the situation in burma

Collapse
X
 
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • Justin
    Member
    • Jul 2007
    • 97

    the situation in burma

    Friends,

    If you're not familiar with what's going on in Burma right now, here's a brief overview:

    The military, which has ruled Myanmar in some form for 45 years, is facing the biggest challenge to its supremacy since 1988, when a student uprising was brutally put down by the army, killing at least 3,000 people.

    State media on Tuesday were filled with warnings by the junta of a crackdown, despite international appeals to the regime to show restraint.

    Deeply-respected Buddhist monks have spearheaded the protests and numbers on the streets have snowballed to at least 100,000 as the general public join in the movement.

    Restrained and peaceful, the monks clad in saffron and red robes have urged people not to chant political slogans as their processions snake through the main city Yangon, but to recite prayers of peace and compassion.

    "They are learning from the 1988 uprising, when there were so many different demands," said Aung Naing Oo, a Thailand-based Myanmar expert.

    The question for many analysts and diplomats is whether the junta has also learnt lessons from the 1988 massacre.

    "The military has a history of cracking down on the pro-democracy movement and has had no qualms about doing that in the past," Aung Naing Oo said.

    Most analysts agree that the protests show little sign of fizzling out.

    What began as a movement by democracy activists against a rise in the price of fuel in the middle of last month has now mushroomed to encompass monks, nuns, artists and celebrities.

    The demands have crystallized too. On Sunday, the monks' placards asked for dialogue with the junta, reconciliation and freedom for Aung San Suu Kyi, the democracy icon who has spent 12 of the last 18 years under house arrest.

    "[Protests] could peter out, but that's looking increasingly unlikely. You could see a sharp reaction from the government, which is more likely," said Mark Canning, the British ambassador in Yangon. "The obvious way out of this is to sit down with the various elements that are involved in all this and try and reach some sort of common ground."
    Does anyone know of anything we can do to help? Petitions we can sign? Hell, chants we can do? I just feel so useless in the face of a tragedy like this.

    Gassho.
  • Keishin
    Member
    • Jun 2007
    • 471

    #2
    burma

    Hello Justin:

    Yes, this news is very bleak. When it comes to causes needing support, there is no shortage. This may be the latest, hottest political fire at the moment, and it's not the only one.
    There is no one particular right response.

    Koans arise naturally in daily life. The koan "How do I (should I, can I) respond to x"? I think it is natural to want to throw oneself into action. It is good to sit with the question and sit until the answer ripens within you. I find that this 'ripe' answer is the answer with my whole being. (This getting to 'ripe' doesn't necessarily take very long. All I know is when I respond with my head, over thinking, when I respond with my heart/emotiongs, under thinking. The ripe response does not have an after taste of ''what I really should have done is ...y.."
    It is good also to be appreciative of our response and efforts and those of others.
    It is heartbreaking to acknowledge our limits.
    (I think this is where repentence comes in with regard to vows/precepts. It also fleshes them out, they are no longer mental constructs, but real situations, and life/lives depend on them.)
    Being mindful right now--not running the faucet as you brush your teeth, hearing the birds outside the window, giving the cashier at the store a smile and some pleasantry--this daily life is just as important as making a call to a political action group, help send out flyers, etc.
    One sitting group I was with absolutely allowed no political e-mails to members.
    The head of the group made it clear: no politics. Members among themselves could take up various actions and interests, but the group itself, as a unified whole, took no position.

    I thank you for posting the topic, and for Jundo bringing it up in his blog.

    It's real life: it's where the Buddhist tires hit the road on the Middle Path.

    gassho,
    keishin

    Comment

    • Jundo
      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
      • Apr 2006
      • 39452

      #3
      There are links to news and petitions here ...

      http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php


      Gassho, J
      ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

      Comment

      • Rev R
        Member
        • Jul 2007
        • 457

        #4
        here is a link to a blogger who is getting photos and some first hand accounts past the media blockout.

        http://ko-htike.blogspot.com/

        pictures can speak many words to get people involved and thinking about what to be done.

