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:
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.