Burma Vj Insight

On-Going Conflict

A military coup in the early sixties would change the path of Burma forever. Now independent after British and Japanese occupation, Burma would head towards its own form of socialism and cruise through thirty years isolationism (Egreteau 2). Until 1987, when it came to the brink of a complete socio-economic collapse and the government demonetized small bank notes students across the country began to stand up and demand changes(Egreteau 2). This would lead to the protests of 1988, where thousands of students would be gun-down and killed by the military, which would quickly end the attempt at democracy(Egreteau 4). In August of 2007, a sudden hike of 500% in fuel prices would drive many already impoverished people further into poverty (Horsey 13). This led to the rare act of civil disobedience in Myanmar, comparable in scale only to the protests of 1988 (Horsey 14). This civil disobedience was led by the Buddhist monks, who managed to encourage much of Burma to come out to the streets and protest in hope of change (Horsey 14). Soon the military Junta in place would call upon the police and army to stop these protests, fist by forceful removal of the Buddhist clergy, and eventually the shooting of protesters in the streets (Horsey 22). The internal conflicts of Burma are the longest on-going conflict in the world, lasting since 1948, and they continue even today (Horsey 13).
Social Actors
There are several social actors which come into play in the conflict in Myanmar during the latter parts of 2007. All play a role in the documentary Burma VJ and can be categorized from the parts they played in the events.
Social Movement - The first and probably biggest social actor in this conflict was the social movement which was formed by members of the religious community, like the monks and nuns, and joined by the community at large, which included students and anyone else willing to join in the fight against one of the world's most oppressive...