Skip to comments.10,000 protest against Myanmar gov't
Posted on 09/22/2007 5:45:26 AM PDT by nuconvert
10,000 protest against Myanmar gov't
Myanmar police allowed a group of more than 500 Buddhist monks to march Saturday past the house where opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is detained, witnesses said, on a day that saw some of the largest protests since 1988.
A monk said in a speech later to anti-government protesters that Suu Kyi came to her gate to greet them. His account could not immediately be confirmed. Suu Kyi has been under detention continuously since May 2003 at her Yangon home, and for 11 of the past 18 years.
The monks stopped briefly in front of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Suu Kyi's house in Yangon and said prayers before leaving, said a resident, who asked not to be named for fear of being harassed by authorities.
In the central city of Mandalay, a crowd of 10,000 people, including some 4,000 Buddhist monks, marched , witnesses said, in one of the largest demonstrations against the country's repressive military regime since a democratic uprising in 1988.
Monks from various monasteries started their march in Mandalay a hotbed for activist monks while about 1,000 Buddhist monks began marching from Yangon's Shwedagon Pagoda, the country's most revered shrine and a historic center for protest movements. From there, witnesses said, they planned to march to downtown Yangon, which is the nation's largest city.
It was the fifth straight day the monks have marched in Yangon and the numbers showed the anti-government protest were growing in size. Emboldened by the monks, some 800 civilians walked along with them in the drizzling rain through the heart of the commercial district to support the most dramatic anti-government protests the isolated Southeast Asian nation has seen in years.
The monk's activities have given new life to a protest movement that began a month ago after the government raised fuel prices, sparking demonstrations against policies that are causing economic hardship.
Meanwhile, Buddhist monks in the country urged the public for the first time to join in protesting the "evil military despotism," stepping up their campaign against the junta after days of peaceful marches.
"In order to banish the common enemy evil regime from Burmese soil forever, united masses of people need to join hands with the united clergy forces," The All Burma Monks Alliance said the statement, received by The Associated Press Saturday.
Little is known of the group or its membership, but its communiques have spread widely by word of mouth and through opposition media in exile.
Some monks have started a religious boycott of the junta, symbolized by their holding their black begging bowls upside down as they march. In the Myanmar language, the word for boycott comes from the words for holding the bowl upside down.
"We pronounce the evil military despotism, which is impoverishing and pauperizing our people of all walks including the clergy, as the common enemy of all our citizens," the statement read, which was translated from Burmese by Burma Net, a news site that covers Myanmar.
A day earlier, some 1,500 barefoot Buddhist monks marched through the rain-flooded streets of Myanmar's biggest city, drawing even more public sympathy to ongoing anti-government protests that have put the ruling military on the defensive.
The protest movement began Aug. 19 after the government raised fuel prices, but has its basis in long pent-up dissatisfaction with the repressive military regime. Using arrests and intimidation, the government had managed to keep demonstrations limited in size and impact, but they gained new life when the monks joined.
The government has been handling the situation gingerly, aware that forcibly breaking up the monks' protest in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar would likely cause public outrage.
The protests at the Shwedagon pagoda resonate with many people, as it is best remembered as the site of a vast Aug. 26, 1988, rally where independence hero Gen. Aung San's daughter Suu Kyi, took up leadership of a pro-democracy movement.
The 1988 pro-democracy demonstrations were crushed by the military, and Suu Kyi has spent nearly 12 of the past 18 years in detention.
The junta will probably do what they did last time mass protests occurred in Burma: hold elections and then annul the results. In the time in between they can prepare for the needed crackdown while claiming that it is for election security. Optionally they can just rig the election by rules that exclude people like Aung San Suu Kyi’s supporters.
Then again they may go the Chinese route and perform their own Tienanmen Square massacre.
If the protests continue, they’ll have to do something.
The Iranian regime has used helicopter gunships overhead to control crowds.
We’ll see what they resort to.
George Soros has his fingers in this Burma matter:
China’s involvement is needed to push for political reforms in Myanmar, US billionaire financier George Soros said on Wednesday.
2. They are fellow Marxists; and he has enough dirt on some who might not be. Chronic malcontents are compelled dance to this pied pipers tune, and he knows this perfectly well.
America as we have known and loved it is their principal problem and target.
Yes I agree, however, there is nothing in their dividing to give promise they will be on top when the conquering is finished. Some of these people are getting on in years or long in the tooth, so who are their chosen inheritors.
There are some hefty egos and some of them are NOT going to take well getting shoved out of the limelight, so what prevents anarchy within their midst?
think of how the Bolsheviks took absolute control when the peasants-with-pitchforks proletariat were no longer necessary or useful....imagine what Oafrah’s stepford teevee show might be after that point, LOL
Well sadly there has been NOBODY requiring an accounting for what those Bolsheviks set in motion, hundreds of millions have died and suffered under their survival of the fittest ideology. Yes it is the same ideology as their mentality set them up as the fittest to decided what the rest of humanity can or cannot believe.
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