Tag Archives: Monks

Burma Military Junta– No Monks Killed!

Burma’s military junta continued its life of denial by claiming no monks had been killed during the massive protests which swept their nation over the past month. Religious Affairs Minister, Gen. Thura Myint Maung, claimed “most of the monks from the National Front of Monks are ex-convicts and bogus monks who led the protest in violation of cleric rules.” Of course, ordinarily, in most countries, a minister of religious affairs tends to be someone who has a connection to religion, not a general in the army. On a more helpful note, it is reported that opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for 12 of the last 18 years, was taken to meet with a member of the military. The Senior General, Than Shwe, has demanded that prior to meeting with him, she must renounce outside interference in the affairs of Burma, but Suu Kyi has refused the request. Sources claim she might have a chance to meet with Gen. Aung Kyi(no relation) who reportedly is among the more reasonable of the military junta.

The thugs who run Burma claim no monks have been killed during the protest. In yesterday’s Der Spiegel, a picture was printed of a monk lying face down in water. The paper also presented first hand accounts of monks being beaten and killed by members of the military. The generals are a group of ignorant incompetents who rule by force and have driven their potentially wealthy nation to the brink of ruin while siphoning off money from drug trades and business operations for themselves. They just built a new capital city miles away from Yangoon which will be their private reserve.

The Horror Of Myanmar Grows Worse And Worse

German reporters in Myanmar spoke confidentially with a variety of opposition leaders to the bestial military junta which controls Burma. These dissidents report the three largest monasteries have been transformed into military camps and no monks are to be seen. US diplomats who visited 15 monasteries did not find any sign of a monk. Poverty is widespread and many poor people are living on about 60 cents a day when a kilo or rice cost $2. According to residents in the religious city of Pakokku, troops entered the city, tied monks to lamp posts and beat them until blood ran from their bodies. There are reports of bodies of monks found floating in rivers and today, Der Spiegel printed a picture of a dead monk lying face downward in a river. A Der Spiegel reporter spoke with the leader of the All Burma Monks Alliance who said no one will know the extent of how many died, but, at a minimum it runs into the hundreds although officially only 10 died. It is believed bodies are being burned after killed by soldiers and today the Yangoon crematory burned the bodies of 79 “unknown” people. A local resident said troops entered a monastery, lined up the monks and then “the soldiers smashed their heads against the wall.” Since monks believe in non-violence none resisted. Last night, the official radio of the junta, warned reporters, especially Germans, “We will hunt you down” for daring to talk with people about the truth.

China expresses its concern, India pretends nothing has happened, and, after all, its economic interests are more important than people, and the UN envoy admits his mission was a failure. One wonders about the college students of India, why aren’t they protesting their nation’s indifference? Perhaps, American college students can initiate a boycott of the 2008 Olympics to get Chinese action. It is time for action or thousands more will die.

Burmese Torture And Brutality Continue

In a brief announcement, the Burmese military junta confirmed it still retained in prison 468 of the 2,927 who were arrested for protesting against their nation’s dictatorship. Among those being held are monks who led the protest that was crushed by police and military units. Experts were intrigued the announcement did not also contain typical anti-western rhetoric which blames any troubles in Myanmar on outside “elements.” Three members of the 88 generation(in 1988, the military junta crushed a student led protest and killed hundreds) sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon which said: “Thousands of protestors including monks and students, continue to suffer ill treatment and severe torture in detention centres and some have passed away in captivity.” They concluded their letter with the following comment: “this may be the last letter we send you before our arrest and torture.”

There is nothing anyone can add to the last line of the letter. Perhaps, next year a Nobel Peace prize can be awarded to all those who marched in protest against the brutality of the Burmese military junta.

China Betrays People Of Myanmar

The Chinese government lived up to what most experts expected would be their reaction to the brutal actions of the military junta of Myanmar — do nothing. China made it clear its opposition in the Security Council toward any UN actions such as sanctions against the Burmese military junta which has used force to put down peaceful demonstrations against its oppressive regime. Liu Janchao, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry noted: “China hopes all relevant sides of Myanmar will maintain restraint and achieve reconciliation, democracy, and improve the living conditions of the people by peaceful means.”

This absurd statement merely reflects the intent of the Chinese government to ignore the use of force against peaceful and restrained efforts by the Burmese people led by pacifist monks to somehow express their frustrations with a government that is brutal, opposes democracy, and is destroying the living standards of the ordinary Burmese citizen. Perhaps, it is time for the world to respond to China’s inaction by boycotting the 2008 Olympics — of course, such action should be done peacefully, with restraint and through democratic means.

Singapore Opposition Parties Rally For Myanmar

Leaders of Singapore’s opposition parties rallied in front of the prime minister’s office in protest against their nation’s failure to take decisive action against the Burmese military junta’s brutal crackdown on monks and protestors. They were led by Chee Soon Juan, a noted critic, who has been in and out of jail for his vocal public comments about the Singapore government. The group had planned a 24 hour protest and wanted to submit a petition to the government which stated: “We demand that the government open its books of the Government Investment Corporation and Temasek to the people starting with its investments in Burma.” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong did criticize the Burmese junta, but made clear that Singapore intended to maintain its investments and diplomatic relations.

