Some fun and games in the morning papers today.

First comes the rather astonishing revelation that the Australian Government is providing military aid to Burma. This is the same Burma which has been a military dictatorship for the past 16 years, denying its people the leadership and freedom they voted for in 1990.

The aid is in the form of training for Burmese government officials to assist in counter-terrorism activities. Exactly what constitutes ‘counter terrorism’ for a military junta these days? This is the same leadership that is currently trading in opium as well as trying to acquire weaponry from North Korea – not to mention the human rights abuses against the people of Burma.

Absolutely bloody disgraceful.

While we’re on the subject of North Korea, it seems like they’re itching to set off a nuclear weapon as soon as they can getone to work. That is causing quite a ruckus over here in Japan – the only country to have been attacked by nuclear weapons in war. It could lead to all sorts of repercussions – from immediate sanctions to another arms race to the delightful prospect of nuclear fallout blowing over here if the test goes awry.


Lastly, a piece on the Australian Government’s new system of immigration tests and criteria for citizenship. It really hurts me to see that the Australia I knew and loved is now becoming known worldwide as a largely right-wing, conservative and (at times) rascist country. It has always been there simmering underneath to some extent (White Australia policy, Stolen Generation, the Chinese in the goldfields, Vietnamese boat people, etc.) but the kind of policy is just going to backfire on the country and its people in the end.

A real shame.