Friday, September 21, 2007

Burma

A Burmese blogger has photos of the demonstrations by Buddhist monks in Rangoon.

The photos were taken when the monks were heading towards Sule Pagoda. Initially, they tried to enter Shwedagon Pagoda. But they couldn't enter since the doors of pagoda where shut not to let them in.

The Associated Press has more. As is usual with authoritarian regimes, the real source of their weakness is incapacity. Such dictatorships, unless they are artificially propped up by oil, eventually run the economy to the ground.



At least 3,000 people led by Buddhist monks marched along flooded streets in Yangon on Friday, piling pressure on Myanmar's ruling junta in the most sustained challenge to its rule in nearly 20 years. ... Myanmar's pro-democracy movement has long demanded reforms from the regime and freedom for Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who has spent most of the last 18 years under house arrest.

But the latest protests have centred on bread-and-butter issues such as the skyrocketing costs of food and transportation, concerns that cross the often deep social divisions in a country wracked by decades of ethnic conflicts.

"We've been waiting for this kind of day for 45 years," said an elderly Muslim man watching the protest. "I was thrilled to be a Buddhist," said one woman who teared up as she recalled applauding the monks during Thursday's protest.

The only dismaying development in the situation is this: "The US and British ambassadors to the United Nations on Thursday urged Myanmar to allow a visit by UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari "as soon as possible."

2 Comments:

Blogger Charles said...

VD Hanson ends a recent article this way:

All in all, the world is in flux as never before, and the tired adjectives “disaster,” “fiasco,” and “blunder” just don’t describe the present state of global affairs, or the U.S. role in them.

In truth, the future dangers — aside, perhaps, from an Iranian bomb—are not so much political or military as fiscal: a protectionist EU that racks up surpluses with a strong Euro but has too high unemployment and entitlements for an aging population; skyrocketing energy prices; and alarming U.S. debt and trade imbalances.

— Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University
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Its clear where high energy prices come from for the Burmese. High food prices are less clear. The most obvious culprit is using corn for ethanol but I'm not aware that corn is a staple for the burmese

9/21/2007 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Star Jim Carrey joins Burma protest

Hollywood actor Jim Carrey has released a video on YouTube calling for UN action on Burma while hundreds of monks protesting the military regime gear up to march on a world famous pagoda.

Carrey's video message - which follows a Burma petition signed two weeks ago by US stars including Anjelica Huston, Jennifer Aniston, Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon - calls on people around the world to e-mail UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and demand he "coordinate a strong response" by the Security Council over the situation.

9/21/2007 06:32:00 PM  

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