Burma A People Under Siege

The generals crack down, but neither opponents at home nor critics abroad seem able to do anything about it

Just beyond the gaze of the golden Buddha in the Eindawya pagoda in Mandalay, the spiritual heart of Burma, dozens of soldiers slouched around the courtyard, propping their rifles against the stone balustrades. Outside the temple gates, more troops manned barbed-wire barricades. "Please leave," an army captain shouted last week to a group of tourists trying to photograph the Buddha. "You may come back when our security situation is right."

Burma's brief experiment with multiparty politics is over, and the country is reverting to the xenophobia and isolation of its past. In a nationwide crackdown on its opposition, the military junta...

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