Blue Flower

Written by NEWS SOURCES   
Sep 30, 2007 at 12:00 AM

What: Please join in a mutli-faith multi-ethnic candlelight vigil in support of the recent protests in Burma.
Date: Sunday, September 30, 2007
When:  5:00 p.m. to 6:00 pm.
Where: Barnes Park, 350 S. McPherrin Ave, Monterey Park, California

Background Information:

What: Please join in a mutli-faith multi-ethnic candlelight vigil in support of the recent protests in Burma.

Date: Sunday, September 30, 2007

When:  5:00 p.m. to 6:00 pm.

Where: Barnes Park, 350 S. McPherrin Ave, Monterey Park, California

Background Information:

Myanmar forces stamp down on protests, Internet cut

28/09/2007 20h10

Thai monks chant outside of the Myanmar embassy during a protest in Bangkok

YANGON (AFP) - Security forces moved to crush protests in Myanmar's two biggest cities Friday, unleashing warning shots and baton charges, and cutting Internet access in the third day of a deadly crackdown.

The Internet blockage severely reduced the flow of video, photos and first-hand reports of the violence, which has left at least 13 people dead, galvanising world opinion against the ruling generals.

Up to 10,000 demonstrators surged onto the streets of the main city of Yangon Friday, playing a deadly game of cat-and-mouse as they repeatedly confronted police and soldiers.

In the central city of Mandalay, thousands of young people on motorbikes rode down a major thoroughfare towards a blockade set up by security forces who unleashed a volley that witnesses believed could have been rubber bullets.

Intent on quelling the biggest anti-government demonstrations in 20 years, the ruling junta has also mounted an offensive against the Buddhist monks who have led nearly two weeks of mass rallies.

Demonstrators chant slogans while holding placards in front of the Russian embassy in Kuala Lumpur
©AFP - Tengku Bahar

With dozens of monks arrested, beaten or confined to their monasteries, the mantle has now been taken up by student groups and youths who dominated Friday's rallies.

"The monks have done their job and now we must carry on with the movement," said one student leader in downtown Yangon.

"This is a non-violent mass movement," he shouted as demonstrators tried to move towards the Sule Pagoda, one of the focal points of the demonstrations.

At a separate protest in Yangon, around 500 people marched in the streets, singing the national anthem as thousands applauded them from the sidewalks.

Monks, revered figures in this devout Buddhist nation, helped transform what began as a scattershot series of protests over a hike in fuel prices into the stiffest challenge to the junta's military rule since 1988.

But since the crackdown was launched Wednesday, at least three monks have been killed and hundreds arrested, including eight more on Friday in Yangon and Mandalay.

Members of the Burmese Democratic Community demonstrate at The Hague

At least two monasteries were raided Wednesday, including one in Yangon's northeastern satellite town of South Okkalapa, where about 100 Buddhist monks were arrested and eight people shot dead after protesting the action.

In the wake of the violence, which shocked Myanmar people who hold monks in the highest regard, western diplomats said they had received information from several sources about "acts of insubordination" within the army.

"We heard that some soldiers have refused to obey orders and that others were even willing to stand alongside the demonstrators," one Yangon-based diplomat told AFP.

A telecom official confirmed that the nation's main link to the Internet was down, but blamed the problem on a damaged undersea cable.

Security forces have also smashed cameras and cellphones, and beaten people who were carrying them. Several newspapers in the country, which was formerly known as Burma, are no longer operating.

Protesters shout anti-junta slogans during a demonstration in front of the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta
©AFP - Jewel Samad

The official tally of dead and injured has been impossible to confirm. State media confirmed nine people were killed this week, but insisted that only 120 protesters turned out on Friday.

The Australian ambassador to Myanmar, Bob Davis, told Australian radio that the actual death toll may have been several times higher, citing witnesses who had seen significant numbers of dead bodies.

A Japanese journalist was among those killed Thursday, and Japan's Fuji Television showed footage which appeared to show him being shoved down by Myanmar troops and then shot at close range.

US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown renewed their call to the Myanmar junta to end the violent crackdown, after discussing the crisis Friday.

Protests in Myanmar turn bloody. Duration: 01:32
©AFPTV/Democratic Voice of Burma
The 47-member UN Human Rights Council decided to hold a special session on October 2 to examine the unrest in Myanmar.

And the Association of Southeast Asian Nations issued an unusually critical statement on its fellow member Myanmar, expressing "revulsion" over the use of force against demonstrators.

UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari was to arrive in the country on Saturday in a bid to convince the generals to open dialogue with democracy activists.

The White House has called for Gambari to be allowed to visit democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi who is under house arrest in Yangon.

"We have called on the Burmese to allow him to be able to meet with anyone he wants to meet, the military leaders, the religious leaders and Aung San Suu Kyi," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.