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BS: Should we care about Burmese?

beardedbruce 30 Aug 07 - 10:44 AM
Peace 30 Aug 07 - 11:01 AM
Peace 30 Aug 07 - 11:11 AM
beardedbruce 27 Sep 07 - 07:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Sep 07 - 08:05 PM
John O'L 27 Sep 07 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,Mark Alley NC 27 Sep 07 - 08:15 PM
Amos 27 Sep 07 - 08:21 PM
Teribus 27 Sep 07 - 08:41 PM
Alba 27 Sep 07 - 08:44 PM
Bobert 27 Sep 07 - 08:47 PM
Amos 27 Sep 07 - 08:52 PM
Peace 27 Sep 07 - 09:05 PM
Peace 27 Sep 07 - 09:15 PM
Peace 27 Sep 07 - 09:17 PM
Peace 27 Sep 07 - 09:27 PM
Peace 27 Sep 07 - 09:32 PM
Peace 27 Sep 07 - 09:37 PM
Peace 27 Sep 07 - 09:38 PM
Peace 27 Sep 07 - 09:45 PM
GUEST,Bobbie 28 Sep 07 - 12:00 AM
Barry Finn 28 Sep 07 - 01:32 AM
Teribus 28 Sep 07 - 03:35 AM
John MacKenzie 28 Sep 07 - 04:32 AM
redsnapper 28 Sep 07 - 04:50 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 28 Sep 07 - 04:54 AM
Emma B 28 Sep 07 - 05:41 AM
Wolfgang 28 Sep 07 - 06:12 AM
Emma B 28 Sep 07 - 06:28 AM
Emma B 28 Sep 07 - 06:32 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 28 Sep 07 - 06:56 AM
Grab 28 Sep 07 - 08:44 AM
John MacKenzie 28 Sep 07 - 08:55 AM
Teribus 28 Sep 07 - 09:17 AM
Mrrzy 28 Sep 07 - 09:41 AM
John MacKenzie 28 Sep 07 - 09:47 AM
bobad 28 Sep 07 - 09:56 AM
Emma B 28 Sep 07 - 10:08 AM
redsnapper 28 Sep 07 - 10:27 AM
Peace 28 Sep 07 - 10:31 AM
Peace 28 Sep 07 - 10:33 AM
Alba 28 Sep 07 - 12:16 PM
Emma B 28 Sep 07 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,Fayhem 28 Sep 07 - 01:23 PM
John MacKenzie 28 Sep 07 - 01:31 PM
The Villan 28 Sep 07 - 02:35 PM
beardedbruce 28 Sep 07 - 04:05 PM
GUEST,petr 28 Sep 07 - 04:54 PM
beardedbruce 28 Sep 07 - 05:01 PM
Alba 28 Sep 07 - 05:38 PM

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Subject: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 10:44 AM

From the Washington Post...

At least the UN is predictable and consistant...



Courage in Burma

Pro-democracy protesters dare to take to the streets. Will the world respond as bravely?
Thursday, August 30, 2007; Page A20


THE MOST STRIKING feature of the remarkable protests taking place across Burma for the past 10 days is that they are taking place at all. That Southeast Asian nation is ruled by one of the world's most repressive and brutal regimes, led by dictator Than Shwe. Those who dare speak out risk imprisonment and torture not only for themselves but for their relatives. Yet since Aug. 19, hundreds of men and women, students and Buddhist monks, have peaceably taken to the streets across Burma to protest economic mismanagement and political oppression. Scores have been swept into prison; many more have been beaten by government-sponsored thugs. Min Ko Naing, released in November 2004 after 15 years in prison for leading pro-democracy protests in 1988, took to the streets again -- and is once again in prison, facing a possible 20-year sentence for a nonviolent demonstration.

What response does such courage call for from the outside world? A lot more than we've seen so far, that much is certain. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon's special envoy for Burma has been missing in action, and Mr. Ban himself belatedly issued a mealy-mouthed statement that "encourages all parties to avoid any provocative action." Meaning what? That 50 million Burmese citizens -- disenfranchised, impoverished and press-ganged into involuntary servitude -- should refrain from "provoking" the regime by exercising their inalienable right to assemble and speak out?

