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Looking behind the Mandalay Riots


Looking Behind the Mandalay  Riots
Did anybody  incite  the  Mandalay  unrest? [ "monks Amok,""THE NATIONS, April 
4]. Yes. The  answer  is  simple_SLORC, It's  not  a  first  from  the  State 
Law  Order and  Restoration  Council. The  military  junta  did it  in 1967 
against  the  Chinese community  in  Burma. Soldiers  doming  the  saffron  
robes  of monks  went  around  Rangoon shouting  that  the  Chinese  had  
raped  some  Burmese  teachers, Result; many  Chinese  were  killed and  their 
properties  looted, ransacked  or  burned  right in  front  of  the  military.
	I  remember  the  events  vividly. The  riots  started  when  teachers  tried 
 to  end a sit-in  being  staged  by  students  at  a Chinese  school  in  
protest  at  not  being  allowed  to  wear  Mao badges in  school.
	Burmese demonstrators  led  by  the  fake  monks  shooting  the  rape  
allegation  against  the  students, retaliated  by  attaching  the  Chinese  
quarter. The real  issue  the  military  was  hiding  was  rice  shortages  
and  high  prices and  expected  protests. The  same  strategy  has  been  
applied  against  the  Muslim  minority. I followed  up   on  details  about 
the  riots  with  different  sources. The  real issue; the  monks  in  
Mandalay  received  news  of  the  deaths in jail of  some 16 monks, who  are  
among 3,000 monks  in Mandalay  prison, SLORC learned  that  monks  were  
planning  to  protest  the  deaths and  demand  the  release  of  those in  
	As  a  diversion  the  military  created  a  problem  between  the  Buddhists 
 and  the Muslims. The monks  now say  they  realize  that  soldiers  donned  
holy  robes  to  stir  up  the  trouble  and  that  they  were  made  the  

U Hla Shwe 
Federation  for  Human Rights &  Democracy  in  Burma
Long  Beach, California