Everything is Broken by Emma Larkin
The Penguin Press (2010)
Welcome to my TLC Book Tour of Everything is Broken. This is a stark, moving book which I highly recommend (read my review). Emma Larkin is the pseudonym for an American who was born and raised in Asia, studied the Burmese language at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. She lives in Bangkok, Thailand, and has been visiting Burma for close to fifteen years.
You can read more reviews of the book by following the links on the TLC Book Tour site.
Good nonfiction should motivate the reader to want to know more about the subject, and Larkin’s book Everything Is Broken did just that for me. I am a little embarrassed to admit that before I read The Lizard Cage by Karen Connelly last month, I had no idea how bad things were in Burma. Then I agreed to this TLC tour of Emma Larkin’s book where she explores the tragic aftermath of Cyclone Nargis in Burma in 2008, when the Burmese government refused foreign aid to the detriment of its people. For all intents and purposes, the response of the regime was genocide.
Trigger warning: the following video was taken by amateur videographers in the days following Cyclone Nargis and shows images which may be disturbing to some people:
Compelled to learn more about the human right’s abuses and lack of freedom in Burma, I did a little research on the topic. Below are some of things I wanted to share with you, as well as links to websites which will help you learn more and discover how you can take action.
Learn more about Aung Sang Suu Kyi:
Read her 1990 Freedom From Fear speech.
Read her biography.
Why Are They Afraid of Aung Sang Suu Kyi?
Loss of Freedom:
Read about the history of Freedom of Speech violations in Burma.
View a moving video about the 2007 crackdown against Burmese monks:
Learn more about Burma and TAKE ACTION by visiting US Campaign for Burma:
- Contact your senator by phone or email to request a renewal of the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act (Senate Joint Resolution 29).
Each year, the Senate must vote to renew the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act. This year, seven leading Senators – Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), John McCain (R-AZ), Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Judd Gregg (R-NH), and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) – have introduced a Senate Joint Resolution 29 to renew the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act. This year, we need your help to get as many Senators on board as possible to make a strong impact! We need your help to help Burma.
- Support a UN Commission of Inquiry into the regime’s war crimes and crimes against humanity
The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Burma, Tomas Ojea Quintana, released a groundbreaking report to the UN Human Rights Council calling for a Commission of Inquiry into Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes in Burma, after nearly a year of being bombarded by our demands. This is the first time an acting UN official has called for such strong action.
- Arrest yourself in 2010 to show solidarity with solidarity with Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma.
- E-mail your representative urging them to co-sponsor Resolution 898 to help end abuses committed by the Burmese Junta.
Other excellent websites providing information on Burma:
[…]the global campaigning and lobbying organisation to restore democracy, human rights and rule of law in Burma where everyone can enjoy the freedom of speech, press, beliefs, assembly and rule of law that emphasizes the protection of individual rights. Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) has the firm determination, dedication and devotion to keep on working until the democracy restore in Burma.
The VJs and individual activists in this film took great personal risks to get this story out to the world. A number of them are currently incarcerated as a result of their roles in the Saffron Revolution. After careful consideration of each case, the DVB decided to campaign on behalf of the following individuals: Htin Kyaw, Su Su Nway, Ohn Than, Sithu Maung, Ko Win Maw. This is the first time it has ever released names for such a campaign.
Thank you to TLC Book Tours and the Penguin Press for providing me the opportunity to read Emma Larkin’s moving story of Burma…and for motivating me to learn more and take action.