Burma Day 3: The Moment of Truth

Early morning in the side-streets of downtown Rangoon and the monsoon rains have already started. Secret telephone calls amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life, not to mention the watching eyes of the curious, the fearful and the military stooges. The meeting is on. A day now even deeper undercover, but we take these risks because they need to be taken. Security reasons prevent more than this outline reporting. It’s the most incredible moment of my life. Total success as I manage to get to Bangkok without being caught, deported or worse – apart from a funny incident where I thought I had been rumbled. Killing time before making my way to the airport I was walking in the evening rain through People’s Park when across the other side of the park I heard the sound of blasts form a whistle. I looked across and there were two policeman on bikes making their way across the park towards me. I froze for a second unsure what to do but knowing that my memory cards were safely hidden should I be stopped by these policemen. Panic over, however as they rode on past me, still blowing their whistles… perhaps it was time for the park to close… who knows, but it certainly spooked me for a moment!

Full details will be released when safe to do so. SPDC your time will come.

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Burma Day 2: University Avenue Awaits

The propaganda sign that has for so many years stood at the junction of University Avenue and Kabar Aye Pagoda road no longer warns you against the evils of “stooges” and “destructive elements”. The barriers too have been removed since mid May when Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was hauled off to Insein Prison in an underhand attempt by the military regime to sideline 54 University Avenue - home of Aung San Suu Kyiher once again from not just politics but more importantly as a beacon of hope to her people – the 50 million who are forced to suffer in silence along with the thousands who refuse to be silent yet suffer in jail for their views. All that is left are bright yellow gates, the NLD flags fluttering in the breeze and the crumbling lakeside house at 54 University Avenue. In a matter of days the barriers are likely to be re-instated as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will surely be returned to house arrest for a couple of years. This is likely to be the closest you’ll be able to get for some time…

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Burma Day 1: Silence Awaiting The Sentence

Arrive in Rangoon early in the morning on the day that Aung San Suu Kyi is finally due to be sentenced. It’s tense. No-one expects any justice. That’s just not how it works. There are troops everywhere downtown and all I can do is wait to hear what’s happened which in a bizarre, Burmese soldier on guard in downtown Rangoonyet typical way for working inside Burma, it’s harder to find out what’s going on here just a couple of miles from the court room in Insein prison than if I was back in the outside world. News finally gets through that yet again the verdict has been delayed. The rain comes and the troops slowly recede back to their barracks. Nothing changes. Daily life continues as nothing was even happening. The consequences of showing any emotion over the Lady’s potential jailing are still too fresh in people’s minds. Nothing has changed since I was last here. It’s barely possible to be living in a worse situation.

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