Burma: Open for Business


Friends of Kim eagerly have adopted Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (although it is not recommended that Koreans under the yoke of American occupation befriend them), but as of yet none of Than’s friends have follow suit.

Maybe the astrologists for the aspic-addled State Peace and Development Council have decreed that the chicken entrails do not recommend social networking.

After all, Shwe has relied on their advice when selecting the date of the upcoming General Election, now scheduled for 7 November. Combining his own lucky number, 11, with the auspicious seven (he will have been born on one of the seven days of the week), iterative addition directs to nine: 7+11=18 […] 8+1=9. Nine had been the lucky number of his predecessor, U Ne Win who un-valued the national currency to base-9 for this reason.

This follows the annulment of the 1990 General Election, and exclusion of the previous winner, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Meanwhile, no doubt coincidentially, a fire-sale of State-owned businesses and natural resources has started in the land some call Myanmar. Benefits have been seen, it has to be said, as in the nine months since MPPE lost its State monopoly for petroleum distribution, this company quickly has fallen by the wayside.

The main beneficaries will be, however, Generals looking for a pension pot and junior kleptocrats like Tay Za, a tycoon under UN-led sanctions. In June, the Australian Government confirmed the deportation of Zin Mon Aye, the student daughter of a leading Burmese General; although the damage wrought on Australian politics by the Elders of Capel Seion may weaken this resolve.

Other countries are seeking business with Burma. Following an assassination attempt on the South Korea President Chun Doo-hwan during a visit to the country in 1994, which was attributed to North Korean agents, diplomatic relations between the Burma and North Korea were broken. The two regiemes now have established a dictatorial tag-team with a 2007 rapprochement, with the assumption that North Korea is seeking access to the natural resources in the region.

Perhaps recognizing one of the failings of their vision of socialism, the diplomat-capitalists of North Korea has long since been suspected of supplying illegal narcotics to other nations. In 2007, a niche was vacated by Khun Sain Burma, offering more opportunities to North Korea.

More surprising are reports of increasing trade-relations between Burma and Timor-Leste. Proof, maybe, that collective experience and common suffering are not necessarily blocks to making a quick buck.


4 Responses to “Burma: Open for Business”

  1. archipelago Says:

    Pity that Zin Mon Aye keeps bearing the brunt of weblogs and other worldwide condemnation of which she is undeserving.
    Shame that an innocent girl gets the blunt end of the stick.
    The fact that her father isn’t even in the upper echelon of the Burmese regime seems to be irrelevant to most.
    Aside from that – she is wrongly punished for sanctions which are badly directed at worst.

    Misguided rubbish at its best…..

    • efrafandays Says:

      Hmm, this piece started off in my mind as being about the Election date and then moved on to include the fire-sale, with Miss Zin coming in only as a minor thought: plus an in-joke about Julia Gillard’s Welshness.

      As I understand it, Brigadier-General Zin is the commander at Mingalardon with an associated senior position in the SPDC. Miss Zin and her brother’s lot is, indeed, highly unfair to them as individuals, but they remain in considerably better positions than many (and definitely those who’ve fallen foul of the Burmese military which their father represents).

      That said, I am highly skeptical of all State-level embargo/boycotts even if, as with the superstitious louts of the SPDC, the targets are in complete control of entry/exit and commerce for the country in question.

      Yet, it is established for figures in repressive regiemes to send their children to Western universities (whilst declining to nurture in a domestic education system). Plus, exports from Burma are ill-defined with no intellectual capital. Sweatshops, arts and crafts, petrochemicals and timber and minerals… what else?

      Kim Jong-eun, for instance, lived it up at Bern University.

      And, yes, it is double-standards where some Australia-linked mining companies are involved in Burma.

      I daresay NGOs and yer man on the street who’re likely to approve of this also have soft spots for Timor-Leste; which, as I was dismayed to see, ain’t above snuggling-up with the SPDC to get a seat at ASEAN. Honestly, it would be like taking a Morris Minor to a banger derby.

      Also, this is cross-posted here where, if you duplicate your remark, you’re more likely to receive a response from someone else.

  2. archipelago Says:

    Thanks efrafandays,

    Have posted same again on the other link you gave…..


    Knowing her situation personally gets me a little riled…she’s the least deserving ever of any anti-junta rants….

    • efrafandays Says:

      Like a budding secret police, I’d checked your IP so surmised you were personally connected.

      I’ve just duplicated my reply. Feel free to continue the discussion there!

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