Silent protest - 2008
In September 2007, the world’s eyes suddenly turned to the isolated military dictatorship of Burma. An uprising for democracy, led by Buddhist monks, was brutally hit down by the government. One year after the protests, the streets of Rangoon are calm but mentally insecure. Anyone might be a spy. You say P instead of politics, and The Lady instead of Aung San Suu Kyi.
It is hard to find traces of the oppositional monk leaders. Most of them fled to rural monasteries or abroad. If they get caught, meeting journalists may send them to prison or punishments even worse, for themselves as well as for their families and fellow monks. However, many monasteries continue boycotting the junta by rejecting gifts from military employees.
The monks support democracy by offering free education and by helping poor people where the government makes no efforts at all. They open orphanages for childres affected by the cyclone Nargis, which killed 140.000 in May 2008.