The U.N. Security Council should be at the forefront of global demands for an end to repression in Burma. The military junta has been responsible for a kind of slow-motion Darfur. More than 3,000 villages in eastern Karen state have been razed, more than 1.5 million people displaced. Soldiers routinely bayonet peasants' pots so that they cannot cook and will go hungry. If this isn't a fit subject for the Security Council, it's hard to know why the organization exists.

The Bush administration and first lady Laura Bush in her own right have been far more impassioned about Burma. Yet the United States, too, should have learned by now that rhetoric is not enough; a strategy is needed. Unlike so many dictatorships, Burma (called Myanmar by its junta) has a legitimate political authority waiting in the wings: Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy won a landslide electoral victory in 1990. She has been under house arrest for most of the years since. Now the administration needs to make clear to other nations with influence in Burma -- China, India, Thailand and Singapore, to name a few -- that a democratic transition there is a U.S. policy priority and a prerequisite for peace and stability in Asia. As former South African archbishop Desmond Tutu told The Post, when "the courageous people of Burma, in spite of the viciousness of the military junta," are ready to come out by the thousands, "we in the free world cannot stand by."


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 11:01 AM

Jim Carrey


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 11:11 AM

Story here.

I have seen no protest from Canada as yet. (I just sent off an e-mail to our Prime Minister.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 07:49 PM

Washington Post:

Save Burma


Will China and Russia give a green light to a slaughter of the monks?
Thursday, September 27, 2007; Page A24


BURMA' S BRAVE monks and the thousands of people who support them have been chanting a simple demand to the country's military rulers: dialogue. Instead, the peaceful protesters in Rangoon were attacked yesterday with tear gas, water cannons and gunfire. By the regime's own account, at least one person was killed when troops fired on a crowd near the venerated Sule Pagoda; opposition accounts said as many as eight people died and hundreds of monks were beaten before being hauled onto trucks and driven away. The corrupt and paranoid generals in the ruling junta have clearly decided to face a popular uprising with the same methods used to put down a similar revolt in 1988. That means the world can expect mass bloodshed in Burma in the coming days -- unless something is done to stop it.

The United States and the European Union acted with admirable cohesion and aggressiveness yesterday, calling for a meeting of the U.N. Security Council and asking it to consider sanctions. The Western governments issued a blunt joint statement that condemned the violence and told the Burmese generals they would be held individually accountable for their actions. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was eloquent: "The whole world is now watching Burma, and its illegitimate and repressive regime should know that the whole world is going to hold it to account," he said. "The age of impunity in neglecting and overriding human rights is over."

The problem is that the "whole world" is not yet prepared to prevent a massacre of monks. Several countries that like to think of themselves as strategic partners of the West -- in particular, Russia and China -- are blocking concerted international action against the regime. China, which has taken advantage of Burma's pariah status to turn it into a virtual economic colony, came out against U.N. sanctions yesterday. Russia's foreign ministry issued a statement rejecting "interference in the domestic affairs" of Burma and predicting that "the situation will be back to normal soon" -- chilling words considering what the troops in Rangoon would have to do to return the situation to "normal."

Yesterday, Russia and China prevented the Security Council even from condemning the violence against protesters. In effect, they are giving the regime a green light for brutal repression. We can hope that the generals will be deterred by the warnings about the war crimes trials that could await them, or that their officers and conscripts will refuse to carry out their orders. If the repression proceeds, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao will have Burma's blood on their hands.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 08:05 PM

Of course we should care. But I doubt if there is much we can actually do that makes things better. It is easy to imagine ways of making things even worse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: John O'L
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 08:10 PM

Is there oil in Burma?


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: GUEST,Mark Alley NC
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 08:15 PM

Personally no.

I am sick of Western nations attempting to bring the "Great White Way" to countries with cultures and traditions dating back thousands of years.

So the Iraqis need to drink coke and open burger bars to become acceptable.

