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Under the Dragon 3

Excerpts from the book " Under the Dragon " written by Rory MacLean

Published by HarperCollins Publishers 1998

About the author

For 10 years the memory of a chance to visit to Burma has haunted Rory
MacLean. Ten years ago its people rose up against their military
dictatorship. The unarmed demonstrators were cut down, leaving more than
five thousand people dead.

In " Under the Dragon " , MacLean returns to the betrayed land,
traveling from a decaying Rangoon to the heart of the golden triangle,
meeting the victims and perpetrators of the uprising. He rides with a
hill tribe warlord, shares tea with a government censor and is trapped
into a karaoke evening with a group of singing businessmen.
He learns about the economics of the heroin trade and the tragedy of
child prostitution.
He meets the most courageous and principled woman of our age " Aung San
Suu Kyi ", imprisoned leader of the democratic party.
And on his journey , he unravels a paradox of selfless generosity and
sinister greed in a country stitched together by love and fear.

Conclusion of the journey :--

Our journey had enabled me to understand the dichotomy between the
Burmese people's kindness and their unelected masters' cruelty. In the
past Burma's kings had exercised a brutal authority, but only within
their court. at the same time a tolerant, affable Buddhist lifestyle had
prevailed in the country's heartland.

But the military regime has extend its control beyond the central court
with the help of their modern tools and weapons. It would be an
over-simplification to suggest that the generals were upholding a regal

***Their motivation to seize power was personal, un-Buddhist ambition.

In stark contrast to their claims, the State Peace and development
Council - and their arrogant brutal , shameless army - were the main
obstacle to the country's progression towards a just, pluralist society.