Spanish Pundit (II)

septiembre 26, 2007

Funeral for the Spanish soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Filed under: Afghanistan,OTAN,USA — Nora @ 8:29 pm

As it also happened when the corpses of the Spanish soldiers killed in Lebanon arrived, the plane with the soliders killed in Afghanistan arrived during the night (at 2:37 a.m.) and Zapatero was not there to receive them. Instead, there were the Crown Prince Felipe and the Vice-Presidente, Ms. De la Vega.

The funerals were held this morning in the official site of the Parachute Brigade, the one the dead belong to, in the Madrid’s village of Paracuellos del Jarama. In the altar: “Honour to all those who gave their lives for Spain“.

h/t Hartos de Zporky.

Spain is sending more troops to Afghanistan:

Defense Minister Alonso said that Spain is in Afghanistan in order to resolve the “equation: security for re-construction” and admitted that the risk troops face is great. Afghani warlords, Taliban, and narco-trafficking all conspire to produce a country that is “unstable and insecure”.

The Spanish troops will help to form two Afghan army battalions at a base some 15 kilometers from Spain’s base at Heart at a cost of 200,000 euros monthly. Reforming the Afghan army, said Alonso, is a “key issue” for the international community. For his part, Gaspar Llamizares of the United Left bloc voted in the Congressional Defense committee against sending more troops to Afghanistan. Llamizares that this is a “gesture” towards the United States on the part of Spain’s ruling Socialist party in the midst of a “deterioration of the situation and an ever-growing commitment in combat missions”.

Uff, Gaspar Llamazares… that lover of Castro is protesting a “gesture” towards USA..

But don’t forget that this is (part of) the price Spain has to pay for Zapatero’s wish to place Gral Sanz Roldán as Chief of the Military Council of NATO. NOT because he has actually changed his consideration for US, for Spanish military -as it can clearly be seen- or any other more accurate reason.

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Military Junta threatens to kill anyone who does not obey curfew

The repression continues.

De El Mundo.es:

A las 21 horas entró en vigor en Birmania, rebautizada Myanmar por el régimen militar que gobierna el país, el toque de queda que estará vigente hasta las cinco de la mañana (9.30 hora peninsular española) y se extenderá durante 60 días.

Las calles han quedado desiertas tras una jornada de violencia en la que al menos cinco personas han muerto. La Junta ha amenazado con disparar a todo el que desafíe el aviso.

Es el resultado de la represión militar contra cientos de monjes y otros tantos opositores al gobierno de la Junta Militar que desde hace días se manifiestan pacíficamente en la principal ciudad birmana, Rangún, por la democratización del país.

Soldados del ejército cargaron por la mañana contra los manifestantes para reprimir las movilizaciones, tal y como habían advertido que harían.

[…] en las proximidades de la pagoda de Shwedagon, decenas de monjes fueron golpeados por las fuerzas de seguridad antes de ser arrojados dentro de varios camiones del Ejército que se dirigían a centros de detención. Algunas fuentes afirman que los detenidos son unos 200.

“Aunque se puedan producir enfrentamientos, hemos decidido arriesgar nuestras vidas por el pueblo“, dijo un veterano bonzo de la Alianza de Todos los Monjes Budistas de Birmania (Myanmar), según la revista ‘The Irrawaddy’. En la pagoda de Sule les esperan tropas armadas con ametralladoras y agentes antidisturbios con la orden de disolver cualquier asamblea pública de más de cinco personas.

No tememos ninguna amenaza de los militares, no son rival para nosotros. Continuaremos con nuestra lucha”, indicó el portavoz de la Alianza de Todos los Monjes Budistas de Birmania, U Adipati, en un comunicado, según informó EFE. Applauseemoticon

En las calles, al paso de los manifestantes, la gente se arrodillaba, juntaba las palmas de las manos y, entre lágrimas, hacía un gesto de reverencia para agradecerles su esfuerzo en la lucha contra los Generales y la dictadura.

____________________

The curfew begun at 5 a.m (Burma time) and will last the next 60 days. The Military Junta has threatened to kill anyone who does not obey the curfew.

In the proximities of the pagoda of Shwedagon, dozens of monks were beaten by security forces before being thrown into several trucks which drove them to detaining centers. Some sources say the detained are more or less 200.

