Unrest in Burma: Monks vs junta

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Unrest in Burma: Monks vs junta

Post by andygates » Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:50 am

The latest developments in Burma have got quite heated. Pro-democracy protestors have been joined by the Buddhist monks, who have solid social respect. The government has responded by saying that they'd better step down or there'll be trouble.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-p ... 010839.stm

It's all making for a bit of a thunderhead: the military government have previous history in using force against protestors and aren't shy about flexing their muscles; attacking the monks could cause a massive wave of sympathy in the country (or a wave of fear, depending); the monks are Buddhists so I'm guessing that the threat of violence isn't so scary as it could be.

One to follow as it develops...
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Post by Ellie With An Axe » Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:46 pm

The only thing the government has that's keeping them in power, and keeping the people at bay, is that the people are peaceful, and the oppressors have Aung San Suu Kyi, and will never let her go. If by some bizarre twist of fate she was released, the government would be on its ear inside a day.

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Post by mrdbeau » Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:54 pm

So what's the political situation over there, in general?

I have heard of this San Suu Kyi person, but I actually wasn't aware that Burma was still run by the military.

So basically, the military runs the place, but most people are overwhelmingly pro-Democracy, and basically if the pro-Democracy demonstrations get out of hand, the military is going to kill a bunch of people... that about right?
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Post by White Bear » Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:08 pm

Also known as Myanmar, depending on where or who you are.

The monks there are the highest moral authority, the people will most likely only protest with the monks not without them.


San Suu Kyi won elections a while ago and was immediately put under house arrest.
The military generals hold control over everything.

Right now the military are just waiting for an excuse to kill all the protesters. Most likely they'll try to plant someone in the protest to get violent and then open up all hell. Its unlikely the protest will get violent on its own because the monks keep preaching peace and kindness and the people are doing what the monks say.

at least thats what I heard
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Post by Ellie With An Axe » Tue Sep 25, 2007 12:15 am

Pop down to Blockbuster and pick up a copy of "Beyond Rangoon" with Patricia Arquette in it. It's good. It'll breathe some life into the current picture, beyond what you're seeing on the news.

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Post by ironraven » Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:26 pm

My hat, if I was wearing one, would be off to the monks. They have balls as big as the guy who stared down the tank during the Tiananmen massacre.

I'd say more, but I'd get a talking to about making it political.
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Post by Ellie With An Axe » Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:00 pm

Well, heard today on the news that the Myanmar govt has now decreed it illegal for any public assemblies of more than 5 people. There is also a curfew now. Whether or not the curfew is temporary, I don't know. I'm sure the 5-person-group thing is not, though. I'm sure they did other things that were not reported, or were not 'seen', but this is only what I heard on the news in passing today. This was the most enormous protest they've had in 20 years.

So, basically, this means two things:

1) There will never be another protest in Burman history, and the government will go on terrorizing its people, Suu Kyi will never be free and the monks will second-guess any desires for a peaceful act of civil disobedience if threats to the civilian supporters may be carried out. The government has its way and exerts complete control, and nothing changes.

OR

2) The next protest will end in violence, and the chance of escalation into violent civil unrest is high - monks won't be able to make peace or save lives if that happens. Suu Kyi would be the only one to tell the people to stop, and it's likely she would. I'm sure the government knows that as well (and banks on it).

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Post by razi » Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:12 am

Ellie With An Axe wrote:Well, heard today on the news that the Myanmar govt has now decreed it illegal for any public assemblies of more than 5 people. There is also a curfew now. Whether or not the curfew is temporary, I don't know. I'm sure the 5-person-group thing is not, though. I'm sure they did other things that were not reported, or were not 'seen', but this is only what I heard on the news in passing today. This was the most enormous protest they've had in 20 years.

So, basically, this means two things:

1) There will never be another protest in Burman history, and the government will go on terrorizing its people, Suu Kyi will never be free and the monks will second-guess any desires for a peaceful act of civil disobedience if threats to the civilian supporters may be carried out. The government has its way and exerts complete control, and nothing changes.

OR

2) The next protest will end in violence, and the chance of escalation into violent civil unrest is high - monks won't be able to make peace or save lives if that happens. Suu Kyi would be the only one to tell the people to stop, and it's likely she would. I'm sure the government knows that as well (and banks on it).
or the monks and protesters stand in groups of 5.
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Post by Ricky Romero » Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:32 pm

Latest development:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20982926/
MSNBC wrote:YANGON, Myanmar - The government said its security forces opened fire Wednesday on demonstrators who failed to disperse, killing one person, and witnesses said police beat and dragged away dozens of Buddhist monks in the most violent crackdown against the protests that began last month in Myanmar.
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Post by sheddi » Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:15 pm

Another slant on the same events:
BBC News wrote:Up to 10,000 Burmese Buddhist monks and civilians have defied police tear gas and live bullets on the ninth day of protests against the military rulers.

