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Protests in Myanmar finally make Vietnamese news

Buddhist clergy continue demonstrations in Myanmar

The protests that have occurred in Myanmar over the last weeks, despite commanding front page news on most international press, have remained conspicuously absent from Vietnam's major newspapers and their websites. Today, as ASEAN secretary general Ong Keng Yong officially went on record to urge restraint, Vietnam decided to inform its public about the popular uprising on sideline news.

Thanh Nien news. A search for Myanmar on September 24, 2007 results in this.
Thanh Nien News. A search for Myanmar on September 24, 2007 results in this

UPDATE: This article was cited on the BBC News, Regional media split on Burma protests.

Tuổi Trẻ, Vietnam's most popular and widely read daily newspaper allocates five sentences in "20.000 Người Mianma diễu hành phản đối chính quyền quân sự" while Thanh Niên raises the ante by sparing seven sentences in "Hơn 100.000 người biểu tình tại Myanmar" to what other international news sources have dedicated front page editorials. Thanh Nien has recently announced the planned launch of an English language print daily to compliment its existing bilingual online services. This will add yet another embarrassingly substandard English language news source in Vietnam. Our Burmese colleagues today informed us of the rumor that this evening, internet access will be shut down in Myanmar to prevent further leakage of photos and videos that have found wide circulation among the internet.

It was reported that the government has ordered artists, poets, celebrities and singers to avoid the demonstration and even allegations that some were asked to sign documents pledging so. Yet, many of Burma's well known art and entertainment personalities arrived to support the 100,000 strong demonstrations this afternoon.

China has also been very tight lipped about the escalating situation in Myanmar as the military junta today has warned of a response. Any bloodshed would certainly cast a dark cloud over the upcoming olympic games and Beijing and highlight China's own legacy of violent crackdowns on civil non-violent protest in Tiananmen. Both Burma and Beijing's military crackdowns which left thousand dead occurred in 1988 and 1989 respectively. The exiled Tibetan Dalai Lama's support for the Buddhist monks has only complicated China's dilemma. A Burmese military show of force against monks will further highlight China's own armed tactics against its own Tibetan resistance.

"Nor has this been a good year for the junta internationally. In a remarkable step, leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, after years of inaction on Burma, openly expressed their unhappiness that the junta was impeding regional integration and the drafting of an Asean charter including human rights protections. China and India, Burma's two main trading partners, are under increasing pressure from the U.S., Europe and many non-governmental organizations for supporting the regime. The U.N. Security Council had its first meeting on the regional dangers emanating from Burma's internal situation, noting among other things that Burma's public health crisis is spreading across its borders, and that the country is a major source of drug and human trafficking. The International Committee of the Red Cross uncharacteristically shed its long-standing principle of confidentiality and publicly blasted the government about conditions in Burma." - WSJ

Tuoi Tre Online. Người Mianma diễu hành phản đối chính quyền quân sự
Thanh Nien News. Hơn 100.000 người biểu tình tại Myanmar
The Wall Street Journal. Burma Rising
Al Jazeera. Myanmar generals threaten monks

Posted by on September 25, 2007 2:13 AM |


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Interesting, both linked articles were deleted.

And the recent bridge disaster in Can Tho would sublimate more public awareness of the Burmese issue in Vietnam.

Posted by:
Aaron | September 27, 2007 12:36 AM

This blog entry had been referenced by the BBC in an article regarding regional media coverage of the protests.

Posted by:
DHN | September 27, 2007 7:25 AM

Hello Mr. Streitmatter-Tran,

I am currently putting together an application for a 2008-2009 Creative Arts Fulbright to Vietnam. I'm looking for an organization or individual to serve as my in-country affiliation, and after viewing your work online, thought that you would be a good artist to ask. The project I'm proposing is a series of paintings and drawings dealing with tourism and tourist sites related to the Vietnam/American war, particularly the War Remnants Museum and the Cu Chi Tunnels. If I'm awarded the grant, I'd like to complete a narrative artist's book on the transition of the Cu Chi Tunnels and a more general series of paintings combining iconic imagery and scenes from contemporary visits to such sites. While I don't speak Vietnamese yet, I'm working on it and just came home from my first trip to Vietnam two days ago.

A little more on my background: I graduated this spring from the University of Chicago with a double-major in Visual Art and American History. In both my academic research and my studio work, I focused on collective memory and the manner in which formal or popular histories are constructed. A selection of my work from the past year is online at http://earlyretrospective.blogspot.com/

I'd be happy to send more information if you're willing to consider working with me.

Thanks in advance,
Courtney Douglas

Posted by:
Courtney Douglas | October 5, 2007 4:04 PM

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