The Burmese junta has just requested $11.5 billion for rebuilding after Cyclone Nargis.
- The Burmese regime is “flush with funds” at the moment
- Over the last 5 years it is earning $150,000,000 US from exports of natural gas to Thailand
- It has $4 billion stashed away, none of which goes into the government’s public account
- The incoming money is recorded at the official exchange rate which is 200 times undervalued
The Burmese regime is thus deliberately starving the public account of funds
The podcast for this interview, which also includes input from Aung Zaw, an exiled Burmese journalist and editor of The Irrawaddy Magazine; and with Gary Woodward, former ambassador to Burma, is well worth a listen.
Guided by astrology? It also emerges in the LNL interview the possibility that the reason the military junta went ahead with their referendum on the constitution in the midst of the chaos was to follow through on the predictions of their astrologers that that was the most favourable day for it.
The Irrawaddy Magazine is also of special interest, with 2 of its current story headings about cyclone victims being forcibly evicted from their places of refuge and about poorly paid military looting in some of the cyclone areas.
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