The clampdown in Burma

I have just returned to my dorm, after going on a bus to a medical appointment. Inside the bus, there was a news clip of the clampdown on protesters in Burma. All I could hear on the broadcast were ordinary citizens yelling ‘Myitta po gya ba’–‘send your love’–to the protesters.

I am speechless. What has been romantically called the “Saffron Revolution” is a far cry from the news I am reading right now. What began as a series of nonviolent marches, civilians and monks alike, is fast becoming violent. Just yesterday, over 150,000 protesters marched in Rangoon, with many calling for United Nations intervention, for fear of a violent crackdown. The UN News Center states this:

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today he is sending his Special Envoy dealing with Myanmar to the region in response to the deteriorating situation in the Asian nation, and once again urged authorities there to respond to the ongoing peaceful protests with utmost restraint.

What took so long to act? Rumors of a violent crackdown have been making headlines for days. Burma’s ruling military does not listen to the words of its fellow countrymen. And violence is now almost synonymous with the State Peace and Development Council. There have been historical precedents. It was my wishful thinking, that Burma now had to heed the advice of fellow countries like China, that led me to believe there would be no violent ending.

Several monks have already been killed. Godspeed to them. As a Buddhist, as a Burmese, as a human, there is nothing more discomforting in the world than knowing that mankind may have been able to prevent this….

7 thoughts on “The clampdown in Burma

  1. Editor says:

    Actually, they announced a couple weeks ago that they would be sending the envoy to Burma in October. Now that the situation is deteriorating, it seems they decided to send the envoy immediately. Oh, wait. October’s only 4 days away! Way to stay on top of things, Ban Ki-Moon!

  2. damian says:

    Yet again China has block the UN resolution to condemn the Myanmar’s military action against peaceful protesters & Russia declares it to be an internal matter. What does this show?? One can’t expect repressive countries to actually defend one of the most fundamental UN charter declaration that it promotes human-rights in all countries.?So one wonders what purpose China serves to be in the security-council? To let repressive government
    get away with human-rights abuse? If that’s the case then the world is better of without China even being a UN member. It’s a bully who cannot even take care of it’s own backyard, oppressing all
    dissenters of any kind in regions such as Tibet, Xinjiang & even have the “cheek” to want to rule over Taiwan. The UN should act even if China
    opposes with veto, by sending arms to the opposition group in Burma. There’s no way to fight bullets with prayers. For UN to be respected & seen as effective ‘body’ to protect mankind accross the globe, please cut the red-tape,try not to
    please the “devil”(China), if not all those 9 lifes
    lost today & many more tomorrow will be in vain,
    & I say your hands are ‘soak-in blood’ just as
    bloodied as the Myanmar military junta’s….
    Military junta

  3. amuirin says:

    Yes, but…

    It is their fight, you know, and I think the people knew the risk. They did not wait for military intervention on Thursday, they took to the streets again. I am glad they didn’t wait for an envoy. It’s the heart of the people that has made this a story watched world-wide. Their will is the only force strong enough to bring about such notice.

    I hope they can also bring about change.

  4. Phoenix says:


    UN designated contacts in Yangon BURMA
    HotLine should be availabe 24/7
    especially Curfew hours
    Please Contact
    +95 1 554597
    +95 1 554625
    Resource: Internet
    Need URGENT Confirmation from all around the world as most communications have been ban inside/outside from BURMA
    -Mandalay and South East Region Commanding Troops were marching towards Yangon;possibly clashes withing ARMY
    -SE Region Troops have been reinforced TE11X11 (full of DKBA soldiers) trucks from border towns
    -SG Than Shwe’s families were arriving in Singapore and/or Lao
    – We have unconfirmed addresses
    – Please share your news with others even if they are Gossip or Wishes
    -Te Ghone A-Shin U Nyar Neik Thara(TA Peik AI Sayataw) and many other Sangha Gurus were taken away without reasons and charges possibly not backing up SLORC
    Resource: Satellite 28/09/07

  5. hunterseeker says:

    UN Designated Official in Rangoon has established a 24 hour hotline in case of emergency, especially during curfew hours. The numbers to call are: 01 554 597 or 01 554 625. Please pass this to all people inside Burma.
    Things are getting bad there right now. Still have connection but it is due to go down any minute. The above message is what I got from ABITSU SITE live chat. Thought you would be interested. If you blog with anyone there they might want to know this.

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