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.


  • Douglas Chalmers

    “AUSTRALIAN federal police have been training security forces for Burma’s military leadership for years…”,25197,22491922-12377,00.html

  • Charles Liu

    Ted and Thom. I know so because the DIA officer Robert Helvey bragged about his CIA activities in SE Asia on NPR.

    I gave you the Google links, did you even bother to take a look? And is it a big suprise all this ties back to the American Enterprise Institute, the chief architect of the Iraq war:

    “Helvey “was an officer of the Defence Intelligence Agency of the Pentagon, who had served in Vietnam and, subsequently, as the US Defence Attache in Yangon, Myanmar (1983 to 85), during which he clandestinely organised the Myanmarese students to work behind Aung San Suu Kyi and in collaboration with Bo Mya’s Karen insurgent group”

    Here’s more background on Col Robert Helvey and CIA’s agenda to employ non-violent warfare to destablize other countries (the organge/velvet revolutions being the most recent examples):

  • […] Myanmar: Voices from the Region. Heise: Menschenrechtler beklagen schwierige Informationsbeschaffung über Lage in Burma. […]

  • Boycott for Burma

    To put presure on China, the only country which really has an influence over the BUrmese junta, all the worlds athletes should threaten to boycott the Beijing Olympics until Chinese government taken action against the Burmese leaders!
    Sports are politics! Use that political power!

  • Ann-Sofie Johansson

    Along with friends i will tomorrow like many others show my support for the people and the monks in Burma by wearing a red t-shirt as a symbolic gesture.
    I hope as many people as possible here in Sweden and all over the world will do the same.

  • buddhist nature


    I must agree with Thom and Ted. Surely you don’t expect any educated person to believe the tripe you layed out.

    Who cares if the CIA may or may not be responsible for the start of these protests?!? It’s the Burmese dictatorship’s murdering response to the peaceful protest that I care about! When I hear about blood running through monestaries I hold the Burmese Dictaorship responsible! When I hear that automatic weapons (hundreds of bullets per minute) are used on innocent peaceful protestors, I hold the Brutal Burmese gov’t responsible! One can only imgine the horrific torture that those who have been arrested are facing as I write this! the Burmese government is responsible!

    the FACT remains that the current dictatorship in Burma is one of the most brutal regimes in the world. The videos now circulating the news and the internet are proof of this.

  • MichelleH

    May God give the monks and people of Burma the courage they will need to fight the junta. It says so much about the power of peace. Rarely have I felt so moved than to watch the quiet, dignified parade of orange robes.

    The world is watching.

  • S Jung

    I am said to hear the news.
    How long it will keep on!

  • […] morning when the Chinese blogsphere began to respond to news of the growing protest and subsequent crackdown was when the first Bullog—an independent blog portal home to many […]

  • JaneS

    I have been going online to pay attention to what is happening in Burma many times a day for the past week. All I know to do, from the US, is to pray as much of the time as I can. I am sending Love and huge support for the Burmese people with so much courage to keep walking for peace and freedom.
    My deepest hope is that with the whole world watching, the junta will have to cease. WIthout this HOPE, there is defeat already.
    God bless.

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