NEWS: Myanmar’s struggle

Myanmar’s resources provide leverage in region

For two decades, Myanmar’s neighbors have grappled with the question of how to respond to the unrelenting repression by the country’s ruling generals of its people. In Thailand, the answer comes each time Thais pay their electricity bill.

Natural gas from Myanmar, which generates 20 percent of all electricity in Thailand, keeps the lights on in Bangkok. The gas, which this year will cost about $2.8 billion, is the largest single export for Myanmar’s otherwise impoverished and cash-strapped economy.

Thailand’s gas imports highlight the dilemma facing China, India, Singapore and Malaysia, among other countries, as they vie for Myanmar’s hardwoods, minerals, gems — and access to its market of 47 million people. [complete article]

Myanmar’s junta stalls UN envoy another day

Myanmar’s junta leader stalled a U.N. envoy for yet another day today, delaying his chance to present international demands for an end to the crackdown on the largest protests in two decades.

A Norway-based dissident news organization estimated that 138 people were killed — more than 10 times the government figure — and 6,000 detained. [complete article]

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