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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Don't try to play the journalist in Burma

Previously I tried to present a different view on Myanmar. I tried to balance the views offered by mainstream media thinking they were overly biased when it came to the government. After asking the wrong questions from the wrong people, I have to admit that I may have been mistaken in the past.

Lawless is the best term to describe the country as a whole, simply because of the sheer number of rebel armies and private militias scattered all around it. With their own rules, regulations, and taxing systems, the areas ruled by them are truly like small, independent countries. 

Where the government is present on the other hand, they do indeed maintain a tight grip on their people using their ridiculously vast network of minders and snitches. And this is where I was wrong. I tried to learn just what kind of articles and services were being offered for sale in one particular township, starting with those of females.

Prostitution is well and alive, even if of a questionable nature and against the policies of the government. //The case is also the same in Yangon, despite recently reported crackdowns.// Seeing some girls confined to tiny little spaces, I started to wonder whether they were there by their own free will. This also gave me the edge to ask more questions, eventually leading me to realize that I was speaking to a government minder. When I reached my conclusion, it was already too late, or almost. Did they want to extort money from me? Or they were just taking their part-time job too seriously? I don't know. One thing is for sure: I will try my best to avoid visiting Burma/Myanmar any time soon.

And I will not report anything promoting government views and/or policies. Now I can see how simply asking questions could put one in the line of fire and open the way to abuses. As I don't want to be one of those incarcerated for asking the wrong questions, I will give up trying to play the investigative journalist and just leave the job to professionals.


  1. wow I just can't believe this .. it's weird

  2. wow, didn't know that. the situation in Myanmar is truly depressing. :(

    is it the same in all areas?

  3. @ambored just came back the day before and I was s**t scared.


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