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Alternative Asean Network on Burma
campaigns, advocacy and capacity-building for human rights

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FACE OFF IN BURMA: MONKS vs SPDC

 
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Between 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 rallies.

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.