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Should one visit Myanmar?
The question, whether a enlightened tourism promotes or obstructs the re-establishment of the democracy and human rights to Myanmar, is violently discussed both within and outside of the country.
Myanmar is subject still to strict control of a military government. All deviating opinions are suppressed, and those, which express their opinions freely, land as political prisoners behind lattices or under house arrest are placed.
The range of the offenses reaches from the joke tells up to the possession not registered fax devices. Humans died in the detention, and the corvée (hard labour for the state) is usual practice. It belongs to the everyday life to see in the proximity of small localities or on remote roads groups of girls and boys at the dte rodent age in for it no more than the money 10-grant-laminate for their meal not receive in road construction to be used and.
The rigorose military junta, which governed the country since 1988 under the name State & Law order Restoration Council (SLORC, advice for the re-establishment of right and order), calls itself since 1997 reduced State Peace & development Council (SPDC, advice for peace and development), but most observers of the political scene holds to the threateningly sounding acronym SLORC.
Due to the deplore-worth situation of the human rights various abroad residents Aktivistengruppen occur to boycott each form of the travel after Myanmar in order to isolate and force to reforms the regime. Also within the country different personalities support this politics – among other things the guide of the democracy movement and former general secretary of the national league for democracy (NLD) Aung San Suu Kyi.
The groupings pleading for boycott argue that the funds coming from the tourism into the country flow directly into the bags of the generals, who refuse the most elementary citizen rights to the burmesischen citizens.
But others, which are concerned with the political situation in Myanmar, among them many members of the NLD, consider a travel boycott unreasonable. They are the opinion that socialconscious travel can bring both use to the native population and the international community.
The proponents of journeys state that the lot of the average citizen improved since the break with socialism in the year 1989 and that a larger part of the population today more possibilities ever openly to stand of profiting from the tourism to. These groupings represent the thesis that the fight for economic surviving was the main cause for unrests of 1988, in which over 3000 humans around the life came.
During the not very effective government campaign “Visit Myanmar³ in the year 1997 recommended the combination of, 1990 selected delegates living in the exile national to Coalition Government OF the union OF Burma (NCGUB, national coalition government of the union Burma): Tourists are not to notice offers, which fill only the bags of the SLORC and which population no use bring. Responsible thinking travelers and organizations, who want an awake eye on the current situation to throw and on the load of the population Myanmars report, but are encouraged to use moderate the tourism politics of the SLORC become. NCGUB and NLD could not themselves unite so far in this question.
Many, which are concerned for a long time with Burma – also and represented at present political Dissidenten arrested members of the NLD -, the point of view the fact that the tourism does not only promote the economy but because of the bilateral information flow, which he makes possible, also brings the democracy movement use.
Aung San Suu Kyi however regards the tourism as unsuitable to clear up in order to exchange opinions over democracy and doubts that tourists are able, the population Myanmars over its political situation.
But after the country began to open 1989 for investments and tourism, it interested someone that had taken place in the past 35 years in the country in the international community (and only quite in the international media) hardly still. Since the admission Myanmars into the Association OF Southeast Asian nation (ASEAN) in the year 1997 is directed the international attention with priority toward the investment and commercial policy Myanmars.
The proponents of a travel boycott confess in the meantime the associated negative effects. Myanmar made sufficiently experience with its condition of the isolation; in addition the NCGUB determined: “Das Milit ä r hat 1962 die Macht in Burma an sich gerissen, alle Privatunternehmen enteignet, alle Ausl ä nder vertrieben und das Land von der Au ß enwelt isoliert. In drei Jahrzehnten hat das Milit ä r ein reiches und friedliches Land zu einem der am wenigsten entwickelten L ä nder der Welt gemacht. “
After most restrictions for package tours were waived 1993, many native ones believed in a risen potential for private sources of income. Common the view is still further that by the omission of the visitors the international world could not notice the internal suppressive measures any longer and so the government, in its exercise of power by intimidation was still strengthened.
Who thinks about a journey after Myanmar, it should realize itself that there is no clear for or against. It is quite possible that each payment, which goes to the national economy, which keeps repressive government a little longer at power. Everything becomes more complicated by the circumstance that many new enterprises ” are joint ” venture between the government Myanmars and private companies. The privatisation of the tourism industry forms there no exception.
But the tourism is the only industry, to which usual citizens have entrance. Each reduction of the tourism leads automatically to shrinking the local earning facilities. Not few inhabitants Myanmars deny their still so modest living costs from different small niches, which to them the tourism offers.
Our editorial recommendation reads: Who decides to a journey after Myanmar, should support the non-governmental organizations, in the apron of the journey as thoroughly as only possible inform and with awake eyes and ears on the way to be.
By the following behaviors one contributes to maximize the positive effects of its stay in favor of the population and to keep the support of the government as small as possible:
Rather in private or local hotels and guesthouses than in national hotels stay overnight.
Overall offers avoid, behind which Myanmar Travel & route (MTT, which national tourism enterprises) stands. There are numerous independent agencies in Yangon.
Means of transport financed by MTT avoid. In addition belong among other things the express trains between Yangon and Mandalay, the MTT ferry between Mandalay and Bagan as well as the flights with Myanma Airways (mA).
Public means of transport use (to those private courses and many of the other airlines count).
Products art-relating to crafts directly with the manufacturers and not in the national business buy.
Enterprises avoid, which are interlaced also in military possession Myanmar present Economic of getting thing. Companies with concrete relations with the Tatmadaw (armed armed forces) often carry the identification Myawadi or Myawaddy.
Bring along and at appropriate opportunity give away some well-known and popular (however politically harmless) paperbacks. Since in the cash-poor Myanmar books and magazines are to be found expensive or difficult, this simple gesture becomes very estimated.
Write Myanmars government or the message in the own country and its impressions to the human right situation in Myanmar to the expression bring.