28 September, 2007

'More bloodshed' in Myanmar chaos

Shots fired to clear crowds defying a brutal crackdown in Myanmar Friday have killed more protesters, witnesses said as authorities reportedly cut Internet connections and graphic new video footage showed troops using deadly force.

A day earlier, soldiers with automatic rifles fired into crowds of anti-government demonstrators, reportedly killing at least nine people in the bloodiest day in more than a month of protests demanding an end to military rule.

The governemt also cut Internet connections Friday, according to reports, severing a vital information link that has been used to digitally smuggle images of the violent suppression out of the secretive state.

The death toll from anti-government protests in Myanmar is ``significantly'' higher than the military junta revealed, an Australian envoy said, as the U.S. and Southeast Asian nations demanded an end to the violence.

``Several multiples of the 10 acknowledged by the authorities'' have been killed, Ambassador Bob Davis said in an interview with Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio today from the former capital, Yangon. ``We're appalled at the violence by the military and thugs against peaceful demonstrators.''

Buddhist monks have led nearly two weeks of mass demonstrations against the ruling junta, but after a series of raids on monasteries and arrests of dozens of monks, there were few, if any, in the crowd on Friday.

"The monks have done their job and now we must carry on with the movement," a student leader told the protesters near Sule Pagoda, who clapped and shouted slogans.

"This is a non-violent mass movement," he shouted as the protesters tried to move towards the pagoda, one of several in the centre that have been cordoned off as part of a suffocating security presence.

In a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, they moved as close as possible before being confronted by advancing police and soldiers, only to scatter and then regroup and try to advance again.

Police and soldiers have unleashed two days of violent retaliation against the protest movement, using weapons, tear gas and baton charges. At least 13 people have been killed, including a Japanese journalist.

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

Several countries on the United Nations Human Rights Council have begun making consultations to propose a special session to study the brutal crackdown this week by the military regime in Burma/Myanmar on young Buddhist monks and other demonstrators.

The Asean Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) wants Myanmar to be expelled from Asean if its military junta continues to use brutal force to break up peaceful protests in the country.

AIPMC president Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said it was not enough for Asean to merely issue statements as its credibility and integrity were at stake.

"Asean must go one step further to dissociate itself from Myanmar as previous actions to persuade the regime have not brought positive results," he told a news conference here Friday.

But Zaid admitted that Asean on its own could not achieve much as long as the big powers, including the United Nations Security Council members, continued to regard Myanmar as a non-security issue.

He said that unless the world took action now, the unrest in Myanmar could escalate into a humanitarian crisis and a repeat of the 1988 tragedy where more than 3,000 protestors were killed by the military junta.

According to Malaysiakini report,about 2,000 people flooded the Burmese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur this morning in protest against the violent military crackdown in Burma.

A massive crowd of 2,000 protesters, all clad in red shirts, swarmed the Burmese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur this morning calling for democracy in the troubled state of Burma.



Blogger zewt said...

hey... up and running again eh? sorry for not dropping by that often.

October 01, 2007 10:48 PM  
Blogger Linken Lim said...

Hi, zewt

Nice to see you dropping by, again :)
How's life ?

October 02, 2007 7:37 PM  

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