duty Army), it’s hardly a fair fight.


(La India escoge el gas birmano frente a la democracia birmana)

She also asked why the people are not protesting about India. My personal idea is that India is a democracy -something which China isn’t-, has some internal basic problems -such as Kashmir and the lineages’ conflicts- and, lastly, has a normal relationship with Western countries. I suspect that the situation India has -side by side with a nuclear bomb in all aspects as Pakistan is- also something to do with it.

Related news: Two British Parlamentarians witness HR atrocities on Indian-Burmese border:

In particular, India should re-examine its conscience and stop providing arms and military training to the regime,” [Baroness Cox] said. “India should also reconsider its economic investments in Burma, until a meaningful transition to democracy is underway. The suffering of the people of Burma has gone on too long with too little action.”

ATTENTION: Burmese military is hiding the bodies of the killed. And the Army is currently entering almost all the monastries in Yangon now and shooting the people.

Last news:

Bloggers with sources inside Burma are reporting that there was a military coup by General Maung Aye, second in command of the dictatorship, against Than Shwe, and that his troops are now guarding Aung San Suu Kyi’s home.


Japón como ya sabeis va a investigar la muerte del video-periodista Kenji Nagai. Al principio, se trató el tema en Japón como si no fuera con ellos, hasta que han visto que sí iba con ellos y de qué manera. Incluso la cobertura mediática pasó de “inestabilidad en un país que no nos importa nada” a informar sobre las protestas minuto a minuto. Lo que da idea del egoísmo humano: si me afecta, hmm, qué interesante, si no, que les dén. Y confirma que en un mundo globalizado TODO nos afecta.

En cuanto a India -ya que me he metido tanto con China, creo que va siendo hora de escribir sobre “la más grande democracia del mundo”, en número de personas-, su silencio en esta materia ha hecho que bastantes indios protesten por la pasividad demostrada.

Existen básicamente dos causes por las cuales India no ha dicho nada.

La primera es el mercado energético. India ha firmado estos días un nuevo acuerdo con Birmania para tres exploraciones en aguas profundas entre la empresa india Videsh Limited y la birmana Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise. Así que queda clara cuál es la prioridad de la India, país que está desesperado por acceder a cualquier precio a cuantas más fuentes de energía mejor desde Irán (hmmm) hasta Birmania y más allá…

Eso sí, eso no les impide auto-denominarse “la más importante democracia del mundo”, pero como dice la abogada de DDHH Nandita Haksar, ” no podemos apoyar la democracia en casa y apoyar a tiranos militares en el extranjero”.

Pero existe otra causa: India está preocupada de la influencia china en el área y teme que si deja Birmania por causa de los DDHH, China la ocupe. De tal modo que está ayudando a Birmania a infringir el embargo decretado por la UE y ayudando a entrenar al ejército birmano. Considerando que éste último tiene un número aproximado de medio millón de hombres, se entiende que la ayuda prestada es muy importante. A cambio, Birmania no sólo le cede gas y petróleo, si no que le ayuda a capturar a los rebeldes que hay en su frontera.

Las últimas noticias son que los militares están escondiendo los cadáveres y que están entrando en los conventos y matando a los monjes.

Mientras Zapatero dice que “es todavía muy pronto para sacar conclusiones“. ¿A qué? ¿A que maten a todos los monjes y a todos los que se oponen a la Socialista Junta Militar?

ÚLTIMAS NOTICIAS: Al parecer, bloggers con información desde Birmania han publicado que General Maung Aye, el segundo en la dictadura, ha dado un golpe de Estado y que sus tropas están guardando la casa del General Than Shwe. Francamente, me parece que esto no variará nada el sentido de la dictadura, aunque puede ser que la debilite por la división entre los partidarios de unos y de otros.

Más concentraciones (me las manda Kate) ( :oops: debería haberlo publicado antes….) :

For more cities check:

*CASTELLDEFELS*:Sunday 30, 12:00, Plaza de la Iglesia.

*CASTELLÓN*:Monday 1, 17:00, Plaza María.

*CÓRDOBA*: Sunday 30, 12:00, plaza de las Tendillas.

*MADRID*:Sunday 30, 12:00, calle Preciados to Plaza de Callao.

*MENORCA*:Sunday 30, 20h, Ciutadella.

*MOLINS DE REY*:Sunday 30, 10:00, Cursa de San Miguel.

*TARRAGONA*:Sunday 30, 13:00, Estatua dels despullats, downtown Tarragona.