The Burmese military leaders are aware that Singapore, China and India want to invest within their nation seeking access to its natural resources, particularly oil. The world can condemn the military junta, but as long as nations like Singapore maintain relations and continue investing in Myanmar, there is no need to alter policies. In fact, the military thugs probably don’t even mind a few negative words from the prime minister of Singapore because they understand it’s for show and tell to prove to the world it cares. There is a cynicism among many Asian leaders which results in abasement of rights in Myanmar.

First Hand Account Of Burmese Brutality To Monks

Alan Brown, correspondent for the London Telegraph made contact with a monk who had been jailed and beaten in Rangoon. According to the monk (his name can not be revealed) ‘Day and night, we had to sit on crowded rows with our heads bowed down. If we spoke, looked up or fell asleep, we would be hit. We weren’t allowed to move at all, not even to go to the lavatory– we had to just do it where we were sitting. Once in the morning and once in the afternoon, the guards would come and give us water, but it would be only one or two bottles for 50 people or more.” No medical treatment was provided the wounded. He said some monk who backed the government came and asked the monks to exchange their filthy clothes for new ones, but they refused on grounds they intended to be as they were when entering the prison. Burmese authorities admit to imprisoning 3000, and claim all but 109 have been released, but no one believes their version. The monk who underwent this brutality was finally released and told to leave the area.It is so shocking that members of the military could submit their own clergy to such brutal treatment. One can only wonder if among soldiers inflicting beatings, some are wondering how their behavior can be justified.

Thai Muslims Reach Out To Burmese Monks

The northwest section of Thailand is among the regions in this Buddhist nation which has a significant Muslim population. Abdul Khalik, a reporter for the Jakarta Post, reported scenes of Muslims bringing food and seeking blessings from monks who had fled Myanmar. He says it is a common sight to witness Muslims offering aid to Burmese refugees even though they are from a different religion. The city of Mae Sot is now headquarters of the Burmese Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) which is run by dissidents and is probably one of the most important sites for accurate information concerning the brutal military junta in Myanmar. According to an AAPP activist, “the latest wave of protests has seen an influx of fleeing activists to this town. We feel safe here as people don’t question us.” It is estimated there are about 80,000 Burmese in the area.

The American media will always report stories concerning Muslim violence, but rarely deal with stories like this in which Muslims reach out to assist those of another persecuted religion. In this area of Thailand, Muslims and Buddhists live in peace. This type of story will never make the six o’clock news.

Monks And Dissidents Claim Bloodbath In Myanmar

Burmese monks who fled to Indonesia together with thousands of Indonesian monks protested against what they claim is a bloodbath taking place in Myanmar. Bo Kyi, an activist monk commented: “We monitor what is happening through links with most activist groups and monasteries and even several officers in the military.” Based on those reports, it is believed hundreds were killed and over 2000 imprisoned in the latest effort by the Burmese military junta to crush any opposition to their despotic regime. Khun Seung claimed “We believe hundreds of protestors were killed during the protests. In one incident more than 20 bodies were found floating in the water.”

The growing anger of Burmese dissidents suggests the possibility of further protests as the economic situation of their nation continues its downward movement. The fact exiled monks have contacts with military officers suggests there is even a possibility of members of the military siding with dissidents. Now is the time for China, India, and the United Nations to exert even more pressure on the military junta. As pressure increases, it encourages members of the military who disagree with their leadership to take even bolder steps to challenge the thugs who run the government and restore democracy to Burma.

China Helps Myanmar In Its Propoganda Campaign

The Chinese Daily, a mouth piece of the government, published a propoganda article by Foreign Minister U Nayn Win of Myanmar, which blamed any violence on”political opportunists” who were backed by “some powerful countries.” According to the new version of reality, Burmese security forces displayed “utmost restraint” in the face of violence by monks and protestors. The curfew was imposed because monks and their supporters became unruly and tried to force security forces into acting violent.” According to him, “normalcy has now returned to Myanmar” and a “neo-colonialist” attempt to take over his country has been thwarted.

We can expect in the coming days for Myanmar and the Chinese press to present a new view as to what happened on the streets of Rangoon. Undoubtedly, everything will be blamed on wester colonial forces who were attempting to overthrow a peaceful Myanmar government. One suspects, in one way or another, George Bush will enter the story. Hundreds have died and been imprisoned in this latest attempt at democracy. The tragedy is China’s support for what happened.

Police Fire Away At Burmese People!

A 23 year-old Burmese journalist provided The Independent a first hand account of the murder of dozens of innocent Burmese by police. Forty monks and about 20,000 people met at Jakhasan Street about 2:00 p.m. on Thursday. The monks said: “Just pray, don’t shout, don’t throw stones. Pray for peace, protection and love.” People cried as they walked and prayed. They were soon joined by thousands of others who walked along with love and peace in their heart. There were rumors the Swan Ar Shan(paramilitary plan clothes men) were in their ranks ready to provoke violence.

The crowd reached police lines. The police approached beating their batons on shields. Some in the crowd began to run while others remained quietly in prayer. No one shouted. The police began firing, first rubber bullets and tear gas. People began running and screaming. The journalist tried taking pictures when the police grabbed them. One of the soldiers said they were students so the soldiers grabbed the camera and let them go. By now, everyone was running as the police fired indiscriminately into the crowd. “it was as if they were on drugs. They seemed liked mad people, not normal.” The police fired and fired away as dozens fell to the ground.

This is life in Myanmar, the year is 2007. And, the world stands idly by, watching but not acting.