Monday, September 24, 2007

Burma-The People versus the Junta

Burma is a country whose junta has been at war with its people. It has not been slow to put down popular uprisings. In 1988 soldiers killed 3,000 people. Murder rape and torture are some of the weapons used by the military against the pro democracy movement.

Protests erupted on August 19th when the Government raised fuel prices. Since then demonstrations have gained momentum. Up to 10,000 Buddhist monks walked Mandalay (Saturday). It is estimated that there were several thousand onlookers on both sides of their route.

Thousands of Buddhist monks and their supporters marched in Rangoon today. This is the biggest show of defiance against Burma's ruling junta in almost 20 years.
At least 30,000 people led by about 15,000 monks marched through the streets of Burma's main city. Some estimates put the number involved as 100,000.

This has all the appearances of a popular uprising against a repressive regime. So far the junta has held back hoping that the protests will subside. However there are indications that this approach is about to change. The ruling junta has now threatened to take action against Burma's Buddhist monks.
It is believed that over 200 pro democracy activists have been arrested. Some have been tortured and ill-treated in custody.
The United States and EU countries are preparing to challenge Burma at the United Nations General Assembly this week. Dramatic change in the country's political situation remains unlikely, due to support for the junta from major powers such as India, Russia and China.
Essentially the UN is a toothless tiger.

Meanwhile Burma teeters on the brink of disaster. The junta may be about to declare all out war on its people. At some point this tyrannical regime corroded by injustice and corruption must inevitably collapse in a manner similar to the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe.

No comments: