News and stories keep coming from Burma via unofficial sources, while the junta does everything to make journalists’ business harder. The U.N. envoy left the country without getting any positive results; international journalists are not allowed to do their jobs appropriately; the Internet is down in the country and people are afraid to talk to strangers. In spite of all these negative aspects, information finds its way from Burma to the rest of the world – mostly, by word of mouth.
Though we don’t have reliable sources at the moment, human rights sites, refugees in neighboring Thailand, monks who could flee the capital and reached relatively safe locations, keep posting about the situation in the country. All we have now can be summarized in two statements: “Monks keep resisting even in prison” and “The junta is determined to silence the opposition.”
Irrawaddy, a local news magazine in the region, reports about the raids to the homes in the darkness of the night by the security forces:
In the dead of night, Burma’s security forces are hunting down pro-democracy protesters in Rangoon, checking on residents and pulling people out of their homes.
Residents say military trucks patrol neighborhood streets during the night with loudspeakers broadcasting warnings: “We have photographs. We are going to make arrests!”
Not very different methods than the familiar ones, employed very often by Latin America’s military governments in last decades: Terrorizing people, making them desperate and dominating the streets with fear. Opposition groups claim, at least 2,000 people were detained in windowless buildings in Rangoon alone. Most of them are Buddhist monks.
On the other hand, Burma’s monks keep resisting despite very hard conditions. Buddhist Channel reports about the situation in the prisons and how the monks keep up the protests:
Even in a makeshift prison, stripped of their crimson robes, Myanmar’s monks are still defying the orders of the military regime that smashed their protests last week. Many of the imprisoned monks are refusing to touch food from their military captors, symbolically maintaining their boycott of the Myanmar regime, according to reports emerging yesterday from unofficial sources in the isolated country.
The same source also tells about a “silent protest” of Burmese citizens: They turn their radio and TV’s off and refuse hearing the official news bulletins of the junta. Some people turn the lights of their homes too.
The present situation is seen as a time for “nursing the wounds”:
After paying a heavy price for their uprising, Myanmar’s monks are nursing their wounds and hoping for international action against the military junta that crushed their peaceful protests with bullets and tear gas.
Still no powerful actions from the international community. The Burmese monks and the opposition seem to be left by themselves.