September 26th, 2007


What I have in my head

Moses went up to the mountain high
To find out from God why did you make us, why?
Secret words in a secret room
He said a wop bop a lu bop a lop bam boom

I did not put you here to suffer
No, I did not put you here to whine
I put you here to love one another
And to get out and have a good time

Let my people go-go-go
You're gonna let my people go-go-go
Let my people go-go-go
You've got to let my people go

YouTube video.
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Riot police attacking monks.

The news from Burma continues to be crap. Now riot police are attacking the monks with gunfire and tear gas. Video.

The Burmese Government's official statement is nauseating to me, as a free person in the Western world. It reads like something from 1984.

The inspiring thing in this is how modern technology is helping to get the news of what's happening to the outside world, despite the appalling state censorship. While less than 1% of the Burmese people have access to the internet, those that do are making use of it. I don't know if you've noticed how many of the photos and videos that have reached mainstream news reports were shot on mobile phone cameras. However, it appears that the military junta are now trying to crack down on this unofficial reporting - bandwidth is being severely restricted and phone lines are being cut. The police are destroying any cameras that they find. Videos that have been emailed to the BBC.

More background information:
Burma's saffron army. Explains why monks command such respect in Burma.
Burma vs Myanmar. Why the country is not known in the US and UK by its official name.
In pictures: Mood darkens.

Gordon Brown speaks about Burma (transcript)

Transcript of this video. Article about it.

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown speaking about Burma, 2007-09-26

Gordon Brown: The world is now watching Burma, and this illegitimate and oppressive regime which should know that the whole world is going to hold it to account, and that the age of impunity for neglecting and overriding human rights is over. I want to pay tribute to the courage, and the resilience, and the bravery of the Burmese people, and of Aung San Suu Kyi, who everybody around the world admires. And as a result of the deterioration of the situation, I think there are three things that have got to be done immediately. The European Council will be meeting at official level immediately, and I believe that they will decide that if there is action taken against human rights, that there will be an extension of sanctions and I hope that the whole of the European Union will support that. At the same time, I hope the Security Council will meet immediately, meet today, discuss this issue, and look at what can be done - and the first thing that can be done is that the UN Envoy should be sent to Burma, and I hope he's in a position to go, to make sure that the Burmese regime directly is aware that any trampling of human rights that takes place will have the whole eyes of the world upon them, and will not be acceptable in future. The human rights of the Burmese people are first and foremost in our minds.
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Transcript: Britain's ambassador in Rangoon, Mark Canning, speaking to the BBC.

Transcript of this audio presentation.

Britain's ambassador in Rangoon, Mark Canning, told the BBC's World at One programme of emotional times in Burma, 2007-09-26

British ambassador Mark Canning: Today has been an extraordinary day, a very emotional day. We've again had thousands of people marching despite a very heavy security presence. The day opened with a show of force from the government. There were troops stationed around town and in certain areas, we had further arrests overnight, a curfew was put into effect, and the question then was whether the demonstrators would be intimidated off the streets or if they would continue, and despite tear gas being used against a number of the monks, and a number of people being quite severely beaten, they have persisted in their demonstration, they have marched in big columns, throughout various areas of the city. At one point we had almost 10,000 of them outside this Embassy, there was a nucleus of monks, and it's the monks that have led this from the outside, perhaps a thousand monks, with probably 8 or 9,000 civilians, many women, many students. They were entirely peaceful, er, they stopped - many of them outside this embassy and cheered, er, they were being followed by 4 military trucks but the military did not stop them marching. Clearly there's been some serious and disturbing violence today as I said, monks were beaten, there were a number of volleys of gunshots above the heads of the demonstrators, and reports of one death, but we haven't been able to confirm that but, um, the marchers have persisted as I've said.
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