Robert Mugabe is not a nice guy because his government isn't as open and transparent as Britain or America, Thank God it's not like either of them !

Understand that all of the governments of these counties are responsible for the welfare of their own people. For God's sake half of them aren't civilised, chopping up your opponents with machetes ?

We will never change their cultures.

Stay out of their affairs and don't be dipping into your pocket yet again when you see a well orchestrated tv ad campaign.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Amos
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 08:21 PM

From a correspondent:

"The pictures at Irrawaddy.org are riveting. Saddening, maddening.
Inspiring.
http://www.irrawaddy.org/

And there are a few video clips that have made their way as far as
YouTube. One (relatively peaceful) one is
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIpraH81paY

The latest reports are 7:00p.m. Myanmar time, just an hour and a half
ago (it's two and a half hours behind Tokyo). Protests seem to be
stretching into the evening.

One report is that a Japanese person is among the ten or more that have
been killed.

Hundreds of monks have been rounded up by the army. A few people have
been shot, many beaten, after forty years of repression and isolation
and previous attempts to throw off dictatorship and install a fledgling
democracy.

The first time I met a particular man, in 2003, he had just stepped off
a redeye flight, returning from opening Burma's very first Internet
connection. The pictures you see and reports you read may very well be
traversing that line. Despite some reports, the Internet is apparently
not *completely* cut off from there, as of yet. The fact that
information leaks out through cell phones and the Internet no doubt
alarms the junta, and may be a factor in staying the junta's hand.

Are we looking at fifty-six million rising up and freeing themselves?
Or are we looking at the next Tiananmen (which itself may have been
worse if not for CNN)?

Information is fragmentary, conflicting and delayed. I can do nothing
from here, nothing more than encourage those outsiders who can pressure
the junta, and even they cannot ultimately decide; only the Burmese
people can. But I cannot look away.
"


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Teribus
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 08:41 PM

According to most on this forum, and who is meant by "we", absolutely not. Nor should we care about anybody else. Because to most hear "caring" doesn't really amount to much and as such doesn't really translate into anything significant.

I have been asked to wear a red shirt today to show my solidarity. How completely useless a gesture is that?? Just excatly what does it achieve? Western window dressing to make a bunch of poseurs feel as though they are doing something. Utter crap, tell the Monks and the people of Burma literally, don't do a damn thing, total passive civil disobedience with regard to anything that affects your Government or those that rule you. As long as everybody sticks to it, the Government collapses in under two weeks, think about it.

Before anybody jumps in and says such a thing could never happen, the "Unionists" did exactly that in Northern Ireland and halted one of the first real peace initiatives in its track within four days.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Alba
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 08:44 PM

There is an orgainisation in the UK, Link
My Son brought it to my attention a while back now and we both have been checking into the site pretty much daily.
There have been no updates there since the 24th of September. Very, very troubling situation.

Appreciate you posting what you have been able to find out so far Amos.

In the Spirit of Hope,
Jude


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 08:47 PM

Yes...


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Amos
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 08:52 PM

A good plan, T. I take exception to your angry generalizations about people on this forum, but then for some strange reason, I don't butt heads with others here quite as often as you. Can't figger that out.

I hope you pass your idea along to the monks and they take it under serious advisement.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 09:05 PM

One man's opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 09:15 PM

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
http://www.mofa.gov.mm

The Ministry Of Religious Affairs
http://www.mora.gov.mm

Ministry of Commerce
http://www.commerce.gov.mm

Ministry of Construction
http://www.construction.gov.mm

Ministry of Livestock-Fisheries
http://www.livestock-fisheries.gov.mm

Ministry of Agriculature and Irrigation
http://www.moai.gov.mm/

Ministry of Co-Operatives
http://www.myancoop.gov.mm

Ministry of Hotels and Tourism
http://www.hotel-tourism.gov.mm/

Ministry of Home Affairs
http://www.moha.gov.mm/

Progress of order Areas and National Races and Development Affairs
http://www.myanmar.gov.mm/PBNRDA/

