You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘free burma’ category.

freeburma.gif

FREE BURMA

Burma Point – http://www.burmapoint.com

October 2, 2007

Press Release
U.N. Actions on Burma Should be Re-examined

People of Burma have constantly been hoping that United Nations would rescue them from the country ruled by the worst regime in the world. Many people have dropped their hopes only because the world body proved that it is unable to do anything concretely to intervene in order to save them from recent and current killings by the brutal regime in Burma.

In the midst of the recent killings, the U.N. sends a special envoy Mr. Ibrahim Gambari to Burma to ease the situation there. However, the top generals are still playing games with the top U.N. official, who once said after his first visit to Burma that the regime was ready to “turn a new page”. While Mr. Gambari is running up and down in the country to reconcile the nation, the generals are continuing to kill more monks, young students and ordinary citizens, according Burmese media.

The question is “Can the U.N. do anything to save those peaceful people?”

On September 29, Burma Point received a report that the U.N. office in Rangoon is useless. We have also receieved similar reports in the past about the office led by Mr. Charles Petrie, the U.N. country coordinator.

The particular report says that people tried calling the hot line numbers provided by the U.N. office on the night of September 28, when they heard that soldiers were approaching monasteries to make arrests. But a male employee at the office replied to one of the callers saying he would put it in record and he would also inform the U.N. When others made calls, an official responded that the office “could not do anything to help”.

It is obvious the fact that monks and people are being killed and dissapearing according to our sources. As a matter of fact, even food donors to protesters and onlookers are now being arrested and perhaps tortured. Some have been sent to infamous Insein jail without any legal charges by the authority. Now, the rest of the many peaceful monks have been forced to take off their robes. Many teachers and their students, who are in their teens, were ordered to kneel down and slapped by soldiers because they were somehow involved in the movement, said a woman. Thus, we strongly condemn the act of the regime that calls themselves State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).

Myint Soe, a former Central Working Committee member of the National League for Democracy party, which is led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, said that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Rangoon is corrupted. Much of the planned development programmes are incomplete.

“Projects staffs and participants who are going to attend the workshops or trainings had to take recommendation letter from police station and even Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) about whether he or she has not involved in any criminal cases and political activities”, Myint Soe, Secretary of National League for Democracy – Liberated Area, explained.

USDA and police in Burma are, today, the real criminals that have killed hundreds of peaceful monks and people. Should our people continue to get recommendation letters from these departments?

We are very sadden and disappointed the fact that the U.N. continues to stay silent on the corruptions that exist between its officials and the ruling regime.

We, again, request that the U.N., the world leading organization, to protect and stand by its principles stated in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights by raising the loudest voice and taking concrete actions to prevent further killings and tortures by the ruling SPDC.

Contact: Moe Chan – 646-643-8689, 718-396-1464

Evening at the Shwedagon Pagoda
Photo From Helmut Schadt

From the Irrawaddy News Magazine

Burma Information Blackout: The Media War

“…This week, the incoming news has slowed down, and images are in short supply, yet the violent crackdown continues. Burma news has slipped back, replaced by the Ukraine election, the South Korean president’s visit to the north and events in Iraq.

The regime also successfully kept a lid on information about the UN envoy’s visit as Ibrahim Gambari spent much of his time in Naypyidaw, the dusty new capital where the regime’s propaganda war machine churns out its bizarre version of events.

But the news we received from Rangoon was appalling. Pre-dawn raids on monasteries did not stop. My colleague in Rangoon told me, “Monks were hunted down by soldiers, and they are now in hiding,” some monasteries were deserted and civilians protected monks by providing them hideouts. Notorious Insein Prison and temporary detention centers were filled with monks and civilians.

Reports suggest that monks in detention centers continue to hold to the alms boycott, refusing to accept alms or food from regime supporters. Some reports say that monks went on a hunger strike.

We also learned this week about the tremendous hardships faced by average people and reporters in Rangoon.”

MORE…

Doing my rounds of the news tonight, I began to fall into a deep despair as I saw Burma and the monks slipping slowly from the pages and falling into obscurity. Anger washes over me and I am incensed that we are not taking more note of this. Thousands of monks have been injured and removed from their monasteries. The military is still raiding monasteries, still removing monks from hospitals and other places.

And what are we doing?

Writing about Britney Spears, Baseball, or how much Ford sales have plummeted.

I’m sorry… but some things are more important. Even on the BBC website it talks how Clinton is now the lead fundraiser (shame it’s all going to be wasted on bullshit political campaigning and not humanitarian work… )

Anyway, that being said, at least the BBC had a report tonight:

“”I’m really scared,” said one woman when she was sure no-one else could hear.

“I don’t want to be the next one to get a knock on the door from the soldiers in the middle of the night,” another man said.

They have good reason to be concerned. Thousands of monks and others who led the marches of the past few weeks have now been arrested – and these arrests are still continuing.

Most are picked up under cover of nightfall and corralled into large, heavily-guarded buildings on the outskirts of the city, such as the Government Technical Centre and the National Library.

The government has yet to confirm any details about the names or numbers of detainees, and families are left unsure whether their loved ones are imprisoned, dead or in hiding.”

