Burma Update

These amazing sights and sounds are what the birth of freedom sounds like:

The junta will accept the UN envoy. Perino reads Bush's statement. The Internet ban is not succeeding too well. The guy in the photo I posted earlier today is the Japanese journalist shot dead by the military. At least one other journalist has been killed. Kerry Howley explains how the Internet is vital to keep freedom alive in the country:

Seven people out of 1,000 own televisions, and they’re not getting BBC. They’re watching MRTV-3: all government propaganda, all the time.

I remember in my hippie-back-packing days, finding an entire village in the Burmese hinterland gathered around one sole television. A Burmese activist, Aung Naing Oo, tells al-Jazeera:

"It's very clear that the Burmese people are no longer afraid of the Burmese military. The violence and killing of buddhist monks have taken away their fear of confrontation ... and we will continue to see more demonstrations in the days ahead."

Bono is stirring, which may help get more international attention. Havel adds his voice. BBC video is available here. Some gripping YouTubes (including the one above) can be found here. There are some reports that the crowds are growing, despite reports of over 700 arrests last night and attacks on three more monasteries:

The soldiers eventually crashed through the gate with one of the trucks and used bamboo sticks to beat everyone in the monastery, including monks, laymen, women and children, some of whom were related to or were under the care of the head abbot, or sayadaw.

One witness said the soldiers shouted "harsh, abusive words" at the monks while they were beating them. One monk who had tried to warn the monastery of the soldiers' approach was beaten unconscious as he lay on the ground.

Another witness said the soldiers were led by a two-star general who beat some of the soldiers who were reluctant to harm the monks. The attack lasted about 90 minutes, ending when about 60 monks and 40 laypeople were tossed into waiting trucks and driven to an unknown destination.

Pray for them all.

(Thanks to my remarkable research assistant, Jessie Roberts.)