Thursday, September 27, 2007



Burmese security forces fired directly on protesting monks and other demonstrators in Rangoon on Wednesday, reportedly killing five monks and one woman in separate Rangoon clashes, according to unconfirmed reports.

On-the-scene reports to The Irrawaddy said the monks died when troops and security forces opened fire on at least two separate demonstrations. Troops reportedly fired over the heads of protesters on some occasions and fired directly at protestors on other occasions.

The reports of deaths and injuries were impossible to confirm on Wednesday.

The deaths reportedly occurred as different columns of monks walked through the city on Wednesday.

Nyan Win, a National League for Democracy spokesperson, said he heard reports that three monks and one woman had been killed by gunfire.

AFP, the French news agency, reported Wednesday night that at least two Burmese officials said three monks were dead. The AFP report said one monk died as he tried to take a weapon away from a soldier, and two others were beaten to death.

In the military-ruled government of Burma, information is severely restricted and accurate reports of the number of dead and injured are difficult to verify.

Witnesses said the military government fired at protesters, hurled tear gas and wielded batons to break up protests in Rangoon. In Mandalay, shots were fired over the heads of protestors.

In both cities, security forces rounded up and arrested many protest leaders and others, according to sources on the scene.

During Wednesday morning, military forces and police in Rangoon blocked the road to Shwedagon Pagoda and confronted thousands of monks and civilians who gathered outside the pagoda, one of the holiest sites in Burma.

On Wednesday afternoon, protesters and security forces also clashed again near Shwedagon Pagoda and later on a road leading to Sule Pagoda.

Dozens of protesters and activists including members of the NLD, protesting Buddhist monks and other protest leaders were arrested throughout the day at different areas in Rangoon, in Mandalay and in Kachin state.

In Rangoon, two well-known activists, the veteran politician Amyotheryei Win Naing and the popular Burmese comedian Zarganar, were arrested overnight on Tuesday.

The well-known Burmese actor Kyaw Thu and the poet Aung Win are being sought by authorities for their role in aiding monks in recent days, according to sources.

In Mandalay, security forces fired warning shots and used teargas to break up an estimated 10,000 protesting monks who marched through the city, according to local residents. one source said that after troops fired warning shots over the heads of the monks, they continued on with their march.

Also in Mandalay, three members of the NLD, Tin Aung, Khin Maung Thaung and Myo Naing, and well-known comedian Par Par Lay, were arrested on Wednesday after they offered alms to monks.

In other areas, more than 200 monks in Myitkyina and Bamaw in Kachin state in northern Burma were arrested in a midnight raid on Tuesday. More monks in the area were detained on Wednesday morning, while others escaped and are in hiding. Many phone lines were cut off in the area, residents said.

The junta declared a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. in Rangoon and Mandalay on Tuesday and banned any gathering of more than five people. Thousands of monks and citizens ignored the ban on Wednesday.

Security forces and police took up positions around Rangoon City Hall and many monasteries on Wednesday. Security was also increased in Pegu and Mandalay, in Sagaing Division and in Arakan, Mon and Kachin states.

The phone lines of many pro-democracy activists and many members of a volunteer medical team that has followed Rangoon demonstrations also have been cut off by the military government.

Please sign the petitions below!

strong>For those who care about human rights, please sign the NINE (9) PETITIONS below if you have not done so already. Please take the 5 minutes to do this. It's easy and CAN and WILL bring concrete results to the suffering people of Burma. The list of petitions was compiled by Burma Watch.

You can also call or email the Chinese, Burmese, Indian, Thai, Japanese, Russian, South Korean, and French embassies. Below are also organizations to which you can donate. Please consider supporting their advocacy work on Burma.


1. Call on Members of United Nations, Members of the European Union, All Political Leaders, All Head of States, and, All Dignitaries for immediate action on Burma HERE.

2. An appeal to the 15 members of the UN Security Council HERE.

3. Also, please sign the US Campaign for Burma petition calling for China to withdraw support of Burma's military regime HERE.

4. AVAAZ is petitioning the UN and Chinese President Hu Jintao

5. Send a petition calling for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Burma, including Aung San Suu Kyi, to Senior General Than Shwe. Don't worry if one or two of these emails bounces back-the petition will go to 30 Burmese government ministries and Burmese embassies around the world- it probably means their inbox is already full of appeals. The petition, off musician Damien Rice's site is HERE.

6. Sign Earthrights International's petition urging Chevron to use its influence to help stop the crackdown, and to stop investing in Burma HERE.

7. Sign the Shwe Gas Movement's petition to halt South Korea's Daewoo from extracting gas in Western Burma until human rights are upheld HERE.

8. Sign the petition to the Norwegian Nobel Committee to nominate the Sangha (the monkhood) in Burma for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize HERE.

9. For British citizens, please sign the petition to PM Gordon Brown. Get him to act now!

- You can also email UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon asking for immediate UN intervention at

- Join the Support the Monks' protest in Burma and the US Campaign for Burma Facebook groups. Check out Burma Watch's website.

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