It’s been reported today that monks in Burma have taken to the streets for the 4th day in row. Thankfully, it’s also been reported that the military junta are not planning to repress the protests. Thousands of civilians have been taking to the streets to walk with the monks, and protect them should the government try to break up the peaceful marches.
They are marching from the outskirts of Yangon, to Shwedagon Pagoda in the centre of town. It’s the holiest shrine in the country and is said to house relics of four Buddhas within it. It is historically been used as the gathering point for protests and gatherings, and has seen both General Aung San demanding independence in 1946 and his daughter Aung San Suu Kyi and over half a million others protesting for democracy in the 1988 uprising. Unfortunately, 1988 ended terribly with thousands of monks and civilians killed or put in prison. Hopefully these protests will have better results.
I urge everyone to take an interest in this case. The situation in Burma today has been described as the worst abuse of human rights anywhere in the world. Millions of people have been moved from their homes, imprisoned, tortured or killed. The economy is in shambles, save for a few countries (mainly China) which still do business with the military junta government. Check out the Burma Campaign website and join the fight to help restore democracy in Burma. This is in no way the same as the western pseudo-democracy that is being imposed on Iraq, Burma held legitimate elections in 1990 which saw the National League for Democracy win roughly 80% of the votes. Currently i believe that Burma holds the record for the highest number of legitimately elected members of parliament currently held in prison, never mind the scores more that simply disappeared.
Please publicise this issue so that it can be changed for the better.