What future will take shape for Burma?
This is an issue that should challenge you, whether you are a local or a traveler to Burma.
With its new challenging article, “Crony capitalists vying for oligarchy”, The Irrawaddy aims to warn us about a worrisome pattern: the threat of unequal development of Burma’s economy after the tourism’s boom.
Indeed, Brian P. Klein, an American strategist and former Washington government expert is worried that Burma “could end up being run by oligarchs – super-rich businessmen with close links to the ruling elite”. The article gives the example of the Max Myanmar Group which is still under US sanctions and its boss Zaw Zaw who is now preparing his companies for the new Burma, especially regarding the new lucrative business of tourism, with for instance a focus on accommodation, banking, and retail services such as roadside fuel stations.
According the article, US sanctions seem to not be doing much harm inside Burma for the blacklisted companies and Klein reckons that Burma is now at a crossroads and must settle upon balanced policies focusing on supporting democracy, wealth-sharing, and therefore the creation of a middle class. It must turn away from oligarchs in order not to be exposed to lasting social and economic inequalities.
Let’s take a look at the “Virginia Quarterly Review” from the University of Virginia and dedicated fully to Burma.
After an attractive introduction to Burma and how it is becoming more and more modernized, you will discover very well-researched, genuine, and poetic stories about different features of Burma.
We let you browse all of the magazine and we hope you enjoy the issue.
After last week’s story on Bagan, portrayed by two “forty something flashpackers”, we come back this week with another of one of their beautiful travel stories.
This week, they describe their final destination in Burma, Inle Lake, located in Eastern Burma and “nestled between some impressive hills and mountains”.
Again, you will find very interesting details about the journey and some gorgeous photos.
Last but not least, an article from The New York Times, and the title says it all: Visiting Myanmar: It’s Complicated The author gives us some insights into the ethical implications of traveling to Burma:
His advice: Choose carefully where you spend your money.
Enjoy your week and these readings!