Archive for September 19th, 2008
Dear Friends and Subscribers,
Our Web site has been crippled and disabled by DDoS attacks since Wednesday.
Many in the Burmese community—both inside and outside Burma—believe that the military authorities are behind the cyber attack. Our Web hosting companies have been assisting us day and night tracing IP addresses to identify the cyber criminals.
If the junta’s paid stooges are indeed involved in these attacks, then we have learned a lesson—that the “powers that be” in Naypyidaw are nowadays well armed and more sophisticated.
Exiled media organizations, including The Irrawaddy, believe that foreign agents and cyber criminals have been hired to attack exiled Burmese Web sites.
We have offered our solidarity to fellow media Web sites, including the Democratic Voice of Burma and New Era Journal. They too have been badly crippled by the DDoS attacks.
However, we are not giving up and we will never give up. This is not a personal attack on the journalists and editors at The Irrawaddy—it is an attack on independent journalism and press freedom. The military junta is determined to prevent the flow of information in and out of Burma.
The attack will only make us more determined to focus on our mission—to bring you the truth from Burma and the region.
We will continue to provide our regular columns and timely news and analysis to you. You can now read The Irrawaddy news at a temporary site: http://theirrawaddy.blogspot.com.
We would like to express our sincere thanks to friends who helped us immediately by providing technical advice and consultancy to recover our site. Our special thanks go to Internews in Chiang Mai and SEAPA in Bangkok. We also would like to thank our readers and colleagues who sent messages of support and advice.
We would like to ask our readers for any support, technical advice or expertise they can lend us. As we are now rebuilding our site, using mirror sites and changing our Web hosting, we would also like to invite interested donors to contribute to our work.
Dear Irrawaddy subscribers,
We regret to inform you that the Irrawaddy Web site is still unavailable due to a severe attack that has also targeted a number of other exiled Burmese media groups.
We attempted to redirect Irrawaddy readers to a mirror site, but that site has also come under attack. Our technicians worked until 2 a.m. to correct the problem, but finally had to take both sites offline.
Unfortunately, we still don’t know when we will be able to return to regular service. We have been informed by the company that hosts our Web site that the attack was severe and sophisticated, and will resume immediately if we attempt to restore service.
As a temporary measure, we will be posting online content on a new blog, http://theirrawaddy.blogspot.com, until further notice. Please visit this site for updated news and other regular features.
For news in Burmese, please visit http://theirrawaddyburmese.blogspot.com.
We have also received reports that Internet speeds in Burma have been very slow since Wednesday, and that Internet cafes in Rangoon have come under heavy surveillance, with police and officials checking customers’ ID cards and monitoring Internet use.
These developments come on the anniversary of last year’s monk-led uprising known as the “Saffron Revolution.” At the height of the crackdown on peaceful demonstrations, the Burmese regime stopped all Internet traffic into and out of the country to stem the flow of information about atrocities being committed by the army and security forces.
We would like to assure Irrawaddy readers that we will make every effort to keep you informed of the situation inside Burma. We thank you for your patience and continued support.
By SAW YAN NAING
The online news service of The Irrawaddy remained paralyzed by a cyber attack on Friday, although technicians expressed optimism that it would be back in operation by Monday.
Three other Burmese exile news operations that also fell victim to the attack restored their services on Friday, leading to hope that The Irrawaddy Web site would also soon be again accessible.
The attack knocked out The Irrawaddy service on Tuesday and also struck the Oslo-based Democratic Voice of Burma and the New Era Journal, based in Bangkok. All were intermittently put out of action.
The three opposition news services, operated by Burmese exiles, were hit by a “distributed denial-of-service”, or DDoS.
A DDoS attack creates a “traffic jam” at the entry to a Web site as masses of fake, robot “visitors” try to access it.
INET, the second largest host server in Thailand, confirmed that The Irrawaddy Web site, http://www.irrawaddy.org, had been disabled by a DDoS attack since September 17, the day before the 20th anniversary of the mass anti-government demonstrations in Rangoon on September 18.
The CAT Telecom Public Co. Ltd and some ISPs blocked The Irrawaddy Web site as a “danger zone.”
One consultant, who requested anonymity, said: “Usually, it only impacts the targeted Web site, but it is possible that Internet infrastructure will be affected on a wider scale when many Web sites are under attack at the same time on the same national network.”
The Irrawaddy’s “mirror site,” http://www.irrawaddymedia.com, was also disabled by DDoS.
Rangoon visitors to The Irrawaddy Web site reported on Friday that they could access it by setting new proxy servers.
A DDoS attack is orchestrated by an aggressor hiring a hacker who claims the power to control thousands of PCs around the world with the ability of using them to attack a Web site. Fees for the services of the hacker vary according to the size and duration of the attack, but usually start at around US $500, according to one technician.
Win Thu, The Irrawaddy’s office manager, who also oversees its technical team, said the attack that struck the company’s Web site appeared to have been targeted by such a hacker. The nature of DDoS made it likely that the attack would be limited in duration, he said.
Aye Chan Naing, DVB’s chief editor, said his organization received several phone calls and anonymous e-mails two months ago, claiming cyber attackers were Burmese technicians who had trained in Russia.
“The Burmese authorities want to block the flow of information to the outside world,” he said. “But I don’t think they can do it for a long time.”
Exiled media groups, bloggers, reporters inside Burma and citizen journalists played major roles in the reporting on the Buddhist monk-led uprising in September 2007, highlighting the brutal suppression of the monks and their supporters in the streets of Rangoon.
