Thursday, November 11, 2010

dvtv live broadcast 11.11.10: Bloody Burma Election

Imagine a country where you can’t buy a book -
Where government troops shut down schools for ethnic children.

Imagine a country where the state policy is to torture monks, rape women, enslave children, to burn ethnic villages and shoot the elderly - pregnant women - and children.

Imagine a country where entire families are sentenced to prison - because one member of that family expressed dissent.

Imagine a country where people are afraid to even speak the name of the lady who was elected as their leader twenty years ago.

Imagine a country where families of landmine victims are charged by the government for the cost of the exploded landmine - where posting a blog or taking a video can get you sentenced to sixty-five years in prison.

That country is Burma – also known as Myanmar – a bloody military dictatorship bordering Thailand, China and India.

Last Sunday the junta staged a national election in Burma. The junta hired rebel armies whit whom they have a cease-fire agreement to supervise the voting process in the ethnic Karen region in the northeast of Burma.

By supervise the junta meant conduct the voting process - at gunpoint. The Karen troops were instructed to hold guns to the heads of their own people as they voted.

Some of the Karen troops turned the guns on the Burmese troops. The Burmese troops responded by shelling villages in the area. Some of the shells landed across the border in Thailand, as did twenty thousand refugees.

A good friend of this broadcast is Jeremy Taylor. Jeremy sent three people into Burma with video cameras. They posed as tourists because foreign journalists are not allowed into Burma. They were inside Burma for three months and witnessed a rigged constitutional referendum vote and a cyclone that killed two-hundred-thousand people.

Because these filmmakers were followed by military police the American Embassy arranged for the videotapes to be flown back here to New York as soon as I saw them I knew I had to edit this documentary. I did.

You will see and hear from the victims of this bloody dictatorship, and what they had to say in anticipation of this past Sunday’s sham election.

“Burma: An Indictment” won Best Documentary at the Soho International Film Festival and a Silver Remi Award at the Houston International Film Festival earlier this year.

dvtv is pleased to present for the first time on television – “Burma: An Indictment” - a documentary film directed by Jeremy Taylor.
This film does contain some graphic images. Viewer desgression is advised.

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Working on a film like that makes you realize how lucky we are to be living in a country like this.

We need to acknowledge the dozens of anonymous photographers, videographers and ordinary Burmese citizens who risked imprisonment and torture to capture some of the images you have just seen.

What happens next in Burma is unclear. There’s little indication that things will get any better. Because foreign journalists are not allowed in Burma, much of this happens in a vacuum. Burma’s trading partners – china India and Thailand - are happy with the status quo – cheap labor – cheap resources. Burma is a rich country with children starving in the streets.

What you can do is to get more information on this unacceptable situation from this website You will find more videos - individual stories of political prisoners and refugees - the latest news about Burma and what you can do to take action – what you need to tell your senator and the white house - because only international pressure can bring change.

Every political prisoner that I have met from Burma tells me that it was international pressure and awareness of their situation that got them released. Don’t let the people in Burma suffer in a vacuum.

Find out about this humanitarian crisis that has lasted decades. Speak out to your elected leaders about the need for change in Burma.

We should not tolerate slavery, torture and genocide. As civilized people in a privileged society it is only our duty to speak out.

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