Wednesday, October 31, 2007

On Thio Li-Ann's article, Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I havent even noticed this article by her until i read this blog post. Read it here. It prompted me to get the news article and read it, although I should have better spent time either resting or working on some worksheet...

Although I am neither able to twist words as well as Professor Thio nor as eloquent as DotSeng, I still want to give my 2 cents on her article.

To even suggest involving religion in the affairs of the state is akin to civillisation regressing to the middle ages, where wars are fought between different religious views. Assuming we are including religion into the state, many questions will have to be answered, and i fear it would be done through bloodshed.

Assuming Singapore now decides to adopt religious views in state affairs, then WHOSE religion is the state following? Even among the "Offical" religions, there is Buddism, Christanity, Islam, Taoism and countless other sects. Are we going to see these religions fight for supremacy? I can most assure you that we are going to see another large scale riot if this ever happens. Then again, given the extremely vocal minority of that 14.6%, pulling the strings behind, Singapore may become a Religious Republic of that religion and espouse their values instead. Where will the tolerance and harmony of religion become at that stage?

Do not attempt to infuse religion into the state affairs. Just look at Malaysia. Look at how the Chinese and Indians are treated in state policy. Or look at Turkey. Despite being an Islamic country it practices secularism, resulting in one of the more advanced nations of the Islamic countries. Look into how the country was nearly divided when they elected a slightly more conservative president. They all hightlight the fact that religion does not mix with the state well.

Europe itself had fought many wars based on different interpretations of religion. The past popes would order kingdoms to wage war on another kingdom that did not follow its terms. Did these do anything good to the people? Do you want wars of religion to happen again?

Let religion remain spiritual, a place of the soul. That way, at least the human world would be at more peace.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Nukes? Dream on!

This post by Shanghai_grand is ridiculous and laughable. Please think again on the use of Nukes. Thou shall not say more in my blog, and instead give a link to the post where i attempted to rebutt him.

http://sgforums.com/?action=thread_display&thread_id=287434

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

What is Law?

We hear our PM Lee Hsien Loong saying that Section 377A will be retained but not enforced. It is of my opinion that Laws should be respected, and when a Law is codified, it has real bite instead of being mere paper tigers.

Doing so completely undermines the whole structure of having a Constitution and Law framework being set up in the first place.

I still think 377A should be repealled, if anyone is wondering, but the point I'm making here is
1. Laws are made to rule, and people are supposed to obey them
2. However, since laws are not enforced in Singapore, does this mean that I can go around commiting all sorts of crime and I will come out unscratched? If so, I have a whole list of things to do. 人生は短い。Might as well kill some oysters.

Haiz...the state of Singapore laws...lamentable.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Religion-ism: To what extent

The Singapore Parliament had recently convened in 2 sessions and after a heated debate, decided to repeal Section 377 but keep Section 377A. If Equality be applied as in the pledge, then surely it would have been repealed after the sessions. So why?

A simple word: Religion.

Yes, Religion is at the root of the problem. In our parliament, we have a disproportionate amount of a certain religion serving as Member's of Parliament. It might not be that serious if they knew how to think rationally and objectively, but the few black sheeps chose to colour Singapore through their monochromatic World views.

Just read NMP Thio Li-Ann full speech from the Online Citizen. Or grab the highlights from Molly. Or if you bought the Straits Times, the flip to the Home section where enough information is provided for the average reader. (Now this is one of the few days where we find real content in the papers) Btw, a point by point rebuttal of her arguments can be found here.

A quick glance into the 3rd paragraph of her speech and one would have gotten the idea that her entire argument is based on her beliefs and that she believes that her beliefs are the majority's too.

I implore people like her to wake up and remember the fact that your religion only comprises 14.6% of the local population. Dont try imposing all your beliefs onto the rest of the population. Doing so is threatening the fundamentals of our country: Justice, Happiness, Equality, Prosperity and Progress.

