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Myanmar: Updates From 26 September

Categories: East Asia, Myanmar (Burma), Protest, War & Conflict

YouTube user dennisbier09 [1] has posted two video clips and writes

This 2 part video shows both Monks and ordinary civilians protesting the military government in Myanmar (Burma). The footage was taken on a rainy Monday afternoon in the former capital of Yangon (Rangoon) on September 24, 2007.

Awzar Thi has collected pictures on the protests uploaded by Myanmar bloggers at Saffron Revolution [2].

Thailand based Bangkok Dazed is thinking about his friends [3] in Myanmar

I received a couple of e-mails this afternoon from friends in Yangon. One describes the current situation as “Very, very tense. Our school is getting closed down starting tomorrow. Don't know what's going to happen next.” Another local said that “Here they started fighting in downtown today. It seems bad. I will write later. I don't know how long we will have internet … maybe they will cut soon.” I’ve been surfing online constantly the past few days, trying to get updates on the ongoing situation. Supposedly a curfew is now in effect for Yangon and Mandalay.

Meanwhile, Malaysian politician Lim Ki Siang is urging Malaysia and the regional grouping ASEAN to do more to avoid a bloodbath [4] in Myanmar.

Malaysia and ASEAN must come into the very forefront in regional and international efforts to support a peaceful resolution of the monk-led mass protest marches in Rangoon and Mandalay especially as ASEAN had given the Myanmar military junta a new legitimacy and fresh lease of life by admitting Myanmar into ASEAN ten years ago.

In an earlier post [5], the politician cautions China and India, the neighbors and supporters of Myamar's ruling junta

China – and in particular the Beijing Olympic Games 2008 – and India will not be able to escape adverse international repercussions of a bloodbath in Myanmar as they will be blamed for giving support to the Myanmar military junta and turning a blind eye to the bloody crackdown in the country.

Myanmar blogger Yangon Thu shares her thoughts on the happenings [6] in Myanmar. The blogger urges readers to sign a petition requesting

China to influence Burma Junta's actions against the peaceful protesters and also to stop intervening with the UN's work for the people of Burma.

Indian blogger at The Acron feels that China, India and Thailand are not in a position to influence [7] the ruling regime in Myanmar.

External actors—excluding China—have no real levers. And as Chandra asked, how seriously can we expect China to ask the junta to introduce democracy. So Chinese advice will only be limited to telling the junta not to exacerbate the situation by spilling blood. That’s similar to the reaction of ASEAN’s secretary-general. Thailand, which might once have taken a bold position on democracy, is currently under military rule. So you won’t hear much from the Thais either.India’s UPA government—in crisis-mode and with talk of elections next year—is likely to adopt a similar approach. No, the Indian navy won’t be conducting exercises off Myanmar’s shores. The same goes for the US Pacific Fleet.

Bangok Dazed ridicules the approach [3] taken by the United States. American president George Bush announced more sanctions against Myanmar.

More sanctions? What is that going to accomplish at this point? But that’s typical of Bush-style diplomacy: call the country evil, impose sanctions on it, and don’t attempt to actually sit down and talk with anyone.