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Burma Shaves Freedom

Posted by Victoria Reynolds | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 27-09-2007

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Glenn Reynolds reminds us to say Burma, not Myanmar.

For good reason.  From C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” this morning, here’s Rep. Donald Manzullo (R-IL), ranking member of the Asia Subcommittee:

… there’s even a dispute as to the name of it.  The popularly elected people who were elected in 1990 to the 485-member parliament led by Aung San Suu Kyi were never allowed to be sworn into office.  They just — they were elected, the junta came in and said that’s it, you’re not going to be able to take over office.  And of course she’s been under house arrest.  … And so of the popularly elected people and now the government in exile calls it Burma and the junta calls it Myanmar after the Myan people, I guess the major tribe if you want to call it that rules the country.  And here is a country that the Brits came into in 1824 in their colonization and completed that — actually in 1885, an exit to India.  And then as with India, they got out of the colony.  This is since 1947 and ‘48.  But the Brits did leave behind something interesting in Burma and that is they really left the rule of law not as strong as in India.  They left behind the civil service institutions, the organizations for setting up trade.  And I think it was in the ’30s that Burma actually led the world in exporting rice.  So it’s a country with a tremendous amount of potential.  Very strong people.  There are about a million Burmese that are living in exile, many in Bangladesh and other parts of the surrounding countries there.  So it’s important for the United States and for the world to keep our eyes on this country because it has the real possibility of becoming yet another democracy in Asia.


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