The above was the title of a piece that I wrote, published in The Free Press 14 years ago, in October 2007, following the massacre of monks in the streets of Rangoon by the military regime. Nothing has changed. Today, in early April, over 500 protestors have been killed by the new dictator, who took over February 1. It is heartbreaking to be retired in Maine and observing, yet again, decade after decade, the cruelty in that land.
I have had a special relationship with Burma for close to 60 years and it grieves me.
Alumni in and from Myanmar have reached out and we share their voices
Myanmar civilians are in a war zone with security forces. People are killed without hesitation. Soldiers shoot into apartments, capture civilians and rob at shops. Their actions are not limited to the protestors, but indiscriminately to civilians, including kids, mothers, and elderly people. Ambulances are shot. Journalists and lawyers are beaten, kidnapped at night, or seized at the scene. Children are shot with catapults and guns even while staying in. Young students, men, and women are shot in the head, neck, and abdomen daily. Sound bombs, gunshots noises, and tear gases are everywhere. Nothing makes sense. It is as if we are trapped in the nightmare of a barbari This is all happening in villages, towns, and the big cities of Myanmar. Imagine a life where you are aware that you or your beloved ones can die any day. Imagine being afraid to walk outside or drive on the road, because you might be shot on the spot, stopped at any moment, captured or beaten up with no apparent reason. (A woman was shot randomly on purpose while she was walking by the road.) Imagine a life where you need to secretly guard your ward in groups at night. You can’t even guard publicly because they will shoot if they see you. Seeking justice is out of the question even when you get killed in plain sight.