They have decided to risk their lifes for the people, and the people is thanking them the effort in the fight against the Generals and the dictatorship, kneeling when they pass and putting the hands together, while they sob.

We don’t fear any menace from the military, they are no rival for us. We will continue our fight“, stated the speakerperson for the Alliance of All the Burmese Buddhists Monks, U Adipati, in a communiqué for the press.Applause emoticon

Algeria: No cooperation in the War on Terror

Read this and …get desperate:
DINAH LORD: Algeria: No cooperation in the War on Terror

US diplomats fears alms for the poor given by the Muslim faithful during the holy month of Ramadan, could be being used to finance the activities of al-Qaeda in North Africa, pan-Arab daily al-Quds al-Arabi reports.

A US government delegation in recent days has conveyed these concerns during a meeting with Algeria’s religious affairs minister, Bouabdullah Ghulamallah, the paper says. But Ghalamallah reportedly gave the delegation a frosty reception, saying that it is down to Muslims to decide who they give their ‘Zakat’ (Arabic for alms) to – not his ministry. ‘Zakat’ is one of the pillars of Islam, i.e. a religious obligation for Muslims.

Ghalamallah also turned down a request by the US delegation for a ‘technical’ task-force to audit ‘Zakat’ funds handled by the religious affairs ministry, al-Quds al-Arabi quoted a ministry official as saying.

The only agreement reportedly reached between Ghalamallah and the US delegation was to create a fund to provide interest-free loans to Algeria’s poorest families. The loans will help the families set up small-scale business activities aimed at economic self-sufficiency.

It is estimated that several million dollars worth of ‘Zakat’ are collected in Algeria each year during Ramadan (which runs from mid-September to mid-October). Much of this money ends up in a religious affairs ministry current account, which channels it to projects aimed at helping the poor.

😯

So let me repeat this: a country which has suffered several terrorist attacks in recent days and which has had a even a civil war fighting Islamic terrorism, is a) not going to audit the money which can end in the hands of those same terrorists, not even the part of that money which is already handled by the religious affair ministry, but b) is going to receive funds for poor families.

I just don’t know what kind of education these diplomats get. Why on earth you should give money to people who are not collaborating with you? 😡

___________________

EEUU está preocupado porque el Zakat, la limosna que se recoge durante el Ramadán, caiga en manos de Al-Qaeda para el Magreb islámico, especialmente en el caso de Argelia. Pero Argelia ha dicho que ni va a auditar esos flujos (varios millones de dólares cada año) ni tampoco va a controlar aquellos que su Ministerio de Asuntos Religiosos administra y entrega.

Pero la delegación de EEUU sí ha llegado a un acuerdo con Argelia: dará dinero al Gobierno para poner en marcha un plan que dará préstamos de bajo interés a familias argelinas pobres.

Vamos a ver, que yo no me entero del resultado de estas negociaciones: si el otro no accede a aquello a lo que tú quieres, ¿en base a qué tienes que concederle ventajas? Y en este caso concreto, si tienen tanto dinero por el Zakat, ¿por qué no lo destinan a los préstamos de bajo interés?

Será que como dije Dinah Lord, es sólo un ejemplo más de “pago de la jizya”… 😡

Burmanet.org is not reachable!!! (+)

Burmanet.org can’t be accessed. The page says it has some errors. But some hours ago it was totally on.

What has happened??? Has it been hacked??

(+) It’s online again. Uffffffffff! 😛

Related posts:

  1. Military Junta threatens to kill anyone who does not obey curfew (+)
  2. Five monks killed in Burma (+)
  3. Toque de queda en Rangún – Curfews in Burma (+) (+)
  4. Myanmar anti-junta protests biggest in 20 years (+)

Five monks killed in Burma

Filed under: Birmania,Derechos Humanos,dictadura,represión — Nora @ 3:51 pm

From CNN:

At least five protesters have been killed by Myanmar security forces Wednesday, according to opposition reports, as the anticipated crackdown began.

Speaking to CNN, Aye Chan Naing of Oslo-based opposition group Democratic Voice of Burma, said it had heard that at least five monks had been killed.

Tx to Kate.

I was worried yesterday because of this.

Burmanet has more. An excerpt:

Junta’s preparations

Sources said, the junta has envisaged that the protesting monks would continue despite their restrictions, and that the junta has plans to instigate violence among the demonstrators so as to project the demonstration is going out of control.

