Saturday, March 21, 2009

Posterous and the freedom of email

I read the following post by Anh Hung at (and could not leave a comment, that's why I comment here)

I was told that Myanmar is a nice country. Unfortunately it's people are not enjoying as much access to the Internet as we are now. Major websites are blocked, even Gmail. However, people can still send emails via Google Talk. So a group of people there are sending out emails to those in other countries and the information gets published. Thanks to these people the world knows what’s really going on in this country. And it’s not as terrible as what’s being reported by the newspapers. Not at all.

Hmm. It's not that easy. People are BLOCKED from the internet. The Burmese junta is controlling EVERYTHING. And they read every outgoing email. So whoever is sending news by email would be very very careful in what he is saying. There is a reason why newspapers get there reports through other, mostly mouth-to-mouth ways.

What surprised me was the term "It's not as terrible as what's being reported by the newspapers." Believe me, it is. That's what my friends from Burma keep saying. There is a reason why Burmese officials are not even allowed to enter Germany for the travel fair ITB.

Yesterday a nice trainee in a coffee shop talked with me about America and that they have a new president. "I like him, because he is a socialist, and we are too", she said.

Sometimes I wonder about the way people in Vietnam see the world.


Patrick said...

If An Hung said that, then he is totally naive on Burma. It is truly one of the worst places in terms of human rights abuses in the entire world. The democratically elected leader has been held under house arrest for years by a strongman dictatorship. People who participate in opposition groups routinely go missing or are sent to jail. Going to jail for 10-years is a de facto death sentence due to poor health conditions. Poverty and starvation are very real problems for the rural poor.

Chip said...

Oh damn it's really realy terrible. I couldn't even imagine things are that bad in our nighbour country. Actually in Vietnam, government puts a little bit control over free media, but it's still way better than what's happening in Burma.
Why such thing?