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September 27, 2007
Up to 8 People Dead in Myanmar Uprising
The military junta that has ruled Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) since 1988 continued its crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators today after Tuesday's violence that western observers say claimed between 2 and 8 lives:
Beginning the second day of their crackdown on nationwide protests in Myanmar before dawn today, security forces raided at least two Buddhist monasteries, beating and arresting dozens of monks, according to reports from the capital, Yangon.... Clearly, the military sees the Buddhist monks as key to the uprising, hence the crackdown at monasteries across the country. But their bully boy tactics don't seem to be making a difference as tens of thousands of protestors poured into the streets again today, led by thousands of monks who were referred to by one diplomat as "religious storm troopers" - shock troops who are leading the peaceful protests against the government's repressive policies.
The Associated Press reported that more shots were fired today at one of several monasteries raided early in the day, Ngwe Kyar Yan, where one monk said a number of monks were beaten and at least 70 of its 150 monks were arrested.
A female lay disciple said a number of monks were arrested at a second monastery, Moe Guang, which was being guarded, like a number of other monasteries, by a contingent of armed security personnel.
The UN Security Council has called for an emergency meeting today to discuss the crisis in Myanmar. But China is expected to block any resolution condemning the government crackdown.
The last protests against the junta in 1988 ended in a bloody massacre as troops fired into crowds killing upwards of 3000 people. Something similar will almost surely happen again unless China makes a dramatic move and withdraws their support of the junta, installing a more democratic and less repressive government.