18 and 24 September, tens of thousands of Buddhist monks led massive
anti-junta demonstrations across most of Burma’s States and
Divisions. In the largest show of peaceful protests against the
military regime since 1988, thousands of Burmese civilians joined
The military junta faces a “lose-lose”
situation. If they crack down harshly against the monks, they will
inflame an already angry population into a sustained uprising. If
the army remains passive, it will embolden the population to take
a stronger stand for their rights.
The mounting protest revived calls
for the UN Security Council to increase pressure on the military
regime. The current vulnerability of the SPDC will ensure that any
positive international intervention is more likely to have an impact.
China, India, Bangladesh, as well as ASEAN countries, should be
gravely concerned by the regional repercussion of instability inside
Burma and work together to pressure the regime for genuine reforms.