Thursday, October 4, 2007

Gambari's visit to Burma a propaganda coup for junta

Kyaw Zwa Moe writes what was on my mind when I saw the pictures of the UN Special Envoy to Burma meeting the generals:
Newsreel footage of the photo call shows Gambari giving a slight bow as he firmly shakes hand with the generals. He smiles—but is there really anything to smile about? Did he have problems removing the stains left by the press of the generals’ blood-soaked palms?

. . . It’s deplorable that Gambari allowed himself to be used as a propaganda tool by the regime, who had already humiliated him and the organization he represented by keeping him waiting two days before summoning him to a meeting. . .

. . . He is just the latest in a line of UN special envoys who, between them, have achieved absolutely nothing. By sending them on futile missions to Burma, the UN has only raised false hopes and has contributed to the generals’ grip on power.
I never considered Gambari's visit to Burma a matter of any particular importance, just a distraction. But to think it was a helpful distraction for the junta is disappointing.

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