        Comment

        • paige
          Member
          • Apr 2007
          • 234

          #5
          Originally posted by Rev R
          here is a link to a blogger who is getting photos and some first hand accounts past the media blockout.

          http://ko-htike.blogspot.com/

          pictures can speak many words to get people involved and thinking about what to be done.
          Also this blog: http://moemaka.blogspot.com/

          Myanmar military regime has stepped up its crackdown on the protest monks and public not only on the street but also inside the compound of Buddhist monasteries. It is learnt that early morning of today around 2:00 am, the armies has raided the monasteries in Rangoon and its suburbs.

          The cries and the shouting of monks were visibly heard as the soldiers forced their way into the "Ngwe Kyar Yan" monastery at South Okkalapa Township, beating, dragging and arresting them according to the neighbors at the monastery.

          Comment

          • will
            Member
            • Jun 2007
            • 2331

            #6
            Also this website:

            http://www.terebess.hu/english/dogen2a.html

            Gassho
            [size=85:z6oilzbt]
            To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
            To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
            To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
            To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
            [/size:z6oilzbt]

            Comment

            • will
              Member
              • Jun 2007
              • 2331

              #7
              hehe.
              [size=85:z6oilzbt]
              To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
              To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
              To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
              To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
              [/size:z6oilzbt]

              Comment

              • Gregor
                Member
                • Apr 2007
                • 638

                #8
                I'm writing my senators and will be checking in at Amnesty International to see what they are recommending. . . just posting this vow online with the Sangha to ensure I carry out my intentions.
                Jukai '09 Dharma Name: Shinko 慎重(Prudent Calm)

                Comment

                • Gregor
                  Member
                  • Apr 2007
                  • 638

                  #9
                  Here is the link to take action as a part of amnesty international. As Harry is suggesting they are requesting that people write to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the web link contains the email and snail mail for the Foreign Affairs Minister.


                  http://web.amnesty.org/pages/mmr-270907-action-eng


                  I'm sending an email now and will be mailing a letter in the morning.
                  Jukai '09 Dharma Name: Shinko 慎重(Prudent Calm)

                  Comment

                  • louis
                    Member
                    • Aug 2007
                    • 172

                    #10
                    Burma's main trading partner by far is China, by many accounts concerned about the fallout on the 2008 Olympics. Here is a list of corporate sponsors:



                    Pass it on.

                    Louis

                    Comment

                    • Gregor
                      Member
                      • Apr 2007
                      • 638

                      #11
                      I found an online petition to china from the U.S. Campaign for Burma, I also like Louis idea of writing the Olympic sponsors.


                      http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/or ... mePage.dwt
                      Jukai '09 Dharma Name: Shinko 慎重(Prudent Calm)

                      Comment

                      • Kelly M.
                        Member
                        • Sep 2007
                        • 225

                        #12
                        My life as a student often has me so caught up in my own affairs that I can go for weeks without watching the news. This sometimes leads me to feeling like I live under a rock! It is this Sangha that made me aware of the turmoil in Burma, and encouraged me to look into the issue.

                        Originally posted by HezB
                        p.s. contacting your local Chinese Embassy requesting them to do all in their power to ensure the safety of the Burmese people is also an idea: the are protests in various places which are meeting at Chinese embassies because China hold most influence on the Burmese government.

                        List of Chinese embassies worldwide:

                        http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/wjb/zwjg/2490/default.htm

                        Regards,

                        H.
                        Thank you for this link, it inspired me to write to the Chinese Ambassador to Canada. I also send letters to the Canadian Ambassadors to China, and the Canadian Ambassador to Thailand and Burma. It is a very small step, but a step.

                        Thank you all for your concern, and for the encouragement to get involved.

                        Cheers,
                        Kelly
                        Live in joy and love, even among those who hate
                        Live in joy and health, even among the afflicted
                        Live in joy and peace, even among the troubled
                        Look within and be still; free from fear and grasping
                        Know the sweet joy of living in the way.

