Can you Visit BurmaDo you have access to Burma?
Can it be considered secure and ethically sound to go to Burma (Myanmar)? guidebook
We were, like everyone else, appalled by the shocking accounts from the Rakhine state in Burma of the prosecution of the Rohingya tribe and the ensuing human rights crises that have emerged across the Burmese Bangladesh frontier. A number of questions arise for those who are considering or have already planned a visit to Burma.
Overall, we believe that a visit to Burma is still the right thing to do. Although part of the travel expenses you are paying for your journey goes to the Myanmar authorities in the shape of tax, we believe that this is offset by two elements. First, the interactions between the Myanmar community and foreigners bring both sides a better view and understanding of the country's state.
Secondly, a drop in the number of visitors will have a major effect on those whose lives depend on the tourist industry, in a land where there is no economical or welfare security network. Or you can talk to one of our Burma experts.
What is happening in Burma is a tragedy and an incredible sadness. Audley has a long history of relations with Burma, so it is particularly important for us to consider all facets of the present economic downturn, as well as its effects on the Burmese population and on the tourist industry. Two clear factors justify separate treatment.
Firstly, the ethics point: whether it is better to boyscott trips to Burma to help the Rohingya and protests against the activities of the present regimes, or whether we would do more damage than good. Secondly, the security and well-being of our customers.
Of course, we have followed the picture very carefully through our contact with the Bundeskartellamt and our Burmese counterparts. In addition, we regularly get updates from our customers and collegues who visit the state. Between the Burmese Rohingya people and the Burmese army government, the problem has existed for many years.
In spite of the fact that many of the Rohingya family have been in Burma for centuries, the Kyrgyz people of Burma (ethnically known as Bamar) have never really received the Rohingya and have little or no compassion for them. After years of "brainwashing" by the dominant government, they have come to the conclusion that the Muslim Rohingya are legal migrants and represent a danger to the security and financial well-being of the vast majority of Buddhists.
The fact that this is not true is of little importance to the overwhelming minority of Burmese. It is this apathy that has enabled the army to act with unpunished Rohingya. Burma has now massively increased its campaigns against the Rohingya. This seems to have been triggered by a string of Rohingyan army unit strikes on several policing stations.
The extent of retaliation by the Burma army, however, was out of proportion to the initial event. For security reasons, we do not dispatch our customers to areas that are covered by FCO-travelling advice. We believe that there is no reason to believe that the present unstability in North Rakhine will affect all areas to which we are sending customers in Burma.
Of course, we will keep a close eye on the current status and help customers pro-actively if the current status changes. This is an unbelievably tragic state of affairs, and anyone considering a trip to Burma must be sure that they are doing what is ethically right.
However, we are still confident that promoting travelling to Burma is still the right thing to do. We have been traveling to Burma since the mid-1990s, when it was still a para-state governed by a army junt. However, our arguments are actually very relevant to the present picture and whether it is still ethically justifiable to go to Burma.
The commitment to Burma and the communications between our guests and the local community is still a strength for good. Contact with the West and democracy is essential to inform Burma's voters about what is possible and what they can accomplish, and to give both sides a view of the Burma issue.
Turning the world's attention to Burma will make it more difficult for the army to get away with the most serious abuse of its powers for too long. The higher the value of the tourist industries, the more difficult it will be for the Myanmar authorities to reconsider the issue of insulation.
It is estimated that about 20% of our travelling expenses go to the state, but this means that 80% go into the hand of individual persons. In Burma, our Burmese partner companies have about 200 employees. Boycotting or banning Burma would put many unemployed and left them without an economical security net.
Up until recently, there were penalties against trade with businesses that had immediate defence links. Do not use any hotel or service related to the state. Advising you on what properties and facilities are in the possession of public servants. Anyone who visits Burma would be advised not to buy it.
It is generally accepted that the coal and steel industries have powerful ties to the army, which gives them a tremendous boost to sales. Shortly before the end of his mandate, Barack Obama issued a decree to lift all residual sentences against Burma. Mr. Birk explained that the local administration had made "considerable advances in the improvement of people' s rights".
Doing so will allow her effective legal authority over all policies not governed by the Military. In spite of these affirmative moves and the hopes they have given the Myanmar population, the army remains firmly anchored, not only in parliaments, where it has garnered 25% of government offices, but also in most of the country's government agencies.
Burma's contemporary reforms have left the huge challenge of reducing dictatorships for many years. There is no doubt that the two greatest challenge will be to end the severe civilian conflicts in the states of Kachin, Shan and Kayin and create a long-term settlement for the Rohingya in the state of Rakhine. This latter has demonstrated Aung San Suu Kyi's capacity and readiness to pacify mighty nationalist interest groups, not only the Burmese army, but also the vast majority of the Burmese Bamar ethnic Buddhists and the authoritative Tibetan Buddhist clergy.
These resources offer a wide range of information on the Burma issue and do not necessarily represent our opinions. Government Directions for Citizens: Myanmarocal wells:: Richard Cockett's The Changing Face of Burma is the latest and probably one of the most realist abstracts of Burma's context and present day issues.