If the information is true, as part of the junta’s plan, government-backed thugs taking the form of protesters would attack and destroy Tharmwe Township Peace and Development Council office, and as more people join the attack the army will open fire on protesters, on the pretext that it is protecting government properties.

__________________

Al menos cinco monjes han sido asesinados en Birmania durante las protestas lideradas por los monjes, según el grupo opositor Democratic Voice of Burma.

Pero hay más: según Burmanet.org, website especializada en noticias sobre Birmania, la Junta ha elaborado un plan consistente en instigar la violencia entre los manifestantes, mediante la inflitración de matones a sueldo que inicien ataques contra sitios oficiales. Al parecer el primero consisitiría en atacar y destruir la Oficina del Consejo del Desarrollo y Paz de la Ciudad de Tharmwe. Conforme más personas se unieran a los atacantes, la policía abriría fuego directo contra los manifestantes, bajo pretexto de que estaban protegiendo propiedades públicas.

También se han visto soldados totalmente armados por la ciudad de Rangún.

Toque de queda en Rangún – Curfews in Burma (+)

Filed under: Birmania,China,Derechos Humanos,dictadura,represión — Nora @ 3:50 pm

Escribía ayer sobre las manifestaciones contra la Junta Birmana que ya son las más importantes en los últimos 20 años. Pues bien ha sido decretado el toque de queda:

La Junta Militar de Myanmar impuso hoy toque de queda en Rangún y declaró a la ciudad, la más importante del país, área militar “restringida” tras días de protestas.

El anuncio fue hecho a través de altavoces por parte de responsables gubernamentales que cruzaban la ciudad a bordo de camiones, afirmaron testigos.

La orden, que entrará en vigor mañana, impone un toque de queda de las 21:00 a las 05:00 horas locales (14:30-22:30 horas GMT), y declaró la ciudad y sus alrededores “área restringida”, un término normalmente reservado para zonas militares o de conflicto.

Las restricciones serán aplicadas durante 60 días y una orden similar fue impuesta en la ciudad de Mandalay, explicaron los funcionarios.

“Esta orden fue tomada a causa de las protestas. ¡No organicen grupos de más de cinco personas!”, advirtieron los altavoces.

Desde hace años, en Myanmar no se permiten concentraciones de más de cinco personas, pero la ley ha sido ignorada por los manifestantes en las últimas cinco semanas.

y hay temores fundados de una violenta represión de las protestas pacíficas.

Cuando escribí sobre China, hice una mención a la Junta birmana que es necesario volver a repetir:

China repetidamente ha apoyado a la Junta Militar Birmana, a pesar de las protestas internacionales contra el régimen que tiene presa a la líder opositora Aung Syi, sólo porque ganó unas elecciones con más del 80% de apoyo. China es “el mayor inversor del país, el mayor consumidor de sus recursos y su principal proveedor de armas, y miles de trabajadores chinos han entrado en el país“. Eso sí, como ha visto que hay mucha presión internacional les diceque deben seguir el procedimiento democrático“. Pero si China no lo ha iniciado aún…

Repito: China es el mayor inversor del país, el mayor consumidor de recursos y su principal proveedor de armas y miles de trabajadores chinos han entrado en el país.

La perspectiva es muy negra… (

(+) La Junta ya había amenazado con una represión violenta SI las protestas no cesaban.

____________

In English:

Myanmar government imposes curfews.

The military Junta has been traditionally supported by China:

China has repeatedly has supported the Burman Military Junta, against all the international protests against the regime who maintains the detention of the opposition leader Aung Syi, just because she won the last elections with more than 80% of the people’s support. China is “the most important investor of the country, the most important consumer of its resources, and its main weapons provider and thousands of Chinese wordkers have entered the country by now“. Of course, as China sees there is a lot of international pressure, Chinese authorities have said themthat they should follow the democratic process“. The best thing is that China has not begun it…

A violent repression is feared, after the Military Junta menaced with that yesterday. The Military Junta has accused the monks of being allies of foreign enemies emoticon

For more background, just read Debbie.

Boinky posts “Why religion is dangerous?” Because of the peaceful protests led by monks.

I’m worried, very worried.

