Burmese Hunting Down Bloggers

I am moved to tears thinking of the Burmese Bloggers who are hiding for their lives, thank you to Marshall K for pointing this out.

He reports:

“Despite the extensive repression, protests in Burma continue and a handful of bloggers remain active in reporting events to the world online. The US-based Committee to Protect Bloggers is tracking the situation closely and reports that a blogger posting under the name Niknayman appears to be the only one still posting from inside the country. Another, under the name Ko-Htike, is posting from London whenever information is able to escape from Burma.”

Although Cbox doesn't allow RSS – Marshall in true programming style has “scraped” the feed and given one that we can follow: http://feeds.feedburner.com/NewsBloggedFromBurma.

And as am drawn to the Blog Burmese Bloggers without borders, I'm moved to tears with the post from the Heart of an Ordinary Blogger.

As a blogger, having only words on my hand, I honestly feel rather useless at this moment. But I must never give up. Whatever I can give, I will give. I must continue for the sake of Burma's freedom. “

We are living at a pivotal moment in history. A moment when our writings can rival that of those of old who had printing presses to share their writings of revolution and freedom — our printing press is called a blog and everyone can write one. We must not underestimate the power of the pen — or in this case, the keyboard.

I'm going to follow this and also point out the article from Marshall that really spells out in lurid detail what is happening in Burma.

We have teachers afraid to speak out for losing their jobs and in Burma, you have bloggers who are afraid for their lives and yet they still write.

Let me ask you — in the face of grave injustice, would you keep blogging? Are you willing to speak out to right the wrongs to bring attention to the problems? For truly, although many of us have freedom of speech, we don't have it because we don't use it or perhaps we are afraid to.

My thoughts and prayers are with those fighting for freedom amidst darkening hope. What can you do? Speak out, point it out. Mention what is happening. And tag it “Burma” so that the news media services that read technorati will see loud and clear that there are many of us bothered by it.

And exercise your freedom of speech to point out those wrongs that must be righted.

A lot to think about.

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3 thoughts on “Burmese Hunting Down Bloggers

  1. Vicki,

    A few years ago, one of the greatest experiences I had in the classroom revolved around a unit I developed about Burma and their struggle for democracy. The recent events call to mind the individuals from the the Karen tribe that spoke to my students and who received funds from them that were raised at dances and pep rallies.

    I find it reprehensible and unacceptable that these types of regimes exist in a world where we enjoy such unlimited freedoms, yet other nations cannot survive an election or transfer of power without complete upheaval.

    Thank you for calling attention to the courageous writers that continue to post in the face of corporal punishment.

  2. We need to be careful, however, that we put the blogs into perspective. In a recent editorial in the Financial Times, a Swedish expert on southeast Asia pointed out that the conflict in Burma was much more complex than the press made it out to be (just as conflicts throughout the world often are not them against us, but rather complex issues that have been boiling under the surface for a long time).

    An advantage with the blogs is that unlike the press, bloggers don’t claim to be “neutral”. It is important, therefore, that we read and gather information from multiple sources in order to get a clearer picture of what is really happening.

    As bloggers, I think we have a responsibility to state our positions (rather than pretend we don’t have one when in fact there is a hidden agenda) and be prepared for others to disagree. This is the power of democracy. One aspect of your blog, Vicki, that I enjoy is that you post negative comments, but then justify your position (and point out when someone is being offensive). Many bloggers do not, and as such we lose the dialog which is democracy (we have the right to disagree with authority, but to work within the system).

    While I do not deny what has happened (and been happening since 1988) in Burma is terrible, I advocate that we arm ourselves with knowledge and a deeper insight into the roots of the problems in communities (both in the US and outside) where there is poverty, oppression, and violence. Our students need to understand that complexity and that there is not a “quick fix” (i.e. giving money, sending in troops, arresting perceived trouble makers). These areas often need a healing that will take generations.

  3. AS awful as the situation is in Burma, there is one faint ray of hope. The new methods of communication, blogging amongst them, give ordinary people the chance to get their stories out to a wider audience. Citizen journalists often succeed where their mainstream media cannot.

    I, myself had a small taste of the power of blogging when I wrote about my experience of being beaten by Greek riot police for taking photos during a peaceful protest.


    Within hours other bloggers had started writing about the incident and within a week it had made it into the mainstream media.

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