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03 September 2007

Jim Carrey's youtube video asking your help for Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar/Burma

Post to the BloggersCollective Google group:

The Canadian-US movie comedian Jim Carrey has just posted a personal appeal on youtube seeking the world's help for Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi whom the Burma/Myanmar military junta has kept imprisoned and under house arrest since 1989. Her pro-democracy political party won a landslide election, but the junta ignored the results and has ruled as an outlaw regime ever since.

All this is common knowledge to the Asian members of this Collective, but the significance of Carrey's youtube posting -- 193,000 hits in 6 days -- is that Burma/Myanmar, the junta, the junta's lawless and violent rule, and the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi are almost completely unknown matters in North America. North Americans know more about Pluto than they know about Burma/Myanmar, and in this information black hole, the US State Department has done little more than shake an occasional finger of disapproval at the junta. Though the US government's inattention to Burma/Myanmar long pre-dates the Bush administration, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and events in the Middle East have put Burma/Myanmar on an essentially zero State Department priority.
Carrey likely timed this video to coincide with Bush's trip to the APEC summit in Sydney today. Myanmar/Burma will certainly generate an unusual volume of journalists' questions and critical stories.

The enormously popular Carrey, via the enormous popularity of youtube, will almost certainly ratchet up world attention on the junta and on Aung San Suu Kyi's plight, and put a new and substantial degree of political pressure on the junta -- perhaps even enough to finally topple it and restore democracy.

Please watch Carrey's video and leave a comment, but also admire and take a lesson from a startlingly powerful, significant and entirely unexpected use of this new channel of information in the realm of human rights. It certainly won't be the last grass-roots youtube blast against a government's lawlessness and injustice.

1 comment:

Abbas Halai said...

not to sound too indifferent but you just reminded of one of my favourite dishes of all time, khowsuey. google it some time. i think i'll make some tomorrow.