Thursday, September 27, 2007

Condemning Myanmar Government

I read with great sadness and anger on what the Myanmar Government is doing to to its people who have chosen a non-violent way of protest. They are using excessive force against people without any weapons or intention of harming anybody. This is a crime against humanity, similar to those happening back in 1989 Tianan Man.

Those who give order to open fire, sending bullets into the bodies of civilians and monks should be charged in international court for war crimes. If we could send people in army uniform to war crime tribunal for massacred of civilians, I do not see why we should tolerate a regime that apply brutal force against their own citizens who act in a non-violent way.

I cannot understand how those soldiers could just follow orders blindly and fire upon civilians that are not armed. Maybe these barbaric dictators do not have any sense of shame in doing such things. They do not know the proper way of handling non-violent protests other than shooting their guns at the protesters. There are riot gear, water cannon, tear gas or even rubber bullets. Using small arms to fire at the protesters is totally unacceptable and this should equate to murder or homicide.

I am calling out to our PAP government to stand on the side of humanity to condemn the Myanmar Government for its excessive use of brutal force against peaceful protesters. Our government should cut any direct involvement in helping the Murderous Myanmar regime to perpetuate its draconian rule, particularly, those that involve arms manufacturing and trading. There are some things in this world that is more valuable than making money and that is preservation of human lives and the spirit of basic human decency. We should preserve our own National pride and dignity in not dealing with these hooligans.

Singapore, as a key player in ASEAN, should exert its influence to stop the insane and inhumane Myanmar Junta from committing more bloodshed and crimes to humanity on its own land. When everything fails, I think the only decent thing left for us to do is to follow the good old saying of distancing ourselves away from such "bad influence". When we were young, our parents always told us to stay away from bullies, gangsters and people of bad characters. It is only wise to do so. We should boycott the Myanmar Junta Government totally in protest of such crimes against humanity, until they could come to their senses and respect basic human rights and decency.

Goh Meng Seng

From Yahoo News:

YANGON, Myanmar - Soldiers fired automatic weapons into a crowd of anti-government protesters Thursday as tens of thousands defied the ruling military junta's crackdown with a 10th straight day of demonstrations.

A Japanese Foreign Ministry official told The Associated Press that several people, including a Japanese national, were found dead following Thursday's protests.

The information was transmitted by Myanmar's Foreign Ministry to the Japanese Embassy in Yangon, the official said on condition of anonymity citing protocol.

The chaos came a day after the government said clashes in Yangon killed at least one man. Dissidents outside Myanmar reported receiving news of up to eight deaths Wednesday.

Some reports said the dead included monks, who are widely revered in Myanmar, and the emergence of such martyr figures could stoke public anger against the regime and escalate the violence.

Witnesses told the AP that five men were arrested and severely beaten Thursday after soldiers fired into a crowd near a bridge across the Pazundaung River on the east side of downtown Yangon.

Shots were fired after several thousand protesters on the west side of the river ignored orders to disband.

In other parts of the city, some protesters shouted "Give us freedom, give us freedom!" at soldiers. Thousands ran through the streets after warning shots were fired into crowds that had swollen to 70,000. Bloody sandals were left lying in the road.

Thursday's protests followed early morning raids on Buddhist monasteries during which soldiers reportedly beat up monks and arrested more than 100.

The monks have spearheaded the largest challenge to the military junta in the isolated Southeast Asian nation since a failed uprising in 1988. In that crisis, soldiers shot into crowds of peaceful demonstrators, killing some 3,000 people.

As the stiffest challenge to the generals in two decades, the crisis that began Aug. 19 with protests over a fuel price hike has drawn increasing international pressure on the regime, especially from its chief economic and diplomatic ally, China.

"China hopes that all parties in Myanmar exercise restraint and properly handle the current issue so as to ensure the situation there does not escalate and get complicated," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Thursday at a twice-weekly media briefing.

The United States called on Myanmar's military leaders to open a dialogue with peaceful protesters and urged China to do what it can to prevent further bloodshed.

"We all need to agree on the fact that the Burmese government has got to stop thinking that this can be solved by police and military, and start thinking about the need for genuine reconciliation with the broad spectrum of political activists in the country," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill in Beijing.

Myanmar's state-run newspaper blamed "saboteurs inside and outside the nation" for causing the protests in Yangon, and said the demonstrations were much smaller than the media are reporting.

"Saboteurs from inside and outside the nation and some foreign radio stations, who are jealous of national peace and development, have been making instigative acts through lies to cause internal instability and civil commotion," The New Light of Myanmar, which serves as a mouthpiece for the military government said Thursday.

Also Thursday, security forces arrested Myint Thein, the spokesman for opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's political party, family members said.

Several other monasteries that are considered hotbeds of the pro-democracy movement were raided by security forces before dawn in an apparent attempt to prevent the demonstrations spearheaded by the Buddhist clergy.

A monk at Ngwe Kyar Yan monastery pointed to bloodstains on the concrete floor and said a number of monks were beaten and at least 100 of its 150 monks taken away in vehicles. Shots were fired in the air during the chaotic raid, he said on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

"Soldiers slammed the monastery gate with the car, breaking the lock and forcing it into the monastery," the monk said. "They smashed the doors down, broke windows and furniture. When monks resisted, they shot at the monks and used tear gas and beat up the monks and dragged into trucks."

Empty bullet shells, broken doors, furniture and glass peppered the bloodstained, concrete floor of the monastery.

A female lay disciple said a number of monks also were arrested at the Moe Gaung monastery, which was being guarded by soldiers. Both monasteries are located in Yangon's northern suburbs.

Dramatic images of Wednesday's protests, many transmitted by dissidents using cell phones and the Internet, riveted world attention on the escalating faceoff between the military regime and its opponents.

1 comment:

Terence said...

Singapore may have sent a strong message to the Myanmar government to stop the violence, but further action, especially in the form of sanctions, seems unlikely.

There is too much at stake for not just Singapore, but nations like Thailand and China in resource rich Myanmar, such that a political upheaval that would upset the supply of natural resources is something deemed undesirable by these governments.