Mutiny?

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Asia

I hope this isn’t wishful thinking, but The Buddhist Channel reports

Rangoon, Burma — Reports from Rangoon suggest soldiers are mutinying. It is unclear the numbers involved. Reports cite heavy shooting in the former Burmese capital.

The organisation Helfen ohne Grenzen (Help without Frontiers) is reporting that “Soldiers from the 66th LID (Light Infantry Divison) have turned their weapons against other government troops and possibly police in North Okkalappa township in Rangoon and are defending the protesters. At present unsure how many soldiers involved.”

Soldiers in Mandalay, where unrest has spread to as we reported this morning, are also reported to 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 the 99th LID now being sent there to confront them.

Growing numbers of protestors are gathering in Rangoon, with 10,000 reported at the Traders Hotel and 50,000 at the Thein Gyi market. The police are reported to have turned water cannons against crowds at Sule Pagoda.

The latest from Mizzima News is that people rallied in the streets of Rangoon this afternoon but were dispersed.

An editorial from a Burmese activist: “Burma needs Strategy not Strategery.”

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  1. Marshall  •  Sep 30, 2007 @7:41 am

    One of the major problems with the media in this country is that they by inclination and training mostly deal with the surface of things. They, for example, tend to see mass movements purely in terms of “how many people can they get into the streets?” If they protests go on, the generals are loosing, if not, they are winning.

    To me, the interesting questions are deeper. Why did the monks go to the streets ? Are their abbots involved in this ? Does this represent a turning of the Buddhist “establishment” against the Generals ? How long can they survive if that has happened ?

    Now, it may be that no one outside of Burma really has a grasp on the answers to these questions, but there is nothing wrong with admitting that you don’t understand what is going on if you don’t. That is much preferable to pretending that you do based only on surface manifestations.



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