Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Mass Slaughter in Burma

From the New York Times blog, The Lede:

Last Friday, when an Internet blackout in Myanmar made it even harder to estimate the brutality of the crackdown there, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain said his government believed that “the loss of life is far greater than is being reported.” The Burmese military junta said that nine people were killed in the unrest.

Now comes an unconfirmed report in The Daily Mail in Britain with a staggering claim of mass slaughter. The paper quotes Hla Win, described as a Burmese general who has deserted his post in protest of the regime’s harsh tactics.
“Many more people have been killed in recent days than you’ve heard about,” Hla Win said. “The bodies can be counted in several thousand.”

Here is some additional detail from General Win, referred to in this passage by his title:
The 42-year-old chief of military intelligence in Rangoon’s northern region added: “I decided to desert when I was ordered to raid two monasteries and force several hundred monks onto trucks.

“They were to be killed and their bodies dumped deep inside the jungle. I refused to participate in this.”

The general is seeking political asylum in Norway, according to The Norway Post. ...
Aside from the Burmese general’s account, other reports seemed to suggest that we may now be watching the aftermath of a very bloody crackdown just a week after 100,000 protesters took to the streets. The Irrawaddy, one of the leading Burmese news sources, headlines its article today on the crackdown “Burma Erupts: Killing Field.”

And Liselotte Agerlid, a Swedish diplomat who visited Burma on Sunday, left no room for hope in comments to the Daily Mail. “The Burma revolt is over,” she said.

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes calls for a Red Robe Memorial:
Tonight, as this image came in, I wanted to just turn away from my computer and weep.

May ten-thousand holy red lotus bloom for every holy red lotus cut down.

I prophesy: Retrieve all the red robes of the dead and pile them high. Higher. Highest. The Monks’ Memorial of Red Robes. It will be made. By thousands of hands from the world over, the Red Robe Memorial commemorating this slaughter of the innocents, will rise up.

And play these images over and over again until we can watch them dry eyed… Than Schwe’s huge, televised, well documented, well photographed, news reported, electronically captured week of slaughter, Than Schwe’s desperate not moment, not hour, not week, but years of SHAME. A kind of shame that will cause no decent world leader to ever again willingly stand to be photographed with him. A kind of shame that surely makes even his soul shrink away from him in revulsion.

The image to which Dr. Estes refers is very, very upsetting -- ghastly. Prepare yourself before you click on the link.

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