[DEBATE] : (Fwd) All Burma Monks rock the junta
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Tue Sep 25 10:14:26 BST 2007
********* Action Call: Candle Light Vigils**********
On September 24, the World has witnessed the perseverance and aspiration
of the people of Burma for democracy as more than one hundred thousands
Buddhist monks and people have joined the nationwide general strike
called by the All Burma Monk Alliance as they peacefully marched on the
streets of total of twenty-six (26) cities and towns across the country.
(See the pictures attached.)
26 cities and towns that demonstrations took place were: Rangoon,
Mandalay, Mogok, Sitthtwe, Myitkyina, Tavoy, Pegu, Nat-Mauk, Dike-oo,
Pyar Pone, Yay-Za-Gyo, Pakokku, Aunglan, Sin-Phu-Kyun, Ye-Nan-Chaung,
Moulmein, Kawt-Ka-Reit, Bassein (Pa-Thain), Shwe Bo, Bamaw, Kalay,
Nat-Ta-Lin, Hmaw-Bi, Kyauk-Pa-Daung, Kun-Gyan-Kone, and Taung-Twin-Gyi.
Three demands by Protesters: 1) For the people to be able to meet their
basic needs; 2) release of all political prisoners and 3) for the
Burmese Celebraties Joined the Movement: A number of well known
celebraties, actors and actresses, led by the well known actor Kyaw Thu
and Zarganar, most reknown Stairist, who was previously imprisoned by
the regime for his political jokes in the '90s, joined the movement as
they started giving interviews with Burmese media about the "Supporting
Committee for Sangas" which was formed to support the needs of monks and
for the peaceful movement by the monks and people.
The Regime plans to take “Legal Action”: In the first official reaction
to a week of escalating protests led by the monks, state television and
radio just reported that the country's religion minister, Brigadier
General Thura Myint Maung, had issued a warning to senior clergy saying
“If the monks go against the rules and regulations in the authority of
the Buddhist teachings, we will take action under the existing law."
This phenomena is same when the regime cracked down on the 1991’s monk
religious boycott. Speaking to senior members of the State Monks
Council, he said the protests were incited by "destructive elements who
do not want to see peace, stability and progress in the country,"
reported by AFP.
On Tuesday, September 25, the people will carry on holding peaceful
demonstrations. With this announcement of threat by the regime, this is
the time the world leaders take immediate action to stop the Burmese
regime from carrying out this plan of violent crackdowns on the peaceful
protesters. Please spread the word as loud as possible across the world
and take any actions to prevent another killing field in Burma.
Below please find the brief update for Sept 22-24. FYI – since Sept 24,
I have begun to use the SMS text message system of immediate updating
for those of you based in Thailand as the protests proceed in Burma. I’m
sorry that I am unable to provide this service for all. But I will try
to send out this update on regular basis as much as possible, while you
are also receiving information through international media.
Violent crackdowns or use of other means of crackdowns such as cutting
off communication lines (phone lines, internet servers, etc..) by the
authorities are quite possible as the demonstrations will continue to
escalate in the coming days, some Burmese activists and solidarity
friends outside Burma have begun to organize "Candle Light Vigils for
Burma" in their respective countried to show their support for the
peaceful protesters in Burma. The Burmese and friends of Burma in
Helsinki, Finland has informed that they will hold the Vigil on next
Tuesday, October 2.
Please kindly let me know your plan to join this action in your area.
And thanks for all the solidarity messages you’ve been sending as
organizations and individuals.
I. Monk Protests Escalating:
1) Rangoon, Rangoon Division (Sept 23): Today, the Saffron Revolution
found its highest support to this date. In downtown Rangoon, 10,000
laypeople and 10,000 monks demonstrated. The strike was joined by about
200 Buddhist nuns for the first time. However, unlike yesterday, the
monks were blocked from passing in front of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's
house. In contrast to previous days, political slogans were shouted in
addition to chanting Metta radiation prayers.
2) Magwe, Magwe Division (Sept 23): About 300 monks demonstrated and
they were supported by thousands of townspeople.
3) Minbu, Magwe Division (Sept 23): Also in Minbu, about 50 monks made a
protest procession in the town.
