|Update on Human Rights in Myanmar (Burma)|
New York, NY, Oct. 4, 2007—Sketchy reports indicate that the government of Myanmar has again met peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators with unprovoked violence.
International news agencies indicate that hundreds of the protestors, including Buddhist monks, have been rounded up for interrogation and that an undetermined number have been killed. There were no confirmed numbers as of October 4. Similar demonstrations 20 years ago were met with mass slaughter.
"These reports sadden us greatly, and we continue in a spirit of prayer and solidarity for those being persecuted," said the Rev. R. Randy Day, head of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, the denomination’s international mission agency.
The mission board is among the religious organizations that have appealed to the regime in Yangoon to avoid bloodshed and also appealed to the United States and other nations to step up efforts to bring freedom to Myanmar.
Rev. Day said on September 29 that the people of Myanmar deserve political freedom, and he urged United Methodists to pray for the people of that country and to use their influence to bring about greater liberty. The promotion of peace, justice, and freedom is one of the four goals of the mission board.
Day also said that he hoped for the success of United Nations efforts to stabilize the situation in Myanmar. The visit of a UN envoy is to be followed by considerations of options by the Security Council.
Myanmar has been under repressive military rule since the early 1960s. Widespread unrest in the late 1980s led to even stronger restraints on liberty. The name of the country was changed from Burma to Myanmar in 1989.
Date posted: Oct 04, 2007