Why won’t the government of Burma (Myanmar) let aid in?

My sister (in law) wondered why the government, if you can call it that, of Burma (Myanmar) isn’t letting foreign aid into the country after Cyclone Narqis (that’s a hurricane to any North Americans in the audience) ripped through the country earlier this month. My quick-and-dirty response:

  • They’re arseholes. These are generally not nice people and caring about their citizens is, well, not all that important to them.
  • Like North Korea, Zimbabwe and other pariah states, they have an overdeveloped sense of paranoia, believing that any representative of any foreign power will necessarily be seeking to topple them.
  • They’re crazy. And I do mean loopy. The current site of the capital was chosen by astrologers. The people in charge believe in magic.
  • Even if they weren’t crazy arseholes with overdeveloped senses of paranoia, they’re a developing country and it’s The West that’s offering to help. That’s the same West that a couple of months ago was calling them bad names for beating a few (thousand) monks. They don’t like us and even if they need our help, that we offer it appears arrogant to them.

Update:
And of course …

  • Even if they weren’t crazy, paranoid arseholes who resent the West, there’s always an underlying shame in asking for help.  It’s almost always seen by somebody, either the giver, the receiver or a looker-on, as symbolic of weakness.
  • What Adam said.

5 Responses to “Why won’t the government of Burma (Myanmar) let aid in?”


  • I’m not very savvy when it comes to international relations, but I would – perhaps naively – think it’d be in Burma’s best interest to at least show a grain of concern for its citizins by allowing in some aid. But then again, if they don’t want other people coming in telling them how to run their government, maybe they also don’t want to be expected to help out other countries in return for the aid they might receive. Still, their death toll will only continue to rise – at mindblowing rates – if they refuse help at this early stage. Once all the water is contaminated with the corpses they’re ignoring… it’ll only get worse for them and then they won’t have a people to govern…

  • I think the Burmese regime are holding off because small scale disasters are typically opportunities for them to tighten their grip. They have the food / money / weapons, and after a disaster their advantage in same is increased even if their total stores / bank account / arsenal is decreased. They aren’t sure how a large disaster will play out.

    It’s like all of these tinpot pricks, they would rather be king of a shitheap than a citizen of a free and fairly well off state.

  • Perhaps Burma are scared the US are only offering their support for purely selfish reasons. Do Burma have untapped oil? It’s not like Mr. Bush to be so considerate, he didn’t act so swiftly when Katrina destroyed most of New Orleans!

  • i total agree with john

  • Burma/Myanmar; same name different bucket just in burmese language second time round, WDF why for i say and i am from burma, for national pride thats why! To stick it up the spanish Dutch, Chinease and all the rest who used to occupy and/or colonise burma. We na stuff dat the millitary and government/dictators have too much pride to accept any help, and yes they are too paranoid as well as schitzophrenic(wonder if i spelt it right lols, i doubt it aye)not to forget exceedingly mentally retarded, greedy and selfish. Arsholes doesnt even come close many other harsher slurs fit them much better. I Hate what is done to my fellow people, not even my worst enemy deserve what burmese lifestyle attributed in part by the leadership imposes on a person. You know america always has a vested interest to answer another blogger its the natural gas amongst other things, Burma is a resource rich nation and america always needs a payoff for a “gud deed”. there are also alot of gems/precious stones to be mined and probobly gold also, but gas for certain.

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