Protesting Dogs

“The Burmese authorities have a new enemy to hunt down—dogs which are roaming Rangoon with pictures of Than Shwe and other regime leaders around their necks.

A resident of Shwegondine, Bahan Township, told The Irrawaddy on Friday that she saw a group of four dogs with pictures of the regime’s top generals around their necks.

Sightings were also reported in four other Rangoon townships—Tharkayta, Dawbon, Hlaing Tharyar and South Okkalapa.

Some sources said the canine protest had started at least a week ago, and was keeping the authorities busy trying to catch the offending dogs. “They seem quite good at avoiding arrest,” laughed one resident.

Associating anybody with a dog is a very serious insult in Burma.

Spray-painters are also at work, daubing trains with the words “Killer Than Shwe” and other slogans.”

Laughter is a sharp weapon in the hands of Burma’s regime critics

BURMA is under siege and the crackdown on anti-regime monks and activists has intensified, continuing day and night. The bloodshed in Burma in September 2007 and the regime’s inadequate, heartless response to the cyclone the following May ignited worldwide anger, directed at regime leader Snr-Gen Than Shwe. Yet through it all, the callous, stubborn general remained a figure of fun, arousing mirth as well as outrage.

Contrasting the conventional image of a stony-faced general are cartoons and “doctored” photographs of Than Shwe in humiliating circumstances, placed on the Internet and then downloaded for distribution wherever regime critics gather.”