Contextual Content

Burma: "If we had guns we would fight back"

The Guardian: Clancy Chassay reports from inside Burma on plans for a new uprising against the military regime, and hears some monks calling for more western intervention and an armed insurrection.


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Story Transcript

Courtesy: The Guardian

VOICEOVER: Last September, Buddhist monks rose up against Burma’s repressive military government. Uprising was crushed. Inside Burma, Buddhist monks continue to suffer torture and imprisonment at the hands of the military junta.

MONK: Some of the monks, they have disappeared. Now we don’t know if they are alive or die. We don’t know anything.

VOICEOVER: Despite the dangers, opposition monks are now preparing for a new uprising in September.

NAT ZAW, LEADER OF ALL BURMA MONKS’ ALLIANCE (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): The people don’t trust the government, and there is a huge amount of anger. We believe the people will rise up again like they did in September. This time it will not only be monks, but students and workers will rise up too.

MONK: If we have chance to fight again, if we have any gun, we will shoot backs.

VOICEOVER: I spoke with the leader of the opposition monks, in hiding in the Thai-Burmese border, who described the brutal repression suffered by those who opposed the government.

ZAW: They are being interrogated, tortured, and beaten. Some are being tortured using a large roller, which is rolled over their bodies and limbs. Some were put into small cells, and every time they fall asleep they are woken up again. Every monk they have arrested has had to endure this treatment.

VOICEOVER: I entered Burma in the wake of Cyclone Nargis, the worst environmental disaster in the country’s history. In Mandalay, Burma’s religious capital, I spoke to opposition monks about efforts to mobilize the people for a new uprising. The monks are monitored constantly by the security services and risk torture and imprisonment for speaking out.

MONK: If the leader of our university or [inaudible], our teacher, knows about me, he would write out me. The last September, we have lost. [inaudible] future we have lost. We can’t win to fight the government. We must die, because we have not gathered weapons. Our Buddha taught you must find the liberation of suffering. So we have a duty to protect our people. It’s like our Buddha’s teaching we do, so we have no sin.

MONK: Although many people would like to change, they don’t know, they don’t understand how to revolutionize. They’re really afraid of the government.

VOICEOVER: The monks in Mandalay described how American and European instructors operating both inside Burma and on the Thai border are giving political support to them.

MONK: They distribute top-secret people. EUs, the United States support secretly that somebody here go to EU and USA, and then they bring back political knowledge.

VOICEOVER: Desperation has given way to the belief that foreign military intervention is the only way to get rid of the government.

MONK: If it is possible, next one happen like Nargis. At the time, EUs and USA come into the country, enter the country. If they have opportunity, they must removes the dictator.

VOICEOVER: Despite widespread pessimism about the chance for its success, preparations for a new September uprising continue.

ZAW: At some point the people’s frustrations will explode onto the streets. There will be widespread chaos, with fighting, looting, and rioting.


Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.