Ministry of Education
http://www.myanmar-education.edu.mm

Ministry of Health
http://www.moh.gov.mm

Ministry of Culture
http://www.myanmar.com/Ministry/culture/

Myanma Posts and Telecommunications
http://www.mpt.net.mm

Ministry of Finance and Revenue
http://www.myanmar.com/Ministry/finance/

Ministry of Forestry
http://www.myanmar.com/Ministry/Forest/

Ministry of Immigration & Population
http://www.myanmar.com/Ministry/imm&popu/

Ministry of Industry (1)
http://www.industry1myanmar.com/

Ministry of Industry (2)
http://www.industry2.gov.mm/

Ministry of Transport
http://www.mot.gov.mm

Ministry of Information Committee
http://www.myanmar-information.net

Social Welfare, Relife and Resettlement
http://www.myanmar.gov.mm/ministry/MSWRR/index.html

Ministry of Energy
http://www.energy.gov.mm

Ministry of Electric Power (1)
http://www.energy.gov.mm/MEP_1.htm

Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development
http://www.mnped.gov.mm/

Ministry of Mines
http://www.energy.gov.mm/MOM_1.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 09:17 PM

Each web address has a contact link at the bottom of the page that comes up. Use your typing and thinking skills to let them know what you think of the government's actions. Beat shootin' the shit with each other.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 09:27 PM

"I am requesting that the Government of Canada cease immediately any and all trade dealings with your country until such time as you have stopped killing and jailing people who want human rights, something your repressive government seems to do so willingly and easily. I am requesting also that until such time as you release Aung San Suu Kyi, Canada no longer recognize your country."

Just sent that by e-mail ('signed' with my name and address) to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Burma). I will be proceeding down the list.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 09:32 PM

mofa.aung@mptmail.net


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 09:37 PM

moc@commerce.gov.mm

dotddg@commerce.gov.mm


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 09:38 PM

Anyone gonna add their voice to this?


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 09:45 PM

Just sent another. I'll post any responses. Don't hold yer breath.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: GUEST,Bobbie
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 12:00 AM

BS huh? yeah yeah yeah, great white way, we have to eat hamburgers and drink coke. you know what, america is a great nation which help other countries in need. i strongly support america getting in other countries' business, especially those in needy. for your information, the government ruling this country, MY country, is much worse than Hitler. you know why? hitler may have killed millions of human beings, but you know what he never touched the churches. NEVER did he touch the churches, he may be a totalitarian brutal lunatic white man, he still knows his own religion. BURMA's faithful leaders shoot their own religions' messengers, Buddha's son. they beat and kicked them with military boots, arrested them, hit them with clubs,stab them with spears, some in their throats.. this government needs to be get ridden of. and america is one of the answers,later, the answer to freeing the 52 million Burmese people and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi would be the whole world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 01:32 AM

Myanmar is what's now know formerly as Burma, here a link to the Wall Street Journal' story

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Teribus
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 03:35 AM

Great links Peace, your suggestions are a bit more effective than wearing a red shirt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 04:32 AM

How little some people know or care about others.
Mark Alley you are talking crap. It's oppression and military rule that need to end in Burma, they have democratically elected leaders, which the army refused to accept and put under house arrest.
Aung San Suu Kyi was elcted in 1990 to be prime minister of Burma, since which she has been under almost permanent house arrest, even to the extent of not being allowed to attend her husband's funeral.
So don't give me crap about interfering with ancient civilisations, or forcing democracy on people who don't want it. Try reading about it, and more to the point try watching a news programme that realises there is life outside the USA.
You just MIGHT learn something.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: redsnapper
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 04:50 AM

By the way refer to it as Burma, the legitimate opposition's preferred name for the country. Although also recognised by the UN and some countries, Myanmar is the name conferred by the military regime. The UK government and the BBC (and as far as I am aware, the US) still use the name Burma.

A small but nevertheless useful gesture.

Also BTW, in answer to the thread question, yes of course.

RS


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 04:54 AM

With you there Jock, though I definitely don't want to see the Shrub pushing the idea of military intervention..... Oh, hold on a minute. No danger of that. No oil.

Still, my heart goes out to those poor people who are being oppressed by a regime that couldn't exist but for the power of the gun.

