Saturday, March 31, 2012

On the eve of April Fools' Day by election in Burma - Verdi's Slaves Chorus from Nabucco Slaves chorus - from Verdi's Nabucco,_pensiero Libretto Italian &
Rangoon City Hall frame grab Translation in English Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate; va, ti posa sui clivi, sui colli, ove olezzano tepide e molli l'aure dolci del suolo natal! Del Giordano le rive saluta, di Sionne le torri atterrate... Oh mia patria sì bella e perduta! Oh membranza sì cara e fatal! Arpa d'or dei fatidici vati, perché muta dal salice pendi? Le memorie nel petto raccendi, ci favella del tempo che fu! O simile di Sòlima ai fati traggi un suono di crudo lamento, o t'ispiri il Signore un concento che ne infonda al patire virtù. Fly, thought, on wings of gold; go settle upon the slopes and the hills, where, soft and mild, the sweet airs of our native land smell fragrant! Greet the banks of the Jordan and Zion's toppled towers... Oh, my country so beautiful and lost! Oh, remembrance so dear and so fatal! Golden harp of the prophetic seers, why dost thou hang mute upon the willow? Rekindle our bosom's memories, and speak to us of times gone by! Mindful of the fate of Jerusalem, give forth a sound of crude lamentation, or may the Lord inspire you a harmony of voices which may instill virtue to suffering.

Love Story - Sanjay Gupta and Rebecca Olsen,,20352342_20352309_20756939,00.html

Sanjay Gupta's novel - Monday Mornings

Friday, March 30, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

How to get into a Political Science Ph.D. program *

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mongpawn Mahadevi - Sao Ohn Nyunt

Poetry -- Seamus Heany's new translation of Beowulf Everyone should also read John Gardner's Grendel. Kyi May Kaung

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Encyclopedia Brittanica ends print edition RIP and start on line fast. Kyi May Kaung
Found abstract, Kramer and Kramers Bookstore and Restaurant, Washington, DC. Photo copyright Kyi May Kaung

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Elie Kedourie - foreign policy and the scholar, nationalism, the Middle East
Chappati and dahl on handmade plate - Plate and photograph copyright Kyi May Kaung

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Democratic Voice of Burma reporter - 13 years and dog cell for using Internet See TV on lower right hand side of page.

Park Center for Independent Media

Aung San Suu Kyi awarded honorary Canadian citizenship

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Kyi May Kaung's say on Sanctions

II. ‘SANCTIONS ARE FOR AN ETHICAL OR MORAL REASON’ As part of a new strategic dialogue, Kyi May Kaung - a Burmese dissident, artist, poet, and political analyst living in exile - replies to a crucial question asked by Foreign Policy In Focus (FPIF): Which is the best way to effect change in Burma - through sanctions against the government, by engaging the leadership, or some combination of the two? Here are some excerpts [FPIF: 18.1.07] BURMA now is second only to North Korea as a rogue regime, to use the phrase first used by Noam Chomsky. With North Korea, I have heard Wendy Sherman of the Albright Group argue for more engagement, and with respect to North Korea, I agree with her. But North Korea is much more a hermit kingdom than Burma is, and we know much less about it. And so there can be an argument for the United States “engaging” with North Korea just to know what is going on and to have some leverage. In the Burmese case, however, the outside world knows a great deal already, more than enough. The United States has very little trade with Burma. As one Burmese dissident from the 1988 generation pointed out at a seminar in Washington D.C. last fall, “we don’t need to go to Burma to find out about Burma. There are thousands of refugees in Thailand and elsewhere, and we can find out everything we need to know from them.” Chiang Mai in northern Thailand is fast becoming the base for many foreign non-profits, Western and Australian expatriates, Burmese refugees, and Burma watchers. In the eye of the storm, in Rangoon itself, there is often a false calm due to the news blackout. A senior broadcaster who once worked at the Voice of America called this “Rangoonitis.” It often affects even western diplomats who unconsciously start to echo the junta’s statements. So, in terms of a token engagement in order to find out more about the system and how it operates, there is very much less of an argument in the Burmese case. … Sanctions and Burma have been an academic and policy issue for Burma watchers and foreign policy makers since at least 2001. At that time, the international sanctions movement picked up steam, with great success in divestment achieved by organizations such as The Free Burma Coalition (up to 2003) and Burma Campaign UK. Since then, the junta has sent overseas a steady stream of apologists to argue that sanctions hurt Burma. But their arguments have not been convincing at all. Alfred Oehlers has argued convincingly that sanctions in Burma are not scattershot but finely focused and have minimal “collateral damage.” There is no ban on travel to Burma or on exports, including food and medicines. To my mind, sanctions in the case of Burma are meant to send a message, to hurt but not to totally bring down a regime. When a tourism ban to Burma was first discussed in the early 1990s by one of the very first Burmese activist groups, the Canadian Friends of Burma, I had mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, the junta will understand nothing except what hurts their pocket book; on the other, total isolation might not be the best idea. Burma-born economist Ronald Findlay, who is an international trade theorist, told me at the time that “sanctions are for an ethical or moral reason.” Later, at an Open Society Institute event in 2004, he said, “Collapse is not an economic term.” By this I think he meant that a nation can go on for decades without a regime change, hanging on at the survival level. … The anti-sanctions faction argues for removing sanctions and visa bans against officials and families of the Burmese military regime. But it is impossible to ignore the fact that human rights abuses not only still exist in Burma, they are growing more numerous, more widespread, and also more blatant. Should we listen to the testimony of one million internally displaced persons inside Burma, thousands of political prisoners, and thousands of refugees outside the country? Or should we be taken in by the “arguments” of a few individuals who support engaging with the Burmese generals. Should the free world appear to “reward” such a horrible regime? 
Forest inside DC limits - Photo copyright Kyi May Kaung

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Song for President Thein Sein by Pink
The Queen's new in-laws - frame grab

My archive at IISH, Amsterdam--