Friday, September 28, 2007

Myanmar Crackdown and Repressive Regime

At 1.30 am this morning, I received a sms from a friend about a planned protest at the Burmese embassy this morning. I was not able to participate in the protest but was definitely appalled with the crackdown on the peaceful march.

Myanmar's police and military were out in force again Friday, patrolling the deserted streets after a two-day crackdown on mass protests left at least 13 people dead and hundreds more behind bars.

Reported by AFP, a Japanese journalist was among those found dead on Thursday as security forces raided monasteries, beat protesters and carried unknown numbers of people, including many of the country's revered Buddhist monks, off to prison. But the crackdown failed to stamp out the protests, as an estimated 50,000 people still swarmed into the streets, sometimes fighting pitched battles with police and pelting them with stones.

The bloodshed triggered international condemnation of the country's ruling generals, who unleashed security forces on demonstrators to put down the biggest wave of public dissent in the Southeast Asian nation for 20 years.

In Kuala Lumpur, about 2,000 people flooded the Burmese Embassy to protest against the violent military crackdown in Burma this morning. A sea of people, all clad in red, gathered at Jalan Ampang as early as 9.45am after arriving on chartered buses and marched about half a kilometre to the embassy located on Jalan Ru.

The bloody and heavy handed crackdown against the monks, seen as a symbol of peace and humanity, is unacceptable and must be condemned. It is time for ASEAN to prove that the grouping can be successful in its attempt to promote the creation of a democratic and peaceful ASEAN community. ASEAN leaders must pressure the junta government to stop its repressive and violent acti0ns against its own people and allow the course of democracy to progress.

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