28 September 2007
Wednesday September 27 was a sad day for the Burmese people. Burmese troops in Rangoon opened fire on monks and their supporters, killing at least three people. As night fell, police raided Buddhist temples, arresting at least 200 monks.
For Russia and China, September 27 should be a day of shame. According to the Guardian, the two countries blocked any suggestion of global sanctions against the Burmese regime at the UN Security Council emergency session.
Actually, the two countries even tried to halt the very meeting itself. The best the Security Council could manage was a statement of concern about the violent response to demonstrations in Rangoon.
According to the Democratic Voice of Burma, the statement read “Members of the council have expressed their concern vis-à-vis the situation, and have urged restraint, especially from the government of Myanmar.”
But South Africa is none the better! In January South Africa made a decision to join China and Russia in voting against a United Nations Security Council resolution -- calling on the military junta in Burma to stop human rights abuses, including ethnic killings, rapes and forced labour. In an e-mail to the Associated Press, Archbishop Desmond Tutu called the vote on January 12th a betrayal of South Africa's "noble past." He told Business Day that the history of the struggle meant South Africa should side with people "who are victims of one of the most repressive regimes".
Yesterday, however, even China felt they had to do something in order to avoid being associated to closely with the bloodshed in Burma. According to the
Guardian, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a press conference that “China hopes all parties can exercise restraint and properly handle the situation.”
Show your support
While the Chinese statement falls short of actually telling the Burmese government that there will be consequences if they resort to violence, it is a warning to the generals that the eyes of the world are upon them now.
Ordinary people all over the world are also showing their support for the monks, nuns, students and other brave people in Burma. Friday September 28, people in many countries are wearing read shirts in support of the Burmese people.
Red is the colour of the robes of the monks protesting in Burma. It is also the colour of blood. Wear red today. If it's too late, then when you get a chance, change to something red and hope and pray that there will not be too much blood shed in Burma!