The recent protests in Burma have transfixed the world’s media, but it seems likely that—however courageous the actions of those involved and appalling the treatment they have received—these will not on their own bring reform. What actions should the international community now be taking?
In our latest web-exclusive, Bangkok-based journalist William Barnes argues that sanctions are not the answer. Instead, he suggests, we should demand the opposition in exile join up more effectively with internal dissent, and should recognise that Burma’s neighbours are more interested in energy than democracy. Underestimating the resources and intelligence of the junta is, for Barnes, an error committed by much of the media: as is overestimating the sympathy that many governments in the region feel for street protests.
Let us know what you think here.