All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Burmese)

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 9:

Those who have the kindness of benefit for others

For the sake of living beings, do not relax their powers.

Though these holy beings bear a heavy burden,

They never put it down and dwell in discouragement.

*the Great Chariot Sutra*

Burma is known as a golden land made of several ranges (or ‘Yoma’ in Burmese) where thousands of tribal memories, wisdoms, religions, cultures and beauties of plants and animals dwell. The rivers, all of them are indeed important to the people and other existences, snake through these beautiful mountainous regions and flow from the north to the south where Indian Ocean is. The peoples, Burma has 103 ethnics, all of them used to be really generous and all they knew was to give.

Since the modern day’s dictators have systematically destroyed, now the golden land is famous for its narcotic trades, refugees, migrant workers and various atrocities and sufferings.

One day, we’ll be free again and the land will be again famous for its beauty.

What is the right answer? - Should we visit Burma ?

If we let the tourists in, the junta could receive about 50% of income from tourism and much needed foreign currency. Perhaps it's the cost we must pay to let people get foreigners on the street buying the products and taking services from ordinary people.

Income from tourisms cannot be as big as the income from natural resources - especially oil, gas and forestry. However, we have to know the exact extend of the effect tourisms.

We can't be so sure the people who visit Burma will see the junta as the problem maker; ordinary people can be misunderstood too. And some would accept what the junta has to say and ignore the democratic voices; and they could become volunteer mouthpieces of the junta.

Of course, also the visitors of conscience can go to Burma and give the people comfort and respect but we should not expect this to become a big political effect to influence other visitors. Some of them can be journalists and human right activists who could influence their governments and audiences.

Certainly people who have something to trade with the tourists for income could be better off and solve some problems if the junta's restrictions are reasonable. This, however, will not be a factor to solve inflection, high unemployment and the brutality of the junta around Burma. As long as the junta cannot open up, the way it plays border trade with China which is different from trade relationships with Thailand and India, the people will have to live with instable income expectation. On the other hand, since the borders were opened for trade, taxations have sucked a large amount of the majority but the officials, or the corrupt all, have been better off by different incomes from the traders.

The political legitimacy of the junta will not come from tourism so we don't have to worry about this any longer. Likewise, the junta wouldn't have to worry if the world is going to know too much as they, the leaders around the world, already know. And also the people of Burma know too well about the situation.

I don't know tourism was a factor of liberation anywhere in the world. Is there any country liberated had the help of tourism. Certainly, Burma used to be through this situation previously, - tourism before 2000.

I personally like to accept educational tourism but must be solely political purpose. I know some journalists have been visiting Burma. However, the number is understandably small. So if tourism is allowed, it must be only for the sake of economy and thus, don't expect anything else.

I think we should bring on open discussions into forums again.

The economy hardship comes from various sources like an ocean of many rivers. If you think, boycotting tourism is a problem, you have to compare with other rivers or problem sources. It's true that tourism can halp many people but the income that goes to the authorities can also become a resource for suppression. If the authorities can enjoy, they won't consider giving up anything and this can make further restrictions and thus, all benefits from tourism can end up only in the hand of the junta.

But it's up to you all to decide.

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