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Myanmar: Voices from the Region

Myanmar's government is warning the protesters to stay off the streets following a large demonstration in Yangon yesterday. The protesters are being led by monks and they are demanding more freedom and roll-back of price hikes announced earlier this month. Bloggers from the neighboring countries are posting their thoughts and support.

Citizen on Mars remembers the time when Philippines was in somewhat similar situation.

Whatever becomes of the mass protest in Yangon, I hope nothing extraordinarily violent would inure, despite that in every move against a government, violence (or some form of) may always exist. I hope the generals would keep their composure and calm not step back in time and become beastly in engaging the protesters in the streets. We have been once in the same situation—or twice even—first in 1986 along EDSA and then in 1991 when former President Joseph Estrada was forced to step down

Diacritic, who has earlier written about warming relations between Vietnam and Myanmar, criticizes Vietnamese newspapers for not giving the protests due coverage.

Tuổi Trẻ, Vietnam's most popular and widely read daily newspaper allocates five sentences in “20.000 Người Mianma diễu hành phản đối chính quyền quân sự” while Thanh Niên raises the ante by sparing seven sentences in “Hơn 100.000 người biểu tình tại Myanmar” to what other international news sources have dedicated front page editorials.

Diacritic adds

Our Burmese colleagues today informed us of the rumor that this evening, internet access will be shut down in Myanmar to prevent further leakage of photos and videos that have found wide circulation among the internet.

In a post titled We are with you Myanmar, Cambodian blogger Somongkol Teng replies to a comment critical of Buddhist monks participating in political activism.

I am aware that in Buddha’s teaching, monks should be reserved and by all means shouldn’t be involved in politics. However, if we think realistically, they are also one of the rightful citizens of the nation. Whatever happens to the country affects everyone — ordinary people and monks alike. We can use the Khmer Rouge time as an example. Thousands of monks were killed. For many reasons, I don’t think they should be silent at all. When society requires their intervention, it’s appropriate enough to hear their voice and initiatives.

Singapore blogger Bernard Leong wants ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) and China to intervene in Myanmar to prevent the bloodshed.

In the past twenty years ever since Tiananmen (which I remembered vividly), every such type of protest in Asia (except for Philippines and Indonesia after the Asian financial crisis) usually have ended up in bloodshed. While the military junta has already moved to put their troops on the ground, a possible bloodshed may take place soon. If that happens, a lot of innocent lives will be sacrificed in the process. So, how is the world going to do about this? While the US has already started the sanctions, it is now very interesting to watch what China is going to do about this. My feeling is that ASEAN will take an non-interventionist approach aka do nothing and let it happen which is something that I am personally against.

Another Singapore blogger Monsoon Blogging hopes the crisis would help in bringing about a change in Myanmar.

All of us want to see progress in Myanmar, the country has missed out on economic development over the last two generations while the rest of SE Asia steams relentlessly ahead, so it is time for Myanmar to wake up now, joins the rest of Monsoon Asia progress and share the prosperity. It does not matter what form of government if the people are well look after, that there is a future for their children.

25 comments

  • Nan Tal

    It is possible that this latest demonstration led by monks will have many possitives fruits if everyone in Burma who expresses their ill feelings about the military government’s administration, which has been more than two generation, learn their lessons from 8888.

    The Myanmar military will not be toppled by a demonstration that is similar to 8888 Uprising, but it could be toppled by a demonstration that is greater in number, greater disciplined than the one in 8888. It was not only the soldiers and polices who were violent in 8888 demonstration but it was also the civilians and demonstrators who expressed thier desires and feelings violently that caused hundreds of lives of men and women in iniform. Therefore, everyone in Burma, including monks, must discipline themselves, and especially take care of the youngstar not to be agressive nor arrogant in their demonstration but simply sing the national anthem or other political songs written in the times of 8888 Uprising, or pray or chant one of the Buddhist’s prayers and get a Buddhist rosary if or she is a Buddhist. For other faiths who are participating in this latest demonstration, they should do things based on their religious teachings. For the Christians, chant or pray the Lord’s Prayer or sing “Myanmar for Christ”. etc..

    NO ONE, DEMONSTRATORS, MUST NOT HAVE ANY WEAPON, EVEN A CHOPSTICK IN THEIR HANDS BUT ONLY ROSARY, IF THEY MUST.

    Untill unless, demonstrators are wise and well organized with greater discipline than in 8888, Myanmar Millitary will not have trouble in handling and managing the mass demonstration and it is very important and essential that demonstration spreads out to government employees in all departments including soldiers and police.

    It may be the right time for all the Burmese to study and apply the Philippines’ Model of People Power Revolution or Edsa Revoltion.

    Nan Tal

  • Charles Liu

    Is it possible this crisis, like the color-revolutions, were manufactured? If you don’t know look up the name Robert Helvey.

    Anug San Suu Kyi’s connection with the CIA (thru our intelops like DIA officer Col. Robert Helvey) and the Karen insurgency is an open secret:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=Aung+San+Suu+Kyi+Robert+Helvey

    http://www.google.com/search?q=Aung+San+Suu+Kyi+Karen+insurgency

  • While anything is possible, the notion that this massive
    non-violent resistance to the Burmese dictatorship was somehow conjured up by the C.I.A. is, at best, a feeble
    attempt at disinformation created by the Burmese
    dictatorship itself. I have first-hand experience of
    the Karen resistance, and the Student Army, and I
    can state that these movements were grass-roots
    responses to heavy oppression by one of the world’s
    most repressive regimes. And both of these movements
    have been crushed by the Burmese regime – the response
    now is just another example of the natural law that
    says if you beat a dog long enough, he will bite you!

  • […] internazionale. Global Voices, aggregatore di blog su scala internazionale, ha inoltre aperto un canale diretto con le voci provenienti dai Paesi che confinano con la […]

  • @Charles: Are you really shure that the CIA is able to kick the birmas juntas a**? I think they are bureaucrats, sitting in front of computers. As I learnd from sources the situation is still unclear in Burma, the monks are still leading the protests (and, no, they will never be lead by CIA officers :-)), foreigners stay in their homes or offices, waiting what will happen. The CIA failed on Sept. 11th, they failed in Iraq, they even doesn”t see the east-german “revolution” coming.

  • […] and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, has also been carrying news updates and commentary from bloggers in Southeast Asia related to the Myanmar protests. And so has another site for […]

  • […] and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, has also been carrying news updates and commentary from bloggers in Southeast Asia related to the Myanmar protests. And so has another site for […]

  • The whole Web is watching to see if the power of the monk-hood is greater that the power of the fist. I’ve been aggregating related developments at my Singapore-based blog, Webs@Work. http://blogswork.wordpress.com/

  • Up with the monks and down with the military

  • Katherine Wall

    I am a Canadian, and I’m just posting to let any people from Burma who are reading this blog that I support you and your struggle against the junta. (And yes, Global Voices, it is called BURMA, not Myanmar – the latter is just what the junta calls it.)

    The mass display of peaceful protest is truly inspiring, and I hope it will have positive results.

    I have a very low opinion of Bush generally, but I’m impressed with the United States’ strong stance against the junta in recent weeks.

    God be with you.

    Katherine

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