Myanmar shrouds its tsunami deaths in secrecy


At first glance, it sounds whimsical. Surely, there should be no harm in allowing the world to see the death and devastation brought about by agents who have nothing to do with the ruling dictatorship.

The likely motive, however, behind the Myanmarese junta’s exaggerated underestimation of casualties and damage is that oldest one of them all — self-perpetuation of the regime.

If the true scale of the human tragedy were to come out, the international community would want to step in and lend a hand. And when that happens, those do-gooders would also begin to see all that other human tragedy, one whose causes are entirely human. The junta is not taking any chances at all; nothing, not even a natural disaster that has perhaps killed thousands, will force them to allow anyone in and take so much as a dekko.

3 thoughts on “Myanmar shrouds its tsunami deaths in secrecy”

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  3. I obviously can’t compete with first-hand observation from a pilot. But I do have one possible explanation for the low numbers in Burma, and that is the path of the wave.

    There is an interactive graphic you can watch at the NYTimes website, that shows a simulation of the Tsunami wave. According to this model at least, the strongest waves went west and east, not north and south. So even if the death toll in Burma is higher (probably much higher) than what the government is reporting, it may truly not be on the scale of Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India.

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