Friday, September 21st, 2007


Subject: Designation of existing evil military despotism as the “Common Enemy”
of the whole people and exhortation for speedy formation of People’s Alliance led by
the Clergy to struggle peacefully against the evil military dictatorship till its complete
downfall
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Nearly 1,000 Buddhist monks, joined by thousands of their countrymen, marched in Myanmar’s largest city Thursday in the biggest challenge in at least a decade to the iron-fisted junta, a show of strength rare under military rule.
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At least 1,000 Buddhist monks in Shwebo town in Central Burma division of Sagaing today joined monks across the country in their ongoing protest.
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The Burmese military government have set up soldiers in several locations around Rangoon in recent days, according to sources in Rangoon.
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Hundreds of Buddhist monks marched through rain-washed streets for the third day in Myanmar’s main city yesterday, taking the lead in monthlong protests that the military junta has so far been powerless to contain.
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Burmese Buddhist monks called on students and civilians to join hands with them in public protests against the military regime which has ruled the country for almost 20 years.
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As hundreds of Buddhist monks in Burma take over from civilians to march across towns in defiance of the totalitarian military regime that has shown little tolerance for dissent, journalists are being prevented from taking pictures of what is essentially a slap in the face for the junta.
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The lower ranks of military units must defy the senior leaders who are clinging to power during the current unrest, urged former commander, Brig-Gen Kyaw Zaw, in a statement received by The Irrawaddy on Friday.
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Pauktaw, Arakan State :  The Pauktaw Township cooperative shop was vandalized at midnight on September 18 when Burmese monks demonstrated and began their boycott of the Burmese military junta. Goods worth 15, 00,000 Kyats were damaged.
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Col Yawdserk, leader of the anti-junta Shan State Army (SSA) South, has voiced his support for the monks who had since 18 September declared the patta-nukkujjana kamma (the act of overturning the bowl) to Burma’s military rulers.
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Yangon – Myanmar maintains some of the world’s most restrictive Internet controls, including government-administered blocks on foreign news sites and the use of popular e-mail services. But when politically sensitive fuel-price protests broke out last month in the old capital city Yangon, government censors proved powerless to stop the outflow of information and images over the Internet to the outside world. (more…)

The foreign arm of India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, the ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) is set to sign an agreement with Burma on Monday for exploration of three Rakhine offshore deepwater blocks.
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Myanmar’s military junta came under growing international pressure Friday as it faces the most sustained challenge to its rule in nearly two decades, led by Buddhist monks.
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America and its allies scored a small victory yesterday, as the U.N. Security Council discussed the latest clampdown by the ruling junta in Burma on demonstrators amid widening public dissent. No council action is expected for some time, however. A small group of council members, led by China, has long resisted any discussion of events in Burma. Despite reports of mass arrests and atrocities committed by vigilante groups there, Secretary-General Ban issued only a bland statement, and his envoy to Burma, Ibrahim Gambari, did not appear eager to push the council to discuss the topic. (more…)

Two media watchdogs on Friday condemned Myanmar’s censorship and the use of violence aimed at preventing reporters from covering a growing campaign of protests against the ruling junta.
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The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is disturbed at the escalating clampdown on the free media in Burma this year. According to local reports, the Burmese military junta has stepped up its campaign of tapping landlines and cutting off both landline and mobile phone lines of journalists, activists and politicians. IFJ represents over six lakh journalists in 114 countries across the globe.
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On September 19, 1988, nineteen years ago, peaceful demonstrators protesting against the military coup in Burma were brutally suppressed.  Many of my friends and country fellows were killed, injured or jailed.  The smell of blood, gunpowder and sweat, the sounds of gunfire and angry shouting and feelings of disbelief and sadness have stayed in my heart and mind. This was the second slaughter of unarmed demonstrators by the dictators within two months, following one in August 1988. (more…)

Chinese embassies and consulates from New York to New Zealand have had some unwelcome but familiar visitors on their doorsteps in recent weeks: human-rights protesters. Only this time around, activists have not been calling attention to authoritarian abuses in China, but in neighboring Burma (or Myanmar, as its military rulers prefer to call it). Street protests sparked by skyrocketing fuel prices in that impoverished Southeast Asian land have resulted in the reimprisonment of leading democracy activists and yet another round of military violence against peacefully protesting university students and Buddhist monks.
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This week, we have seen Burmese monks take to the streets and confront the regime with a bold demand for an official apology for its violent crackdown on monks in Pakokku, central Burma. The events in Rangoon and other cities have drawn the attention of Burma interest groups around the world. The big question remains: where will these events lead, where do things go from here?
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What had started off as a low-key and largely symbolic protest march in Rangoon on 19 August by a few students against the doubling of fuel prices has now snow-balled into a countrywide ant-military-junta movement in Burma.
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