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.