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Sunday, May 18, 2008


Getting the news about Burma

Where do you get your news? I don't have a TV set in my room and I don't buy newspapers these days as I get my news on the internet. I've been exploring and comparing many of the news sites on the web and hope to make a few comments in future blogs. Right now I want to point out something about information you may or may not be getting about Burma/Myanmar.

Yes, on Western news sites there is some coverage of the plight of the Burmese people since Cyclone Nargis. Today I discovered, on a site created by exiled Burmese journalists, allegations of the constitutional referendum being rigged. Some Western news sites are saying that the referendum has received a 92% yes vote. But so far I haven't noticed anywhere, other than Asian sites, claims of blatant vote rigging.

Assuming the allegations are true, government officials stayed up all night before the election, under orders, voting 'yes' on most of the voting papers. When citizens arrived to vote the next day they were simply told to sign to say they'd voted and were sent home.

It seems the generals may have simplified democracy. What a wonderful idea—don't bother to vote, we'll do it for you.

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