When we talk these days about corrupt, oppressive regimes one country seems to get short shrift in the American
media: Myanmar. I’ve never been there myself,
but I got close to the border way back when I was living in Thailand, and I confess I regret not making the extra
effort to go inside. Myanmar, or Burma, as it is probably better known to most of us (especially
Orwell fans), is an extremely odd, and sad, place. Run by a
military junta for the last decades, Burma is one of those regimes that should have gone on the Axis of Evil list…even
if that list was an incredibly stupid idea.
Probably the most famous Burmese in the world today is a slight, attractive, and ferociously independent woman named
AUNG SAN SUU KYI, who is currently under house arrest in Burma for her opposition to the ruling junta. She also happens
to be a Nobel laureate.
All this talk about Burma is to bring your attention to a Web site that I found while noodling around
Carl Parkes‘ (aka Friskodude) Web site. Parkes brings to our attention a
website called The Irrawaddy, which is produced in Chiang Mai by Burmese
refugees and Western journalists, and who, despite the dreariness of life inside the country, have made their little
publication a rather entertaining (and sometimes depressing) read. Spend some time there, and learn a bit about what
Parkes calls “most unusual and fascinating nations in the world”.