4) Sagaing Division (Sept 23): Some 100 monks demonstrated in Monywa.
About 240 monks peacefully demonstrated in Shwebo and about 2,000 people
joined the monks. In Kalaymyo, about 500 monks peacefully march along
the main streets on the town from 7.00 am to 11.00 am.
5) Mandalay Division (Sept 23): Some 3,000 monks demonstrated in
Mandalay and converged on Mahamuni Pagoda. Some 500 hundred monks also
demonstrated in Kyaukbadaung.
6) Arakan State (Sept 23): Some 400 monks demonstrated in Minbya, Arakan
State on Sept 22 and 50 monks walked in protest in Rathetaung, Arakan
State, today supported by 600 people.
7) Kachin State (Sept 23): Some 300 monks demonstrated in Bhamo, and
another 300 monks demonstrated in Myitkyina supported by thousands of
people. Kachin Baptist Council will also hold prayers for peace tomorrow.
8) Sagaing, Sagaing Division (Sept 22): About 200 monks marched in a
9) Monywa, Sagaing Division (Sept 22): About 300 monks continued their
10) Shwebo, Sagaing Division (Sept 22): More than 150 monks demonstrated
and were supported by 1,000 laypeople.
11) Rangoon, Rangoon Division (Sept 22): About 5,000 monks demonstrated
and were supported by more than 5,000 laypeople.
12) Kamaryut, Rangoon Division (Sept 22): Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, dressed
in yellow, came out of her home, where she is under house arrest, to pay
respect to protesting monks who marched in front of her home on
Rangoon’s University Avenue on Saturday afternoon.
13) Bahan, Rangoon Division (Sept 22): About 1,000 monks marched
peacefully from Shwedagon Pagoda in Bahan Township on Saturday morning.
14) Kungyangone, Rangoon Division (Sept 22): About 500 monks from at
least 22 monasteries in Kungyungone walked in protest supported by 5,000
15) Kawthmoo, Rangoon Division (Sept 22): About 100 monks demonstrated
supported by about 1,000 people.
16) Chinese Embassy, Rangoon (Sept 22): About 1,000 monks protested in
front of the Chinese Embassy, which is being regarded as the main prop
of Burmese military regime.
17) Mandalay, Mandalay Division (Sept 22): About 10,000 monks marched
peacefully in Mandalay on Saturday, the largest city in upper Burma, AP
reported. It was the largest number of monks to march in a single
protest demonstration so far. There are about 200 Buddhist monasteries
18) Yenangyaung, Mandalay Division (Sept 22): At least 200 monks
demonstrated for the first time and were cheered by about 3,000 people.
19) Taungdwingyi, Magwe Division (Sept 22): About 100 monks and nearly
10,000 people demonstrated.
II. Junta’s Response
1) Hospitals Given Directives (Sept 23, DVB): Some hospitals in Rangoon
were given directives by the Health Ministry to be prepared for possible
emergency situations ahead.
2) Abbots Pressured by Authorities (Sept 22, Mizzima): In a bid to avoid
further unrest created by young monks, the authorities pressurized
abbots of some monasteries in Insein Township in Rangoon to send back
young novices to their respective home towns. However, unconfirmed
reports suggest that the novices, instead of going back to their home
towns have joined other monks in Rangoon and continue to take part in
3) General Than Shwe Order (Sept 22, BBC): Sources close to the War
Office in Nay Pyi Taw said that Senior General Than Shwe once again gave
instructions to use violence in dispersing the monks who have been
peacefully marching while reciting prayers.
III. Update on the Detained Activists and the ’88 Generation Students:
1) The health condition of Htin Kyaw (Sept 23, DVB): The health of Ko
Htin Kyaw who led protests against the rise in commodity prices has been
deteriorating due to torture in interrogation center.
2) The 88 Generation Student Call on Peace: The ’88 Generation Students
called on all walks of life in Burma to join demonstrations on September
24. A leader of the Group on the run Htay Kywe gave interviews to
Burmese media from his hiding.