In my experience, buddhists are the gentlest and most caring of people, and it is a measure of the oppressive nature of their government that they are taking this kind of action.

I have started on Bruce's list, and added one more voice to the protest.

Should we care?   OF COURSE WE BLOODY SHOULD! If we aren't ready to stand against evil, what was the use of our fathers' sacrifices through six years of WW2.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Emma B
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 05:41 AM

The Burma Campaign UK


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 06:12 AM

Burma (if I may use that name) has large gas reserves and exports them to (mostly) China which explains the reluctance of China to support international sanctions.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Emma B
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 06:28 AM

"Pressure from campaigns across the world has forced a long list of companies to withdraw from Burma. These include: British American Tobacco, Texaco, Levi Strauss,Triumph International, Premier Oil and many others.

However, companies like TOTAL Oil (of France) and Chevron (of the USA) are major investors in Burma. The Burma Campaign UK (BCUK) aims to pressure companies like these to withdraw from Burma and cease their support for the regime.

The United States has imposed tough economic sanctions on Burma. These include a ban on new investment, an asset freeze, a restriction on dollar transactions and a ban on most Burmese imports into the United States.

The UK government is a strong critic of the regime but despite supporting Aung San Suu Kyi's call for targeted economic sanctions in opposition, the government has failed to impose them. BCUK is lobbying the government to honour their pre-election position."

.....From The Burma Campaign UK site


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Emma B
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 06:32 AM

Natural resources: petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, some marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, hydropower.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 06:56 AM

Oh S**t.

Almost enough value there to get the Shrub all gung ho again.

Look out Burma.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Grab
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 08:44 AM

Too right, Teribus. Should we care? Yes. Can we do much about it, personally? No. Western pressure hasn't worked against the Burmese government for years, and it isn't magically going to start working now. The best that Western countries can do without military intervention is make it economically hard for Burma, but North Korea shows graphically that this isn't enough to break the will of a dictatorship.

What will work is if the Army and government stop behaving like soldiers and start behaving like humans. The monks are applying as much pressure as they can here by basically damning all soldiers and government officials and their families.

Of course, the West *could* send in troops to break the Burmese government. But that's a problem. First off, the countries most likely to do this (Britain and the US) are over-extended as it is. Second off, there isn't currently a mandate for a global policeman, as much as there should be, because too many nations won't willingly submit to international scrutiny (the US joined North Korea in refusing to sign up to proposed international agreements on war crimes courts), and if the likely "policemen" won't themselves submit to the same rules then the whole thing becomes a global dictatorship. And third off, Iraq shows all too clearly what can go wrong with sending in the troops.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 08:55 AM

It seems that the protests are slowing down, and there were no monks visible in the ranks today.
Somebody on the radio suggested that if we all threatened to boycott the Beijing Olympics, the Chinese who have the most influence in Burma, would pretty soon get their fingers out and get something done.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Teribus
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 09:17 AM

Don T, I definitely don't see the Shrub pushing the idea of military intervention, the possibility of which, I believe, has not even entered anyone's head within the current US Administration. What he is doing is enforcing sanctions which is more obviously than us Brits have done and the French are just getting round to it.

The passive rebellion of Burma's first estate cannot be attacked as the Army did the general population in previous crack-downs. Very hard to maintain morale amongst the troops when they are ordered to attack the body that represents their religion.

While sanctions and economic blockade can do only so much, the regime has got to collapse from the inside and only the people of Burma themselves can do that. All they have to do is ensure that the country just does not function.

Burma does have oil but is (IIRC) a net importer, it does however, export gas.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 09:41 AM

What a lot of people don't realize is that being a monk in Buddhism isn't like being a priest or nun or going into a yeshiva... all Buddhist males have to spend at least 2 years as a monk before becoming an adult, and many adults go in and out of monkeries. It isn't retiring from the world necessarily, although there are plenty of monks who are lifelong monks.

