Burma A Country Under the Boot

One year after explosive riots, the regime cracks down on pro-democracy activists

May I at all times be free

Of the four nether realms

The three scoundrels

The eight inauspicious locations

And the five enemies . . .

In Burma's myriad pagodas, those words from the Buddhist Okasa prayer are often on the lips of worshipers these days. They are an incantation against the five enemies -- water, fire, robbers, people who wish evil on others, and rulers. Down through the centuries, it is the last category that has been most feared. But rarely in living memory have the Burmese so urgently believed they needed protection from their rulers.

The despondency has grown...

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