Wednesday September 27 was a sad day for the Burmese people. Burmese troops in Rangoon opened fire on monks and their supporters, killing at least three people. As night fell, police raided Buddhist temples, arresting at least 200 monks.
For Russia and China, September 27 should be a day of shame. According to the Guardian, the two countries blocked any suggestion of global sanctions against the Burmese regime at the UN security council emergency session yesterday. Actually, the two countries even tried to halt the very meeting itself. The best the Security Council could manage was a statement of concern about the violent response to demonstrations in Rangoon yesterday. According to the Democratic Voice of Burma, the statement read “Members of the council have expressed their concern vis-à-vis the situation, and have urged restraint, especially from the government of Myanmar.”
Today, however, even China felt they had to do something in order to avoid being associated to closely with the bloodshed in Burma. According to the Guardian, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a press conference that “China hopes all parties can exercise restraint and properly handle the situation.”
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While the Chinese statement falls short of actually telling the Burmese government that there will be consequences if they resort to violence, it is a warning to the generals that the eyes of the world are upon them now. Both EU, the US and UK have made it perfectly clear that the junta will face tougher sanctions if they use force against the peaceful protesters.
Ordinary people all over the world are also showing their support for the monks, nuns, students and other brave people in Burma. Friday September 28., people in many countries, my native Norway included, will wear read shirts in support of the Burmese people. Red is the color of the robes of the monks protesting in Burma. It is also the color of blood. Let us all dress in red and hope and pray that there will not be to much blood shed in Burma on Friday.