Things like this are what sparked the wars that Europe experienced in the past. The English Anglician Church fought the Roman Catholic Church; East Orthodox vs the Roman Catholic... it was not until the the rise of Monarchys and the decline of the Church's role to that of a spiritual one that Europe was able to progress from the Middle Ages to the Industrial Age. If ancient beliefs were to remain in Europe, I believe that the Holy Crusades would still be going on between Christianity and Islam in determining which is the true religion.

I can even give a more modern example: Osama bin Laden and George Bush. Both were religiously convicted men. Osama wanted death to the Americans for what he thought was a threat to his understanding of his religion. Bush wanted to spread democracy in the Middle East, but ultimately can the ME people trust a guy that read a bible twice over and caused so much slaughter between 2 factions of Islam, the Shia and Sunni?

Ultimately, no one should impose their ideals onto anyone, even if they are the majority. 50.1% and 49.9% should all be treated equally, desho?

Disclaimer: I am not critising any religion of particular in this post. Whats more important is why we should not impose on people our ideals based on only our own beliefs.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Media Viewership o_O

Today, we have the Straits Times reporting that Pay-TV viewership has fallen. http://www.straitstimes.com/Free/Story/STIStory_169630.html and paints a skeptical outlook for MediaCorp Inc. I wont go into analysing the article for today but 1 or 2 points I would like to point out.

1. Our MSM reports are credible, because they do report the truth, but only half truths. The Straits Times will report the bad side of MediaCorp, and TODAY will report the bad side of SPH. You need to piece one and one together to get the whole picture, get it?

2. Its just my opinion, but Chua Hian Hou tends to take a somewhat harsh view of the online World. I noticed that ODEX saga and now, she paints online downloading as the main culprit of any decline in sales. Well, no matter what, Singaporeans are still paying the annual TV-licenses to MediaCorp, so do they really care about viewership? I'm not really sure.

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Survey

We're doing a feasibility study on our ideas for our enterprise project, so kindly help my group and I by doing the survey.

War Game: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=1wMzkgYLAhc5HMEbD8veWQ_3d_3d

Feng Shui: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=JJ2fhymZUa88uy_2fur1y70g_3d_3d

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Interesting note from littlespeck

[quote]
So, the typical millionaire in Singapore -

* Is male,
* About 50 years old,
* has about US$5m of financial assets not counting his residence,
* likes to invest in property,
* became wealthy from either business or inheritance, and is probably an Indonesian…
[/quote]
Source: http://littlespeck.com/content/economy/CTrendsEconomy-071022.htm

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

TV Station and Radio Viewership

Let me give a paragraph by paragraph commentary on the self-appraisal by MediaCorp on their TV and radio programmes.

MediaCorp stated that Singaporeans are spoilt for choice with 100 channels and VOD to choose from.

1. You need to subscribe to cable TV from Starhub to view a selection of the 100 channels
2. VOD services comes from I. SingNet; II. MediaCorp. Again I need to pay for it
3. MediaCorp's Pay TV comes with your house when you buy your HDB Flat, fees are automatically deducted when it comes to paying the states TV license fee.
4. I dont even have the choice of getting D-MBS, TBS, NHK and you call that choice?


96% of adults watched at least 1 of MediaCorp's 6 channels last week. So? Is it surprising? No. As I stated above, its the only auto-pay TV and if you dont watch them, the money's going to the drain anyway. Futhermore, one can watch them for news. ^_^

TODAY then quoted Nielsen Media Research in choosing CNA as the top channel for professionals. Well, is there any other alternative? Unless you subscribe to cable of course. Anyways, CNA's target market is professional, so its not surprising.

I can ignore what it is saying on Channel U. To me, programmes are getting lousier, in all channels, just to what extent only.

Next I am breaking down the figures on radio listeners percentage.