Una controvertida campaña publicitaria contra la anorexia sacude Italia

Filed under: En español,Italia,salud/health — Nora @ 2:03 pm

Una controvertida campaña publicitaria contra la anorexia sacude Italia – 20minutos.es

El drama de la anorexia ha llegado con toda su crudeza a las vallas publicitarias de las calles italianas y desde allí a la opinión pública a través de la foto de una joven desnuda y de una delgadez extrema, elegida como “modelo” para la campaña de una marca de moda, que ha querido así sensibilizar sobre este problema.La idea ha sido del fotógrafo Oliviero Toscani, conocido por sus polémicas campañas con la marca Benetton, y ya ha conmocionado a la opinión pública italiana por su crudeza, como ha suscitado las críticas por parte de algunas asociaciones.
Las fotografía ha aparecido en gigantescos carteles publicitarios

Las fotografías, que han aparecido en gigantescos carteles publicitarios y en una doble página del diario La Repubblica, muestran a la joven completamente desnuda, de espaldas o de frente, y con las palabras “No-Anorexia”.

“Es muy interesante que por fin una empresa haya entendido la importancia del problema y haya tenido la valentía de exponerse sobre este tema”, explicó Toscani en un comunicado.

Ya iba siendo hora. La incidencia del problema en adolescentes es terrible. En muchos casos, queda latente durante años. Ahora bien, ¿el problema no está más ligado a una carencia de familia, de apoyo moral, de valores, etc. que a lo externo, las campañas publicitarias, la moda, etc.? Pregunto, no afirmo. Aunque creo que sería cuestión de planteárselo…

Una campaña publicitaria contra la anorexia causa conmoción en ItaliaLa modelo anoréxica posa para la campaña. / 😯

La joven de las fotos es una francesa que sólo pesa 31 kilos. 😯 Lo realmente increíble es que siga viviendo… Impresionante (y esto no es irónico) la cara de tristeza profunda que tiene. Al ver la foto, lo que más me impresionó después de su delgadez, son sus ojos… 😦

Military Junta threatens to kill anyone who does not obey curfew (+)

Filed under: Birmania/Burma,Communism,DDHH/HR,dictadura/dictatorship — Nora @ 1:51 pm

The repression continues.

De El Mundo.es:

A las 21 horas entró en vigor en Birmania, rebautizada Myanmar por el régimen militar que gobierna el país, el toque de queda que estará vigente hasta las cinco de la mañana (9.30 hora peninsular española) y se extenderá durante 60 días.

Las calles han quedado desiertas tras una jornada de violencia en la que al menos cinco personas han muerto. La Junta ha amenazado con disparar a todo el que desafíe el aviso.

Es el resultado de la represión militar contra cientos de monjes y otros tantos opositores al gobierno de la Junta Militar que desde hace días se manifiestan pacíficamente en la principal ciudad birmana, Rangún, por la democratización del país.

Soldados del ejército cargaron por la mañana contra los manifestantes para reprimir las movilizaciones, tal y como habían advertido que harían.

[…] en las proximidades de la pagoda de Shwedagon, decenas de monjes fueron golpeados por las fuerzas de seguridad antes de ser arrojados dentro de varios camiones del Ejército que se dirigían a centros de detención. Algunas fuentes afirman que los detenidos son unos 200.

“Aunque se puedan producir enfrentamientos, hemos decidido arriesgar nuestras vidas por el pueblo“, dijo un veterano bonzo de la Alianza de Todos los Monjes Budistas de Birmania (Myanmar), según la revista ‘The Irrawaddy’. En la pagoda de Sule les esperan tropas armadas con ametralladoras y agentes antidisturbios con la orden de disolver cualquier asamblea pública de más de cinco personas.

No tememos ninguna amenaza de los militares, no son rival para nosotros. Continuaremos con nuestra lucha”, indicó el portavoz de la Alianza de Todos los Monjes Budistas de Birmania, U Adipati, en un comunicado, según informó EFE. Applause

En las calles, al paso de los manifestantes, la gente se arrodillaba, juntaba las palmas de las manos y, entre lágrimas, hacía un gesto de reverencia para agradecerles su esfuerzo en la lucha contra los Generales y la dictadura.

(+) Los rusos, tan solidarios, piensan que la crisis en Birmania es un asunto interno. ¿O será que no quieren irritar a China? 😡

____________________

The curfew begun at 5 a.m (Burma time) and will last the next 60 days. The Military Junta has threatened to kill anyone who does not obey the curfew.

