Wednesday, September 19th, 2007


The Burmese military government has ordered a state of emergency authorizing regional and local authorities to control demonstrations, including an order to open fire on protesters if necessary, according to sources.
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More than 2,000 monks protested across Myanmar Wednesday for the third straight day against the country’s junta, one month after a huge fuel price hike sparked a wave of rarely-seen public discontent.
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Buddhist monks staging anti-government protests in Myanmar pushed past closed gates Wednesday to occupy a pagoda in downtown Yangon, witnesses said.
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More than 1000 monks occupied the Arakan Peace and Development Council office today, chanting metta and demanding an apology for government-backed violence.
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Defiant monks rallied against the Burmese military junta and took to the streets yet again today.  About 200 monks staged a protest on the streets of Kalay town, Sagaing division, northwestern Burma at around 8:30 a.m. today.
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The people in Burma rallied around the monks who have staged protests across the country this week, encouraging them and drawing strength from their bravery in coming out of the monasteries by the thousands.
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Myanmar’s military junta said on Wednesday it had used tear gas and fired warning shots to disperse a crowd of 1,000 Buddhist monks and civilians protesting in the northwestern coastal city of Sittwe.
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Myanmar’s ruling military junta attempted Wednesday to discredit the hundreds of monks who resumed marching in protests similar to ones that helped trigger nationwide demonstrations 19 years ago.
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About than 1,000 monks marched to Sule Pagoda in downtown Rangoon on Wednesday where they gave political speeches to thousands of people crowded into the pagoda area, according to eyewitnesses.
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A Burmese blogger calling himself Moezack has now joined the country’s wanted list. Wanted by the authorities, infuriated by the way he slipped through their security net and posted photographs of monks marching through Rangoon on the Internet. But also wanted by a public eager for the latest information about what is happening in the crisis-hit country.
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“There was chaos in Pathein market when the monks began marching. All cars, hand tractors and motor boats disappeared from the scene. The monks came from Strand Street. Then they proceeded to the main thoroughfare. There were about 250 to 300 monks approaching from Myitmagyi Street. Some monks were coming from Payargyi. The congregation had 500 monks. They marched along the Main Road. ”
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The ‘Human Rights Defenders and Promoters’ (HRDP) alleged today that the Burmese military junta had arbitrarily arrested its members.
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In a rare report from Burma, Andrew Buncombe, Asia correspondent, talks to some of the dissenters who live in fear of the ruling junta
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Hundreds of Burmese, joined by human rights groups, held protest demonstrations and peace rallies across North America on Tuesday to mark the 19th anniversary of the military coup. (more…)

Burma’s Buddhist monks have surprised Burma’s repressive rulers with their peaceful religious boycott campaign, which is reportedly spreading throughout the country.
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The new wave of protests engulfing Burma has echoes of the democracy uprising in 1988 and the student-led protests in 1996, which were brutally suppressed. Sadly, the response from the international community has also been muted. Expressions of concern but no practical action.
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One of the greatest legacies that Gautama Buddha left to the ascetics who followed his path was the requirement that they obtain their food and other needs in the form of alms from the people. The giving and receiving of alms is thus a profound act of adherence to his teachings and among the most meritorious of acts. Only under the most compelling moral circumstances will a monk refuse the alms that have been offered, as to do so is to refuse to acknowledge the alms-giver as a part of the religious community. It amounts to an act of excommunication. (more…)