Burma is burning. In blood. I’m not sure what to make of the monks’ protest or how to help their cause or what to do to stop the dying.


Monks are being killed:

Journalists are being shot by the government:

The BBC reports today 4,000 monks are being exiled:

Thousands of monks detained in Burma’s main city of Rangoon
will be sent to prisons in the far north of the country, sources have
told the BBC.
About 4,000 monks have been rounded up in the past week as the military
government has tried to stamp out pro-democracy protests.

It seems the whole mess started
on August 15 when the government doubled the price of fuel and
quintupled the price of compressed used to power buses and the monks
stepped in to help protest these unfair increases in basic living
expenses:

The hikes hit Burma’s people hard, forcing up the price
of public transport and triggering a knock-on effect for staples such
as rice and cooking oil.
Pro-democracy activists led the initial demonstrations in Burma’s main
city, Rangoon. When about 400 people marched on 19 August, it was the
largest demonstration in the military-ruled nation for several years.
The monks started participating in large numbers after troops used
force to break up a peaceful rally in the central town of Pakokku on 5
September.

At least three monks were hurt. The next day, monks in Pakokku briefly
took government officials hostage. They gave the government until 17
September to apologise, but no apology was forthcoming.
When the deadline expired, the monks began to protest in much greater
numbers and also withdrew their religious services from the military
and their families.
There have been protests every day since the deadline, both in Rangoon
and elsewhere, and they are getting bigger by the day. Tens of
thousands of monks are now involved.

How will this War of the Wills end?
Will the military government resign?
Will the monks give in and stop protesting?
Will the bloodshed continue without end?

16 Comments

  1. The decent thing is to follow up on the words spoken at the UN and put some military force on the ground to get the monks back from prison. Will Bush do it? Do the math.

  2. I guess this is when the rest of us have to stand up and shout from our blogs to keep the matter alive in the hope the monks will not be erased and then forgotten, Karvain. This is the test of a free press the world over.

  3. The killing continues:

    It was around midnight when the long convoy of military vehicles drove into the district. They contained police officers from the anti-insurgency unit and the so-called “Lome-Ten,” a unit of gangsters and ex-convicts, who do the regime’s dirty work.
    They surrounded a monastery on Weiza Yandar Street. All the roughly 200 monks living there were forced to stand in a row and the security forces beat their heads against a brick wall. When they were all covered in blood and lay moaning on the ground, they were thrown into a truck and taken away. “We are crying for our monks,” said the man, and then he was gone.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,509232,00.html

  4. The situation in Burma is horrifying.
    A lot of people in the UK have signed this petition
    http://www.avaaz.org/en/stand_with_burma/tf.php?cl_tf_sign=1
    What good it will do I do not know – but it is something.
    China will of course veto anything put to the security council at the UN.
    I think our Chinese chickens are coming home to roost.
    The other suggestion I have heard mooted is that
    we boycott the Olympic Games in Bejing.
    There are already noises of discontent about the road being built in the Himalaya’s .
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/china/story/0,,2106907,00.html

  5. Thanks for those important links, Nicola.
    I’m hearing the Chinese don’t want any rough action in Burma. They want it quiet on their Southern front and that means not killing monks. We’ll see how and if they intervene.
    I like signing a petition. I like the image on your blog. I like making noise so the rest of us can speak up for the monks!