Saffron Revolution A Year Later: It's Not Over (click to view article) 

The spirit of the monk-led Saffron Revolution that moved hundreds of thousands of people to hold protests throughout Burma and inspired hundreds of solidarity events around the globe lives on.

Despite the worst crackdown by the army since 1988, monks have persevered in their defiance of the SPDC, including boycotting members of the military regime and their families. Monks have also led the international campaign for an arms embargo on Burma.

At the same time, the Buddhist clergy continues to play a vital role in welfare and disaster relief. They delivered aid and provided accommodation for 70% of homeless cyclone Nargis survivors in Rangoon and throughout the Irrawaddy delta.

The SPDC has exacerbated the conditions that led to the Saffron Revolution. The SPDC has intensified repression, obstructed and manipulated humanitarian aid efforts, and persisted with gross economic mismanagement.

Even as it seeks more aid dollars, the regime ignores calls from the UNSC, UNGA, and UNHRC to release political prisoners. The number of dissidents detained in Burma’s prisons has hit a record high of 1,900 - up 65.2% from July 2007.

The regime’s persecution of the Buddhist clergy continues. In the first eight months of 2008, the SPDC arrested 17 monks and sentenced nine of them to prison terms. 196 monks remain detained in Burma’s prisons.

In an effort to stave off international pressure, the SPDC appointed SPDC Liaison Minister Maj Gen Aung Kyi who met Daw Aung San Suu Kyi five times. Daw Suu and the NLD repeatedly expressed their dissatisfaction with the talks which have stalled.

The SPDC continues to face internal instability due to the ongoing power struggle between its two top generals. The discontent among the regime’s rank and file for being ordered to kill monks has intensified over the mishandling of cyclone Nargis, with the SPDC Army hit particularly hard by desertions.

The bloody repression of the Saffron Revolution and the ongoing military offensive against ethnic nationalities in
Eastern Burma provide compelling evidence of how the military regime uses its armed forces to oppress the
Burmese people. Over the past year, the junta has continued to purchase arms and other military supplies from China, Russia, and India.

The SPDC’s criminal mismanagement of the economy that triggered the Saffron Revolution continues. By the end of 2007, inflation was at 50%. After cyclone Nargis, the price of rice doubled.

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