Burma – 60 but Not Free

Last Friday was the 60th anniversary of Burmese Independence. Most of us have probably forgotten that Burma was a British colony, or that the events of the Second World War led to its gaining independence.

Although the Burmese nation may be independent, its people are not free. As the brutal repression of peaceful protests by monks showed, Burma is ruled by a ruthless military regime.

There were few celebrations in Burma, where the streets of the capital were filled with riot police to prevent any popular demonstrations. On Saturday, led by Buddhist monks, around 200 people, including many Burmese living in the UK, marched through London. They wanted to keep the problems of Burma – and the killing of thousands of monks – in the public consciousness.

Marble Arch, 6 Jan 2008

Few reporters and photographers turned up; other stories have now pushed Burma out of the news. You can see my pictures of the silent march and the rally in Trafalgar Square on My London Diary.

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