What's Happening in Myanmar?

I heard someone ask today, "What's happening in Myanmar?" The story is not easy to get a real good grasp on because accounts out of the country have been relatively hard to come by. Essentially what is happening is this. Last month the government of Myanmar (formerly Burma) drastically hiked the price of fuel. Small demonstrations popped up in various spots. At one of the demonstrations soldiers fired warning shots over the head of the demonstrating monks. The monks demanded an apology which never came. The failure to apologize resulted in the large demonstrations that began last week.

After a few days of protests the governement warned that it would take action against the protestors in accordance with the law. Within the last few days police have conducted raids of Buddhist monastaries and the first injuries and deaths of citizens, including monks, have been reported.

Many wester nations and Japan have enforced economic sanctions on the government in response to elections in 1990 when the results were ignored by the militant government. However, China has continued to have normal diplomatic relations with the government.

Similar events occured in 1988 resulting in wide spread bloodshed and unrest. Known as the 8888 Uprising hundreds of protestors were murdered. It looks like the same thing is about to happen.

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