Monday, November 26, 2007
MRTV ON ASEAN SUMMIT
've been watching Burma's state television evening news for any coverage of the ASEAN summit last week in Singapore, half expecting to see some gloating over the junta's diplomatic victory last Monday evening (with the collective snubbing of UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari). But on Tuesday evening, there was only a report on regime leaders seeing Prime Minister General Postman Thein Sein off at the airport on Sunday (Than Shwe is said to look upon his prime ministers as nothing more than "postmen.")
How pathetic a scene, with all the military brass in a group wave as he takes flight in a twin-prop from their reclusive hide-away capital at Nay Pyi Daw. There was also a 13 second report on the Monday afternoon meeting between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and "Minister for Relations" Aung Kyi, which I've also included here.
Finally on Saturday evening came the first coverage of the summit, by then long finished. I've added an image of Gen. Thein Sein taken from later in the broadcast, in his normal dress attending the annual meeting of Union Solidarity and Development Association (the civilian thug arm of the junta). There is only a glancing reference to the biggest issue facing ASEAN on this occasion, namely the atrocious behavior of a member state in violently crushing the democratic aspirations of its people. The newsreader quotes Prime Minister General Postman Thein Sein stressing the importance "not to cut unwanted branches of ASEAN tree by making undesirable excuses."