Friday, September 28, 2007

Troops refuse to fire in Rangoon - Possible army mutiny?

The best outcome we could hope for in Burma would probably be if the soldiers were won over. That would be in keeping with the peaceful Buddhist ideals. Whether or not this is a real possibility has been debated by many others far more knowledgeable than me, but the reality is nobody knows.

However, if this is true, it looks promising:
Reports from Rangoon suggest soldiers are mutinying. It is unclear the numbers involved. Reports cite heavy shooting in the former Burmese capital.

The organisation Helfen ohne Grenzen (Help without Frontiers) is reporting that "Soldiers from the 66th LID (Light Infantry Divison) have turned their weapons against other government troops and possibly police in North Okkalappa township in Rangoon and are defending the protesters. At present unsure how many soldiers involved."

Soldiers in Mandalay, where unrest has spread to as we reported this morning, are also reported to have refused orders to act against protesters.

Some reports claim that many soldiers remained in their barracks. More recent reports now maintain that soldiers from the 99th LID now being sent there to confront them.

Growing numbers of protestors are gathering in Rangoon, with 10,000 reported at the Traders Hotel and 50,000 at the Thein Gyi market. The police are reported to have turned water cannons against crowds at Sule Pagoda.

Many phone lines into the Burmese state have now been cut, mobile networks have been disabled and the national internet service provider has been taken off-line.

In a related development, an unverified report from cbox says:
Military sources in Rangoon are claiming that the regime's number two, General Maung Aye (right), has staged a coup against Than Shwe, and that his troops are now guarding Aung San Suu Kyi's home. A meeting between him and Suu Kyi is expected. Maung Aye is army commander-in-chief and a renowned pragmatist.

Lots more here or on the facebook group.


the walking man said...

First thank you for that wow. It means a lot to me to touch even one person with my words so RJ...Thank You.

In Myanymar or Burma as Darth Vaderbush had to call it in front of the UN, I do believe I would have to stand locked arms with the monks protesting the regime afraid of so many enlightened ones in their culture.

Peace first
for from it
all good things



TomCat said...

RJ, I saw a video this afternoon of yanmar troops advancing and killing civilians. I don't know if it is before or after your article was written.

I agreed with your Wow.