3) Detainees on Hunger Strike (Sept 22, PDC/NCUB): Since Sept 22, some
activists and NLD members being detained at the No. 7 Riot Police
Battalion near Syriam (Thanlyin) have been staging hunger strike against
authority concerned for not providing enough food, blanket, mosquito
nets and proper medical care.
4) ‘The 88 Generation Student’ (Sept 22): ‘The 88 Generation Student’
urged the general public to help monks who have been consistently in the
protests. ( http://burmese.dvb.no/news.php?id=2041)
IV. Solidarity Actions around the World:
1) Burmese and Indian activists call for greater Indian support (Sept
22, Mizzima) - At least nine Burmese democracy activists and more than
20 Indian supporters on Saturday held a protest rally in New Delhi
demanding that India lend its support to the Burmese democracy movement,
as the time is ripe with continued protests and unrest in Rangoon and
parts of the country.
2) Burmese Monks in India (Sept 22, DVB): Over 50 monks currently
studying at India’s Narlada University chanted Metta Suttra to support
the current monk protests in Burma.
V. International Responses:
1) AIPMC (Sept 24): urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to
use its influence to push bloc member Myanmar to reform.
2) France Warns the Junta against Crackdown (Sept 23, AFP): France
warned the SPDC that it would be held accountable if it cracked down on
protesters who have taken to the streets in large numbers in Yangon, as
said by foreign ministry spokesman Frederic Desagneaux. France is
holding talks with its EU partners on the situation in Burma, in
particular with Britain "due to its strong and long-standing involvement
in this issue," he added.
3) Germany (Sept 23): Germany added its voice to the chorus, with the
foreign ministry in Paris warning that the junta would be held
accountable for any harsh crackdowns.
4) US (Sept 23, AFP): At the UN General Assembly opening in New York,
where world leaders are expected to push the generals to adopt
democratic reforms, US national security spokesman Gordon Johndroe said
the US is consulting with allies and friends in the regions on ways to
encourage dialogue between the Burmese regime and those seeking freedom."
5) UN (Sept 23, AFP): UN Secretary General "calls upon the Myanmar
authorities to continue to exercise restraint," said a statement issued
by his spokeswoman Michele Montas.
6) ASEAN Leader Appeals (Sept 23, AP): The ASEAN Secretary General urged
Burmese junta to avoid any ‘strong action’ against growing
anti-government protests, in hopes of avoiding violence. (
7) Message from His Holiness the Dalai Lama (Sept 23): Tibet's exiled
spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, offered his support and urged the
generals to refrain from violence, in a message released by his office.
"As a Buddhist monk, I am appealing to the members of the military
regime who believe in Buddhism to act in accordance with the sacred
dharma in the spirit of compassion and non-violence," he said. (
8) Ethnic Nationalities Council (Union of Burma) (Sept 22) – The Ethnic
Nationalities Council (ENC) praised monks’ protests against the military
regime in Burma. (
9) Asian Human Rights Commission - Burma: Protests fast accelerating
‘The protests that began in Burma during August to voice public
frustration and discontent over sharp price rises have in the last week
fast accelerated--under the guidance of the Buddhist clergy, the
Sangha--towards an uprising to end the country's military dictatorship.’
( http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2007statements/1207/ )
10) Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Sept 21) - The
demonstrations are no longer being spearheaded by pro-democracy
activists, but by revered Burmese Buddhist monks. In order to avoid an
outcome similar to the 1988 crackdown, FORUM-ASIA urges the ASEAN to
immediately engage Burma on this crisis. ( http://www.forum-asia.org/
11) Church World Service (Sept 21): Church World Service, a global
humanitarian agency joins the voices of many calling for the UN Security
Council and the UN Secretary General to reexamine its position on Burma
in the light of the recent events and take urgent action to prevent the
repeat of the situation that claimed 3,000 lives in 1988. (
12) International Network of Engaged Buddhists (Sept 20): The
International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB), a global network of
activists, spiritual leaders, organizations and academics of all
Buddhist sects, issued a statement of support for demonstrations in
Burma and urge the SPDC to apply and practice Panna (wisdom), Metta
(loving-kindness) and Karuna (compassion) in responding to the current
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