Recently, the regime has tightened its watch over Internet cafes in Rangoon. In some Internet cafes, users have to show their ID, while informers observe students playing video games. Buddhist monks complain that they are treated like criminals if they are seen using the Internet.
ရွစ္ေလးလံုးနဲ႔ စက္တင္ဘာ အာဏာသိမ္း လူသတ္ပြဲ အေတြ႕အႀကဳံမ်ား
ေဆာင္းပါးရွင္ – ဆရာကံ (တပ္မ ၂၂)
၁၉၈၈ ခုႏွစ္ ၾသဂုတ္လက ဘားအံၿမဳိ႕မွာ လူထုေတြဆႏၵျပေနၿပီး နာရီစင္အနီး ဘုရားႀကီးဝင္းထဲမွာ သပိတ္စခန္းဖြင့္ထားပါတယ္။ အဲဒီသပိတ္စခန္းကုိ (၂)ရက္္အၾကာနံနက္ ၀၃း၀၀ နာရီအခ်ိန္မွာ က်ေနာ္တို႔ တပ္ရင္းက တပ္ခြဲ (၂)ခြဲနဲ႔ သြားဝုိင္းရပါတယ္။ ဘုရားႀကီး ဝင္းအတြင္းက ေထာင္နဲ႔ခ်ီတဲ့လူထုကို အၿပီးအပုိင္ ေမာင္းထုတ္ခုိင္းျပီး၊ မထြက္ပါက ပစ္ခတ္ရန္အတြက္ အဲဒီအခ်ိန္က အမွတ္ (၂၂) ေျချမန္ တပ္မဌာနခ်ဳပ္ တပ္မမႉး ဗုိလ္မႉးခ်ဳပ္တင္လွက အမိန္႔ ေပးခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ဘုရားႀကီးဝင္းအတြင္းက လူထုအားလုံး ေၾကာက္လန္႔ၿပီး အ၀တ္တထည္ ကုိယ္တခုနဲ႔ ထြက္ေျပးၾကပါတယ္။ ဒီအခ်ိန္မွာ ဘုရားႀကီးဝင္းအတြင္းက်န္ခဲ့တဲ့ ကား၊ ဆုိင္ကယ္၊ စက္ဘီး၊ မီးစက္မ်ား အားလုံးကုိ တပ္မမႉးမွ သိမ္းဆည္းခုိင္းပါတယ္။ ဒါေတြကုိ (တပ္မ) ပုိင္ပစၥည္းလို႔ သတ္မွတ္ပါတယ္။
အဲဒီအခ်ိန္ပုိင္းမွာဘဲ တပ္မ(၂၂)ကို တပ္ရင္း (၅)ရင္းနဲ႔ ထုတ္ႏႈတ္ၿပီး ရန္ကုန္ကို ေရွ႕တန္းထြက္ရမယ္လို႔ အမိန္႔ရတဲ့အတြက္ တပ္ရင္း (၅)ရင္း ရန္ကုန္ၿမဳိ႕ကိုသြားရပါတယ္။ အဲဒီအခ်ိန္မွာ က်ေနာ္ဟာ အမွတ္ (၂၂) ေျချမန္တပ္မဌာနခ်ဳပ္ လက္ေအာက္ခံ တပ္ရင္း တစ္ရင္းမွာ စစ္သက္ ၁ ႏွစ္ခြဲရွိတဲ့ လူသစ္ဘဝသာ ရွိပါေသးတယ္။
ရန္ကုန္ၿမဳိ႕ကို ပါသြားတဲ့တပ္ရင္းေတြကေတာ့ ခမရ (၂၀၄) ၿမဳိင္ကေလး၊ ခမရ (၂၀၅) ၿမဳိင္ကေလး၊ ခမရ (၂၀၇) သိမ္ဇရပ္အနီး၊ ခမရ(၂၀၈)၊ ခမရ(၂၁၀)တို႔ ျဖစ္ျပီး တပ္ရင္း(၅)ရင္း ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ရန္ကုန္ၿမဳိ႕ ေရာက္တဲ့အခါ တပ္ရင္းအလုိက္ ေနရာခ်ထားေပးပါတယ္။
(၁) ၿမဳိ႕ေတာ္ခန္းမ ဆူးေလ ပတ္ဝန္းက်င္မွာ တပ္ရင္းတစ္ရင္း
(၂) အင္းစိန္ ဘီပီအုိင္၊ အာအုိင္တီမွာ တပ္ရင္းတစ္ရင္း
(၃) အသံလႊြင့္႐ုံ၊ ၈မုိင္လမ္းဆုံမွာ တပ္ရင္းတစ္ရင္း
(၄) ေတာင္ဥကၠလာ၊ ေျမာက္ဥကၠလာမွာ တပ္ရင္းတစ္ရင္း
(၅) သာေကတမွာ တပ္ရင္းတစ္ရင္း ေနရာခ်သတ္မွတ္ေပးထားၿပီး
