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The Hamilton Spectator
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Friday September 28, 2007
Burmese hopes for political change have in recent years been raised and dashed repeatedly as the country’s ruling generals have spurned international efforts to nudge them into a dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate and pro-democracy leader.

In May 2002, for example, Ms Suu Kyi’s release from house arrest following a UN-mediated process raised expectations that the generals were finally poised for talks with her about an end to their decades-long monopoly on power.

But just a year later, Ms Suu Kyi was back in detention and, bar a brief appearance this week, has not been seen in public since.

What has become a pattern of disappointment explains why many Burmese have grown so pessimistic about the prospects of meaningful change in their troubled country, and why the conviction has grown among a burgeoning number of Burmese democracy advocates that the blood sacrifice of innocent protesters – through military violence – is an inevitable, and possibly necessary, part of the struggle for change.

“The Burmese have come to believe there is no other way – no shortcut to democracy or freedom – but only through bloodshed,” says Aung Naing Oo, who fled Burma after the suppression of a 1988 mass pro-democracy uprising and is now a Thailand-based analyst. Source.

Bloodshed the price for freedom
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