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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Burmese People Loose Ground, and Hope

I was hoping today that I could give only good news about our success in Bergen yesterday, but unfortunately I can't. The Washington Post has reported that the cities of Yangon and Mandalay are quiet and all the monks are locked up in their own temples in their article Myanmar Quiet As Envoy Arrives.

UN Envoy Gambari seemed hopeful, believing he'd be able to talk to all the people he needed to once he got there, but others didn't One women said how she and others have lost hope because the monks, who are now all locked up, were the ones who gave the rest of the population courage to speak up. Without them, it seems, most are afraid to go out. Especially, I suppose, with soldiers guarding all over the city.

This confirms my fears that with international telephone lines cut and internet access severely limited, the Burmese demonstrators wouldn't have enough external support to give them hope. It seems that now all we can do is encourage our own governments to impose sanctions (Not only on the Myanmar Junta government, but on nations who economically support the Junta, such as China), and pray for Gambari's safety and success.

The world must fallow President Bush's example of being harsh towards regimes such as this if we are going to get anywhere towards a world of freedom, peace, unity, and happiness.

In more pleasant news, last night at the art gallery went well I think. A few of the Burmese who had showed up earlier in the day didn't show up for it, but a lot more Norwegians showed up. I'll have to get the few pictures I have onto this PC. Perhaps I can put them onto the MacBook and then transfer them here via iPod Shuffle. (I don't know if I've mentioned it here before or not, but my MacBook can't hook up to the internet here, while the PC won't hook up to the HP Photosmart C3180, which I also use to upload photos from my camera.)

Also, Lisa will be able to come to the gathering tonight at 7 PM at the blue stone, as well as perhaps Anis, a Cameroonian-Iranian Baha'i friend of mine living in Bergen. I also might try going door to door around the building to see if I can get anyone else to come.

In other good news, there has been some progress in the U.S. in giving proof to the world about the humanitarian crisis in Burma.

According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, they satellite images that confirm the stories of many Burmese refugees, that their villages have been burned down and that many new military bases have been built in areas to control the population more forcefully and keep opposition groups from forming strong roots.

Now that that project is done, and with what's going on now, they plan on refocusing their satellite lenses on more main Burmese cities to watch what's going on between the Junta military and protesters.

The Boston Globe has a good article on it here.

That's it for now folks. I'll update later tonight or tomorrow, hopefully with pictures from both tonight and last nights events. God bless, all.


P.S. Remember! 7 PM Tonight at the huge blue rectangular stone in town, Bergen. Berganites be there if you aren't seriously busy, or be selfish pigs! Oh, and wear red!

1:56 PM Edit:

Ok, I should have seen this comming. Things in Burma are a little more complicated as they might seem.The Christian Science Monitor has compiled a little mini-history of modern Burma. Apperently, if we don't talk to absolutely ALL parties, the peaceful protests lead by Buhddist monks could lead to civil war with previousely established septratist organizations.

See Monks rising: the basics on Burma Answers to some of the fundamental questions on a nation in flux.

Mind you, this does not diminish my support for the Monks idea of a peaceful transition to a better sort of government. It simply makes me a little more aware of the situation, a weary of what might happen next.

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln, U.S. President

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