It's like Europeans having to do 2 years in the military - it doesn't mean they are career soldiers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 09:47 AM

Yes I know that, but what difference it makes to this little contretemps I don't know.
G


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: bobad
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 09:56 AM

This is what the people of Burma are up against:

Burma's intensely superstitious rulers have long been guided by a belief in portents and prophecies, cosmology, numerology and magic. The time and date of the ceremony marking independence from Britain was also chosen according to astrological dictates: 4.20am on January 4, 1948. General Ne Win was the mysticism-obsessed dictator who seized power in 1962 and steered Burma from prosperity to penury; in 1989 he introduced the 45-kyat and 90-kyat banknotes, for the simple but mind-bending reason that these were divisible by and added up to nine, his lucky number. He believed this move would also ensure he would live to the lucky age of 90. Ne Win, who insisted on walking backwards over bridges at night and other rituals to avoid bad luck, died in 2002, at the age of 92, which was either good luck or bad luck, depending on how you look at it. Even the decision to change the name of Burma to Myanmar was prompted by Ne Win's soothsayer, and announced on May 27 (since 2 + 7 = 9).

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/ben_macintyre/article2547120.ece


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Emma B
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 10:08 AM

"The military has sought foreign investment in order to rescue it from bankruptcy. A worrying consequence of the investment is the way it has provided foreign currency which has helped the regime to expand the army - in turn helping it to maintain power.

Currently the regime has around 500,000 military personnel. A country of only 50 million people has one of the largest armies in Asia yet has no external enemies." BCUK

This army was used to "assist" the building of the Unocal pipe line;
Unocal was subsequently accused of being complicit in forced labour, rape and torture allegedly carried out by troops guarding the $1.2bn Yadana pipeline during its construction in the 1990s, reaching an out of court settlement in 2005.

American, French and Chinese oil companies are sustaining this vicious regime.

Total's response to international criticism of their record in Burma....
"It's true that oil, gas and mining operations generate considerable revenue for host countries and that these funds are less likely to be used transparently if the political system does not support open debate and effective controls. But it is not the role of an oil company to tell a country how to best use that revenue. Only international organizations can legitimately impose conditions of this sort."

OK folks - get out there anyway you can, wear a red shirt, email politicians or support campaign groups ......but do SOMETHING; this violation of human rights cannot be left to the beleaguered citizens alone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: redsnapper
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 10:27 AM

That's true of Asian Buddhist males Mrrzy where it the general custom and often requirement, not necessary Western ones of course, though the length of time does vary between different Asian countries.

In this case I expect fear of retribution also extends into being a junior member of the military hence their part in violent actions. As Teribus says, that probably causes some considerable loss of morale given the regard in which the monks are held.

RS


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 10:31 AM

There are 300,000 monks and 450,000 soldiers. The monks ain't armed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 10:33 AM

The more government people in Burma that you can pressure the better. They are gonna do what they do anyway, but you will be able to tell your kids you tried. Sometimes it's the best a guy can do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Alba
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 12:16 PM

The Junta have now cut ALL public internet access across Burmha and Cell phone services are being distrupted to stop information leaving or coming into the Country.
Hotels are being raided by Troops and any Journalists or Tourists found with any kind of Cameras or Filming equipment are being made to hand them over to the thugs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Emma B
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 12:20 PM

some of the last photos to come out


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: GUEST,Fayhem
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 01:23 PM

It's actually illegal to watch news footage from Myanmar as the government has banned it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 01:31 PM

If they say it's illegal then watch it if you can, they are totalitarian despots.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: The Villan
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 02:35 PM

The first thing that should be done is stop the Olympics in China. they are just as bad and don't deserve it.
Should we care about them. Of course we should.
The UN shopuld go in and sort the buggers out.
I feel very very sorry for the poor people there who must be petrified of such a bastard regime.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 04:05 PM

from the Washington Post:

Burma's Revolt of The Spirit

By Michael Gerson
Friday, September 28, 2007; Page A19

The great virtue of Buddhism is serene courage in the face of inevitable affliction. That courage is on display now in Burma -- a nation caught upon the wheel of suffering.

