- Global Voices - https://globalvoices.org -

Myanmar: Voices from the Region

Categories: East Asia, Myanmar (Burma), Breaking News, Freedom of Speech, Governance, Protest, War & Conflict

Myanmar's government is warning the protesters to stay off the streets following a large demonstration in Yangon [1] 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 [2] 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. [3]

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 [4] 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 [5].

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 [6] 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.