Showing posts from September, 2007

Myanmar monks lead anti-junta protests

By MICHAEL CASEY, Associated Press Writer
Sun Sep 16, 2:28 PM ET

BANGKOK, Thailand - Monks have vandalized shops of those supporting the dictatorship in Myanmar, briefly taken local officials hostage and are now threatening to launch a boycott as early as Tuesday against the military leaders and their families.

Nearly a month into the worst demonstrations to hit Myanmar in decades, the saffron-robed Buddhist clergy are emerging as the focal point of the anti-government protests. With dozens of pro-democracy activists behind bars or in hiding, most people are counting on monks — who have a role in almost all aspects of society from weddings to funerals — to take the lead in challenging the repressive regime in the mostly Buddhist country.

"Monks are our only hope now as they always have been in Myanmar political history," said Hla Myint, a 75-year-old schoolteacher. "The military rulers can easily crush protests by students and other people. But brutal suppression of monks u…