Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Myanmar military disempower their people - asset stripping nation's wealth...
Poverty stricken people have been disempowered by the military regime...
Lets look at some of the facts emerging from the former Burma, now known as Myanmar. Let Google do your walking. The military regime has disempowered their people and has virtually enslaved thousands of them. They are literally stripping the wealth from their country.
The real facts are emerging behind their behaviour towards their citizens - a millionaire military class is sucking the wealth from the ground.
Despite Western sanctions and calls for a boycott from top international jewellers, the military government hopes to sell 5,500 lots of jade, gems and pearls worth nearly US$300 million this year - the quality of their stones is claimed to be the best, according to one official. 2 000 merchants, mainly from China and Thailand, are expected at the sale.
The poverty stricken country is the source of 90% of the world's blood red rubies.
This auction is the first since the military junta cracked down severely on pro-democracy protesters - they did not want any delays to the auctions. There was international protest at their actions against the monk-led protests recently. There was initially tighter Western sanctions, including a crackdown on the gems trade.
The trade in stones supports the human rights abuses. The Myanmar Gems official said the most expensive jade lots was worth 80 million Euros - and highly prized by China.
The military have estimated they have earned US$750 million dollars since sales began in 1964 - as expected the state holds the majority shareholding, including the Valley of Rubies in the mountainous Magok area 200 miles north of Mandalay - the home of the famed Pigeon's Blood rubies and blue sapphires worth tens of thousands of dollars each.
Conditions in the mines are reportedly horrendous - reports from non-government groups strongly suggest that land confiscation, extortion, forced labour, child labour, environmental pollution and dangerous working conditions for miners are rampant.
The Writers Lounge