Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Myanmar's Devastation

Formerly known as Burma, Myanmar is currently ruled by a military junta who have tightened their grip and become increasingly insular.

The satellite images of the before and after of a cyclone are just stunning and indicative of what must be the human devastation on the southern coast. Surprisingly, to their credit, the international community have pledged only small fractions of the funds pledged during the tsunami for the simple reason that the military is restricting who and what is allowed in. Predictably, the news last night showed some "activist" saying that "we should put aside our politics and contribute."

Given that the junta hasn't shown any indication that they care about the people in the past, how realistic is the expectation that they care now beyond seeing this as another opportunity to exploit the suffering of the people? It's also a sad reminder that too often poverty isn't about the lack of resources, it's because of corrupt and/or inept governments.

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NASA, h/t Paul Kedrosky

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