Thursday, September 27th, 2007
In Burma, military forces have killed up to eight people, including five Buddhist monks. The military used batons, tear gas and live rounds in a violent crackdown on mass protests against the military junta. Hundreds of monks have been rounded up in raids on several monasteries. The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting in New York and called on the government to show restraint. We get the latest. [includes rush transcript] In Burma, security forces used batons, tear gas and live rounds in a violent crackdown on mass protests against the military junta. Up to eight people have been killed, including five Buddhist monks.
Hundreds of Burmese troops attempted to clear the streets of central Rangoon on Thursday, firing shots into the crowd, as the military junta intensified its two-day crackdown on the most vocal popular uprising against its rule in nearly two decades.
Thursday’s protests follow reports of overnight raids on six monasteries. According to witnesses soldiers smashed windows and doors and beat the sleeping monks. Some escaped but as many as 500 hundred monks were taken away in military trucks. Two members of the National League for Democracy, the party led by Aung San Suu Kyi, were also arrested overnight. A hotel in which foreign journalists have been staying in Rangoon has also been surrounded and ransacked.
On Wednesday, the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting in New York and called on the military junta to show restraint — a call also made by China on Thursday. The US and European Union wanted the council to consider imposing sanctions – but the proposal was rejected by China. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he would dispatch a special envoy to Southeast Asia in hope the military junta would let him in.
* Ko Htike, a Burmese-born blogger. He is in contact with about 10 people inside Burma who send him information and photographs to post on his blog. He joins us on the telephone from London.
* Jeremy Woodrum, co-founder of the US Campaign for Burma. He helped spearhead a successful nationwide boycott of the Burmese military government and organized delegations to visit refugee camps near the Burma-Thailand border.
* Bo Kyi, a Burmese human rights activist living on the Thailand-Burma. He was a political prisoner in Burma for 7 years.