The Burmese military junta creates spies faster than you can think.
A friendly soul approaches me the moment I step outside my hotel, says he is Burmese and that the storm has broken and everything is good now in Myawaddy and Rangoon.
“The people are happy now,” he tells me.
What he says is obviously rot, because no one can clean up after a typhoon that fast, but he smiles and nods and expects me to believe him.
But he doesn’t care whether I do or not.
He would be paid very little and not very often, but it’s a job.
And after all, he only had to drive across town, tell some lies and go home.
And Burma’s military junta buys another day of life.
For 14 years the ruling generals, come and go as they do, have been talking about the weekend’s referendum.
That a monumental storm ruined the logistics of the whole thing would be cause for backslapping and self-congratulations at their homes.
At the hotel where I am staying the ethnic minorities of Burma are meeting and talking military intervention and how soon it can be organised.
For China, as a member of the “permanent five” at the United Nations security council, this is a disaster.
China, the mother country of Burma, is trying to host the Olympics.
Burma, like many of the countries of South East Asia, is expected to pay patronage to China.
The very fact that people are meeting and trying to organise resistance in Burma would infuriate the Chinese government.
Daniel Pedersen in Mae Sot, Thailand
And after all, he only had to drive across town, tell some lies and go home. And Burma’s military junta buys another day of life.