Tonight is the 82nd Annual Academy Awards.
Burma VJ nominated for Best Documentary Feature.
This daring movie was filmed entirely on hand-held cameras, and the footage smuggled out of the country. At one time Burma had one of the freest presses in Asia. Today it is arguably the least free country in the world. According to Reporters Without Borders For Press Freedom attempting access to the Internet alone can be considered a dissident act. These daring film makers expose the repressive regime controlling their country. If you haven’t yet seen Burma VJ please, do!
Here is some background on BURMA.
In 1989 the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) changed the name of Burma to Myanmar. Now know as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), to this day Burma suffers a long list of human rights voilations. In 1990 Aung San Suu Kyi was elected by an overwhelming 82% vote. She is now under house arrest and unable to take her rightful place as Prime Minister of Burma.
Aung San Suu Kyi received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. Her sons accepted this honor on her behalf. With the 1.3 million dollars granted by the peace prize she has set up a health and education trust for the Burmese people. She is the only Nobel Peace Laureate to be imprisoned! The media have been banned from visiting her, a major act of oppression and a major reason so few in the West are aware of the horrific situation state of Burma.
The systematic use of rape by the regime has become integral part of its strategy to suppress Burma’s peoples, and to control and exploit the rich resources the ethnic states. Many women dare not speak out for fear of the junta’s reaction and the social stigma that rape carries in their communities. The use of militia rape is not opportunistic . The rapes are carried out for the sole means of punishment, torture, and to further isolate the devastated ethnic states of Burma.