Yesterday was my mother’s birthday. When I called her to tell her “Happy Birthday,” she had totally forgotten about her birthday. She was frantic and had been following news in Burma online at work. My mother has many relatives and friends in Rangoon, especially in Lanmadaw, where she was raised. She couldn’t reach them through phone or e-mail, but we all hope that everyone is okay. My mother is not a passive woman. She was partly angry that the protesters didn’t use force to combat force, angry at the cat-and-mouse game the protesters were playing with the armed policemen and soldiers. She doesn’t believe that passive and nonviolent protest would ever change Burma, even though nonviolence is one of the key selling points of the pro-democracy movement in Burma.
There has been a flurry of news in recent days from Burma. Countless heartbreaking pictures. Rubber sandals drenched in blood, Buddhist monasteries in ruin, and dead corpses lying on the street. Amid the heavy rain Rangoon has been experiencing are horrific scenes. Burma/Myanmar Genocide has a post with a greusome picture of what appears to be a young boy’s brain.
The junta fully knows that it could be prosecuted for its heinous actions by the UN, but probably it also knows that the UN has been too toothless in changing the situation in Burma. There are reports of Burmese army battalions deserting their superiors and protesting along with the people. There are reports of rumors that Maung Aye (No. 2 in the State Peace and Development Council) will be meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi. There are reports that Maung Aye and Than Shwe disagree on whether to use force against protesters.
Internet was disconnected in Burma at 3 p.m. local time. Citizen journalists have been key in releasing new updates, photos and video to the rest of the world and within Burma.
I feel so guilty, not being able to update as frequently as I would like to. College life is hectic, moving from class to class, attending seminars and finding your way around. I’m glad that most of my roommates now know about Burma and the current situation, and that some are actually interested. For extraordinary photos of the protests in English-language blogs, visit these two: mongkol.wordpress.com and moeyyo.com/MM/.