I have been trying to stay current with what is going on in Burma. That isn’t easy, of course, because of the difficulty of getting stories out of the country. If caught trying to cover what’s going on, journalists can expect the same harsh treatment from the junta as any Burmese citizen. But still, stories emerge.
One of these stories is posted in ABITSU, All Burma I.T. Students Union. It is about a 15 year old novice monk who is in hiding from the junta.
By timesofinda.indiatimes.com : YANGON: Just two weeks ago, Yin Phoe Htoo’s life was governed by the austere but peaceful routines of the Yangon monastery where he has spent the past five years as a novice monk.Every morning, the 15-year-old would wake up at 4:00 am, eat breakfast at dawn, and then walk through the community in his saffron robes to accept alms from residents.
But since Myanmar’s deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protests that saw Buddhist monks lead 100,000 people onto the streets, Yin Phoe Htoo now lives in hiding at one of the homes where he used to seek alms of food or small coins.
He has shed his flowing robes for a T-shirt and the traditional lungi that most men in Myanmar wear.
“I want to become a novice again. I feel uncomfortable living with the family here,” he said, giving a false name to protect himself from military reprisal.
For now he has little choice but to hide. At least three monks were killed and hundreds more were beaten or arrested as security forces used baton charges, teargas and live weapons fire to break up the monks’ peaceful protests.
jamesboyce over at Daily Kos has written a diary today with a disturbing story out of Burma, from the Sunday Times Online, entitled “Secret cremations hide Burma killings:”
THE Burmese army has burnt an undetermined number of bodies at a crematorium sealed off by armed guards northeast of Rangoon over the past seven days, ensuring that the exact death toll in the recent pro-democracy protests will never be known.
The secret cremations have been reported by local people who have seen olive green trucks covered with tarpaulins rumbling through the area at night and watched smoke rising continuously from the furnace chimneys.
jamesboyce has also set up a blog entitled burma newsladder, trying to aggregate all stories on what is going on there.
But let’s go back to Yin Phoe Htoo, the 15 year old novice monk. One person, one story.