Perils of assimilation

If only life came with subtitles.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Support Burmese Monks!

Soldiers fired automatic weapons into a crowd of anti-government protesters Thursday as tens of thousands defied the ruling military junta's crackdown with a 10th straight day of demonstrations.

A Japanese Foreign Ministry official told The Associated Press that several people, including a Japanese national, were found dead following Thursday's protests.

The information was transmitted by Myanmar's Foreign Ministry to the Japanese Embassy in Yangon, the official said on condition of anonymity citing protocol.

The chaos came a day after the government said clashes in Yangon killed at least one man. Dissidents outside Myanmar reported receiving news of up to eight deaths Wednesday.

Some reports said the dead included monks, who are widely revered in Myanmar, and the emergence of such martyr figures could stoke public anger against the regime and escalate the violence.

Witnesses told the AP that five men were arrested and severely beaten Thursday after soldiers fired into a crowd near a bridge across the Pazundaung River on the east side of downtown Yangon.

Shots were fired after several thousand protesters on the west side of the river ignored orders to disband.

In other parts of the city, some protesters shouted "Give us freedom, give us freedom!" at soldiers. Thousands ran through the streets after warning shots were fired into crowds that had swollen to 70,000. Bloody sandals were left lying in the road.

Thursday's protests followed early morning raids on Buddhist monasteries during which soldiers reportedly beat up monks and arrested more than 100.

The monks have spearheaded the largest challenge to the military junta in the isolated Southeast Asian nation since a failed uprising in 1988. In that crisis, soldiers shot into crowds of peaceful demonstrators, killing some 3,000 people.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home