At least one monk was killed, hospital sources in the main city of Rangoon said. The government has confirmed one death, without giving details.

Witnesses described monks with blood on their shaved heads as police charged at the Shwedagon pagoda in Rangoon.
More at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-p ... 014570.stm
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Post by Ellie With An Axe » Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:25 pm

Ricky Romero wrote:Latest development:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20982926/
MSNBC wrote:YANGON, Myanmar - The government said its security forces opened fire Wednesday on demonstrators who failed to disperse, killing one person, and witnesses said police beat and dragged away dozens of Buddhist monks in the most violent crackdown against the protests that began last month in Myanmar.
At this point, the only thing that's going to stop the protests is if the monks or Suu Kyi say to, or if the military kills as many people as it killed in '88. But now that there are monks dead, and it's likely there is more brutality happening than what's getting out to us, TS is going to HTF in a major way.

The monks will not stop marching. They'll do it every day, until there are none of them left, and as long as they keep getting back up after they get kicked down, the people are going to get out into the streets with them more and more. I think there were 100,000+ people, plus the monks, in yesterday's protest, and it was day 9 of the marches.

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Post by andygates » Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:15 pm

Seeing tear-gas wrapped around the central pagoda didn't look good.

I have the horrible feeling that the monks fully expect to get gunned down. One report quoted one as saying "We will do this. Go home. We monks will do this."

The pessimistic money is on a bloodbath by the weekend.

Must suck to be LEO in Burma right now.
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Post by zombicide_x » Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:32 pm

I tried to find out what the junta's political ideology was, but couldn't find any coherent explaination.

I came to the conclusion that the military basically believes in the I-like-power ideology, the worst.

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Post by KayGee » Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:47 pm

This picture more or less sums it up:
Image
A reporter shot dead by security forces. According to the government he was hit by a stray bullet. Video footage shows he was shot at point blank range. :x
Last edited by KayGee on Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by jamoni » Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:26 pm

andygates wrote:Must suck to NOT be LEO in Burma right now.
Fixed that for you.
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Post by Towanda » Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:04 pm

Holding a grudge is like swallowing poison and expecting someone else to die.

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Post by mrdbeau » Sun Sep 30, 2007 8:03 am

In an update, heard just now that Bush sent a US envoy over there. After arguing with the government for awhile, they have agreed to allow the envoy to meet with San Suu.
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Post by Ellie With An Axe » Sun Sep 30, 2007 9:24 am

mrdbeau wrote:In an update, heard just now that Bush sent a US envoy over there. After arguing with the government for awhile, they have agreed to allow the envoy to meet with San Suu.
That would be a UN envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, sent by Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General.

I don't see anything changing now that the marches have been stopped. They're holding the monks under house arrest essentially now. If the monks aren't protesting, then the people are too scared to get out there and protest too. As far as what Gambari and Suu Kyi are discussing, I can only guess.

Sanctions and frozen assets aren't going to do much of anything to help the people. The only thing that's going to change is the government, when the people forcefully either free Suu Kyi or storm the government centers and kill the leaders. Don't see any of that happening.

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Post by andygates » Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:59 pm

But to counter that, the monks can't all be held indefinitely (can they?) and the economic situation, which was the trigger for all this, is still dreadful. So the fuel is still going to be there waiting for another spark...
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Post by razi » Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:23 pm

anyone can and will be held indefinitely if the ruling party wants to, and if no one stops them.
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Post by Ellie With An Axe » Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:21 pm

andygates wrote:But to counter that, the monks can't all be held indefinitely (can they?)
Yes. Wiki: =Aung San Suu Kyi and go rent "Beyond Rangoon" (I don't think it's out on DVD, though... maybe have to find another way to see it).

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Post by Towanda » Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:31 pm

Holding a grudge is like swallowing poison and expecting someone else to die.

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Post by ironraven » Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:57 pm

I think the BBC is being generous. "Death camp" is probably a more accurate description of their destination. The monks are the oldest authority in Burma, I'm surprised it hadn't happened already.
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Post by Ad'lan » Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:36 am

Does it seem to me thats this is one place that would like regime change?

Wonder what would happen if they issued a plea to western nations to 'Invade' them?
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