Last month in Myanmar (Burma) the regime raised fuel prices by up to 50% overnight. It immediately became almost impossible for the impoverished Burmese people to live their everyday lives. Anti-government protests began including protests staged by the nation’s monks.
Myanmar has about 400,000 monks. They are revered by the people but not by the military junta. During several pro-democracy protests soldiers and the police fired into the crowd, killing 9 people and wounding 11. Monks were rounded up and shoved into trucks in raids on monasteries. One monk was killed, many were beaten.
Information transmitted out of the country was sketchy at best as the regime made it quite clear that the sending of news and images out of the country concerning the protests was forbidden.
Ko Htike, a native Burmese living in London, set up a blog to cover the issue. He has over 40 people sending him forbidden images and news updates daily. On pain of death. Ko Htike, you are an inspiration. I hope the people risking their lives by sending you information remain safe and that your blog goes from strength to strength. This is an example of the way in which one person can be an instrument for change. I admire this man’s courage and tenacity in the face of such extreme adversity. Tina Turner sang in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome –
We don’t need another hero.
But I think we do; and today, Ko Htike, you are mine!