MediaCorp reported that their 13 stations received 2,496,000 (70.9%) in 2007, up from 2,486,000 (73.7%). This translates to a 770 listener increase in each of the stations on average. To me it doesnt represent alot. Compared to its closest competitors though, MediaCorp enjoys a relatively high listener count. SAFRA managed a 265,000 and Unionworks total listeners fell from 238,000 to 209,000 (about 100,000 for each of Unionworks 2 stations)

To me, radio can still be an enjoyable experience, provided radio stations also move with the times. For starters, improve the online radio by switching to HE-AAC streams in 24kbs (I assure them this sounds like gold compare to the current inferior .wma 20kbs implemented by radio 1003 and .ra 20kbs implemented by YES! 933). Then I'll listen more of radio.

On magazines, MediaCorp praised itself again by stating the strong readership of i-Weekly of 6.3% (Dont ask me the statistics for U-weekly, its not given...). Problem is, I dont read them. On myself I only read 1. Anime Magazines, 2. Newsweek, 3. National Geographic.

Finally, MediaCorp gave a good report on the viewership on their news websites, especially Channel News Asia. With 2 million internet users now, online news will serve as the new paper for many people who spend increasing amounts of time on their computers. ST Online, if you dont revert to being a completely free version, your online share is going to get dominated by CNA online and TODAY online as the only choice.

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Newspaper Readership

Weekend TODAY stated in their papers that their viewership has gone up and MediaCorp businesses are doing extremely well; they also took the chance to fire a volleyball @ their only competitor, the Singapore Press Holdings by quoting the falling viewership of their media productions.

Well, based from the bit of information given in Weekend TODAY, I will also offer my 2 cents on the performance of the various papers and their parent companies.

1. The Straits Times
Readership fell from 1,355,000 (40.2%) in 2006 to 1,334,000 (37.9%) in 2007. The falling readership can mean many things:

- Consistent with the falling readership of sold papers Worldwide. With the various alternative medias present in our World, TV, radio and the internet, some people become less inclined to spend 30-45mins reading through the dailies.

- Content not up to reader's expectations. As a main daily, The Straits Times has to balance between juicy gossips and serious discussions. Add the local political climate to it and it makes The Straits Times a boring paper to read. Moreover, many of the real big news that is happened in Singapore started making out in the online forums, and the ST is either slow to report on the story, or gives an extremely biased report (imo). As a result, the salient is lost and readers gets dissapointed.

- Cost of living rised, so people saving money. Don't underestimate the power of 80c. 80c can buy me a cup of tea. The money saved from buying newspaper everyday can allow me to continue drinking my tea at the coffeeshop. I either read free papers or listen to radio or buy only 3 times per week. (Thats how i buy my papers anyway....saves money and you know enough of the news anyways) And net savvy youths can always read online news (BBC, ST online, CNA...)

2. TODAY
Readership rosed from 571,000 (16.9%) in 2006 to 590,000 (16.8%) in 2007.

- More people grabbing free papers. To me the increase in readership doesnt really mean anything for TODAY. It could mean that their logistics improved or they printed more papers. What can be done to see the effectiveness of their papers is to see the number of advertisers willing to place ads at TODAY. That is the most effective measurement of their sucess.

3. The New Paper
Readership rosed from 492,000 (14.6%) in 2006 to 531,000 (15.1%) in 2007.

- A wierd point is why only count readers/ viewers from age 15 onwards? I believe in TNP's case, the 11-14 age who are sports inclined or learning to read newspapers should be reading this paper as starter. Similarly in TODAY's case. What's better to get a kid to start reading a paper if its free and short enough to read and digest?

- This could mean that more people took a liking to sensational news reporting.

- I can also infer that ST suffered loss in sales due to the rise in the other print media as well. TODAY, TNP and the Busness Times all had readership up except ST.

The Business Times
Readership rose from 84,000 (2.5%) in 2006 to 86,000 (2.4%) in 2007.

- I dont read BT, so cant really comment on it. Although readership did increase, the increase is less that population growth, hence market share fell.

I wont continue on the Chinese, Malay and Indian papers, since my focus is on the English papers, but a brief look at Weekend TODAY shows falling readership in all papers except Lianhe Zaobao, which defied the trend.

