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Buddhism in the News


Friday, September 28, 2007

Saffron Revolution in Burma Day 11

Yangon, Myanmar -- Speculations have it that the country's top two in the junta is divided over the handling of the riots in the country. "Maung Aye and his loyalists are opposed to shooting into the crowd," a source close to the military hierarchy told Mizzima referring to the major differences that the head of junta Senior General Than Shwe and his second-in-command, Vice-Senior General Maung Aye have over the brutal crack down on protesters in Burma.

James: It appears that the military might be splitting in two and that might be the best news possible during the week long Saffron Revolution in Burma. If the protests can divide the regime then they have a real chance to bring about change within their government. More information on the possible trouble within the regime can be read below.

I just saw on CNN that there are many in Burma who are prepared and ready to keep this revolution going despite the dangers. They say that they are ready to lay down their lives and/or be jailed for the good of their countrymen. This greatly moves me for they are engaging in the ultimate acts of letting go. It is heart-breaking yet inspiring.

Also, other reports are saying that the monks are locked inside their monasteries and that is awful in and of itself but it seems to be the best case scenario during these turbulent times in Burma.

This information was sent out by Jason from the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, The Buddhist Channel, Sept 28, 2007.

Yangon, Myanmar -- Kindly forgive the brevity and the lack of formatting of the following email. I am now sending this information out as we are now receiving it. As many of you are now aware phone lines have been cut, mobile networks have been disabled, and Internet access has also been disabled.

Information, therefore, is now very difficult to obtain and confirm. I therefore am unable to confirm any of that which follows, but my sources are adamant that this is the truth:

Soldiers from LID #66 have turned their weapons against other SPDC soldiers and possibly police in North Okkalappa township in Rangoon and are defending the protesters. At present unsure how many soldiers involved. Some reports cite "heavy shooting" in the area.

Other unconfirmed reports have stated that soldiers from LID #33 in Mandalay have refused orders to act against protesters. Some reports claim that many soldiers remained in their barracks. More recent reports now maintain that soldiers from LID #99 now being sent there to confront them.

Reports of approx. 10,000+ protesters gathering around the Traders Hotel in Rangoon. Other reports of 10,000+ protesters gathering at San Pya Market in Rangoon. Further reports of approx. 50,000 protestors gathering at the Thein Gyi Market in Rangoon.

According to Mizzima, an unknown number of soldiers from Central Command and South East Command are presently on their way to Rangoon to reinforce SPDC army troops.

Also according to Mizzima, an unknown number of aircraft have been scrambled from "Matehtilar" airbase - probably a reference to Meiktila in Mandalay Division.

According to one journalist, SPDC have turned water cannons against crowds at Sule Pagoda. The report maintains that the water contained some type of chemical. awaiting further information. Please circulate this information as widely as quickly as possible.

James: The following is a statement form ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations:

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers had a full and frank discussion on the situation in Myanmar at their Informal Meeting this morning in the UN and agreed for the Chair to issue this Statement. They were appalled to receive reports of automatic weapons being used and demanded that the Myanmar government immediately desist from the use of violence against demonstrators. They expressed their revulsion to Myanmar Foreign Minister Nyan Win over reports that the demonstrations in Myanmar are being suppressed by violent force and that there has been a number of fatalities. They strongly urged Myanmar to exercise utmost restraint and seek a political solution. They called upon Myanmar to resume its efforts at national reconciliation with all parties concerned, and work towards a peaceful transition to democracy. The Ministers called for the release of all political detainees including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers expressed their concern to Minister Nyan Win that the developments in Myanmar had a serious impact on the reputation and credibility of ASEAN. They noted that Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has spoken to his ASEAN counterparts over the past day, and will be writing to Senior General Than Shwe.

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers gave their full support to the decision of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to send Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari to Myanmar. They welcomed FM Nyan Win’s assurance that a visa would be issued to Mr Gambari in Singapore. They asked the Myanmar government to cooperate fully and work with him. Mr Gambari’s role as a neutral interlocutor among all the parties can help defuse the dangerous situation. The Ministers urged the Myanmar government to grant him full access to all parties in Myanmar, as they had done in the past.

EMAIL ASEAN to show support of their efforts and to urge them to do more: CLICK HERE.

James: Here something else that we can do, short of linking arms with our Burmese brothers and sisters and marching with them. I join Wade's desire to do more then sign signatures and blog about the revolution but still, at least we can do something. I feel so powerless yet motivated to do my utmost for the proud, noble and amazingly courageous Burmese people. CLICK HERE to sign a petition from the U.S. Campaign for Burma and join the nearly 90,000 signatures.

And don't forget to recite or read the metta sutra today and/or pray for the Burmese people.

~Peace to all beings~

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Gregor said...

Thanks for spreading this information you've given me some hope.

Let's pray the stories are true.

Tim said...

I was reminded of the old Zen story about a warrior and his troops who stormed the village and found their way into the Buddhist monastery. They beat the priests as they looked for treasure. The captain of the troops was called forward to deal with the Zen patriarch who stood silent yet defiant before the assaulter. The captain drew his sword and yelled at the priest, "Don't you know who I am? I could run you through in an instant without even a care"! The Zen monk finally spoke and responded, "Don't you know who I am? You could run me through in an instant and I wouldn't care"!

They call him James Ure said...


You're very welcome. I'm just a mouthpiece. I do have hope and knowing impermanence helps me stay positive.


Excellent story. It fits so well with what's going on over there. Those monks (and non-monks) are so brave and such great examples.

We get so lazy in the west in maintaining a Democracy. We take our rights for granted all too often.

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