let’s not forget Burma

The troubles in Burma still continue. It was not just a blip on the radar screen.

This is a video of an interview with Thich Nhat Hanh speaking about Burma and engaged Buddhism.

In the meantime, we can all send our dirty underwear to Burmese embassies.

“Activists exasperated at the failure of diplomacy to apply pressure on Burma’s military regime are resorting to a new means of protest against the regime’s recent crackdown: sending female underwear to Burmese embassies.

Embassies in the UK, Thailand, Australia and Singapore have all been targeted by the “Panties for Peace” campaign, co-ordinated by an activist group based in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

“Not only are they brutal, but they are also very superstitious. They believe that touching a woman’s pants or sarong will make them lose their strength,” Ms Pollack told Guardian Unlimited.

…The junta is famous for its abuse of women: it is well documented that they use rape as a weapon of war against ethnic minorities. This is a way for women around the world to express their outrage.”

Sounds like a good way to get rid of those chakra panties that I’ve seen in yoga magazine ads.

blogging for Burma


Free Burma!

FREE BURMA!

Dashing Hopes in Myanmar

. . .There was talk at the UN that Mr Gambari might return to Myanmar in November. Perhaps international pressure could make the regime open dialogue with the pro-democracy movement, leading ultimately to a peaceful settlement. But this looks less and less likely. The regime continued making large-scale arrests of suspected pro-democracy campaigners during and after Mr Gambari’s visit, while blaming foreigners for instigating protests.

Buddhists Worldwide Back Myanmar’s Monks

The Buddhist monks who led Myanmar’s protests have drawn support from fellow believers worldwide, including Tibetan and Vietnamese spiritual leaders who are no strangers to state persecution.

This week, as hundreds of disrobed monks could be heard chanting from inside a windowless detention centre in Yangon, Buddhist supporters in cities around the world continued their protest rallies and prayer vigils for them. . . .

Myanmar Junta Tightens Screw on Dissenters

. . . Although most are too terrified to talk, the monks and civilians slowly being freed from a makeshift interrogation centre in north Yangon are giving a glimpse of the mechanics of the general’s dreaded internal security apparatus. . . .

One freed monk, who did not want his name revealed, said some had been beaten when they refused to answer questions about their identity, birthplace, parents and involvement in the protests, the biggest challenge to the junta in nearly 20 years.

. . . A relative of three women released on Wednesday said detainees were being divided into four categories: passers-by, those who watched, those who clapped and those who joined in.

International Bloggers Day for Burma on Oct. 4

Free-Burma.org has announced an International Bloggers’ Day for Burma on October 4th.

Bloggers who support the protests are being asked not to post that day and instead display one of the Free Burma banners or images (like the one above) that have been created for the online protest.

A list of participating bloggers — I’m #2382 — can be found here. Even though the government of Myanmar has cut off Internet access, words and pictures are still being spread worldwide.

what did I say about peace?

Sometimes one image is juxtaposed against another to bring home a point.

“Earth will be safe
when we feel in us enough safety.”
Thich Nhat Hanh — Vietnamese Buddhist monk, nominated in 1967 by Martin Luther King for the Nobel Peace Prize

This image is taken from ko htike’s blog who continues to write, post photos, and YouTube videos of the situation in Tibet*. There is also a link to Burmese Bloggers Without Borders if you want current information about the situation.

Thousands dead in massacre, bodies of monks dumped in the jungle
October 1, 2007

Yangon, Myanmar — Thousands of protesters are dead and the bodies of hundreds of executed monks have been dumped in the jungle, a former intelligence officer for Burma’s ruling junta has revealed….

Reports from other exiles along the frontier confirmed that hundreds of monks had simply ‘ disappeared’ as 20,000 troops swarmed around Rangoon yesterday to prevent further demonstrations by religious groups and civilians.

Word reaching dissidents hiding out on the border suggested that as well as executions, some 2,000 monks are being held in the notorious Insein Prison or in university rooms which have been turned into cells.

There were reports that many were savagely beaten at a sports ground on the outskirts of Rangoon, where they were heard crying for help.

Where are Myanmar’s monks?
October 2, 2007

Thousands of Buddhists have been arrested and scores killed, observers say, but no one can find them

BANGKOK, Thailand — After paying a heavy price for their uprising, Myanmar’s monks are nursing their wounds and hoping for international action against the military junta that crushed their peaceful protests with bullets and tear gas.

A new estimate by a well-connected dissident group has concluded that 138 people were killed and about 6,000 detained, including about 2,400 Buddhist monks, when the regime smashed the anti-government protests last week….

Another report said many of the arrested monks are being held at a former race course, where they were forced to give up their robes and change into civilian clothes.

Several monasteries, brutally raided by police and soldiers last week, are nearly empty now.

From the above story: “Monks in northern Burma who spoke to the Associated Press confirmed that many of their colleagues were killed or beaten and taken away by the military. But they predicted the monks would not give up.

“I want our demands to be fulfilled. I want peace,” said one. “The best thing is to have balance and equality and peace.”

Bush appeals to China to pressure Myanmar
September 27

President George W. Bush reached out to China to exert its influence on Myanmar on Thursday, an admission that new U.S. sanctions alone will not be enough to stop the ruling junta’s crackdown on protesters.

Trying to rally the international community against Myanmar’s generals, Bush met Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and asked Beijing “to help bring a peaceful transition to democracy in Burma,” the White House said….

A leading European Parliament lawmaker suggested that European countries should boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics unless China does more to resolve the Myanmar crisis.

The White House played down any prospect of the United States staying away from the games or Bush canceling plans to attend if China fails to put pressure on Myanmar. But Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino reiterated the president’s view the “world is going to be watching” in the run-up to the Olympics.

Tibet*
If you were paying attention in the first paragraph, you would have noticed that although I was thinking Burma I typed the word “Tibet.” That was an honest mistake, I’ve changed nothing except to add the asterik. I went back to proofread and saw that while I was writing about Burma, I was thinking about Tibet.

So what about Tibet? I was thinking of a pithy post to write about the similarities of Burma and Tibet when I saw this post on the Precious Metal blog. The similarities are striking when one thinks about how China marched into Tibet. Chinese soldiers raided and ransacked Buddhist temples in Tibet. Chinese soldiers jailed and killed Buddhist monks in Tibet. Buddhist monks are “reprogrammed” in Tibet, that is, made to listen to Chinese government propaganda in their temples.

And now Pres. Shrub is “appealing” to China to pressure Burma? Where is the outrage for Tibet?

Hollywood celebrities are speaking out about Burma. Where is the outrage for Tibet? Is Richard Gere the only actor who knows where Tibet is?

Don’t get me wrong — I am not saying one should be given precedence over the other, but do you see where I’m going with this?

Free Burma. Free Tibet. Free all beings from oppression.

Boycott the 2008 Olympics