In another post, I will write out some of my opinions of the other part of this article, this one on TV and Radio.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

National Education...

This is a compulsory module that everyone must take to pass, and for most people, a meaningless lecture where time would be spent sleeping or other better activities. As such, it totally defeats the purpose of National Education, which is, in my opinion, to instil a sense of loyalty to the country, in this case, Singapore. But before I start flaming that, I should consider at least attempting to crap about the topics given, afterall its compulsory to give a presentation for the topics, never mind the color of the questions...

此れは義理です、だから...

Topic Statement: We must preserve racial and religious harmony

1. List out the major races and religions in Singapore?

According to my brain, the major races consists of the Chinese, most of them having emigrated in the colonial days after Sir Stanford Raffles arrived, a minute population of native Chinese "Peranakans" having settled in the region from the Ming Dynasty, and a new influx of "new foreigners" that came mostly from China in search of better prospects.

The Malays, a name that covers most of the indegenous natives that lived in the Malay Archipelago for at least 4500 years ago after moving out from Southern China. (Source: Yawning Bread)

The Indians, coming mostly from India and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). From my understanding Hindus form the largest group in this segment of the population. There seems to be also a sizable community of Punjabs. Singapore also has a large population of Indian and Bangladesh foreign workers working in our construction industry.

The Eurasians. (Offically) These are people who have mixed ancestory, usually a European father and a South Asian mother. Most of these people were borned in the boom of the Colonial Age.

2. What are the distribution of the above by percentage?

Drawing these figures out of my head (From ex social studies memories, I was neither studious, nor do I have a photographic memory, so), I would say the Chinese has about 70%, Malay 20%, Indians 10% and Eurasians <1%.>

Deviating slightly from political correctness though, I would like to hightlight an article from Littlespeck, about population growth in Singapore. At the current rate, the original population consisting of 1800s emigrants and local indegenous population will be reduced and will consist of no more than 50% of the total population within our lifetimes. I wouldn't suggest any ideas on this though, as going by the logic recently given out for justifying bus fare hike: Minister gets pay rise -> Therefore quality of minister improves -> Minister can serve the people better.

3. Why is it so important to have racial and religious harmony?

The politically right statement would be so that Singapore wouldn't have to face the riots and confusion that happened in the 1950s and 1960s. As Mr Brown had mentioned in his podcast, "remember the Hock Lee Bus Riots."

Detractors would say that this is only from the Government and Economic point of view and there are many ways to organise a protest without causing trouble.

Okay I digressed. Racial and religious harmony is important, (Actually I would rather say a harmonious society is important), as only a harmonious society is able to accomodate all kinds of people in the confined cities of today. Differenciating between race and is but a primitive idea bought onto us by the Europeans, to amplify their superior status as masters.

4. How can we preserve racial and religious harmony?

1. Tolerance
2. Acceptance
3. Embracement

5. Suggest ways which could ensure a better understanding of the religious practices of different ethnic groups.

This question seems to be somewhat biased, in that it groups race and religion together. They should be seperated in my opinion, so as not to segregate out the extreme minority. This should be just rephrased to "Suggest ways to ensure a better understanding of the practices of different religions."

Well, one could start by inviting well known figures in each of the religion's to come together in a non-formal meeting and explain their religion's ideas and expressions. Or organising events for the public to attend. The events must be ambiguious and not have an agenda for conversion as it will only put off the public.

6. What is your own opinion of Singapore multi-racial society?

As mentioned by various blogs and online journals, multi-racialism and multi-culturalism is a trend and way of life not unique to Singapore. Switzerland had 3 major races (German, French and Italy) living in harmony for hundreds of years, even the Chinese is composed of the majority Han chinese and various other minority races. United States is a prime example of multi racial/ cultural country in recent years as the dream land of many people in poorer countries.

Singapore's society is only unique when we choose to believe it.

-end of giri rant--this will probably not make it out of this blog-

on a side note: 寂しいの感じ、今わがってます...

