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On Burma/Myanmar:Does Special Rapporteur on human rights Tomás Ojea Quintana think anyone is listening? PART 1

Posted by on July 20, 2013 in Main Blog | 0 comments

On Burma/Myanmar:Does Special Rapporteur on human rights Tomás Ojea Quintana think anyone is listening? PART 1

My family and I (link) loved living in Burma but left because of political reasons. Some of us live in England, some in the US, some in Australia. I live in Canada. That was the disruptive part of our lives. (Insert picture is of my mother)
We knew our history of how the British took our forefathers, Anglo Indians, to  Burma, and as an Anglo Burman I grew up with Burmese citizenship. We communicated in English and Burmses as did most everyone at that time in Rangoon.
We lived in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious community enjoying all religious holidays. There is also a book on the Jews of Burma.
This is not about Racism, or skin colour. We were of mixed race, there are also pure ethnics, and of every colour. Ask my family. My mother has light skin, I am darker. My younger brother is pure Burmese.
Women are treated as equals and I learned math and boxing like my brothers. Egalitarianism came with me to Canada and feminism was learned in Burma. I speak as a Christian raised in Rangoon.
The oppression over the past 50 years has been terrible and has taken its toll. Yet, the people survived. My mother visited Burma in the late 1990s and came back to Canada refreshed after visiting family. Some are still there and do not intend to leave.
Politics and ethnic violence does not  explain the fabric of this country and most of the people that live there. The UN paints a very negative picture of the Buddhist religion, as does the Western press and Eurocentric NGOs who make their wages from disruption and become experts of that space.

Living in Canada, I am aware of our history in Canada and the discrimination that occurs because of race, class, gender, sexuality and abilities. The Trayvon Martin case in the US and brought out discussions of 30,000 Americans killed by guns in the USA. The UN does not even mention these deaths which occurs because of political non action. So why target Burma?

Merle Jacobs

From Rangoon to London then to Canada, now home. Professor in Toronto. Research areas - health and equity, the nursing profession, Anglo Burmese culture Published in the areas of Nursing, health, racism

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