September 25, 2007


The New York Times runs down the big anti-government protest by Buddhist monks in Burma. I'm not sure what it all means, but this detail stood out:
There were also concerns that the government might use provocateurs to stir violence and justify a crackdown, as it did in 1988. The Burma Campaign UK said its sources had reported the junta ordering large numbers of maroon monastic robes and telling soldiers to shave their heads, possibly to infiltrate the monks.
Creepy. Also, this FPIF piece by Kyi May Kaung, written just as the protests were starting in August, offers a decent lay of the land, especially on how previous attempts to "privatize" select parts of the country's command economy just made things worse. There's also this: "In 1988, the general consensus... was that the military government came within a hair's breadth of losing power. The difference between 1988 and now is that now, due to the internet and citizen journalism, it is much more difficult for the junta to hide its human rights abuses." Sure, but is that really enough to make a difference?
-- Brad Plumer 11:58 AM || ||