September 06, 2009
There has been plenty of discussion about the ethics of traveling to Burma, although its repressive government has been impervious to just about any kind of pressure the outside world applies. While there are Buddhist practitioners who visit monasteries to practice on extended retreats, most other travel has been frowned upon by many activists. But today's Washington Post lists a few tour agencies that "are mindful of the ongoing ethical debate about visiting Burma and have taken measures to ensure that at least some of their tourist dollars go to support small, locally owned businesses and not the repressive military dictatorship."
If you are planning to travel to Burma, you might consider one of the agencies the Post lists. And if you're not, you might consider donating some of the money you'll save staying home to The Foundation for the People of Burma, a non-political not-for-profit that gives direct aid to the Burmese people. They're on the ground and they know where the money goes. I give myself.
[Image: (2003 Photo By Vijay Johsi—Associated Press)]