                        Comment

                        • Gregor
                          Member
                          • Apr 2007
                          • 638

                          #13
                          Hey some possible good news from Burma, it appears that a rift is forming between the Generals who run the military junta, they are rumors that the military may be dividing into two groups due to one of the generals be against firing into the crowds or attacking the monks. There are reports that his troops are now defending the protesters against the police other troops that are attacking the demonstrators.

                          Check out this link, http://thebuddhistblog.blogspot.com/ -- there are more links there to the actual news stories.

                          Lets keep up our hope and continue sending the emails and petitions.
                          Jukai '09 Dharma Name: Shinko 慎重(Prudent Calm)

                          Comment

                          • paige
                            Member
                            • Apr 2007
                            • 234

                            #14
                            The Burma File: http://www.newsdeskspecial.co.uk/burma/
                            1,000 monks now being held

                            Troops cut off jeweled head of ancient Buddha

                            Sporadic demonstrations were held throughout Rangoon today, but riot police and troops appeared to be under orders to hold their fire, probably because of the presence in the city of UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari, writes Edward Loxton.

                            One of the city's leading monasteries, Ngwe Kyar Yar, was raided by security officers during the early hours this morning, and about 200 monks were dragged from their beds and loaded into army trucks.

                            Around 1,000 monks are now being held, either at Rangoon's notorious Insein prison or at a government ministry compound. Kangaroo courts have already been in session, handing out sentences of up to six years’ imprisonment, according to Burmese sources with prison contacts.

                            It transpires that when troops first raided Ngwe Kyar Yar on Thursday, they plundered the monastery, seizing valuable offertory objects and cutting off the jeweled head of an ancient statue of Buddha.

                            Opposition sources said today they had counted at least 200 dead in the three days of clashes. Several hundred people have been injured and many are now in hiding from the authorities.

                            There are reports of protest demonstrations in several parts of the country, including Mandalay, the port city of Sittwe and some towns along the Thai border. Riot police and troops have confronted the demonstrators, including many monks, but have refrained from using force to disperse them.

                            Comment

                            • will
                              Member
                              • Jun 2007
                              • 2331

                              #15
                              Most of the time my actions have the wrong effect. Most of the time my head is clouded with things that I should do. Unfortunately I am at a point in my practice where I am unsure of what to do. Today I sat on a mountain with the trees, birds and traffic below. If I truly want to help anyone, the only way I know how is to practice.

                              Now. I smoke. It is a habit. I started about 1 and a half years ago. Now I could go through feeling guilty about smoking, but that of course doesn't do anyone any good. I was on the mountain and was about to light a cigarette. A man walked by and said (making a smoking action) "no" with an air of being the master of the mountain. I noticed him and I lit the smoke anyway. I could have gotten lost in thoughts about "Maybe he's right. Maybe I shouldn't be smoking." or "who is he to say I can't smoke" These thoughts came up. Now, I could have caused lots of trouble for myself if I dwelled on those thoughts. They could have accumulated like they have so many times before. I lit the smoke. I smoked it. I walked. I finished the cigarette and put the butt in my cigarette case, like I usually do.

                              After coming down the mountain, I saw the man again. I had the feeling that he thought the fact that I smoke is terrible (at this time I wasn't smoking). I felt him focus on me and the fact that I had a cigarette that time before. I had some thoughts or feelings trying to manifest themselves into a rivalry of some sort. I just let them go and we walked by each other. Perhaps the man is tired of all the garbage that people leave on the mountain. Perhaps he's a health fanatic. Perhaps. But that really doesn't matter. His view was that I am a foriegner and therefore do not speak Chinese. Therefore, he will not stop and explain to me the reason why he thinks I should not smoke. Therefore, he will keep walking and I will keep smoking. Was his action correct?

                              When it comes to doing what is right, the only way to do that is through practice. In my practice I am not at the point where I can write letters or take action. My practice at the moment is learning to be mindful.

                              Perhaps I will go back to the mountain and pick up some of the garbage for samu

                              Gassho Will
                              [size=85:z6oilzbt]
                              To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
                              To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
                              To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
                              To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
                              [/size:z6oilzbt]

                              Comment

                              Working...