Monday, December 30, 2002

Andrew Sullivan (who needs to start attaching permalinks to each distinct post rather than to large chunks of text containing serveral) draws attention to this report about the vileness of the military regime that runs Burma. I repost the link, merely because Sullivan is right that more attention needs to be paid to this particular country.

Ian Buruma's book God's Dust: A Modern Asian Journey is 13 years old, but still very worth a read. The book is essentially a trevalogue, in which Buruma gives various insights into the individual people in the countries he visits. The chapter on Burma gives a lengthy description of how decent and civilized the Burmese people are, the legacy of the British Empire on the country, plus how the thugs took the place over. (He tells a lovely story of meeting a young Burmese man on a train who, upon learning he is English, wants to talk with him about Robert Browning's poetry. This man's father had been educated before the British left, and had made a point of passing the culture he had been taught on to his son, because nothing like that was taught in Burma any more).

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