BANGKOK, Thailand -- Dodging a deadly military crackdown, bloggers in Burma are now on the front lines providing news and photos of death and insurrection.

Their Internet blogs, written in Burmese language and grammatically-flawed English, are mostly by people living in the commercial port of Rangoon, also known as Yangon, where Buddhist monks, pro-democracy activists and residents have been defying security forces during more than a week of protests.

The bloggers rely on word-of-mouth, cell phones, online chat groups, instant messaging, and first-hand experience in barricaded streets amid tear gas and gunfire.

The best blogs provide photos, video and text updates purportedly by eyewitnesses, which are later confirmed by news organizations or, in some cases, can't be verified.

Burma's bloody pro-democracy protests have captivated the outside world, including U.S. President George W. Bush, the United Nations and the public, thanks largely to the bloggers' media.

Burma's military regime refused to grant visas to foreign correspondents, and blocked visas for many foreign tourists, after the mass uprising worsened several days ago.

Burmese and foreign residents in Rangoon, Mandalay and elsewhere Burma -- which is mainland Southeast Asia's biggest nation and also known as Myanmar -- surprised everyone by risking their lives to document the demand for liberty.

Some of the best blogs appear to be by people trying to live a normal life while updating the world about the marches and bloodshed on the streets.

One poignant blog, by a young "sensitive" Burmese woman who identifies herself as Dawn, appears at

"Around 1:20 or 1:30pm, I heard someone saying that the police/army started shooting in the air," Dawn wrote, describing Rangoon on Wednesday (Sept. 26).

"At 2:00pm, I heard that buses have stopped running on Sule Pagoda Road. Someone from the office went out to there, and came running back when there were shots being fired.

"I heard the gun shots too, but it sounded alot like clapping. So I went out to look," Dawn said.

"I was reading the news on a blogger's Cbox, and it said that at least 5 monks were dead at Shwedagon Pagoda. My sis had already called home and told my brother not to go to work. I called home too, and also to my father. He told me to stay at work and not to go out."

International media said at least one person died when security forces attacked protestors on Wednesday (Sept. 26), though some news reports said up to five people may have been killed.

In gallows humor, Dawn wrote: "I'll let you know when I've been shot. I'll ask someone before I die to blog about it. If it was an instant death, I'll come to my sister in my dream and tell her to blog about it, or I won't rest in peace."

Another popular blogger created a "prosaic collection" of vivid text and photos at and said, "now regime open fire into these group, and used fire engine to sweep the blood on the street."

Foreigners blogging in Burma include, written by someone who moved to Rangoon in March, 2006.

Before the protests, Burma had a strong presence on Internet, created over the years by Burmese dissidents and foreigners who established pro-democracy Web sites in Thailand, Europe, America and elsewhere.

In 2006, Burma's pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, received a Web page, created by Americans to publicize her decade under house arrest in Rangoon.

Other Web sites were created by non-governmental organizations, or received funding from U.S. government and other international sources, enabling additional offline publication of magazines and radio broadcasts abroad.

These include, which also publishes a monthly Irrawaddy magazine in Thailand, and, the Democratic Voice of Burma radio, based in Norway.

The most respected of those Web sites are now mainstream, offering reports quoted by international news organizations.

In 1988, Burmese journalists in exile set up, promoting democracy in Burma through the activists' India-based Mizzima News Agency, which is bilingual in Burmese and English, and now includes online video.

Some blogs, such as, collect Internet links relating to Burma, and warn when the Burmese regime blocks Web sites and blogs.

Graffiti artists can now go to, for stencil images portraying Buddhist monks -- to be cut out, held against a wall, and spray-painted, resulting in a picture of two monks walking -- similar to internationally acclaimed graffiti artist Bansky's urban icons.

"You can help make this image appear all over the world, reminding people everywhere of the uprising in Burma and showing that the struggle for freedom is alive everywhere," said the bloggers, based in Mae Sot, Thailand, on the Thai-Burma border.

"Monks make great stencil the pattern and get your monks on the march!"

Richard S Ehrlich is a Bangkok-based journalist who has reported news from Asia since 1978. He is co-author of "Hello My Big Big Honey!", a non-fiction book of investigative journalism, and his web page is