We have been given two pieces of communication that have been sent in secret out of Burma at great personal risk to the sender. The first describes the atmosphere in Rangoon. That is printed below. The second is a much larger piece describing the conditions in the new capital city which has been built by the junta in the middle of the jungle, far away from 'the people'. The second article can be found on my personal blog by clicking this link I encourage you to re-publish and re-send them anywhere that you think they may get attention. The need is to continue to focus the world's attention on a country where the military have shut off the internet and cell phone service to squelch reporting. Their response to the visit of special UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari was dismissive at best.
The below letter and the article on my blog are presented with all references to sender and recipient removed in order to protect their safety.
You have probably been watching the news and seen what has happened here over the last few days. Information is incredibly fragmented about what is happening here and this is reflected in the media, which is doing its best to transmit images etc coming out of the country, but with huge difficulties.
The fact is that we know a fair amount about what is happening (paritcularly in Rangoon and Mandalay) but know very little about the country-side.
But from what we can tell by discussions with Burmese friends and colleagues the situation is awful. The demonstrations have been crushed in the most brutal way. Thousands (probably 100s of thousands of monks have been beaten, detained and in many instances killed). The most revered Buddhist pagoda of Rangoon is now under military occupation. Abbots of monasteries have been shot. Last night the army sent boats down the river on which is Rangoon is based. They broke into monasteries and mass detained monks there. Local people were so disgusted by this that they came out to complain. One man was shot in front of his wife. His body was simply taken away.
MSF Switzerland has been trying to give medical attention to those that have been shot in the centre of town. Up until now they have not been given access to any injured people. The dead and injured are simply taken away.
The monks are all being detained in the Technical University and a stadium. Nobody knows how they are treated. We all know of people that have disappeared. Nobody is spared. We know of one woman who is 7 months pregnant who simply disappeared.
It is now absolutely clear that the Generals simply will stop at nothing to crush political opposition.
It is a very dark time for people here.
The UN Special Envoy is here. He has met Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and various senior in the capital. I still am not aware that he has met any of the senior generals.
There are 50,000 army troops stationed in Rangoon.
I am attaching a small article I have written. It relates to a recent trip I made to the new capital city which was built by the Generals to isolate themselves from this kind of dissent.
Please read it. If any of this information can be made available in the media, please help in this regard. Ensure that the article (or extracts) are not attributed to me. It is a dangerous time and the killing of the Japanese journalist shows that that the junta does not make exceptions.
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