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Buddhism in the News


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Burma's Silent Protests and Smuggled Video Appears

Burmese Launch Silent Protest:

YANGON, Myanmar - A growing number of citizens in Myanmar's largest city are shutting off the government-run nightly newscast, trying to send the subtle message to authorities that they are tired of listening to their propaganda, residents said Tuesday.

Most are switching off the news for the first 15 minutes of the hour-long broadcast, while some also are shutting off all the lights in their homes.

It was unclear how many people participated in the protest, which spread by word of mouth.

"This is the least dangerous anti-government activity that I can take," said a resident of Yangon taking part in the protest that began Monday. "By doing this, I am showing that I am not listening to what the government is saying," the woman said, refusing to give her name for fear of government reprisal.

James: What a great example of the power of knowing we are all united, interconnected. The Burmese know that they are One in intention as well as One with people outside their country. It is an example of the saying, "United we stand, divided we fall." Anything can be accomplished when we awake from the sleepy, numbing delusion of separateness.

Video Smuggled out of Burma. CNN obtained this video taken at least two days ago in Burma:
The ironic thing is this video was likely taken before the Foreign Minister claimed that they have been using the "utmost restraint" in dealing with the pro-Democracy movement. In other news:

Many of the imprisoned monks are refusing to touch food from their military captors, symbolically maintaining their boycott of the Myanmar regime, according to reports emerging yesterday from unofficial sources in the isolated country.

The guards are trying to force them to eat, which is a form of torture," said Bo Kyi, head of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a group based in Thailand. "I'm very worried about them. Some of them could die in detention. It's really heartbreaking for the people of Burma."

Burmese Major Flees Country After Refuses Orders to Kill Buddhist Monks:

by Nick Meo, The Times, October 3, 2007

Rangoon, Burma -- As demonstrations mounted in Rangoon and the military prepared for a crackdown, an agonising decision loomed for Major Htay Win. The soldier, who has fought ethnic rebels for 21 years, knew that he would be executed if he refused to shoot demonstrators. But as a devout Buddhist he was convinced he would burn in Hell if he killed the monks. “There were secret codes to start shooting monks. But for a Buddhist this is a terrible crime. Monks are the sons of Buddha. The account Major Htay gave The Times was of an angry and divided army, horrified at being forced to crush protesters they broadly sympathised with, but also fearful of the hard-core of officers loyal to Than Shwe, Burma’s military leader. “I am just the first who will come to Thailand,” he said. “There are many officers like me who are deeply unhappy. They didn’t want to kill the monks. Many officers are also angry because the Burmese people are hungry.” He claimed that many sympathise with Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s jailed pro-democracy leader. “The problem is that they are afraid of Than Shwe. He is so cruel,” he said.

“I am sure officers must have refused their orders to shoot monks. They will themselves be shot — it will happen in a prison and we will never hear about it. If I went back to Burma, I would be executed by them without a moment’s thought.”

"Than Shwe will try to hang on to power, but I believe this time next year he will be gone. There are other soldiers who want his power.”

None of his colleagues believed the regime’s claim that protesters were in league with foreign powers. “They know that is bulls**t. The generals just want to cling on to power,” he said.

James: The top cadre of leaders within the junta has gone too far this time in killing the most revered people in Burma, the Buddhist monks. Yet the irony is that the top leadership will most likely be toppled by a revolt from their own soldiers. And finally, I'd like to add this quote from His Holiness the Dalai Lama:

Lack of understanding of the true nature of happiness, it seems to me, is the principal reason why people inflict sufferings on others. They think either that the other's pain may somehow be a cause of happiness for themselves or that their own happiness is more important, regardless of what pain it may cause. But this is shortsighted: no one truly benefits from causing harm to another sentient being. Whatever immediate advantage is gained at the expense of someone else is shortlived. In the long run, causing others misery and infringing their rights to peace and happiness result in anxiety, fear, and suspicion within oneself. Such feelings undermine the peace of mind and contentment which are the marks of happiness. True happiness comes not from a limited concern for one's own well-being, or that of those one feels close to, but from developing love and compassion for all sentient beings. Here, love means wishing that all sentient beings should find happiness, and compassion means wishing that they should all be free of suffering. The development of this attitude gives rise to a sense of openness and trust that provides the basis for peace.

--The Dalai Lama, from The Dalai Lama: A Policy of Kindness, edited by Sidney Piburn From Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book

~Peace to all beings~

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dharma::vision by Amadeus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dharma::vision by Amadeus said...


I got your message. You are more than welcome to use the image. I adapted it from a tiny little flag that was too small to do anything with. I couldn't find a considerable sized version of the the flag really anywhere, so I used some techniques to reproduce the original Fighting Peacock flag. Here is a link to some larger formats if you would like to use them for anything else, print them off or put it on a t-shirt, etc.

I also have different sizes of just fighting peacock flags, with and without the star that I created and will put on the same page later this evening. The flags with the fighting peacock and the star is from the Free Burma Coalition (FBC) and the ones without the the star and just the fighting peacock, was the flag of the student union until 1962, when the military banned the institution.

As you probably know but other may not, the fighting peacock can be be best understood by the words of a Burmese activist, "The Fighting Peacock is not just a mere representation of courage or freedom, nor is it a mere logo on the flag of a political party, it is much more than that. It a symbol that represents courage, honour and sacrifice of the "students" of Burma, it represent the history of our country's struggle from both foreign invasions and tyranny, it represents our forefathers and it represent the fighting spirit of the "students" of Burma."

Peace to you


Sean said...

Thanks for following this, James. It goes without saying, but I know all of us will keep the Burmese people, and especially their monks, in our prayers and dedications.


dragonflyfilly said...

horrible and sad...and ironic too...that the "soldiers" and prevailing government don't realize how much negative karma they are creating for is so weird sometimes, eh?

...i was looking for a photo of an udambara when I thought of you...decided to pop over since I have not visited for so long...

...hope you will be feeling better...


They call him James Ure said...


You're very welcome. I only wish that I could do more.


Thanks for thinking of me!! I've been thinking of you too lately.

It is amazing to see why people do the things that they do. Karma and conditioning come into play though I guess.

Anonymous said...

This is an incredible video of a WWII pilot Reincarnated as a child. This is solid proof of Rebirth.

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