26 September, 2007

At least 5 dead in clash between troops, monks inYangon

Myanmar troops used batons, tear gas and bullets Wednesday to keep tens of thousands of marching monks and layman protestors out of Yangon's holiest shrines in a confrontation between rifles and rust-coloured robes that claimed at least five lives.

Police and soldiers at barricades beat monks and laymen back from the east gate of the Shwedagon Pagoda with batons and tear gas twice Wednesday afternoon, leaving at least five people dead, including monks, a former high-level government official said.

At least 30 monks and 50 civilians were taken away in military vehicles to an unknown destination.

Monks have used the Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon's most revered temple, as a launch pad for their peaceful anti-government marches for the past nine days. The show of force, however, failed to stop the monks from marching elsewhere.

Analysis by Burmese exile

This analysis is by Dr Zarni from the Free Burma Coalition on the recent developments in Burma.

My message is simple - bloodshed must be avoided at all costs.

Here are the likely consequences if the generals choose to react the
way the previous military leaderships - from General Ne Win onward -
reacted - violent, uncompromising, and lacking foresight and

1). Roadmap for Democracy will be completely derailed.

2). Absolutely no chance of winning any referendum or elections by
any military-initiated political process against the backdrop of a
public with seething rage and deep and widespread sense of injustice

3). The crumbling of ceasefire arrangements (and return to the old
paradigm of armed resistance)

4). Radicalization of all opposition elements, including the
moderates, and increase in the last resort - violence.

5). Possible abstention of Russia and China at the Security Council
for the next round - this time - binding resolution to push for
non-military, humanitarian intervention

6). Strong support for all kinds of radical initiatives by the
anti-SPDC elements, both within and without the country

7). Irrepairable reputational damage and loss of prestige and any
legitimate influence and role in society, for the once venerable
institution of Tatmadaw or the Armed Forces

8). Western powers tightening exponentially the screw on the regime
FINANCIALLY, putting pressure on various international financial
institutions to freeze all accounts held by Myanmar nationals

9). The loss of validity of any argument that the current military
government can be reasoned with or deserves the benefit of the doubts
or that even the evolutionary and incremental change - under military
- is possible and preferable.

10). The continuation of the vicious cycle of violence, poverty and
conflict, all parties resorting to ZERO SUM game.

11). National nightmare and tragedy since independence repeats itself
for the next several generations while China and India, two giant
neighbors, continue on the path of increasing prosperity and

More updates on Myanmar

Zin Media
Mizzima News.
Matthew Weaver
Voices for Burma



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