ေအာင္ဆန္းကြင္း၊ သုဝဏၰကြင္း၊ က်ဳိကၠဆံကြင္းမ်ားကုိေတာ့ စစ္ေဒသမႉး၊ ဗ်ဴဟာမႉးမ်ားကို ေနရာခ်ထားေပးပါတယ္။ အဲဒီတပ္မ်ားဟာ ၿမဳိ႕နယ္အလုိက္ တာ၀န္ယူရပါတယ္။
မိမိတပ္ရင္းတာဝန္က်တဲ့ ၿမဳိ႕နယ္အလုိက္ ကားနဲ႔ တေနကုန္ လွည့္ေပးရၿပီး တပ္ခြဲတစ္ခြဲမွာ စစ္ကားႀကီး (၃)စီးတြဲ၊ ကားေပၚမွာ မုိက္ တလုံးစီခ်ိတ္၊ ကားေဘးဘယ္ညာ သံဆူးႀကိဳးေခြ (၂)ေခြစီခ်ိတ္ဆြဲထားပါတယ္။ ဒီသံဆူးႀကိဳးေခြဟာ လူထုအုံႂကြတဲ့အခါ လူထု အလယ္မွာ ကားေမာင္းသြားၿပီး သံဆူးႀကဳိးေခြ ေျဖခ်ဖို႔ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။
ေနာက္ၿပီး တပ္ရင္းအလုိက္ ေန႔၊ ည လူထုႏွိမ္ႏွင္းဖုိ႔၊ ရုိက္ႏွက္ဖုိ႔၊ ပစ္ခတ္ဖုိ႔ သင္တန္းတက္ရပါတယ္။ အဲဒီ သင္တန္းတက္တဲ့အခါ အဓိက ပစ္္ခတ္ေရး၊ ရုိက္ႏွက္ေရးမွာ တုိင္းရင္းသား လူမ်ဳိးစစ္သည္ေတြကို ေရြးခ်ယ္ၿပီး၊ ပစ္ခတ္ ရုိက္ႏွက္လုိ႕ ေသေၾက ဒါဏ္ရာရသူမ်ားကို ဗမာလူမ်ဳိး စစ္သည္ေတြက လူနာေကာက္ ကားေပၚပစ္တင္ ဆုိၿပီးတာ၀န္ေပးထားပါတယ္။
အဲဒီ စတင္ ပစ္မိန္႔ေပးတဲ့ေန႔မွာ ၿမဳိ႕ေတာ္ခန္းမနဲ႔ ဆူးေလဘုရား တဝိုက္မွာ လူထုေတြ ရာနဲ႔ခ်ီေသၿပီး ဒဏ္ရာရသူမ်ားကိုလည္း မေသမရွင္ ကားေပၚပစ္တင္ကာ တာေမြသခ်ႋဳင္းက ေပ ၅၀ ပတ္လည္ ဘူဒုိဇာနဲ႔ တူးထားတဲ့က်င္းထဲကို သြန္ခ်ပါတယ္။ အဲဒီထဲမွာ မေသတဲ့လူလည္း အမ်ားႀကီး က်င္းထဲသြန္ခ်ၿပီး ဘူဒိုဇာကားႀကီးနဲ႔ ေျမဖုိ႔ပါတယ္။ အဲဒီက်င္းထဲမွာ လူေထာင္နဲ႔ခ်ီ ရွိတယ္လုိ႔ေျပာပါတယ္။ အဲဒီနားမွာ တပ္ခြဲတစ္ခြဲ ပတ္လည္ ေစာင့္ေနရပါတယ္။
အသံလႊြင့္႐ုံနားမွာလည္း ပစ္ခတ္လုိ႔ ေသေၾကဒဏ္ရာရၾကတာ အမ်ားႀကီးပါဘဲ။ အင္းစိန္ ဘီပီအုိင္၊ အာအုိင္တီမွာလဲ အဲဒီလုိဘဲ ပစ္ရပါတယ္။ ေတာင္ဥကၠလာပ၊ သာေကတ ကုန္းေက်ာ္တံတား၊ သာေကတ ေက်ာက္တုိင္အနီး၊ သံလ်င္တံတား၊ ေျမာက္ဥကၠလာ န၀ေဒးလမ္းဆုံ၊ ေျမာက္ဥကၠလာ ကုန္းေက်ာ္တံတား၊ သဃၤန္းကၽြန္း စံျပေစ်း အနားတဝုိက္။ အဲဒီေနရာေတြအားလုံး လူထုေတြ ေသေၾက၊ ဒဏ္ရာရသူ အမ်ားဆုံး ပစ္ခတ္မႈအမ်ားဆုံး ေနရာေတြ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ သြားသြန္တဲ့ေနရာကေတာ့ အဲဒီတေနရာဘဲသိပါတယ္။
အဲဒီ ၈၈ လူထုဆႏၵျပၿပီး ပစ္ခတ္ၿဖဳိခြင္းတဲ့အခ်ိန္မွာ တပ္မႉးေတြက ဒဏ္ရာရတဲ့လူထုေတြ၊ ေသတဲ့ လူထုေတြ ဆီမွာ ပါလာတဲ့ေငြေတြ၊ လက္စြပ္ေတြ၊ ဆြဲႀကဳိးေတြ၊ နားကပ္ေတြကုိ သူနဲ႔ရင္းတဲ့ရဲေဘာ္ေတြကုိ အတင္း ျဖဳတ္ခုိင္းပါတယ္။ တခ်ဳိ႕တပ္မႉးေတြဆုိ ေရႊေတြ ေငြေတြ အမ်ားႀကီး လူထုထံက လုယက္ျဖဳတ္ယူတာ ေတြ႔ျမင္ရပါတယ္။ အေရးအခင္း ကာလမွာ ေန႔ ည လမ္းေပၚမွာ လူ(၅)ေယာက္ထက္မစုရ၊ (၅)ေယာက္ ထက္စုၿပီး စကားေျပာမိရင္ ခ်က္ခ်င္းဖမ္း၊ ကားေပၚေခၚတင္၊ ရဲစခန္းပုိ႔၊ အမႈဖြင့္၊ ေငြဒဏ္ရုိက္ပါတယ္။
