Thursday, February 7, 2008

Monks protest update

The Asian WSJ carried a full page interview Monday with escaped monk Ashin Kovida, who was a leader of the protests in Rangoon. I read the article closely. What has happened to Kovida since I interviewed him in early November?
  • Good news for Kovida: He will soon be moving to the US where he has been granted political asylum. He wants to continue helping Burma.
  • Ashin Kovida's group, the Monks Representative Committee, "has reorganized in several cities inside Burma earlier this year with 50 new members. They've issued a statement pledging to protest again this month if the government doesn't take action for political reconciliation" writes Leslie Hook of the WSJ.
Leslie Hook also noted:
"Mr. Ashin is clearly devastated by what he perceives as the "failure" and the "defeat" of the protests. But most of his disapoointment is directed not at the lackluster efforts of the United Nations -- "people outside seem to forget about Burma," he says -- but at his fellow Burmese.

"If the MPs had been actively involved, then our demonstrations could have changed something," he says. "It is a great loss for our struggle. But they were just watching and waiting."
If you haven't already seen them, check out these posts which recount parts of my interview with Ashin Kovida.
h/t: Charles.

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