Tourists were asked not to support the junta that seized power in the popular country with tours

Tourists were asked not to support the junta that seized power in a popular country with tours

It's not just Russia that's getting hit by “British experts” – The Guardian has published a plea to tourists urging them to avoid Myanmar (formerly Burma), which is preparing to re-admit tourists. The reason for this, surprisingly, is the “military junta” that took power in the country, as well as, allegedly, “security issues”. “The dollars the tourists bring in will only benefit the ruling military,” cries out the British media. It tells tourists that the country is experiencing “widespread ongoing human rights violations and violence,” including kidnappings and killings by the military, as well as food shortages and regular power outages.

The story developed like this – Myanmar, aka Burma – by the way, until 1948, a former British colony – again announced its plans to reopen for tourism and resume international flights on April 17. The country closed its borders in March 2020, due to the pandemic, like everyone else. However, as The Guardian adds, “At that time, the country was ruled by an elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi,” but in February 2021, another military coup took place in the country.

Now experts from the “government-in-exile” such as Tin Tun Naing, the minister of planning, finance and investment of the ousted government of national unity, say the country should not be visited under any circumstances as “the country is being shaken by violence, protests and economic collapse”. The UK government is currently “recommending against all but essential travel to Myanmar”, stating the risk of arbitrary detention or arrest.

“Burma these days is not at all normal,” British experts assure. Locals, however, also advise tourists to be careful. As Bertie Alexander Lawson, CEO of Myanmar-based travel agency Sampan Travel, said tourists are taking a bit more risk now than they did a couple of years ago, but safe travel is possible “if you go with an operator that takes risk seriously.” However, tourists should be most seriously informed about the political context of the country and the risks. These include not only kidnappings and terrorist attacks, but also more mundane annoyances such as lack of access to cash, disruptions in the banking system and power outages.

For those who value a healthy lifestyle, we recommend reading: “The doctor told me when kefir becomes dangerous.”

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