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Buangkok Station

Source here: http://tnp.sg/news/story/0,4136,144840,00.html

The New Paper accused that people are not using Buangkok Station. I want to ask the paper: If my school is in Ang Mo Kio, would I take a direct bus to school or take a train and travel 15 or more stops to reach the same destination? It's really simple. The Mass Rapid Transit, as its name suggests, is a form of transportation that allow people to move great distances at a fast speed. Of course when I go to Sim Lim or other places further from home then the train will be used.

The average ridership of 2600 isnt bad when you take a closer look at the station.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The Black Square contains newly completed/ completing HDB blocks. These are likely to be occupied a few months to a year from now, so ridership will probably increase by a few hundred.

Red Squares are SBSTransit leased shops. They consist of the convenience shop Majfa and 2 tuition centres. The kids that come for tuitioning is usually fetched by their parents via car. So of course ridership wont increase much.

Blue Squares are future local shops.

Yellow Square is open field. Every weekend, people play football in that area. Dont think they will take a train to come to this open field.

Until the entire place is populated, it is not hard to understand why Buangkok Station is not profitting, isn't it. But as a Private Organisation, you can raise the fares, citing increase in operating costs... ... which you have done. So please do not flame the fire started by the TNP and continue your station operation.

Whenever I read articles like this, it makes me wonder if this sunny island has no real news to report at all.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

智代さん、お誕生日おめでとう

Many people have already wished her happy birthday liao. I also wish Tomoyo a happy birthday and for her Tomoyo Kick to reach new unparrelled heights in power. ^_^


Click on pic for 1024x768 wallpaper

And Impz of That AnimeBlog is also having his Birthday today. For those who have money, you can donate to Animeblogger to help fund poor Maestro. Remember to help Impz do his survey also.

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Sunday LifeStyle

Bought the papers today, and browsed through briefly before I noticed on such a column on page L12. The headlines reads "Peanut's creater an unhappy man?", and goes on to show the author's family rebutting the biography of Charles M Schulz made by David Michaelis, accusing the biographer of using Schulz's family to write a biased story.

Personally, I think that nobody will ever know what person Schulz is, for people usually display parts of himself only in certain conditions. Schulz may be a happy person in front of his family, but I will agree that a human usually does not only have 1 face. It may well be true that he does feel melancholic in much of his life and expressed it in his comic strip "Peanuts".

Whatever the case, the author's already dead and no one will ever know for sure about his real thoughts.

"Thyself, how much doth thou knownst of? How much doth people knownst of?"

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Grandoise Dreams of an Imperialist

To:
The Right Honourable Prime Minister Gordon Brown
10 Downing Street, Prime Ministers Office, United Kingdom
British Empire

Rt Hon Brown,

I am but an ex-subject of the British Colonies, but I have a common interest with the late Rt Hon Winston Churchill. That is the dream of seeing British Power spreading from sea to sea for eternity. I wish for your honourable's attention to the dire situation in Burma ever since it was granted independence from the Empire.

Burma was granted independece in 1948, shortly after the World War and amid continued cries for independence by their citizens. I felt that this was a premature move, as the Burma was left to its own devices to deal with the surge of militarism, nationalism, communism and the reconstruction of their nation. In the years that followed Burma was indeed ravaged by the Military after the Military executed a coup de'tat, with the Military destroying livelihoods, suppressing citizens rights and plunging the country into economic poverty.

In August 2006, the Military junta raised the prices of fuel by 500%, sending its already poor citizens into further dire straits. Its people rebelled, led by the countries prominent monks. It was brutally crushed by the Military yet again, sending people to concentration camps and killing citizens mindlessly, while the world gave it a hearful. Your honourable did the right thing by ordering stricter sanctions against the regime, but there's more that Britain can do.

Britain should send in its armed forces, specifically the navy, in a show of force to free the citizens from the opressive military junta that is in power now. Those carriers have proven their worth in the Falklands War and can certainly do so even in the 21st century.

Britain can still fight a war 20,000 miles away from home.

