Burma: monks on the streets against the military junta

YANGON, 25 SEPT – Dozens of pro-democracy Buddhist monks took to the streets of Burma’s second largest city, Mandalay, against the military coup. On the 14th anniversary of the mass protests promoted by the monks themselves against the previous regime of the military junta, repressed in blood. Burma has been in turmoil and its economy has been paralyzed since February, when the military ousted Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian government, ending a ten-year experiment in democracy. Anti-junta resistance has taken root across the country, prompting the military to unleash a brutal repression of dissent. According to a local monitoring group, more than 1,100 civilians were killed and 8,400 arrested. Historically, monks have been seen as a supreme moral authority who organized the community, sometimes mobilizing opposition to military regimes. But after this latest coup there was a rift, as some prominent clergymen gave their blessing to the generals, while others supported the demonstrators. Today the monks marched through the streets of Mandalay calling for the release of political prisoners, including members of Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, which overwhelmingly won last November’s elections. (HANDLE).


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