၁၉၈၈ ခုႏွစ္ ၁၂ လပုိင္းေလာက္မွာ က်ေနာ့္တုိ႔တပ္မ ကက်န္တဲ့ (၅)ရင္းေပါင္းၿပီး ပထမ (၅)ရင္းကို သြားခ်ိန္းေပးရပါတယ္။ အဲဒီအခ်ိန္မွာ ရန္ကုန္ၿမဳိ႕မွာ နည္းနည္းေတာ့ၿငိမ္သြားပါၿပီ။ အဲဒီအခ်ိန္ေရာက္ေတာ့ ရန္ကုန္မွာရွိတဲ့လူထုေတြ(၂၂) ဆုိတဲ့ ဘက္တံဆိပ္ကုိ ေတြ႔ရင္ အလုိလိုေနရင္းနဲ႔ ေၾကာက္ေနၾကပါတယ္၊ ေနာက္ၿပီးေတာ့ မုန္းလဲမုန္းၾကပါတယ္။
က်ေနာ္တို႔တပ္ေတြကို ဆႏၵျပတဲ့အခ်ိန္က ဘယ္နားမွာ အမ်ားဆုံးျဖစ္သလဲ၊ ဘယ္ရပ္ကြက္မွာ အမ်ားဆုံးျဖစ္သလဲ၊ ဘယ္နားမွာ လူဆုိးေတြ မ်ားသလဲ၊ အရက္သမား မ်ားသလဲ။ အဲဒါကုိ စစ္ကားႀကီးနဲ႔ တလမ္းဝင္ တလမ္းထြက္ လုိက္ပတ္ခုိင္းပါတယ္။ သြားတဲ့အခ်ိန္မွာ ရဲေဘာ္ကုိယ္စီ ဒုိင္းတစ္ခုစီ၊ နံပါတ္ဒုတ္ တစ္ေခ်ာင္းစီ ေပးထားပါတယ္။ စစ္ကားျဖတ္သြားတဲ့အခ်ိန္ လမ္းေပၚမွာ မူးေနတဲ့လူေတြ ေတြ႔ရင္၊ ကားနားျဖတ္လာတဲ့ လူေတြေတြ႕ရင္ ဆင္း႐ုိက္ခုိင္းၿပီး ေမးျမန္းမႈမရွိ ကားေပၚေခၚတင္ ႀကိဳးနဲ႔တုပ္ စစ္ေဆးမႈမရွိ ရဲစခန္းအခ်ဳပ္ထဲ သြားထည့္ပါတယ္။ တခ်ဳိ႕ အရပ္သားေတြဆိုရင္ ဘာမသိ ညာမသိ အဖမ္းဆီးခံရ၊ အရုိက္ႏွက္ခံရ၊ အခ်ဳပ္ခံရပါတယ္။ တခ်ဳိ႕ဆုိ ၾကည့္လုိ႔မရရင္ ဘာအျပစ္မွမရွိဘဲ အရုိက္ႏွက္ခံ အထုိးႀကိတ္ခံရတယ္။
လူႀကီးဆုိတဲ့လူဟာ ရဲ၊ ရဝတေတြနဲ႔ ညႇိႏႈိင္းၿပီး ဘာမွမၿဖစ္တဲ့လူထုေတြကုိ ဖမ္းဆီး အမႈဖြင့္၊ လူထုထံက ဘယ္ေလာက္ကုန္က်တယ္ ဆုိၿပီးညႇိ ေငြေတာင္းတယ္၊ ၿပီးေတာ့ မွ်ေဝယူတယ္။ ဒါကုိ က်ေနာ္တုိ႕ ေအာက္ေျခ အားလုံးသိတယ္၊ ေျပာပုိင္ခြင့္မရွိ၊ မေျပာရဲပါဘူး။ ေနာက္ၿပီး ညတုိင္း ညတုိင္း က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ေအာက္ေျခ အိပ္ေရး ပ်က္ရပါတယ္၊ ရပ္ကြက္အလုိက္ တအိမ္၀င္ တအိမ္ထြက္ ဧည့္စာရင္း စစ္ခုိင္းပါတယ္။
တပ္ခြဲမႉးလုပ္တဲ့လူဟာ ရဝတ႐ုံးမွာ ေသာက္စား၊ ေပ်ာ္ပါးၿပီး ေအာက္ကငယ္သားေတြကုိ ဒီည လူဘယ္ႏွစ္ေယာက္ ဖမ္းလာခဲ့ဆိုရင္ ရေအာင္ဖမ္းလာရတယ္။ သတ္မွတ္ထားတဲ့လူဦးေရမျပည့္မခ်င္း မုိးလင္းေအာင္ ဧည့္စာရင္း စစ္ရတယ္။ ဧည့္စာရင္းစစ္တာက နာမည္ခံပါဘဲ၊ အျပစ္မရွိတဲ့လူထုေတြကုိ လုိက္ဖမ္း ဒဏ္ေငြေတာင္းၿပီး ျပန္လႊတ္တာဘဲျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ အဲဒီေနရာမွာ ရဝတက သူၾကည့္မရတဲ့လူေတြ၊ စားႏိုင္ေသာက္ ႏိုင္တဲ့လူေတြကို မွတ္ထားၿပီး တပ္ခြဲမႉးလုပ္တဲ့သူကုိေျပာ၊ ဒါကုိ ကြ်န္ေတာ္တို ့ေအာက္ေျခကုိ သြားဖမ္းခုိင္း၊ အမႈဖြင့္၊ ဒဏ္ေငြ ေတာင္းၿပီးျပန္လႊတ္၊ ဒီလုိဘဲလုပ္ေနတာပါဘဲ။ တပ္ရင္းမႉးလုပ္တဲ့လူက ဒီတစ္လအတြင္းမွာ တပ္ခြဲမႉးေတြ ေငြ ဘယ္ေလာက္ရွာေပးရမယ္၊ ဘယ္ေလာက္ အပ္ရမယ္ဆိုတာလည္း သတ္မွတ္ထားပါတယ္။
