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September 26, 2007
The 'Saffron Revolution' Gets Bloody
The ruling military junta in Myanmar has apparently begun shooting directly into the crowds of Buddhist monks who have been peacefully protesting against the government's repressive policies:
The Myanmar military opened fire on crowds of protesters in Yangon, almost certainly causing casualties, a French diplomat in the city said Wednesday. Richard Fernandez writing at Pajamas Media likens the situation to the "People Power" revolution in the Philippines in 1986:
"Shots were fired by the security forces, first in the air, then at the demonstrators. We cannot know if many people were injured but we can be sure that blood was spilled," Emmanuel Mouriez, number two at the French embassy, told French radio RTL.
"We have several witness accounts describing people lying on the ground," he added.
The situation hangs on a knife’s edge; the next few days will show which way things will break. But one can only hope that a combination of the Burmese “People’s Power”, Western pressure and Chinese non-intervention can jointly engineer a Buddhist miracle in 2007 to match that ascribed to the Virgin Mary in the Philippines in 1986. “The old order changeth, yielding place to new, And God fulfills Himself in many ways, Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.”Fernandez believes that news about troops firing into the crowd of protestors does not bode well for the "Saffron Revolution:"
In “People’s Power” situations it is the psychological momentum which counts the most. The Burmese junta looks to be timing its counterstrokes to first slow, then break the will of the resistants. Unless some dramatic defection or collapse provides fresh impetus to the protesters, the process of peaceful protest will either be smothered or risk transformation into violent confrontation.Will China work behind the scenes to head off a possible bloody confrontation? It will certainly be a test of Bejing's status as a regional power and good world citizen. One would expect the Chinese to work diligently to solve the situation with as little loss of life as possible.