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Hundreds Of Monks Seize Government Officials In Myanmar

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posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 03:38 AM
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Hundreds of monks have seized a group of government officials and burnt four of their cars. The officials were there to apologise for some soldiers shooting over their heads yesterday, and they're now being held hostage.


Scotsman.com: Myanmar monks seize government officials



Several hundred young monks in military-ruled Myanmar took a group of government officials hostage inside their monastery in a provincial town on Thursday and burnt four of their cars, a witness said.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



Developing...




posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 03:44 AM
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Here's more from AFP. Three monks were injured in the shooting incident yesterday. There's apparently 20 people held hostage by the monks.


AFP: Myanmar monks take 20 security forces hostage



Hundreds of Buddhist monks have taken about 20 members of Myanmar's security forces hostage inside their monastery, one day after clashes broke out at an anti-junta protest, residents told AFP Thursday.

The security forces came to the monastery to apologise for the violence Wednesday in the central town of Pakokku, about 500 kilometres (310 miles) north of the country's commercial capital Yangon, residents said by telephone.

At least three monks were injured after security forces fired shots into the air and used bamboo sticks to disperse a crowd of 300 monks who were protesting against a massive hike in fuel prices, they said.

The monks locked the security forces inside the monastery and set four of their vehicles on fire, the residents said.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 06:03 AM
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Thanks for posting in Myamar, Hellmutt.

Imo one of the most overseen violations of human rights in the world taken place in one of its most closed countries beside N.Korea.

Funny enough I haven't been able to find any word on this in Thai media. May be not so funny because Burmese are the biggest displaced minority in Thailand (and the worst treated). They don't want them to start any local demostrations.

Anyway I found this in Irrawady Mag. with a timeline back to the start of the protests 2 weeks ago.



Burma Protests: the Situation on September 05

Pakokku, Magwe Division—Troops, police and paramilitary thugs beat protesting monks with clubs and rifle butts in Wednesday’s demonstration and tied several to electricity poles. Members of the pro-government Union Solidarity and Development Association and Swan Arr Shin helped the authorities violently break up the peaceful demonstration. About 10 monks were arrested and at least one monk was reportedly hospitalized. Around 500 monks carrying posters “Monks for the People” took part in Wednesday’s protest march, calling for a repeal of recent price rises and the release of those arrested in the demonstrations against the increases.



As I understand it the reason for the unrest is prize hike on fuel, but I suspect a new constitution cementing the junta's powerhold in practise indefinately, is a reason as well.



posted on Sep, 8 2007 @ 03:28 PM
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Hostages Released

The hostages have been released. Afterwards, a group of monks trashed an electronics shop owned by a militia leader...


Channelnewsasia.com: Myanmar frees wounded protester after monks release hostages


Myanmar's military regime freed a wounded protester in a conciliatory gesture after tensions boiled over when Buddhist monks seized a group of officials as hostages, activists said Friday.

[---]

Twenty government and security officials were held hostage for several hours, as monks torched four of their cars.

After the officials were freed, about a dozen monks marched through the town and trashed an electronics shop owned by a local militia leader.

[---]

The military and the Buddhist clergy are the two most important institutions in Myanmar, and the only groups which maintain networks stretching across the entire country formerly known as Burma.

Monks were credited with helping to rally popular support for a pro-democracy uprising in 1988, which was crushed by the military, when soldiers opened fire on protesters, killing hundreds, if not thousands.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



posted on Sep, 9 2007 @ 07:55 PM
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Update from BBC



State television interrupted normal programmes to accuse the National League for Democracy of exploiting fuel price rises to instigate unrest.

[...]
The latest warning promises "effective measures" to tackle the dissent. While it isn't clear what that means, the military certainly wants to avoid letting the protests escalate any further.

Amnesty International says more than 150 people have since been arrested.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This a good page with lot of links on Burma, analyzing the situation.



posted on Sep, 9 2007 @ 08:17 PM
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I know my grasp of Buddhism is very weak, but is this sort of behavior not outside what their religion teaches? I thought they were supposed to be peaceful folk, and conduct protests more along the lines of self-immolation.

someone correct me if I'm wrong. Just curious is all. I never heard of monks taking hostages before. It's like a Quentin Tarantino film in my imagination.



posted on Sep, 9 2007 @ 09:45 PM
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I know my grasp of Buddhism is very weak, but is this sort of behavior not outside what their religion teaches?


You are completly right there Major.

But what meets the eye is not the religion. It's a misfit of that religion. Just take a look at the Evangelists of America. Religions are all corrupted today.

The kadres of Pol Pot, for instance, looked upon his teaching as "a marxist way of Buddhisme", and in Thailand were I reside, greed and envy runs higher than any other place I know. Here monks are caught dealing drugs, having mistreses and murdering them too for that matter. Not uncommen, when a "big" monk passes away they find bankbooks with million in holdings.

Religion is a way to endure the given conditions, and it will do anything to adapt to those conditions.

In this part of the world (SE Asia), if the goverment don't have the clergy on its side they are in for rough times. I can only fear what will happen in Myanmar.

On the other hand, this revolt has been going on since 1988, and the country is underdeveloped, huge and sparsely populated, so I'm afraid nothing will happen before the outside world intervens. It might very well come, cause the Andaman Sea holds some of the worlds largest known gas deposits within Burmese territorial waters.

They are developing the gas fields right now, and have been exporting the gas for at least a couple of years.

You can see the glares from the flames out on the sea, pumping gas for export worth the annual national consumption, a day, while the power in the land routinely is cut at 9 PM - to save fuel.

The junta generals need every penny they can make, they know there time is up but are gonna hold on till the end, no matter the costs.

Did you know that Mayanmar last year moved its capital from Rangoon to an all new build town, more than a thousand miles inland? For securety reasons, they say. It's not the internal security they are thinking about there. Naypyidaw, they call the new capital.

It's too much to think, that the junta might be topled in weeks, if we stopped purchasing their gas.

Big oil keeps the junta in power.

A link to the power crises of Burma I did. (I'll try to link other mostly posts I've done on it - if I can find them)

Russia to build atomic plant for Burmese junta

and Wiki article on Maynmar



posted on Sep, 9 2007 @ 10:08 PM
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Thanks for clearing that up, khunmoon. You're preaching to the choir (so to speak) on religion and corruption. I just wanted to make sure that my concept of Buddhism was correct.



posted on Sep, 20 2007 @ 04:22 AM
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The peaceful protests lead by monks continues throughout the greater part of Myanmar.

Here's Irrawaddy's report.

Huge Crowds Turn Out to Hear Monks Condemn Junta


About 1,000 monks marched to Sule Pagoda in downtown Rangoon on Wednesday where they gave political speeches to thousands of people crowded into the pagoda area, according to eyewitnesses.

“We are marching for the relief of poverty and hardships of the people," said a monk in his afternoon speech. "Burma is backward in every aspect. The military regime is responsible for all of that.”

“Even if our protesting monks are arrested, we will continue,” the monk said. Several monks made speeches during the second day of the monks' demonstration at the pagoda.

Observers said the crowd may have been as large as 10,000 people. Monks were offered water and cold drinks. The demonstration ended peacefully about 4:30 p.m.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


BBC has the story too.

Burmese monks in pagoda protest
----------------------------

Concerning Myanmar/Burma, may I direct your attention to this theread I set up a few days ago:

Burma & Shan State Watch List
Intended as a general thread on Burma, not just the present political situation, but on ethnic and social issues as well.

Something is about to happen in the country ...it might get nasty.

Please visit for background and information.



[edit on 20-9-2007 by khunmoon]



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