Fri 30 Jan 2009
Filed under: News,Opinion,Other
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell writes of a fictional totalitarian regime that controls the masses through propaganda and government institutions named as antonyms. For example, The Ministry of Peace wages constant war, while the Ministry of Plenty is charged with rationing food and goods. Albeit, being a novel aimed at warning about the dangers of totalitarianism, of which Orwell witnessed during the Second World War, its fictional account holds validity in our own era.
Through the use of an Orwellian antonym, the government of Burma is officially known as the “State Peace and Development Council”, LINK In truth, Burma, also known as Myanmar, is ruled by a military Junta, who controls the country through the oppression of its people.
The Junta has been accused of perpetual human rights abuses, namely forced labour camps and suppressing democratic reforms. For example, the “State Peace and Development Council” forces scores of citizens, through threats of violence and imprisonment, to toil for a foreign company in the extraction and production of oil. Furthermore, within the Southeast portion of Burma, forced labour is being used to aid in the construction of a large-scale pipeline, which is being constructed by a number of oil corporations from various nations.
Unlike Nineteen Eighty-Four, the situation in Burma is not bound by page numbers. Ending the oppression will take international action beyond the efforts of the United Nations. The international community cannot depend on the UN to issue continual resolutions against the “State Peace and Development Council”. Burma will be reformed through direct intervention. Democracy will be given to the people of Burma through physical pressure, as opposed to constant condemnation.
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