Restore the pride and prestige of the British Empire, your Right Honourable.

Your humble servant,
Abao

(This post is made of pure daydreaming. Please do not read too much into it. And pardon my using of Rt Hon Sir Winston Churchill if anyone felt offended.)

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Monday, October 08, 2007

お誕生日おめでとう綾ちゃん!

Yes this is really late, later than oOgA. I only knew about it after Tsubaki posted it on his blog. (Which is basically a Aya shrine ^_^) Stupid me.

Again, Happy Birthday to Hirano Aya-chan ^_^



And her ablum will be released on 10 October ^_^ Looking foward to it.

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2 new bgm added on box

As above. These 2 bgms are found on the personal blogs of Sugita Tomokazu and Nakamura Yuuichi, both seiyuus. I find them to my liking, as they seems to be telling me some information of the seiyuu's other side of life that I have not heard of.


Of course, taking their website bgm without permission is my sin, so I shall make amends at the very least by giving them a short introduction of their works.

Sugita Tomokazu 杉田智和 Born October 11 1980 in Saitama

Personal Homepage: http://sugitazangetsu.com/

Well known for his roles in recent Anime such as Tsuchimi Rin (Shuffle), Kyon (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu) and Aizawa Yuuichi (Kanon KyoAni Remake), though he was also the lead male seiyuu in Chobits.

His sarcastic and deep voice worked well for him, especially in Kyon and Yuuichi, bringing out the emotions of the male character lead well. If you've watched Gekisou, you would have saw his antics together with Shiraishi Minoru and Ono Daisuke. This is one solid seiyuu.

Nakamura Yuuichi 中村悠一 Born February 20 1980 in Kagawa Prefecture

Personal Homepage: http://www.geocities.jp/yu_kyu_0/index.html

A good friend of Sugita, he voices Okazaki Tomoya in KyoAni's serialisation of CLANNAD. After listening to the dorama CD's of the movie's Tomoya and KyoAni's Tomoya, I tend to agree with KyoAni's choice of Nakamura as Tomoya. Toei's Tomoya is too generic sounding and doesnt seem to fit the image of Okazaki Tomoya if you have ventured into playing the game.

Anyway, I hope to hear more works from him too.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

random thoughts

"A picture may speaks a thousand words, but a good pen can put pictures to shame."

Ignore this post, really.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

One blogpost for Burma

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
http://beautifultobehold.wordpress.com/2007/09/29/free-burma/

Lets hope that that country can progress and recover the first-world status it once was back in the early 1900's.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Burma crackdown summary

Weeks ago, a section of Burma's monks started a popular protest against the Burmese military junta. This came after the junta doubled the price of fuel in the country, forcing the already poor people into poorer straits. The protest was peaceful but soon rapidly spread to other major cities in Burma. The World watched on silently at this point, with global news services only mentioning them briefly.

As the protest grew in scale however, the junta decided that enough was enough. They will crush all opposition and re-solidify their hold on Burma again. Hence the police and army were deployed. Using rifle butts, rubber bullets and live rounds, they beat the monks and civillans who were protesting and killed some people, including a Japanese journalist by pushing him down and shooting him at point-blank.

Only then did the World condemn Burma of its actions and after holding meetings, ASEAN issued strong statements and Mr Gambari of the UN was sent to Burma to negotiate with the generals. By the time Mr Gambari reached Burma, the junta had already imposed tight control of the major cities and as of today, Burma's foreign minister, speaking in front of the UN assembly, says that the protests were influenced and shaped by foreigners......

I believe that the Burma people has lost in the struggle with the junta yet again, as the World as of today only seeks to find solutions through dialogue, and the junta leaders are not one to be persuaded through dialogue. In short, 对牛谈情.

Moreover, most of the developing/ developed nations prefers the status quo as they have invested in Burma's natural resource (Oil and gas) which they need to power their nations. In short, they wont tear down their good bridge for the sake of morals.

Hence the current sad situation in Burma...

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