The Vivere Pericoloso Situation in Burma

If somebody were to ask me what is the best example of vivere pericoloso today – I would say that the situation in Burma (or Myanmar) would be the answer.

I am following what is happening in Burma closely, via the media (such as the BBC). Of particular interest is the situation faced by Burma bloggers and their confrontation with the authorities. I understand that the initial success of the protest movement is contributed by the ability of bloggers (whom are mostly tertiary students) to overcome the media restrictions. Bloggers use the internet to communicate between themselves (which is useful to coordinate the protest movement) and also to others outside of the country (which is why we are getting more coverage now as opposed to the Protest Movement of 1988).

However, it remains to be seen whether bloggers in Burma can perform this role for long (as substitutes for the emasculated mainstream media) because the government is restricting internet bandwidth. It is also reported that the government may eventually shut down the internet.

The vivere pericoloso situation faced by Burmese bloggers may be appreciated when we look at what they are facing. The bloggers are facing a brute military government backed by about 500,000 soldiers. In addition, the government has various paramilitary establishments and a wide network of civilian informers. I suppose, with these obstacles, the Burmese bloggers are very brave.

I wonder if Malaysian bloggers take great interest in the current situation in Burma. I wonder if the is any Burma Lovers in the Malaysian blogosphere out there? This statement is to differentiate between bloggers who just blog about Burma from the bloggers who take a more serious or deep interest in that country.

Perhaps the term Myanmarist would be appropriately used here. So let me say this: I wonder if the is any Myanmarist out there – especially those Myanmarist who are well informed about the current situation in Burma?


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