Media Talk: Burma’s bloody crackdown and uncertain future

Talk 22 November 2007

This year’s protests in Burma were witnessed by millions around the world thanks to internet and mobile phone technology, but was it enough to change the regime?

The astonishing images of thousands of monks protesting in Rangoon supported by thousands of ordinary Burmese brought the world’s attention to the brutal military rule.

Protesters were even allowed to proceed to the gates of the compound where Aung San Suu Kyi is held under house arrest, offering hope that she would be set free by the generals.

Instead the demonstrations were brutally repressed, hundreds of monks arrested and beaten and the internet shut down to prevent bloody images emerging.

Our panel discusses the situation in Burma, the difficulties journalists face in covering it and also attempts to discern the future of this troubled country.

Justin Wintle – author of Perfect Hostage, a political biography of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Zoya Phan – an exiled Burmese political activist, is an ethnic Karen, escaped from the Burmese regime’s ongoing war against the Karen ethnic people. Now she is campaigning for human rights and democracy for her homeland as a Campaigns Officer with the Burma Campaign UK.

Thuyein Kyaw-Zaw – BBC Burmese Service.

Jonathan Miller – Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Channel 4 News.

Moderated by Robert Gifford – NPR London Correspondent and author of China Road, former NPR Asia correspondent.