က်ေနာ့္တုိ႔တပ္ရင္းေတြ ရန္ကုန္ေရာက္ေတာ့ ဆႏၵျပရင္ ၿဖဳိခြင္းဖုိ႔ဆုိၿပီး ၿဖိဳခြင္းေရးသင္တန္း တက္ရပါတယ္။ ပထမအႀကိမ္ တပ္ရင္းက တပ္ခြဲလုိက္ ထုတ္ႏုတ္အင္အား ထုတ္ႏုုတ္ၿပီး အင္းစိန္ အာအုိင္တီ ေက်ာင္းဝင္းမွာ (၇)ရက္တိတိ တက္ရပါတယ္။ အဲဒီသင္တန္းမွာ ပစ္ခတ္တဲ့ (၁၀)ေယာက္အဖြဲ႔ (၃)ဖြဲ႔၊ တေယာက္နဲ႔တေယာက္ (၂)လံကြာ တန္းစီရပ္ၿပီး ကားေပၚမွာ စက္လတ္တလက္စီ တင္ထားပါတယ္။ ပစ္တဲ့ေနရာမွာ ပထမတန္း က်ည္တေဘာက္စီ မတ္တပ္ရပ္ပစ္ၿပီးတာနဲ႔ ဒုတိယတန္း ေရွ႕ကုိေျပးတက္ၿပီး ေနရာယူ ဒူးေထာက္ ပစ္ခုိင္းပါတယ္။ တတိယတန္းေမွာက္ပစ္အဖြဲ႕လဲ အဲဲလုိပါဘဲ။ ၿပီးတာနဲ႔ ကားေပၚရွိ စက္လတ္ အဖြဲ႔ပစ္ဖို႔ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။
အဲဒီေနာက္မွာ ပစ္ခတ္လုိ႔ဒဏ္ရာရ၊ ေသေၾကတဲ့လူထုမွန္သမွ်အတြက္ ေျမႀကီးသယ္တဲ့ကားႀကီး (၅) စီးရပ္ထားၿပီး ေသေၾက၊ ဒဏ္ရာရသူမွန္သမွ် ကားေပၚပစ္တင္ရန္ ကားတစီးမွာ ရဲေဘာ္(၁၀)ေယာက္စီ အသင့္ တင္ထားပါတယ္။
ပထမအႀကိမ္ အဲဒီသင္တန္း အာအုိင္တီေက်ာင္းဝင္းမွာတက္ၿပီး ဒုတိယအႀကိမ္ သုဝဏၰကြင္းမွာ အဲဒီလုိဘဲ ျပန္တက္ရပါတယ္။ ေနာက္ၿပီး တပ္ရင္းတုိင္း တပ္ခြဲတုိင္းမွာ အနီးကပ္တုိက္ခုိက္ဖို႔ တုိင္ကြမ္ဒုိ၊ ကရာေတး၊ ကရာေတးဒုိ၊ ဂ်ဴဒုိ ဆုိတဲ့ အနီးကပ္ တုိက္ခုိက္ေရးသင္တန္း တက္ခုိင္းပါေသးတယ္။ အဲဒီအခ်ိန္မွာ ရဲေဘာ္ေတြ ဘယ္ဘဲသြားသြား ေသနတ္ အီကြစ္မင့္ အျပည့္အစုံ၊ ဒုိင္းတစ္ခု၊ နံပါတ္တုတ္၊ ဖုိင္ဘာဦးထုပ္၊ လွံစြပ္ ေန႔စဥ္အသင့္ျပင္ခုိင္းထားပါတယ္။
အဲဒီအခ်ိန္ ရဲေဘာ္တစ္ဦးစီ တပ္ဆင္မႈမွာ က်ည္ဆံ ၂၅၀ ေတာင့္၊ ေဘာက္ ၅ ေဘာက္၊ လွံစြပ္တစ္ေခ်ာင္း၊ လက္ပစ္ဗုံးတစ္လုံးစီနဲ႔ ႏုိင္လြန္ႀကိဳးေခြတစ္ေခ်ာင္းစီတုိ႔ ကုိယ္စီတပ္ဆင္ေပးထားပါတယ္။ ဧည့္စာရင္းစစ္တာ အေၾကာင္းျပ၊ အခ်ိန္မေတာ္ အိမ္ေပၚတက္၊ အိပ္ေနတဲ့ မိသားစုျခင္ေထာင္ကုိ အတင္းဆြဲလွန္၊ တခ်ဳိ႕မိသားစုေတြဆုိ ဖင္ေပၚေခါင္းေပၚ၊ တခ်ဳိ႕တပ္မႉးေတြဆုိ သက္သက္မဲ့ ဧည့္စာရင္းအေၾကာင္းျပၿပီး လူထုေတြကုိ ဒုကၡေပး ခဲ့ၾကပါတယ္။
