The Burmese military government reported a higher death toll during the recent demonstrations for democracy in Myanmar than previously noted. They told Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, a special UN envoy that 114 Burmese nationals and a Japanese photojournalist were the people killed during demonstrations. Pinheio concluded a five day mission to Burma where he was told by the military leaders there were no incidents in which monks were killed. “My visit was not a full-fledged fact-finding mission because five days and I have interviewed prisoners, met monks, it was very much contact with the government authorities which is very useful for me to have a full consideration of all aspects of the crisis.” The human rights investigator is still int he process of examining evidence before he can conclude making his final report.
There is something strange about the claim of the Burmese military since during the demonstrations there were photos of the bodies of dead monks lying in the water and reports from eye-witnesses they saw monks beaten and killed. Perhaps, this evidence was made up by those hostile to the benevolent Burmese military dictatorship, perhaps, it is merely the anger of a few disgruntled Burmese people harboring grudges against a brutal oppressive regime which has denied human rights for over twenty years. I suspect eventually the real death toll will creep up to the hundreds.