Languages
Page last updated at 00:21 GMT, Monday, 31 March 2008 01:21 UK

Burma voices: Six months later

Six months after protests in Burma ended in a military crackdown, people describe the atmosphere in the country and their fears for the future.

REPORTER, NAY PYI TAW

Buddhist monks address a crowd at Shwedagon pagoda 23 September 2007
Buddhist monks were the focal point of protests last September

Life has been hard as ever. No change or hope has come yet to us.

People no longer talk about politics for fear of arrest, accusations, safety and other frightening things.

But everybody desires to know something more and to talk freely about these issues. Some day we hope to have our freedom or right to speak. Ha ha. What a joke!

Everything has been over for nearly six months now. But some of us still recall it.

Here, a referendum on a new constitution is drawing near. People are talking about it and no-one really knows what it is going to look like.

But almost everybody accepts that the government will win it whether the constitution is ratified or not by the people in May.

Even now almost everybody has little understanding of what the referendum is and what has to happen.

I have been in the capital Nay Pyi Taw for a few months now. More construction sites are still being built as more NGOs and private companies have to move here somehow.

They say Nay Pyi Taw is the capital and its future lies with the new democratic government body. There is no sign yet of how the military will stand after the results are out.

ANONYMOUS BURMESE MAN, RANGOON

I tell people not to even think about voting 'No' or 'Yes' [in the forthcoming referendum on a new constitution]. It means that you consider and accept it.

Actually, the junta does not have the right to do anything for the country. It is an illegal government.

Night is dark without electricity, water is scarce
Even if the work done is good, and the result or outcome is exceptional progress as in China, it is unacceptable because it is a military dictatorship and the junta is unconstitutional - having no law, rules and regulations.

Now the country suffers complete loss and ruin.

Its people are totally destroyed both physically and mentally - the majority are living in a mess, eating junk food, leading a hand-to-mouth lifestyle.

There is no guarantee for healthcare. If a man does not have enough money, in case one needs to go to hospital or a private clinic for serious cases, he should prepare to die. The cost is sky high.

People now become mad and irrational as a result of poverty and a lack of education.

Night is dark without electricity. Water is scarce. How is it like a modern and developed country to which, they say, they are marching?

DAVID, RANGOON

In recent times, we have not been able to use the internet because the government decreased the internet bandwidth during the visit of UN envoy Mr Gambari.

Nothing has changed after six months in Burma. The military junta has arrested our leaders and many activists. Now they've spread many soldiers across Rangoon to break down any movements.

They will have a constitutional referendum in May. They don't care for the UN and the international community.

What would the UN do to get the true result from referendum?

YI, RANGOON

The internet connection was at its worst during the September revolution. There has been little improvement.

Now the junta is showing its strength by patrolling around the town with trucks fully loaded with policemen
Sending information to foreign media can be indicted by the junta and we will be jailed. But we the people of Burma take this risk by sending mails to foreign media because we have to let the people of the world know our situation in our country.

The junta is putting heavy guards around Rangoon and monitoring the mails and the internet because they are going to hold a fake referendum in May.

They haven't [at the time of writing] published the constitution we are to vote on. They dare not let the people of Burma study the constitution thoroughly and freely.

Now the junta is showing its strength by patrolling around the town with trucks fully loaded with policemen and soldiers carrying guns. It is a warning to the people who go against the junta that they will be shot.

Now the junta is arresting and putting into jail without giving reasonable explanation for the people who go against the junta.




FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific