Rangoon, Burma -- Burma’s junta threatened unspecified action against protesting Buddhist monks yesterday as up to 100,000 people marched in the biggest protest seen in a week of ever-expanding demonstrations in the city of Rangoon.
The protests have gone on for 8 days now despite the government threats of violence. Democracy advocate, Aung San Su Kyi has now been moved from her house arrest to a notorious prison in the country. It seems, unlike the protests of 1988, this movement is mostly led by unarmed, non-voilent monks and if the junta opens fire on them the world will come down very hard on them. It could very easily backfire on the government.
The Myanmarese have suffered for a brutal 45 years under the military dictatorship and it appears that they have finally had enough. They are following the courageous, fearless monks who know all about the inevitability of change. The monks are not afraid to put their lives on the line for the good of all Myanmarese. They are not attached to their bodies and that gives one great courage to suffer brutality for a higher cause, liberation. These monks meditate and practice the Dharma to help others and themselves achieve liberation from suffering, and political suffering is a big one.
They can break your arms and legs, they can break up houses but they can never break up the spirit of liberation. They can not break our spirit unless we let them. I wish that I could walk hand in hand with my brothers and sisters in Myanmar. I urge them to stay peaceful and not to engage in violence as that would only give the government an excuse to shoot into the crowds to stop the movement.
The monks know that they have a gentle strength in their devoutly Buddhist country and that they serve as a fearless, united core of peaceful civil disobedience for the average citizens to rally behind. It is like water molecules banding together to form a massive, unstoppable tidal wave that over-whelms anything that gets in it's way. The government might be able to arrest a few of them but not hundreds of thousands of them. They can control the media and some of the protesters but even the most powerful, brutal dictatorship can not stop the inevitability of impermanence. And the impermanence of the military junta in Myanmar has become very clear during this past week. Never underestimate the power of the people when they are united and resolute.
The message is getting out to the world of these brave and inspirational protests, despite the tightly controlled media. We here at the Buddhist blog want to lend our support to all Myanmarese in resisting the massive suffering that has been imposed upon them for generations. We thank-you for your bravery in getting this information out to the rest of the world. Be strong, your hour of liberation is at hand. I urge all people of all religious affiliations and ethnic groups within Myanmar to join the cause. We stand with you and you are in my thoughts ever day. I meditate in unity with you. I hope to one day visit Myanmar and rejoice in your freedom. Let us not forget that we are all interconnected in this world and the suffering in Myanmar is our suffering.
I was heartened to hear on CNN International this morning, that President George W. Bush called for more sanctions on the junta government today at the United Nations. Including sanctions upon the financial backers of the military state. He is also calling for an expanded travel ban on those behind human rights violations. In addition, the American president is calling for increased support for humanitarian groups and pressure on the U.N. to help the Myanmarese reclaim their freedom.
I am going to send off an email to many leaders in the American government to support the growing opposition in Myanmar and I urge you to do the same where ever you are living in this country (America) or elsewhere in the world.
We will over-come suffering in all it's forms.
The Dalai Lama speaks out and offers his support for the Burmese protests:
I extent my support and solidarity with the recent peaceful movement for
democracy in Burma.
I fully support their call for freedom and democracy and take this opportunity to appeal to freedom-loving people all over the world to support such non-violent movements.
Moreover, I wish to convey my sincere appreciation and admiration to the large number of fellow Buddhists monks for advocating democracy and freedom in Burma.
As a Buddhist monk, I am appealing to the members of the military regime who believe in Buddhism to act in accordance with the sacred dharma in the spirit of compassion and non-violence.
I pray for the success of this peaceful movement and the early release of fellow Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
UPDATE: The junta government has proclaimed a curfew in two cities effective immediately. People of Burma, do not lose hope. The world is with you.
~Peace to all beings~