Dear Ethical Travelers:
This month, we feel we must turn the news over to developments in Burma. Ethical Traveler first began a campaign to bring attention to the plight of the Burmese people with our Candles for Burma action, more than two years ago–
Last year, we reported on the continued detention of Aung San Suu Kyi, who, in 1990, resoundingly won Burma’s elections, but was prevented by the military government from taking her post. She has been under house arrest nearly continually since that time–
Now, the situation in Burma has deteriorated beyond everyone’s worst fears. While the military government reports as few as nine dead in their repression of the peaceful protests begun last month by Buddhist monks in the country’s major cities–a protest first sparked by rising fuel costs–www.nytimes.com other, more independent reports, are counting the dead in the thousands.
However, since the military has nearly shut down all communication into and out of the country–from phone lines to internet–obtaining reliable information is nearly impossible.
What is clear is that behind this information blackout, very bad things are happening. Satellite images show entire monasteries and villages simply wiped off the map.
The story is changing by the moment. This week, a UN Envoy was able to visit Aung San Suu Kyi but as yet, nothing concrete has come from that visit, nor from the Envoy meeting with representatives of the military junta.
We at Ethical Traveler strongly condemn the actions of the illegitimate Burmese government, and, as we have done since the beginning of our organization, call upon them to restore the freely elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, as chosen by the Burmese people.
We also ask all our readers, members, and friends to help the people of Burma in any way possible. We offer some suggestions below.
Also: we will be updating this section throughout the month; please check back.
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