The Upcoming Elections: Burma

Update: Amnesty International Myanmar Elections Press Release

Can we talk about the upcoming election? In Burma, that is. The already-supposed-to-have-been election is now supposed-to-be November 7th. Of course, the junta has canceled voting in some areas. It doesn’t really if matter if anyone votes, though; the grand high poobas of cruelty have made sure of that. They’ve rigged things so completely and entirely that the opposition long ago decided to boycott the election. And why wouldn’t they? It’s a total sham. I swear, if dictatorships held cutting sessions, or competitions for “Most Utterly Ruthless” or “Best in Despicableness,” this one would clean up. If you don’t know much about the situation in Burma (aka Myanmar; see note), well, it’s really complicated. Please watch this seven-minute video:

Then, if you want to learn more, visit Myanmar Human Rights and Travel Info, a website that was created by Amnesty International USA’s NYC Myanmar Action Team (of which I’m a member) to help raise awareness of the human rights crisis in Burma, and to explore the debate over whether tourism there hurts or benefits ordinary citizens. Poke around to learn more about Myanmar’s political history and the ongoing history of repression. And if you do nothing else, please click on the You Can Help page to download ready-to-send letters on behalf of prisoners of conscience. First download the instructions for letter writing. Then download as many of the letters as you care to (there are just seven letters, though there are thought to be upwards of 2,000 political prisoners), sign, and send them.

Note: In 1989, the junta changed the country’s name from the Anglicized (from Bamar) Burma to Myanmar, the Burmese-language name used since the 13th century, as well as many other Anglicized place names (e.g. from Rangoon to Yangon). Very recently, the junta embellished the Union of Myanmar so that it is now The Republic of the Union of Myanmar [eyeroll].

2 Responses to The Upcoming Elections: Burma

  1. Joanna Kurylo says:

    Stand with Amnesty International USA in calling for the immediate and unconditional release of prisoner of conscience Aung San Suu Kyi and raise awareness for the other 2,100 political prisoners!
    November 13 th 2010
    5:30 – 7:30pm
    Union Square Park
    4th Avenue and East 14th Street
    New York City

    Join us for a film screening and demonstration for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the other 2,100 Burmese political prisoners.
    This event is free and open to the public, however you can rsvp to the event here:!/event.php?eid=152980401411246
    For more information please email /212.633.4181


    Irrawaddy: Military family members ordered to re-do vote
    Fri 5 Nov 2010

    Rangoon-The family members of navy personnel in Seikgyikanaungto in South
    Dagon District have been ordered to re-do their advanced votes after
    authorities inspected envelopes and found that many family members did not
    vote for the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party. Many voted
    for the opposition National Democratic Force, sources said.

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