Sweetness and Light and Harmony and Justice and Progress: Burma

Thanshwe Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's continued imprisonment beyond the next "election" won't surprise anyone, but before Burma slides back into its sulking isolation, this deserves attention:

On 1 August, the Sydney Morning Herald ran a story headlined Revealed: Burma's Nuclear Bombshell, purporting to describe a five year plan by Burma's General Than Shwe to acquire a nuclear bomb. Two days later the Lowy Interpreter followed up with a discussion. The same day Arms Control Wonk published a photo under the headline Big Odd Myanmar Box, about a structure the Institute for Science and International Security calls an "anomalous building buried in the ground northeast of Maymyo, Burma."

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There are low level insurgencies along Burma's eastern and western borders and it's widely believed its leadership colludes with Chinese logging interests to clear cut forests north of Mandalay. In general, journalists are not permitted visas. We went to Burma in 1995, and all those fourteen long years ago Aung San Suu Kyi sat under house arrest in the very same house at 54 University Avenue to which she'll now be returning (at least it's going to be renovated). I have a story from our trip around here somewhere….

(Photo of Than Shwe via the Independent. See photos in the Burma Gallery at EarthPhotos.com.)

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