The sight of young, barefoot monks in cinnamon robes quietly marching for democracy, amid crowds carrying banners reading "love and kindness," is already a symbol of conscience for a young century. On closer examination, these protests have also shown that nonviolence need not be tame or toothless. The upside-down bowls carried by some of the monks signal that they will not accept alms from the leaders of the regime, denying them the ability to atone for bad deeds or to honor their ancestors. These chanting monks are playing spiritual hardball.

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Once again -- as in the American civil rights struggle and the end of communism in Eastern Europe -- religion is proving to be an uncontrollable force in an oppressive society. Religious dissidents have the ability not only to organize opposition to tyrants but also to shame them. Political revolutions often begin as revolutions of the spirit.

But the spirit, at least for the moment, is fastened to the body, which is subject to truncheons, tear gas and imprisonment. The junta in control of Burma, as we are seeing, is capable of extraordinary brutality. A regime that employs forced labor, conducts war on ethnic minorities and engages in systematic rape will hardly balk at the murder of monks and other protesters -- something it has done before by the thousands.

Fortunately, however, the regime's aging, increasingly feeble leadership is also capable of extraordinary stupidity. After the pointless construction of a new capital in a remote part of the country and the building of luxury housing for the military elite, Burma's government is cash-strapped. So it increased fuel prices by up to 500 percent, causing bus fares and the cost of basic commodities such as rice to spike. All through the summer, the democratic opposition has wisely focused its critique of the junta on the collapsing economy -- a collapse the regime is doing its best to hasten. After 40 years of military rule, Burma's per capita income is about one-fifth that of its neighbor Thailand, and child malnutrition is widespread.


The Bush administration hopes this economic discontent injects an element of instability into the regime itself. While the upper ranks of the Burmese military are well taken care of, the lower ranks often scramble for basic necessities. The Burmese guards outside the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon, according to one U.S. official, are currently getting by on a single meal a day.

The sanctions President Bush announced at the United Nations this week are designed to exploit these tensions. The new measures focus on the main five or 10 leaders of the junta and their families, along with key Burmese businessmen who broker foreign deals for the regime. With greater pressure at the top, perhaps a second tier of military leaders will be tempted to overthrow their well-fed superiors. "There is kindling here for change," says one senior Bush official.

This strategy would have a much greater chance of success with the support of nations in the region. When the strongest outside pressure comes from the United States, France and Britain, it is easier for the regime to rally opposition against the "colonial powers." But the response of most Asian nations has run from anemic to shameful. India has traditionally been content to deal with the regime instead of confronting it because it covets Burma's natural gas. And China remains the primary economic prop for the junta.

While Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorists, China has become the leading state sponsor of common thugs, from Burma to Sudan to Zimbabwe. It has positioned itself as a great power without the pesky complication of conscience, willing to court and support any dictator who supplies a tribute of natural resources. At the same time, it has invited moral scrutiny by hosting the 2008 Olympics. China will either begin acting more responsibly in Burma and elsewhere -- abandoning its stated policy of "noninterference" -- or the Summer Games will become the focus of human rights complaints about every one of its brutal clients in the world.

It has become common in recent years to mock the "democracy agenda" as dreamy and unrealistic. That becomes harder as history focuses our choices -- in this case, the choice between the junta and the monks, which is really no choice at all. Burma's revolution of the spirit must succeed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 04:54 PM

put pressure on CHina, Burma is essentially their client state.
and right now China is quite sensitive about any possible boycott of next years Olympics.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 05:01 PM

Internet cut in Myanmar, blogger presses on

Story Highlights
Internet connection in Myanmar has been cut off

London-blogger vows to keep up the fight

Woman on phone: "Who can help us?"

Student sent video to CNN because people "should know what is happening"


By Wayne Drash
CNN
   
(CNN) -- The Internet connection in Myanmar was cut Friday, limiting the free flow of information the nation's citizens were sharing with the world depicting the violent crackdown on monks and other peaceful demonstrators.

Ko Htike runs his Myanmar blog out of his London apartment and says he's trying to stop the violence.

