Saturday, October 20, 2007

More From Myanmar

The New York Times Sunday Magazine, which will appear in print tomorrow, has a piece by Charles London recounting his experiences in Burma (Myanmar) in September - before the military junta crushed the protests led by Buddhist monks.

London is in front of the Sule Pagoda in Rangoon (Yangon):
'500 monks emerged in rows four across. They carried flags and overturned alms bowls. When the first group stopped and chanted a prayer, some people in the crowd dared to clap. It was timid at first, but as more monks emerged to begin their protest, the clapping grew louder until the whole crowd seemed overcome by it. A Burmese man leaned toward me. “They have never done this before,” he said. “They clap for freedom.” The faces in the crowd were excited, part bliss, part terror.

'As the monks kept pouring out of the temple, the clapping turned to cheers. They walked on and hundreds of civilians marched with them, in spite of the rain. “We march to University,” a man said, urging me to come. University Avenue is the home of Aung San Suu Kyi, the opposition leader who has been under house arrest for many years.'

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