Burma Updates


The AFL-CIO is organizing a rally at the Burmese embassy today in Washington, DC, beginning at 3:30 pm. This will be followed by a march to the Chinese embassy.

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Seth Mydans writes for the New York Times:

Myanmar’s armed forces appeared to have succeeded Friday in sealing tens of thousands of protesting monks inside their monasteries, but they continued to attack bands of civilian demonstrators who challenged them in the streets of the main city, [Rangoon].

Witnesses and diplomats reached by telephone inside Myanmar, a sealed country, said troops were now confronting and attacking smaller groups of civilians around the city, sometimes running after them through narrow streets, sometimes firing at protesting groups.

“Today has been quieter than previous days, meaning far fewer protesters came out, but the military is being very quick to use violence, tear gas, guns and clubs to break it up,” said the chief diplomat at the United States Embassy, Shari Villarosa.

Diplomats said there was no way to estimate the numbers of dead and wounded in Yangon or other cities, but they said it was certainly far higher than what the junta has reported.

Most recent news from Jason of The Buddhist Channel:

Kindly forgive the brevity and the lack of formatting of the following email. I am now sending this information out as we are now receiving it. As many of you are now aware phone lines have been cut, mobile networks have been disabled, and Internet access has also been disabled.

Information, therefore, is now very difficult to obtain and confirm. I therefore am unable to confirm any of that which follows, but my sources are adamant that this is the truth:

Soldiers from LID #66 have turned their weapons against other SPDC soldiers and possibly police in North Okkalappa township in Rangoon and are defending the protesters. At present unsure how many soldiers involved. Some reports cite “heavy shooting” in the area.

Other unconfirmed reports have stated that soldiers from LID #33 in Mandalay have refused orders to act against protesters. Some reports claim that many soldiers remained in their barracks. More recent reports now maintain that soldiers from LID #99 now being sent there to confront them.

Reports of approx. 10,000+ protesters gathering around the Traders Hotel in Rangoon. Other reports of 10,000+ protesters gathering at San Pya Market in Rangoon. Further reports of approx. 50,000 protestors gathering at the Thein Gyi Market in Rangoon.

According to Mizzima, an unknown number of soldiers from Central Command and South East Command are presently on their way to Rangoon to reinforce SPDC army troops.

Also according to Mizzima, an unknown number of aircraft have been scrambled from “Matehtilar” airbase – probably a reference to Meiktila in Mandalay Division.

According to one journalist, SPDC have turned water cannons against crowds at Sule Pagoda. The report maintains that the water contained some type of chemical. awaiting further information. Please circulate this information as widely as quickly as possible.

See also the hourly dispatches from Mizzima News. There are reports that troops are marching to middle Burma. “At this reporting, it is not clear if the troops are marching to reinforce or to challenge the troops in Rangoon for shooting the Buddhist monks.”

Update: See also Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés at The Moderate Voice.

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  1. Roxanne  •  Sep 28, 2007 @12:57 pm

    Thanks for the info about the protest. Hopefully, I’ll have time to run over there this afternoon.

  2. Marshall  •  Sep 28, 2007 @1:25 pm

    I don’t think I can go into DC today, but I wanted to say that your site has been one of the best sources of information about what’s going on inside Burma.

  3. Doug Hughes  •  Sep 28, 2007 @2:11 pm

    I wrote both my Senators expressing how vital I think this situation is. Somebody is keeping a tally on responses. Be heard. That’s all I can do – and pray.

  4. Swami  •  Sep 28, 2007 @4:45 pm

    Looks like the ruling Junta is going to brutally beat down and kill the opposition. The amount of blood shed will depend on how willing the people of Burma are to fight and die for their freedom.
    The government has closed off communication to the outside world because tyranny thrives without exposure to the light of truth. It appears freedom will be stillborn in Burma.

    So much for Bush and his avowed emnity before the altar of god against tyranny and evildoers.. Didn’t he say there would be no sanctuary from justice within the bounds of the earth for every oppressor of freedom. Really… what a bag of shit he feed to the masses with his tripe of freedom. And Americans just lapped it up!

    Here’s a nifty little line that Bush’s speech writers might want to incorporate into one of his speeches..” Again I say…Look to Burma”