Crackdown in Myanmar, Refugees in Minnesota
The recent crackdown in Myanmar by the armed junta forces on peaceful for-democracy demonstrations have drawn international attention and concern to the country. About 1,000 refugees from Myanmar live in Minnesota and 200 gathered by the capitol in St. Paul to support change in the country, according to the Star Tribune.
The violence began just before dawn on Thursday with attacks on Buddhist monasteries in the country's main city Yangon. United Nations has sent an envoy in to help find a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Other countries including Russia, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations also urged Myanmar to restrain violence and address the demonstrator's desires, according to CNN.
Hundreds of monks are detained and monasteries are deserted. Nine are reported dead by the government of Myanmar, but human rights activist say that the death toll is much higher, according to the New York Times.
The demonstration is the largest opposition to the current ruling junta since it came to power 19 years ago. The government has shut off access to its internet, confiscated cameras from pedestrians and taken other measures to stop the flow of information from inside the country to the rest of the world. Pressure from China, Myanmar's neighbor and closest trading parter, would be very influential in moving the country into a peaceful means of resolving the conflict, according to the New York Times. China has yet to join the rest of the world in boycotting or financially isolating Myanmar.