တခ်ဳိ႕ရဲေဘာ္ေတြ တပ္မႉးေတြဆုိ အဲသလုိအိမ္ေတြေပၚမွာ လွပၿပီးမ်က္ႏွာသစ္တဲ့ ပစၥည္းေတြဘာေတြေတြ႕ရင္ အိမ္ရွင္ မသိေအာင္ ခုိးယူသြားေသးတယ္။ ဒါကုိ က်ေနာ္တုိ႔က တုိင္းရင္းသားရဲေဘာ္ေတြဆုိေတာ့ ဘာကုိမွ ျပန္မေျပာရဲဘဲ နည္းနည္း ေျပာသံ ထြက္ခဲ့ရင္လည္း ပါးရုိက္ခံရပါတယ္။ အဲဒီအခ်ိန္မွာဆုိ လူႀကီးေတြ အဆင့္လုိက္ စီးပြားျဖစ္ျပီး လူထုအေပၚအျမတ္ထုတ္၊ ေအာက္ေျခအဆင့္ ဘာမသိတဲ့ရဲေဘာ္ေတြကုိ အမိန္႔ေပး ခိုင္းေနတာကိုယ္ေတြ ့ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ဒါကုိ လူထုအမ်ားစုက နားလည္ၾကပါတယ္။ ေအာက္ေျခကုိ လူထုေတြက သနားၾကပါတယ္။ က်ေနာ့္ဆုိ တခ်ဳိ႕လူထုေတြနဲ႕ မိဘရင္းလုိ ရင္းႏွီးခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ဒီလုိအလုပ္မ်ဳိး မလုပ္ခ်င္ဘဲ လုပ္ေနရတယ္ဆုိတာ အားလုံး ရွင္းျပလုိ႔ လူထုမ်ားလည္း သေဘာေပါက္ၾကပါတယ္။
အဲဒီတုန္းကဆုိရင္ အထက္လူႀကီးေတြ ခုိင္းတုိင္း၊ ေျပာတုိင္း လုပ္ေနရတာကို မလုပ္ႏိုင္ဘူး ျငင္းဆန္ခဲ့ရင္ ရုိက္ႏွက္ၿပီး ေထာင္ထဲ ခ်က္ခ်င္းထည့္ခံရပါတယ္၊ ဒါမွမဟုတ္ ေတာထဲ ေရွ႕တန္း အပုိ႔ခံရပါတယ္။ သာေကတ ေက်ာက္တုိင္ကေန ကုန္းေက်ာ္တံတားဘက္ အတက္မွာ ဘုန္းႀကီး(၂)ပါးနဲ႔ အဲဒီေနာက္မွာ လူထု (၁၀)ေယာက္ေလာက္ ေအးေအးေဆးေဆး လာေနတဲ့ဟာကုိ တပ္မ (၂၂ )ကဘဲ ပစ္သတ္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။
အေရးအခင္းကာလမွာ လူထုကုိပစ္တာကုိ စစ္ေျမျပင္မွာ တုိက္တာထက္ သူတုိ႔ေပ်ာ္ၾကပါတယ္။ ဒါေၾကာင့္မုိ႕လုိ႕ တခ်ဳိ႕တပ္မႉးေတြ ရဲေဘာ္ေတြဆုိ လူထုကုိၾကည့္ၿပီး မ်က္ရည္က်ခဲ့ရပါတယ္။ အဲဒီအခ်ိန္ကဆုိ လူထုအေပၚ အႏိုင္က်င့္ခ်င္တုိင္း က်င့္ေနပါတယ္။ ဒီအျပဳအမူဟာ ရန္ကုန္ၿမဳိ္႕ အေရးအခင္းကာလ တာ၀န္က်ေနတဲ့ တပ္ရင္းတုိင္းလုိလုိပါဘဲ။ တခ်ဳိ႕တပ္မႉးတပ္သားေတြဟာ လူထုအေပၚ အႏိုင္က်င့္၊ အျမတ္စားဆုိတဲ့ လုပ္ရပ္ေတြကို လုံးဝလက္မခံတာလည္း အမ်ားႀကီးရွိပါတယ္။ တခ်ဳိ႕တပ္မႉးငယ္ေတြဆုိ မေကာင္းတဲ့ လုပ္ရပ္ေတြကို တားျမစ္လုိ႔ ပါးရုိက္ခံရၿပီး အေရးယူခံရတာရွိေသးတယ္။
၈၈ ခုႏွစ္ကုန္တဲ့အခ်ိန္ထိ အင္းစိန္ အာအုိင္တီေက်ာင္း အုတ္နံရံမွာ က်ည္ဆံထိထားတဲ့အရာေတြ အမ်ားႀကီး ရွိပါေသးတယ္။ ေသြးကြက္ေတြ ေျခာက္ကုန္ၿပီး ေရနဲ႕မေဆးထားပါ။ အေရးအခင္းကာလမွာ စစ္အာဏာရွင္ေတြဟာ တကယ္ေသသူေတြေရာ မေသမရွင္ လူေတြကုိပါ က်င္းထဲကို ကားနဲ႕သြန္ခ်တာ ေသာင္းဂဏန္းေလာက္ ရွိပါတယ္ဆုိတဲ့ အေၾကာင္း ကုိယ္ေတြ႔အျဖစ္မွန္ကို ေရးသားေပးပို႔လိုက္ပါတယ္။
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Last year’s crackdown on Burma’s biggest protests in 19 years spurred them to try new tactics, from teaching human rights to stockpiling arms.
