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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 October 2007, 23:18 GMT 00:18 UK
Burmese people 'waiting in the dark'
Montage of photos from the protests in September

It has been a month since rare anti-government protests in Burma were suppressed by the military government there.

The BBC news website asked people in Burma, who had been previously e-mailing daily updates about the unrest, to describe how life has changed and what has been happening since the dissent was silenced.


Life is back to normal now, 'normal' being a total decline in every area. Poverty, fear, lack of human rights, that's what's normal here.

The government pushed us into a situation even worse than before.

People drink rice juice when they can't afford to buy food
The inflation rate is getting higher and higher. We expect that prices will go up because the economy is suffering from the political instability.

People suffer as they don't earn enough to buy daily essentials. Many families can only afford one meal a day and people have started to drink rice juice when they can't afford to buy food.

There are two groups of people - a small group determined to fight until they reach their goal and a huge number of people who wait in the dark and hope for salvation from outside.

We are sure that there will be more protests in the future and finally there'll be a great revolution.


Life has changed a lot for many people. The place once full of hope is now shrouded with fear. Fear is everywhere and it's stronger than before.

With fear comes anger. This anger will never go away until this regime is destroyed forever. The anger will go away only when there is true democracy.

The soldiers act like gods treating people like slaves.

The increase in food prices will affect the poor first and then everyone else. There are millions of people in this country under the poverty line. Millions will starve to death.

The people of Myanmar [Burma] do not accept this situation. If there's no democracy, the revolution will not end.


Armed soldiers are still patrolling the areas near pagodas and the city centre. They keep questioning people who come to pagodas and I've heard that some have been arrested without doing anything wrong.

We, Burmese people, are Buddhist. Do we need reasons to visit pagodas?

Some people, especially older ones, are not happy with the protests, because they know from previous experience how it's going to end. This does not mean that they support this government. They just want us to take more time. But I think that we are running out of time.

They came to my aunt's house and checked her computer for proxy software
Some private computers have been checked by the military to see if photos or videos of the protests have been sent from there.

My aunt's PC was checked. They came to her house and checked her computer for proxy software. They have even installed some software that can track down what we are doing on the internet. She has warned me not to do anything silly.

What happened a month ago is very much in people's minds and many are prepared to go on the streets again, if they get a chance. We won't stop fighting for democracy. We want them to leave the throne and free Aung San Suu Kyi.


Unfortunately, everything in Yangon [Rangoon] is back to where it used to be. Since protests were brutally suppressed, no one dares to demonstrate anymore. People are outraged but they are also scared.

Now the only news you hear is about rallies in support for the government. Apparently such rallies are carried out across the country. The daily government newspapers write how people support their road map to democracy, which is nothing but a lie.

The people have lost their voice once again
The internet is back to normal, although they have banned sites like CNN, blogspot and Flickr. YouTube was also banned since someone uploaded General Than Shwe daughter's lavish wedding.

We are genuinely disgusted with the government. They beat the monks so the people have lost their voice once again.

They are waiting for someone brave enough to lead them, but until that happens, their voice is silenced.


Life is more difficult now. Although life seems to have returned back to normal with shops and schools open, many businesses have closed down. People are very worried about this. They need to work, otherwise where can they get money from?

Tens of thousands of people work in the tourism industry. The season is dead, no tourists are coming in, where will the money come from?

Although the situation has calmed down, there are still some interrogations going on.

Now people just wait for negotiations with the UN to bring some results and it there's no result, they'll go back to the streets.


People in Yangon [Rangoon] are trying to keep quiet after the protests. They are still worried about those who were arrested and detained.

This is added to the constant worry about the high cost of food, clothing and shelter. Many people's income went down after the unrest.

People are fed up with the government and tired of waiting for a response from the outside world. They are losing hope.

I live in a monastery, but the internet there is cut off. I have to go to an internet café and I don't feel safe doing that.

No one accepts this situation.


On the surface, it is like nothing ever happened. It seems that everything is back to normal, like the junta wants the world to believe. The imposed curfew was lifted and people are struggling for their daily existence as usual.

However, it will never be the same for the people of Burma especially those who witnessed the inhumanity. What happened during the last month has changed everything. Nothing will ever be the same.

Many believe that this is just the beginning, not the end
You can smell the fear in the air. You can feel it everywhere. There is so much distrust between people as there are rumours that the junta's thugs and intelligence personnel are everywhere.

The internet is available again but many people do not dare use it as there are rumours of plain-clothed government personnel mixing with ordinary people in cyber cafés.

Some people have accepted the situation but many are hoping that something will happen gradually. Some even believe that a much bigger demonstration will take place soon.

Many believe that the UN and the US will be able to change everything. Many believe that this is just the beginning, not the end.


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