Sunday, 14 November 2010

Aung San Suu Kyi. A Walk at Edithburgh.

Yesterday's release of Aung San Suu Kyi from her many years of house arrest in Burma (Myanmar) has been a cause of celebration by her supporters, yet the TV images showed that there is restraint - still obeying curfews of the military government - such is the grip the regime maintains. The action seems to be a calculated gesture by the generals; and certainly no sentiment is involved, still  less a sense of justice.
They would, one supposes, be not unhappy to represent the release to the international  community as a magnanimous act  - perhaps a PR attempt "to rejoin the human race" in the memorable words (in a regionally different setting) of  Sir Humphrey of "Yes Minister" fame.

This morning I went for a breezy walk along the seafront at Edithburgh; nothing strenuous ... jetty to the caravan park and back, stopping to read historical interpretive signage thoughtfully placed for the curious. Edithburgh Jetty  was built in 1872 and further extended during following few years. Edithburgh was at one time (1925) the third busiest port in this state. It was declared closed as a port on 11 January 1973, by coincidence (I hope) the very day I came to live in South Australia. One display showed a map of Troubridge Island's radically changing shape since 1953. The island is a sandbar. When navigator Lt. Matthew Flinders first named it over two centuries ago as Troubridge Shoal, it was barely above water and a great danger to shipping, which it remained. The light of the lighthouse "was extinguished" (sez the signage) less than a decade ago, replaced by an automatic beacon. The whole island which is currently an area of 2 hectares plus a much larger intertidal area, has been declared a no-go marine conservation  zone.

1 comment:

  1. I was interested to read about Edithburgh. When I lived there (1956-1958) it was still a working port, exporting grain (in bags) by ketch to Adelaide and gypsum to New Zealand in larger ships. I used to dream of visiting Troubridge Island, but did not achieve this until many years later when I was taken across by one of my old schoolmates, who was then island caretaker. There's a big penguin rookery. The shifting sands were threatening the lighthouse.