In the proximities of the pagoda of Shwedagon, dozens of monks were beaten by security forces before being thrown into several trucks which drove them to detaining centers. Some sources say the detained are more or less 200.

They have decided to risk their lifes for the people, and the people is thanking them the effort in the fight against the Generals and the dictatorship, kneeling when they pass and putting the hands together, while they sob.

We don’t fear any menace from the military, they are no rival for us. We will continue our fight“, stated the speakerperson for the Alliance of All the Burmese Buddhists Monks, U Adipati, in a communiqué for the press.Applause

More in Yahoo.

For the last week, thousands of Burmese monks have marched against the repressive Burmese military regime in cities across that nation. This is the largest public demonstration against the junta in nearly 20 years. As the Alliance of All Burmese Buddhist Monks march, chant, and overturn their almsbowls (patam nikkujjana kamma), refusing to accept donations from members of the military regime. FOR INFORMATION IN PORTLAND PHONE: (971) 285-7399
PHOTO COPYRIGHT JAN VAN RAAY

Monks Protesting in Burma 2007

And lastly a very good photo about the feelings Burmese opposition supporters have for the Chinese:

Supporters of jailed Burmese opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. Another issue APEC doesn’t want to touch, I’m sure.

(+) Russia considers Saffron Revolution as a mere internal affair. Afraid of China?

More from Burmanet.org:

“We consider any attempts to use the latest developments to exercise outside pressure or interference in the domestic affairs of this sovereign state to be counterproductive,” the statement said.

It called on both the government and the opposition to “exercise restraint”, but added: “We still believe that the processes under way in Myanmar do not threaten international and regional peace and security.”

What morons!!!

More photos here h/t the Belmont Club. wretchard writes:

As is usual with authoritarian regimes, the real source of their weakness is incapacity. Such dictatorships, unless they are artificially propped up by oil, eventually run the economy to the ground.

Why?

the latest protests have centred on bread-and-butter issues such as the skyrocketing costs of food and transportation, concerns that cross the often deep social divisions in a country wracked by decades of ethnic conflicts.

Captain’s Quarters h/t Noblesse Oblige:

This will have one of two results. Either it will act as a Tiananmen Square moment, where the protests shut down from fear of the government, or it will serve as a death blow to the junta. Killing people openly for peaceful protests is the last resort of tyrants, and when it fails to work, the people find their power to overthrow the tyranny.

Bangkok Pundit h/t Belmont Club:

This reminds me of the People’s Power movement against Marcos in 1986 and the key role that senior members of the Catholic Church played. It is one thing to tell a solider to kill a civilian, but it is completely different to tell them to a monk or a nun/priest in a deeply religious country. There would also likely be a strong reaction in Thailand to the killing of any monks by the Burmese military.

NOTE: If you’re the owner of any of these photos and does not want them to be posted here or want to make any other comment, just write me at ladyvorzheva at gmail dot com. Thanks.

Funeral for the Spanish soldiers killed in Afghanistan

As it also happened when the corpses of the Spanish soldiers killed in Lebanon arrived, the plane with the soliders killed in Afghanistan arrived during the night (at 2:37 a.m.) and Zapatero was not there to receive them. Instead, there were the Crown Prince Felipe and the Vice-Presidente, Ms. De la Vega.

The funerals were held this morning in the official site of the Parachute Brigade, the one the dead belong to, in the Madrid’s village of Paracuellos del Jarama. In the altar: “Honour to all those who gave their lives for Spain“.

h/t Hartos de Zporky.

Spain is sending more troops to Afghanistan:

Defense Minister Alonso said that Spain is in Afghanistan in order to resolve the “equation: security for re-construction” and admitted that the risk troops face is great. Afghani warlords, Taliban, and narco-trafficking all conspire to produce a country that is “unstable and insecure”.

The Spanish troops will help to form two Afghan army battalions at a base some 15 kilometers from Spain’s base at Heart at a cost of 200,000 euros monthly. Reforming the Afghan army, said Alonso, is a “key issue” for the international community. For his part, Gaspar Llamizares of the United Left bloc voted in the Congressional Defense committee against sending more troops to Afghanistan. Llamizares that this is a “gesture” towards the United States on the part of Spain’s ruling Socialist party in the midst of a “deterioration of the situation and an ever-growing commitment in combat missions”.