More here:

BBC Asia

From the Democratic Voice of Burma:

“A monk being treated at Rangoon general hospital for gunshot wounds, caused when soldiers fired on protesters in Sule last Tuesday, was moved by government officials to an unknown location, according to a witness.

The monk, assumed to be aged around 30, was sent to Rangoon general hospital’s intensive care unit with a gunshot wound to his arm. Two members of the National League for Democracy in Thingangyun township, Ko Mya Than Htike and U Htun Shwe, and another unknown civilian were also sent to the hospital.
Ko Mya Than Htike’s wife told DVB that all four patients were shot and wounded during the government guards’ violent crackdown on protesters near Sule Pagoda on September 27 and were later taken to the hospital by civilian bystanders. She said the monk was seen being taken away from the hospital ward by police officers on Saturday morning.
“Now the monk is gone. We don’t where he was taken to. He had a plaster-cast on his arm where he has the gun-shot wound. It was police officials who took him away,” said Ko Mya Than Htike’s wife.
She added that her husband and the other two patients remained at the hospital under the close supervision of government officials to prevent information on their situation from reaching the media.
“The rest of them, including my husband, are still there in hospital. We were only allowed to see him briefly after his arrival at the hospital and the next day. The officials said they don’t want the news to spread.”
She said that Ko Myint Than Htike suffered leg injuries from the bullet wound and is still not able to walk while U Htun Shwe was shot in his arm. The unknown civilian, who could only be identified as an older male, assumed to be over 50, had a bone in his leg shattered by a bullet and faces the possibility of losing his leg.”

From Here: Democratic Voice of Burma

watermarkphp.jpg
Many monks were beaten, shot, and injured… so where are they taking them now?

They have been ignored.

“The whole thing started as a religious movement. It was not an organised democratic movement and there was no intention whatsoever for it to be turned into one. Monks were adamant about it.

They knew that there is no point in asking the generals for freedom. They knew that they don’t have guns and can’t beat the army. All they wanted to do was show the world what their situation is and that they are prepared to die.

They were very hopeful about the UN envoy coming to Burma. But they were quite surprised to hear that the UN envoy met Aung San Suu Kyi.

They love and respect her, but they felt that this time it is about them and that the UN envoy should be speaking to them. They felt that it’s a distraction from them while they are being shot at and need protection.

This was an opportunity for them to express themselves after 20 years. Their eyes are on the international community, their only hope is that the world will see their plight and help them.

But when they hear that support for the demonstrations is dwindling and time passes by without help from anyone, they lose hope. They are getting disillusioned and eventually they’ll give up.”

More Here:

Account from a Monastery

And this just from Yahoo:

“Authorities have acknowledged that government troops shot dead nine demonstrators and a Japanese cameraman in Yangon[Rangoon]. But witness accounts range from several dozen deaths to as many as 200.

“We do believe the death toll is higher than acknowledged by the government,” Shari Villarosa, the top U.S. diplomat in Myanmar, told The Associated Press Monday. “We are doing our best to get more precise, more detailed information, not only in terms of deaths but also arrests.”

Villarosa said her staff had visited up to 15 monasteries around Yangon and every single one was empty. She put the number of arrested demonstrators — monks and civilians — in the thousands.

“I know the monks are not in their monasteries,” she said. “Where are they? How many are dead? How many are arrested?”

She said the true death toll may never be known in a Buddhist country where bodies are cremated.”

Makes me physically sick. I tremble with feelings I simply cannot express. Why is it always our red-robed brothers and sisters who pay the price for their peaceful protests? In Tibet it was (and is) still the same… and here again it is being repeated. I feel so shackled myself. As if these blog entries are nothing. A pathetic attempt at keeping information flowing. At Yelling my Compassion from my own corner of the world. What can I do? What can I do? I have donated to the Irrawaddy News Magazine. I have donated to Amnesty for this cause specifically. I blog daily, I pray. I wear red… but there are thousands who have been taken and are suffering countless tortures for a freedom we take for granted.

And it makes me distraught.

From the BBC:

“Thousands of monks detained in Burma’s main city of Rangoon will be sent to prisons in the far north of the country, sources have told the BBC.
About 4,000 monks have been rounded up in the past week as the military government has tried to stamp out pro-democracy protests.
They are being held at a disused race course and a technical college.
Sources from a government-sponsored militia said they would soon be moved away from Rangoon.

The monks have been disrobed and shackled, the sources told BBC radio’s Burmese service. There are reports that the monks are refusing to eat.”

Dead Monk

Despite assurances that monks were not killed, the above image from the Democratic Voice of Burma would show otherwise.

More here:

BBC Asia-Pacific

Democratic Voice of Burma

freeburma.gif

Free Burma!
International Bloggers’ Day for Burma on the 4th of October

International bloggers are preparing an action to support the peaceful revolution in Burma. We want to set a sign for freedom and show our sympathy for these people who are fighting their cruel regime without weapons. These Bloggers are planning to refrain from posting to their blogs on October 4 and just put up one Banner underlined with the words “Free Burma!“

www.free-burma.org