Burma’s Democracy Challenge Flickers Awake Again

The small but persistent protests that have shaken Burma since late August may not be over after all, despite the arrests of key activists and violence by thugs against protesters in Rangoon and other cities over the last two weeks. Hundreds of Buddhist monks in the town of Pakokku, some 600 km from Rangoon, took…

Burma’s Democracy Challenge Flickers Out

The arrests of key activists and violence against protesters in Rangoon and other Burmese cities over the past two weeks have left the fragile opposition movement increasingly isolated, bereft of effective international support and faced with the quandary of who will lead it and what direction it will take. Although it was the first significant…

Burma protests continue

Photo by Ralf-André Lettau Driven by sudden five-fold fuel and commodity prices and the continuing deterioration of the country’s educational system, protests in Burma appear to be spreading outside of Rangoon to other cities and taking on an increasingly political hue despite heavy-handed crackdowns by the country’s military and allied gangs of thugs. The protests…

Can Burma’s People Rise Again?

The Sunday Protest in Rangoon. Over 400 people participated in the silent rally against the price rise of fuel in Burma by the military junta. Photo courtesy : Burma Digest   It may not be an uprising like the one in 1988, but in the face of massive intimidation Burma’s traumatized citizens appear increasingly willing…

No Way Out: India’s Burmese Refugees

"I never wanted to be a refugee. I don't like to be, but I am; and I cannot help it," a slim, 30ish Burmese named Ko Thura (not his real name) told Asia Sentinel last week. One of nearly 50,000 Burmese refugees scattered across India, Ko Thura is part of the forgotten detritus of Rangoon’s…

Shackled by the Neck

Two years ago an 18-year old Karen girl named Zember, living in a refugee village within sight of the Thai-Burma border, staged her own little personal revolution. She removed the rings she had been adding around her neck each year since she was seven or eight years old, the age the girls take the first…

India and Burma: Such Good Friends

Burma may be a pariah in the eyes of most of the world but India appears determined to enhance its strategic relationship with the country to avoid conceding ground to China. New Delhi is planning a spate of development projects, including a gas pipeline from the Burmese coast to India, and is now proposing to…

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Burma’s Generals on a Buying Spree

  Fueled by the sale of energy and timber, a pariah nation seeks weapons to keep its enslaved people in line   Locked into a bunker mentality, believing Burma is under siege from insurgents, determined to hold onto power and fueled by profits from looting its forests and fossil fuel energy production, Burma’s junta is…