Agam's Gecko
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Young monks pray for freedom
Monks lead the way out of tyranny, Burma prays.

urma's mounting mass protests against its brutal ruling clique continued to intensify Saturday, the fifth day since the nation's Buddhist clergy took the lead by conducting peaceful processions through cities and towns across the country. The authorities, and their hired thugs (of the USDA - Union Solidarity and Development Association - and other) have not repeated the violence they had previously employed against the marchers. In a symbolic and surprising development yesterday, uniformed authorities removed a barrier from the street leading to the residence of Aung San Suu Kyi (where she has been restricted for many years under a house arrest order), and allowed the procession to pass the democracy leader's house. The hundreds of monks chanted the Metta Sutta -- Buddha's teaching on loving kindness -- as they and lay supporters gathered outside the house. Suu Kyi was said to have tears in her eyes as she came out to greet her people, and she had a brief conversation with one of the monks there.

Also in Rangoon yesterday, about 1000 monks marched from Shwedagon Pagoda to the Chinese embassy, where they also chanted the Metta Sutta. Recent supportive demonstrations for Burma's freedom in Asian capitals have also been focused on Chinese missions, as that country is the primary enabler for the dictatorship by providing it military hardware, money and diplomatic cover while reaping Burmese resources and other sweet deals (such as Chinese naval bases and surveillance facilities on Burmese territory).

The country's second largest city, Mandalay saw perhaps the largest public demonstration since the horrific crackdown of 1988, when thousands were slaughtered in Rangoon streets. Reports have claimed that approximately 10,000 monks participated in Mandalay yesterday, where they had apparently urged the public not to join them. However this tactic of keeping the citizens from joining in too overtly, reported from several centres earlier this week, is beginning to change.

Free Burma demo in Bangkok
Calling for Burma's freedom outside the Myanmar embassy Bangkok. Burmese girl  with portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi. August 26, 2007.
Photo: Reuters / Chaiwat Subprasom

new organisation called the All Burma Monks Alliance has called for all citizens to join hands with the monastic community in a "People's Alliance," in order to "banish the common enemy."
All Burma Monks Alliance: Statement of People’s Alliance Formation Committee to the Entire Clergy and the People of the Whole Country

Subject: Designation of existing evil military despotism as the “Common Enemy” of the whole people and exhortation for speedy formation of People’s Alliance led by the Clergy to struggle peacefully against the evil military dictatorship till its complete downfall.

The current general crisis of the people is caused by the evil military dictatorship which is oppressing and terrorizing the entire masses of the people. Therefore we pronounce the evil military despotism, which is impoverishing and pauperizing our people of all walks including the Clergy, as the “Common Enemy” of all our citizens. Therefore, in order to banish the common enemy evil regime from Burmese soil forever, united masses of people need to join hands with the united Clergy forces. Hence, to swiftly establish a disciplined and united “People’s Alliance,” we the All Burma Monks Alliance will take the initiative and set up the Alliance step by step under the following agenda. We solemnly and specifically urge all people and monks to follow us with full unity and trust.

Step 1. To boost the force of Metta (love) in this country which is experiencing very low level of Metta between each other, and achieve peace, residences of every household and every monastery should come out to the doorsteps or balconies on 2007 September 23 at 20:00 hours and recite in unison two clauses of Metta radiation prayers, “Away with bullying of men by men! Let our Metta energy encompass and bring peace to the world!” for 15 minutes till 20:15 hours.

People’s Alliance Formation Committee
All Burma Monks Alliance
File No. 1.5/2007
There are indications that SPADCO (State Peace and Development Council) chief Than Shwe is considering a violent solution by infiltrating some of his paid thugs into the movement, to stir up conflict and create a pretense for a military crackdown. One need only remember the horror of 1988 to know that this is entirely possible. If this all goes badly -- and with the current senile, superstitious and spiteful council of dictators there, that is very possible -- it can make Tienanmen look like a picnic.

I don't like to posit the unthinkable at such a hopeful time, holding the potential end of Burma's long national nightmare. But we need some serious attention down here from the "international community," if such a thing exists. I fear there will be no significant action from the Security Council until after something horrible happens. How about some resolute statements to warn the Generals off from trying something stupid? Handwringing condemnations after the fact are a dime a dozen worthless.

In the meantime, Burma prays.

Deliver us from evil.





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