Uff, Gaspar Llamazares… that lover of Castro is protesting a “gesture” towards USA..

But don’t forget that this is (part of) the price Spain has to pay for Zapatero’s wish to place Gral Sanz Roldán as Chief of the Military Council of NATO. NOT because he has actually changed his consideration for US, for Spanish military -as it can clearly be seen- or any other more accurate reason.

___________

Como todos los links están en español, no voy a traducirlos. Pero sí voy a linkar este post de Daniel Rodríguez Herrera: Zapatero, contra las matemáticas. 😉

Five monks killed in Burma (+)

Filed under: Birmania/Burma,Communism,DDHH/HR,dictadura/dictatorship — Nora @ 9:23 am

From CNN:

At least five protesters have been killed by Myanmar security forces Wednesday, according to opposition reports, as the anticipated crackdown began.

Speaking to CNN, Aye Chan Naing of Oslo-based opposition group Democratic Voice of Burma, said it had heard that at least five monks had been killed.

Tx to Kate.

I was worried yesterday because of this.

Burmanet has more. An excerpt:

Junta’s preparations

Sources said, the junta has envisaged that the protesting monks would continue despite their restrictions, and that the junta has plans to instigate violence among the demonstrators so as to project the demonstration is going out of control.

If the information is true, as part of the junta’s plan, government-backed thugs taking the form of protesters would attack and destroy Tharmwe Township Peace and Development Council office, and as more people join the attack the army will open fire on protesters, on the pretext that it is protecting government properties.

Gateway Pundit has more.


In this photo released by the Democratic Voice of Burma, Myanmar, a fires burn on the streets of Yangon, Myanmar, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007, as demonstrators and Buddhist monks in cinnamon robes take to the streets. Security forces fired warning shots and tear gas canisters while hauling militant Buddhist monks away in trucks Wednesday as they tried to stop anti-government demonstrations in defiance of a ban on assembly. (AP Photo/ Democratic Voice of Burma) .


Security forces fired shots above the crowd. Earlier, soldiers sealed off the Shwedagon Pagoda, the focal point of the recent demonstrations against decades of military rule. Police used tear gas and beat Buddhist monks who tried to enter the shrine. (Euronews)

The International Community reacts to Burma:

Speaking from the Labour Party Conference in England, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called for an urgent United Nations Security Council meeting on Burma and for a UN envoy to be sent to the country. He said the whole world was now watching and that Burma’s illegitimate and repressive regime should know that the whole world was going to hold it to account. A statement issued by the Portuguese Presidency of the European Union said that it along with the US government would tighten sanctions on Burma if violence was used against peaceful demonstrators. Several European foreign ministers, including Germany’s Frank Walter Steinmeier have individually urged the military junta to exercise restraint. Australia’s Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said that his country would not support economic sanctions against Burma as they would have no impact instead urging a diplomatic solution.

The Burma Military Junta must be totally scared about being sent a ferocious UN envoy. 😡 👿 😈

Free Korea.us has more. Specially important is this timeline:

  • 9/21: Original post, background of the protests.
  • 9/22: Monks march to Aung San Suu Syi’s home in record downpour; 10,000 protest in Mandalay.
  • 9/23: Protests hit 8 cities; Rangoon turnout at 20,000; World leaders speak out against use of force to quell protests, but the U.N. is silent. [and yet we want to send a UN envoy there, do we? 😡 ].
  • 9/24: Rangoon protests draw 100,000; Their hold on power seriously threatened, junta generals threaten to use force; Bush to announce new sanctions before U.N. General Assembly; Burmese entertainers join the opposition.
  • 9/25: New protests launched; Rising fears of a crackdown; Government declares curfew, sends troops to key locations.
  • 9/26: 5,000 monks and 5,000 students continue to defy ban; police beat, arrest 300 monks, fire tear gas and warning shots.

(+) As I emailed Kate before:

Unconfirmed reports of five monks, one woman dead

The AFP report said one monk died as he tried to take a weapon away from a soldier, and two others were beaten to death.

[…] Witnesses said the military government fired at protesters, hurled tear gas and wielded batons to break up protests in Rangoon. In Mandalay, shots were fired over the heads of protestors.