.Standing up: A year ago monks, here in Rangoon, led the biggest antiregime protests in 19 years. The junta’s violent crackdown against them spurred many younger activists to consider more aggressive tactics. ap/file .
By Anand Gopal | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
from the September 18, 2008 edition
Rangoon, Burma – If Ashin Zawta has his way, the next time the government of Burma (Myanmar) clamps down on dissent it will have to deal with a new force: monks with guns.
“Last September the Army proved too powerful for us and defeated our nonviolent tactics,” says the young monk, whose real name, like those of other activists in this story, has been changed for security reasons. “We need weapons. That is the only way we can bring down this regime.”
One year after monks led thousands in Burma’s largest antigovernment protests in 19 years, many activists say they are losing patience with the slow pace of change. Up against a powerful regime, they are calling for fresh tactics, from teaching human rights theory to stockpiling arms.
“The younger activists’ frustrations are growing. They want to take up arms because they were so brutally suppressed last September. They have gone their whole lives without seeing change,” says Win Min, an expert on Burmese political affairs at Thailand’s Chiang Mai University.
While the activists turning toward violence still form a minority, young monks have never before openly advocated violence, and this may signal a new phase in the evolution of the political opposition, says Mr. Win.
Burma’s military government killed dozens of protesters and detained at least 800 in August and September 2007 when a surge in fuel prices sparked large demonstrations, led by Burma’s widely respected monks. The stark defeat of the uprising – which became known as the Saffron Revolution, for the monks’ deep-red robes – left many younger activists questioning the prevailing political wisdom.
Though Buddhism is traditionally associated with nonviolence, Mr. Zawta says the junta does not respect life or Buddhism, forcing some monks to take this extreme position.
“The regime is like a rabid dog,” Mr. Zawta says. “It bit us and infected us with militancy. The old ways aren’t working – the only solution is to arm the people.
“Some of the old monks preach caution and tell us to focus on patience and the Buddhist way,” he continues. “But many of us are realizing that we have to go out there and do something.”
New tactics: teach rights, deliver aid
The younger monks are more active, Zawta says, adding that more are learning English so they can communicate with international media and expose conditions inside the country.
As with many young monks, last year’s protests politicized Zawta. He forged links with the All Burmese Monks Alliance (ABMA), an underground network of activist monks that formed in the wake of last September’s crackdown. The Alliance, which has become a leading underground opposition group, gives political sermons and organizes aid delivery to Burma’s south, which was devastated by cyclone Nargis in May.
Most monasteries in Burma provide free education to the community’s poor, including lessons in English, math, and Buddhism. But Zawta and other Alliance-affiliated monks have supplemented the curriculum with a dose of human rights theory and political history. “Most young people don’t even know about 1988,” he says, referring to the failed uprising of that year.
Years ago such overt anti-regime talk in monasteries would have been unthinkable. But members of the post-September generation say monks can no longer play a secondary role in Burmese politics.
This new focus comes with a price, however. Authorities have cracked down on the monk movement, arresting many of the leaders of last year’s protests. Earlier this month, intelligence agents raided a monastery in Rangoon, Burma’s main city, and arrested a senior monk. The government also recently derobed ABMA leader U Ashin Gambira and plans to try him on sedition charges.
Some leading monks have fled for Thailand, while others remain in country and work underground, surreptitiously distributing leaflets and facilitating other activists’ work. The Monks Alliance has housed activists being hunted by the government in their monasteries.
Older activists: too cautious?
The security dragnet is forcing some groups, such as the semi-legal National League for Democracy (NLD), led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, to operate with caution. During the September demonstrations, NLD’s central committee urged party members to avoid the protests, though it verbally supported the monks.
“But the youth[s] started helping the monks anyway, and they defied party orders and marched,” says Nay Shi Shwe, a leader of the NLD’s youth wing.
“There is definitely frustration with the leadership,” he continues. Young people “think that this is a good opportunity to fight the dictatorship, but the old men are taking too much time. They want to wait until 2010″ – the year of scheduled elections – “but we want action now.”
Older activists of the NLD, whose election win in 1990 was ignored by the ruling junta, say that too open an association with proscribed groups and illegal demonstrations may jeopardize the party’s hard-fought semi-legal status and disqualify them from the 2010 elections.
But to some, the party seems to be caught in suspension, without a coherent policy to address the current political climate. “The NLD is slowly losing relevancy,” says a member of the underground group, the 88 Generation Students.
Still a unifier: Aung San Suu Kyi
But while the NLD stagnates, youths, monks, and underground activists agree that Ms. Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for 12 of the past 18 years, is the only figure who can unite the opposition and revitalize the party.
When Suu Kyi reportedly refused to meet the United Nations envoy to Burma, Ibrahim Gambari, a few weeks ago, the hopes of many activists who are frustrated with the UN and NLD jumped.
“The UN is no good. All they do is talk, and when they come here they are focused on dealing with the regime [rather] than with fighting for democracy,” says Thaw Htun, an opposition sympathizer.
