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As Brutal Burma Crisis Continues, Monks Sent to Prison Camps

Burmamonks

Bad as it was last week, the military government's crackdown on protesters and monks in the country appears to get more tragic by the hour:

"Reports from exiles along the frontier confirmed that hundreds of monks had simply "disappeared" as 20,000 troops swarmed around Rangoon yesterday to prevent further demonstrations by religious groups and civilians. Word reaching dissidents hiding out on the border suggested that as well as executions, some 2,000 monks are being held in the notorious Insein Prison or in university rooms which have been turned into cells. There were reports that many were savagely beaten at a sports ground on the outskirts of Rangoon, where they were heard crying for help. Others who had failed to escape disguised as civilians were locked in their bloodstained temples. There, troops abandoned religious beliefs, propped their rifles against statues of Buddha and began cooking meals on stoves set up in shrines. In stark contrast, the streets of Rangoon and Mandalay - centres of the attempted saffron revolution last week - were virtually deserted."

Below left, a short piece on the Burmese army's offensive against rural ethnic minorities.

And on the right, a Japanese journalist is shot to death trying to record the human rights atrocities underway there. Here's more on the photographer's story.

Now, the BBC is reporting that thousands of monks detained in Rangoon are being rounded up and sent to prison camps in the far north. What hope have they? Little, I fear.

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Comments

  1. Thank you for reporting on this. It's truly awful, and I just don't think America cares.

    Posted by: Paul | Oct 1, 2007 7:25:22 PM


  2. Boycott any and all subsidiaries (spell check) of UNOCAL who is a huge financier of the ruling Junta in burma and thus supporting the masacer of peaceful protesters.

    UNOCAL owns CHEVRON and TEXACO to just name a few of the things you can boycott to help bring about change in Burma

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Oct 1, 2007 7:29:32 PM


  3. This is horrble and it isn't even being reported in the mainstream press.

    Posted by: peterparker | Oct 2, 2007 3:13:45 AM


  4. Er, Unocal is owned by Chevron which also owns Texaco. And although many of their products aren't sold in the US of A, Total (the French national oil giant) is the largest foreign investor in Burma.

    And although I agree it is dispiciable that these corporate giants operate there and provide a ready supply of cash to the junta, would you prefer to have a relatively open and transparent western oil company operating there, or one of the Chinese or Russian oil giants? I know which one I would choose...

    Because with the amount of natural gas, etc. in Burma the second that Chevron/Texaco/Unocal or Total starts making murmurs about pulling out of the country, you better believe the Chinese and the Russians, et al will be scrambling to take their place and they might not quite as reluctant to use the cheap forced (slave) labour that the junta has on offer!

    Just my $0.02...

    Posted by: Oil Industry Employee | Oct 2, 2007 5:07:30 AM


  5. The only good news I read was the troops abandoning their religious beliefs. Do you think we could do the same thing with our evangelicals? Just kidding... or am I? No, I'm just kidding.

    Posted by: Robguy | Oct 2, 2007 6:41:32 AM


  6. It's a sad world when monks/civilians are tortured and murdered by the thousands and hundreds of governments around the world watch and do nothing.

    Posted by: SFshawn | Oct 2, 2007 8:17:11 AM


  7. Sorry...but the UN and the world are much too busy condemning Israel for all the world's problems...they don't have time to deal with Burma (or Rwanda, or Sudan or Zimbabwe or China or Cuba or...)

    Posted by: Myackie | Oct 2, 2007 10:58:48 AM


  8. Myackie - so what's America's excuse? We are certainly not busy condemning Israel for anything.

    Posted by: DCITE | Oct 2, 2007 11:08:19 AM


  9. You have a point DCITE.

    But still...I've seen almost nothing from Amnesti International, Human Rights Watch, etc.

    Always so quick to condemn the US and Israel...they move at a glacial pace when REAL human rights violations occur.

    Posted by: Myackie | Oct 2, 2007 11:12:14 AM


  10. Myackie - AI has been involved with Maynmar since the 80s and there has been nonstop work to have Aung San Suu Kyi released from her house arrest since the early 90s.

    Yesterday Amnesty called for an arms embargo at the UN and today there was a big Amnesty protest at the Myanmar consulate in NYC.

    It's not the human rights groups who are the bad guys.

    Posted by: page001 | Oct 2, 2007 11:43:05 PM


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