In both cities, security forces rounded up and arrested many protest leaders and others, according to sources on the scene.

[…] Dozens of protesters and activists including members of the NLD, protesting Buddhist monks and other protest leaders were arrested throughout the day at different areas in Rangoon, in Mandalay and in Kachin state.

In Rangoon, two well-known activists, the veteran politician Amyotheryei Win Naing and the popular Burmese comedian Zarganar, were arrested overnight on Tuesday.

The well-known Burmese actor Kyaw Thu and the poet Aung Win are being sought by authorities for their role in aiding monks in recent days, according to sources.

Crackdown wasn’t expected

One seasoned writer on Burma, Bertil Lintner, a Swedish journalist and author, said: “Regardless of what international opinion says, they [military rulers] have done that before and they would not hesitate to do it again.”

Warnings of firm action were first heard on Monday, when the Religious Affairs Minister, Brig-Gen Thura Myint Maung, was quoted on state-owned radio as saying that unless the monks stopped their protests action would be taken against them “according to the existing law.”

He blamed the protests on “destructive elements who do not want to see peace, stability and progress in the country”.

Refugees are expected due to crackdown

Humanitarian workers at the Thai-Burmese border are preparing themselves for a flow of refugees from the violent government crackdown on demonstrations in Rangoon and Mandalay.

When clashes broke out between security forces and demonstrators in the 1988 nationwide popular uprising thousands of students and pro-democracy activists fled to Thailand.

An NGO worker in Chiang Mai told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that if a similar exodus occurred humanitarian organizations would be prepared to receive the refugees.

Dr Sann Aung, a Burmese elected member of parliament living in exile, told Thailand’s English language daily The Nation that he hoped Burmese who fled the oppression in their country would not face another crackdown in Thailand.

Cartoon: We will deal with protests in a correct manner.

At least 17 monks are injured h/t Kate.

__________________

Al menos cinco monjes han sido asesinados en Birmania durante las protestas lideradas por los monjes, según el grupo opositor Democratic Voice of Burma.

Pero hay más: según Burmanet.org, website especializada en noticias sobre Birmania, la Junta ha elaborado un plan consistente en instigar la violencia entre los manifestantes, mediante la inflitración de matones a sueldo que inicien ataques contra sitios oficiales. Al parecer el primero consisitiría en atacar y destruir la Oficina del Consejo del Desarrollo y Paz de la Ciudad de Tharmwe. Conforme más personas se unieran a los atacantes, la policía abriría fuego directo contra los manifestantes, bajo pretexto de que estaban protegiendo propiedades públicas.

También se han visto soldados totalmente armados por la ciudad de Rangún.

Las reacciones de la Comunidad Internacional van desde Gordon Browm (Premier inglés) pidiendo que se mande un enviado de la ONU previa sesión en el Consejo de Seguridad; la Presidencia portuguesa de la Unión, apoyando a Bush con las sanciones económicas y el Ministro Australiano de Asuntos Exteriores Alexander Downer, no apoyándolas y diciendo que hay que pedir una solución diplomática.

Lo del feroz enviado ONUsiano es poco menos que de película cómica, considerando que, para no defraudar a su público, la ONU todavía no se ha pronunciado.

Por cierto, que la policía ha arrestado a 300 monjes y ha disparado gas lacrimógeno. Pero Occidente quiere enviar a uno de la ONU o “soluciones diplomáticas“. Maravilloso.

(+) Al parecer también han matado a una mujer. Uno de los monjes murió al intentar quitar un arma a un soldado y otros dos fueron apaleados hasta morir.

Las fuerzas del orden han detenido a varios activistas. Especialmente importantes han sido las detenciones del veterano político Amyotheryei Win Naing y del actor cómico Zarganar. La policía está buscando además, al actor Kyaw Thu y al poeta Aung Win, a quienes acusa de ayudar a los monjes en las protestas.

El veterano escritor sobre Birmania, Bertil Lintner, un escritor y periodista sueco dijo: “Cualquiera que sea la opinión internacional, ellos (la junta militar) lo han hecho antes (represión sangrienta) y no dudarán en volverlo a hacer otra vez.”

Tailandia se prepara para una llegada masiva de refugiados.

Al parecer hay otros 17 monjes heridos.

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