Thursday, October 04, 2007

Free Burma

Today bloggers from around the world are showing their support for the democratic revolution in Burma and support for the Burmese people fighting (usually without weapons) the military dictatorship. International bloggers are displaying the above banner or similar banners in solidarity with the Burmese people. See FREE BURMA for more information.

The importance of outside support takes on greater importance as the military regime cracks down on dissidents. This from George Packer with reference to the picture at the right below :

How this particular monk came to be lying face down in a Rangoon stream is not known. But the picture—reminiscent, in a way, of others from places like Rwanda, Iraq, Cambodia, and Nazi Germany—shows totalitarianism in its most physical form: the elimination not just of an individual’s life but of his value. Aye Chan Naing, D.V.B.’s executive director, told me by phone from Oslo that as many as six thousand Burmese, the majority of them monks, have been detained in four locations around Rangoon, and their fate is uncertain. After nightly raids, the monasteries are “totally empty,” and he fears the worst for the detainees. But, staving off despair, he’s been mildly encouraged by the reaction of Malaysia, Thailand, and even, in its tepid way, China—quite different from their response after the brutal crackdown of a similar uprising two decades ago. At that time, Aye Chan Naing was two months away from completing his degree in dentistry in Rangoon; he became involved in the revolt and ended up an exile in Thailand and then Norway. “The change must come from inside Burma,” he said, “but I don’t know how much the Burmese people can resist this kind of violence. They need some help from outside.”

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