Thursday, October 18, 2007

No Change In Burmese Struggle

Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the conquering of it! To take a gun and go fight for freedom takes courage, but how about to walk unarmed into the hands of your enemy. To be beaten in your home streets, to be jailed, raped, killed, and to know that the same fate awaits your family. This is Burma, and WE NEED TO HELP! Thank you JAPAN for saying, F.O. to the military and stopping all financial dealings with them until they do the right thing. I guess when one of your journalists gets his head blown off in full view of the camera your people will support your decision. Where is the rest of the world? The US is making a lot of noise and considering their distance from the problem I salute their efforts! WHERE are the nations who could stop this, Russia, China, and India?

Matthew Weaver and agencies Wednesday October 17, 2007Guardian Unlimited
Buddhist monks during the recent protests. Photographer: PA
The Burmese military admitted it was interrogating hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators and hunting for more, as reports emerged of the first Buddhist monks to be jailed for protesting.
In their state-run newspaper today, the junta said nearly 3,000 protesters had been arrested, many of whom are still being interrogated.
They also said only people who agreed to sign "pledges" not to take part in further demonstrations were being released.
In an official statement published in the New Light of Myanmar newspaper, the military leaders said: "Those who led, got involved in and supported the unrest which broke out in September were called in and are being interrogated.
"Some are still being called in for questioning and those who should be released will be."
The statement said 2,927 people had been arrested since the crackdown started, and nearly 500 were still in custody.
There were no details of the pledges those released were required to sign. But some free protesters said they involved a promise not to support the pro-democracy movement.
The statement said if the Buddhist monks who led the protests had stayed in their monasteries the protests would not have been put down.
The news agency Reuters said a 26-year-old monk, Eik Darea, has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years for taking part in the protests.
"He was charged with inciting public unrest and illegal association. I'm so sorry he might be sent to a labour camp," a monastic source told Reuters.
It said he was sentenced by a district court in Sittwe, the capital of the north-western state of Rakhine, where several protests took place last month.
There was little word on the closed trials that have taken place in Rangoon. But yesterday relatives of five members of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy said they, too, have been jailed for seven-and-a-half years for taking part in the protests.