This video was produced by Witness in partnership with a Burmese justice group, The Peace Foundation: Burma Issues. It is one small but rare view inside Burma - shot by Burmese residents who are on the run from the military dictatorship. Witness is a remarkable organization which provides cameras and equipment to grassroots activists around the world so they can document their own experiences and struggles and speak to us in their own words or as they write:
"WITNESS uses video and online technologies to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations. We empower people to transform personal stories of abuse into powerful tools for justice, promoting public engagement and policy change."
And the story inside Burma as the monks try to lead a movement for change is one we cannot close our eyes to. One of Ko Htike's readers posted this horrific account today at his blog, Prosaic Collection:
We just got phone call with our sister living in Yangon about a few hours ago.
We saw on BBC world, saying that 200 monks were arrested. The true picture is far worse!!!!!!!!!
For one instance, the monastery at an obscure neighborhood of Yangon, called Ngwe Kyar Yan (on Wei-za-yan-tar Road, Yangon) had been raided early this morning.
A troop of lone-tein (riot police comprised of paid thugs) protected by the military trucks, raided the monastery with 200 studying monks. They systematically ordered all the monks to line up and banged and crushed each one's head against the brick wall of the monastery. One by one, the peaceful, non resisting monks, fell to the ground, screaming in pain. Then, they tore off the red robes and threw them all in the military trucks (like rice bags) and took the bodies away.
The head monk of the monastery, was tied up in the middle of the monastery, tortured , bludgeoned, and later died the same day, today. Tens of thousands of people gathered outside the monastery, warded off by troops with bayoneted rifles, unable to help their helpless monks being slaughtered inside the monastery. Their every try to forge ahead was met with the bayonets.
When all is done, only 10 out of 200 remained alive, hiding in the monastery. Blood stained everywhere on the walls and floors of the monastery.
Please tell your audience of the full extent of the fate of the monks please please !!!!!!!!!!!!
'Arrested' is not enough expression. They have been bludgeoned to death !!!!!!
Even with this brutal treatment, the people of Burma are trying to keep fighting for their rights and Ko reported two attempted demonstrations in Yangon (Rangoon) today as well as word that 500 additional monks are being held at a detention center. The monks refuse to accept food from their military jailors. Please sign the global petition at Avaaz.org and support the efforts listed at the Burma Campaign Facebook group such as today's email campaign calling on companies to end their investments in Burma.
Tomorrow, Congress will consider a bipartisan resolution, HR200 supporting Human Rights in Burma - make sure your representative knows that you want their Yea vote: 1-800-828-0498.