Friday, August 1, 2008

Repression of bloggers and political opponents continues in Burma, China and Tibet (Call for Reporters and Bloggers to Boycott Beijing Olympics)

Sometimes I think Europeans and Americans are too inclined to take democracy for granted.
In the run in to the Beijing Olympics there has been a huge crack down on dissidents by the Chinese authorities. Meanwhile the level of Chinese repression has accelerated in Tibet. China supports the repressive regimes in Burma, Zimbabwe and Sudan.

During the Saffron Revolution in Burma in September- spearheaded by Buddhist monks- the Tyrants of Rangoon shut down the communications systems. Frequently courageous bloggers were the only reliable source of information. Many of these were arrested and disappeared.
Nay Phone Latte, a young blogger who has been held since 29 January in the notorious Insein prison, is facing a possible seven-year sentence.

Saw Wai, a poet who was arrested on 22 January for criticising junta chief Gen. Than Shwe in coded message in a poem published in the weekly Achit Journal, appeared before the Insein prison special court for the third time on 8 July. He is now also facing a possible seven-year jail sentence.

During the Saffron Revolution the brutality of the Burmese regime was flashed around the world. The international media has now moved on to pastures new. Once more the Tyrants of Rangoon are free to repress the opposition and to stamp out all vestiges of free speech.
The following message from a blogger and Buddhist monk called Ashin Mettacara has appeared in opednews under the heading "Calling Reporters and Bloggers to boycott Beijing and to declare one day period of media mourning"

"Dear Reporters and Bloggers,
I am a 27-year-old Buddhist monk from Burma, currently studying is Sri Lanka. While I was studying in the Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka in September 2007, there was a Saffron Revolution in Burma. The military regime cracked down on the peaceful protestors who mostly were Buddhist monks. As I could not reconcile myself with the current military regime's human right abuses, I became a blogger. I am not a political monk nor reporter. My wish is just to use the freedom I have out of Burma to help people of my country to get freedom and be away from the unbearable pain they have to endure for too many decades.
Coming 08-08-08 is the opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics in China and the 20th anniversary of the 08-08-1988 popular demonstration in Burma, when many thousands of people were killed under the military junta's brutal crackdown.

China is a major trading partner, major weapons supplier and major defender of the Burma military junta in the United Nations Security Council. Because of China's support, the military junta in Burma is still in power to this day.

I would like to call on each and every reporter and blogger around the world to boycott, without reporting information, photo and video footage of Olympics ceremonies.

I also think it would be righteous to declare 08-08-08 as a day of media mourning for the thousands who died in 1988 demonstrations in Burma, and to raise awareness of China's policies concerning Burma, the Falun Gong, Darfur and Tibet."
Will his appeal fall on deaf ears?

1 comment:

rainywalker said...

Good point. The crackdown continues.