Magazine article New Internationalist

An Elderly Burmese Man Suffering from Chronic Toothache

Magazine article New Internationalist

An Elderly Burmese Man Suffering from Chronic Toothache

Article excerpt

Anelderly Burmese man suffering from chronic toothache makes his way across the border to Thailand to consult a dentist. A bit surprised, the Thai dentist asks him: 'Don't you have dentists in your own country?'

'Oh sure we do/ comes the answer, 'but we're not allowed to open our mouths.'

This old Burmese joke has rung true for far too long. When we first committed ourselves to this theme, in July 2007, Burma had fallen out of the news. Everyone knew it was still ruled by a military dictatorship which had seized power nearly half a century ago, but because Burma's people had been powerless to resist, journalists had lost interest. I felt it was high time for the people's case to be restated.

Then, in September of that year, the people did it themselves. Over 100,000 protestors, led by Buddhist monks, flooded into the streets of Rangoon. The world's media were awash with stirring images from this neglected country. …

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