Mr. Gambari is mandated to help facilitate the release of Suu Kyi and the reopening of NLD offices, but in six visits he has only met mid-level government officials and no one from the junta leadership.
Suu Kyi’s lawyer, U Kyi Win, suggests that her refusal may be a strategy to convince authorities to alleviate the conditions of her detention rather than a principled opposition to the UN’s role in Burma. She’d also refused food deliveries for almost a month until the government agreed this week to some of her requests, including the right to receive mail regularly and certain foreign publications.
Activists with the underground groups say they are not banking on legal strategies or UN visits. Instead, many are looking for new opportunities in the current political climate.
“My vision is that through the development of local NGOs after Nargis, we can start building community-based activist groups,” says Hein Thein, a longtime opposition member.
Mr. Thein says these groups can function like “urban guerrillas,” rising to protest when needed and blending back into society during times of repression. If the whole community is involved in such work, he says, it becomes very hard for authorities to crack down effectively.
Other sections of the underground, like some young monks, think armed insurrection is the key. “We can’t make the mistakes our predecessors did,” says Tha Kay, one such advocate. “We have to develop new leaders and a new vision. For example, we are stockpiling arms. It’s too early to use them, but the time will definitely come.”
Remembering the Saffron Revolution, 2007
Aug. 15: Regime doubles fuel prices.
Aug. 19: 500 people protest in a rare march in Rangoon, the main city.
Aug. 28: Monks protest for the first time in Sittwe.
Sept. 5: Troops fire warning shots in Pakokku.
Sept. 18: Thousands of monks march in many towns. Officials use tear gas and warning shots on monks in Sittwe.
Sept. 23: 20,000 monks and nuns join the biggest marches since 1988.
Sept. 24: 100,000 protest in Rangoon.
Sept. 26: Security forces beat, arrest protesters; fire tear gas, warning shots.
Sept. 27: Authorities raid monasteries, arrest monks. At least nine people are killed in a violent crackdown.
By Helen Beaton in Naypyidaw, Burma
Friday, 19 September 2008
Labourers build the City Hall in Naypyidaw, Burma’s new purpose-built capital (AP)
A year ago this week, Burma saw its biggest uprising in decades when Buddhist monks and thousands of civilians poured onto the streets of Rangoon and Mandalay. But as the world watched, the targets of their fury were nowhere to be seen. The generals who rule Burma had relocated hundreds of miles to the north to a new purpose-built capital city designed to be impervious to protest or invasion.
Welcome to Naypyidaw, a bizarre, white-elephant place populated only by government employees forced to relocate. Building began after the personal astrologer of Than Shwe, the head of the notorious Burmese junta, prophesied unrest in 2005. The superstitious – and paranoid – regime selected a site in the remote badlands of central Burma and set about turning their mad vision into bricks and mortar.
Millions of Burmese are still reeling from Cyclone Nargis while rising food prices push many closer to starvation, but the military rulers are pumping money into their personal utopia. Sealed off from the rest of the world, an estimated £2.7bn from the ruby, teak and opium trades is giving Naypyidaw such luxuries as 24-hour lighting – most Burmese get electricity for a few hours a day – three golf courses and a zoo, complete with a climate-controlled penguin house.
Glimpses of the hidden city are rare. There are no international flights. Foreigners are banned. There is no mobile phone network. To get here, would-be visitors must take the battered road north of Rangoon. Suddenly the dirt track becomes a vast eight-lane highway stretching across the scrub land to the horizon. The highway is weirdly empty, used only by horses and carts and the occasional, screaming convoy of the junta’s blacked-out SUVs.
The city itself is eerie, a jumble of new buildings spread over scrubland and linked by yet more wide roads. The government claims that a million people live here, but apart from construction labourers (widely assumed to be forcibly employed) and government workers, Naypyidaw is deserted. A few labourers in dirty sarongs walk past – they smile hesitantly and scurry away. Further on, we pass a group of women in the white shirts and green sarongs of the government uniform. They too avert their eyes.
Over everything hangs an unsettling quiet: where most Asian cities bustle, here there is silence. Along yet another empty road is a half-built shopping centre, with a huge glass front dusty from disuse. Nearby, a huge neoclassical building apparently modelled on Wall Street is being erected: it’s the new bank. Other projects are further behind: “Mitsubishi Electronics Coming Soon!” declares a sign erected at a jaunty angle. Behind it is an empty field. Along another highway are hundreds of blocks of flats – there are more than 1,500 across the city. Many are clearly uninhabited. In an Orwellian touch, they are colour-coded according to the ministry whose employees they house: blue for Health, green for Agriculture and Irrigation. Next to them is a police station; outside a large board asks surreally, “May I help you?”
Than Shwe and his junta have locked themselves away in a fortress within a fortress, in a closely guarded secret quarter populated entirely by military leadership. No civilians – let alone foreigners – are allowed here. Reports say the area is a network of bunkers and luxury houses, from which the generals rarely venture, emerging downtown only to play golf or gamble in the specially built five-star hotels.
Even in nearby Pyinmana, a sleepy, poor town a few miles away, conversation is guarded. What do people here think of Naypyidaw? “They don’t,” says one local bitterly. “We just survive day to day.” “Than Shwe is a king, he wants his own palace,” shrugs another. “And although he is king, he is afraid of many things. He thinks that here he will be safe.”
He may be right. A year on from the protests, there is little sign of more. There is no money for an armed uprising, and no organisation to run it. Hundreds are still in prison and many more are in exile.