Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Comment on recent Irrawaddy article --

Blaming the NLD for "not thinking about Burma and economic development" is nonsense, it's blaming the Victim.

I did not respond earlier because this person has sent me hate mail.

The bottom line is he does not understand economics.

As part of intensive research I have done over the last 20 years,I know there are many democratic visions and plans for Burma including a book published in 1998 and many confidential reports since 1993 that I was given access to.

Many things can cause a country not to develop. The main reason is the design of the economic and political system.

Burma has a military dictatorship with many socialist elements such as state-owned enterprises, state monopolies and central control in place. The sanctions are very focused and financial in nature.

The military regime has income from natural gas but a lot of the earnings disappear into private coffers. I have heard IMF and World Bank delegations talk of this.

Now the junta is planning a sham election. And this person blames the NLD which is a Party under tremendous stress and has been weakened by arrests and natural attrition such as time, death and old age, not to mention strong arm tactics and constant harassment for decades.

If one knows nothing one should keep one's mouth shut.

What about money the army spends on itself, the gains it makes from the gap between official and free market exchange rates? The army still tells farmers what to grow and gives them "sun baking" torture.

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