Myanmar-based blogs went dark suddenly. But London-based blogger Ko Htike -- who has been one of the most prominent bloggers posting information about the violence -- has vowed to keep up the fight, saying where "there is a will, there is a way."

"I sadly announce that the Burmese military junta has cut off the Internet connection throughout the country," he said on his blog Friday. "I, therefore, would not be able to feed in pictures of the brutality by the brutal Burmese military junta."

Ko Htike is a 28-year-old who left Myanmar, once known as Burma, seven years ago to study in England.

He told CNN.com a day earlier that he has as many as 40 people in Myanmar sending him photos or calling him with information. They often take the photos from windows from their homes, he said.

Myanmar's military junta has forbidden such images, and anyone who sends them is risking their lives.

"If they get caught, you will never know their future. Maybe just disappear or maybe life in prison or maybe dead," he told CNN.

Why would they take such risks?

"They thought that this is their duty for the country," he said. "That's why they are doing it. It's like a mission."

Even with Friday's action by the government, he said he will continue to do all he can to get images of what's happening out for the world to see.

"I will also try my best to feed in their demonic appetite of fear and paranoia by posting any pictures that I receive through other means," he said on his blog. "I will continue to live with the motto that 'if there is a will there is a way.' "

With few Western journalists allowed in Myanmar, his blog has become one of the main information outlets. More than 170,000 people from 175 countries have gone to the blog, according to a counter on the page.

On Friday, shots rang out in the streets of Myanmar's biggest city of Yangon, marking the third straight day of violence at the hands of the ruling military junta to suppress citizen protests.

One diplomat told CNN that a Western witness had reported seeing about 35 bodies lying in rows on a street near Sule Pagoda, with civilians praying over them. CNN could not independently confirm the report, and it was not known if the bodies were from Friday or the result of earlier violence.

According to The Associated Press, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Friday he believes the loss of life in Myanmar has been "far greater" than is being reported.

China pleads for calm in Myanmar

In a country where Buddhist monks are revered, the violence against them could stir even more outrage among the people of Myanmar. "Now, there is blood shed on the monastery," Htike said.

The Internet has also spawned other Myanmar pages. On the popular online community of Facebook, several Myanmar support pages were set up with links keeping a close eye on the latest developments. One letter floating around the Internet from a group calling itself the "Global Alliance of Burmese Students" called on people abroad to stage protests.

"We call on you to take action, to take the lead, and to show solidarity with our fellow countrymen back home," it said. "The streets of Yangon bleed red, and it will all be in vain if we do not act and mobilize for change."

Other people used technology as simple as the cell phone as a means to get the word out on what was happening.

"We didn't do any terrorism, but they sharp-shoot us," one woman said by phone inside Myanmar Thursday. "I just want to say we have no weapons and no rights."

She added, "Who can help us?"

The last time the nation saw such widespread protests was in 1988, when today's instantaneous means of communication did not exist. The government used brutal force to quash that democratic uprising, with few people seeing what happened. View a timeline of events there »

Today's technology allows anyone with the means to capture what is happening. Despite the cutting of the Internet inside the country, people can still take pictures and videos with cell phones and send them to the outside world.

"They are ready to die for that," Vincent Brossels with Reporters Without Borders said on Thursday. "I spoke with a Burmese journalist this morning in Rangoon and he told me that now I don't care about anything. I'm ready to be in jail. I'm ready to die for that."

Benjamin Valk, a 25-year-old student from a university in Tokyo, Japan, sent CNN.com video of saffron-robed monks carrying out a peaceful protest earlier this week in Yangon, once known as Rangoon. The video shows thousands of monks and civilians walking together and chanting.

He said he felt compelled to share the video because people "should know what is happening in a country like Myanmar."

"In a world where democracy is considered the better or perhaps the best political system, there is huge global support for a people who dare to openly challenge a military dictatorship and call for democracy," Valk said. "I think it's good for the world to see."

Htike agrees, saying he's just trying to stop the killing in his homeland.

"If I can publish these kind of [photos] and this kind of news to the world, so maybe they may stop a little bit."


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Alba
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 05:38 PM

Thank you for the update BB and the Washington Post article.


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