Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Thursday, March 15, 2012



It's hard to be a NOBEL PEACE PRIZE recipient and be sexy at the same time...but AUNG SAN SUU KYI is as close as anyone has ever come.  Sure...there have been other women who have the Peace Prize.  It's twelve, to be exact.  But no one else comes close.  Who wants to see a photo of BERTHA VON SUTTNER, RIGOBERTA MECHÚ or MOTHER TERESA in a swimsuit?   Sorry!  Once again, we've gotten off topic here at the DUNER BLOG.  In fact...today, we're not talking about sex at all!  Actually, we are just really happy that our one of our most favorite (and most beautiful) people is in the news again!  And it's not just the DUNER BLOG who's happy to see Mother Suu again.  Everywhere she goes in Burma, a pickup truck follows her just to collect the hundreds of flowers and bouquets her supporters give her every day!  When was the last time you needed a Toyota Tundra to hold all of your flowers?

Anyhow, here's why AUNG SAN SUU KYI is back in the headlines: In two weeks, the people of Burma will go to the polls to elect a new legislature...something new to the nation.  Historically ruled by native emperors and British monarchs, Burma had 14 short years of democracy right after achieving independence in 1948.   However, fiery General NE WIN ousted the republic in 1962.  For the next sixty years, military rulers have lived a lavish life while their nation sank further and further into poverty.  We here at the DUNER BLOG found it ironic that they changed the name of the country to Myanmar...a more correct, indigenous name...as opposed to the British moniker.  Well, they're right...the current state of Myanmar is nothing like beautiful, bustling British Burma anyhow.

That is, until AUNG SAN SUU KYI had the guts to stand up to the military and say: "It doesn't have to be this way!"  She's right:  Burma has a plethora natural resources.  These include oil, natural gas and precious stones.  In fact, 90% of the world's rubies are found in Burma.  During the Victorian Age, Burma was the wealthiest colony in Asia, exporting more rice than China!  However, continued mismanagement by the military junta has turned the once productive nation into a quagmire of smugglers and drug dealers.  Today, Burma is the world's #1 producer of meth and the world's #2 grower of opium poppies...great industries indeed!

However...after decades of neglect...it looks as if the West is finally noticing Burma's precarious situation.  When Secretary of State HILARY CLINTON visited Rangoon last year, she was the top US official to visit the nation ever.  Although her request to meet AUNG SAN SUU KYI was denied by the government, it still marked a turning point in the pariah nation's worldwide status.  Unfortunately, they still have a long road ahead.  Recently, U.S. State Department spokesman MARK TONER said their election process was "fundamentally flawed" noting that most members of parliament are former military leaders. "The fact that they have taken off uniforms and donned civilian clothes is immaterial."

While there might be a surprise on April First, only a fool would believe any regime change in Burmese government is possible in the near future.  SUU KYI's party the National League for Democracy, is having trouble getting their candidates on ballots.  Permits for political rallies are being denied for vague reasons.  Until the West gets serious about the situation, it looks like Burma will continue to decline until people like AUNG SAN SUU KYI are allowed to rule.  That's a shame, because it has some of the best preserved Buddhist temples and unspoiled rain forests on earth.  Not to mention tasty food! FREE BURMA NOW!

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