A twist on the Burmese fuel price hikes

Mizzima News has a very interesting article on an alternative explanation for the sudden price increases of fuel last Tuesday. To put it shortly, the article claims that an anonymous group named “Counter Strike Group” said that the recent price hikes of Burma’s diesel, gasoline and natural gas are to invoke civil unrest in Burma. It claims that this maneuver was deliberately done by the Burmese military government, to create an atmosphere similar to that of the 8888 uprising, during which the military usurped power and has held on since.

Burma’s military government has many factions, all vying for power. With the top generals, Than Shwe, Maung Aye and a few others who are now old, a new band of generals and commanders may be inching toward seizing power, through civil unrest and claiming to do so for “national security.” This could be likely, since any major unrest and dissidence would be a good cloak for Burma’s younger and more educated military leaders to stage a coup.

It does seem odd to me that the government did not arrest Rangoon protesters demanding the lowering of fuel prices on Sunday. Even activists who have staged innocuous acts of defiance have been arrested or severely harassed. Anything is possible–and Burma’s military élite are not as insipid as pro-democratic movements like to depict them: they are conniving and very clever.

Mizzima News’ analysis can be found here.

UPDATE: Mizzima followed with news today that a number of student leaders in the 88 Generation Students Group have been arrested by plainclothes officers and USDA (Union Solidarity and Development Organization) members, following protests in Rangoon. The Irrawaddy also reports that number of National League for Democracy activists have also been harassed by the USDA and a paramilitary group that dubs itself “Pyithu Swan Arr Shin.”

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