Internet can force change in Myanmar, says Brown

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Old 22-May-2008
Internet can force change in Myanmar, says Brown

LONDON: "People power" via the Internet could help shame Myanmar into accepting foreign assistance for cyclone victims, British PM Gordon Brown said on Monday.

Hailing the Internet as a modern force for change, Brown said the web meant the tragedy - which is thought to have left some 134,000 people dead or missing - could no longer be kept a secret.

"It is true that in Myanmar we have not been able to get as much food and supplies that we would like, but now a country like Myanmar cannot remain hidden," he said at a conference organised by Google.

"Direct people power is going to be a force not just for individual countries but for foreign policy as well."

He predicted that "whether it is famine, cyclone or whatever, pressure from the people is going to force government interaction".
Brown suggested that the Internet could have helped give more details of the Rwandan genocide in 1995 as it was developing.

Internet weblogs were now forcing governments to act and be accountable, and could help force change, he added. "They could feel people coming to express their anger about certain events. The mood could have an impact that means governments will be forced to change their institutions," he added.

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