Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Future of Burma

The Book of Great Learning says:
"He who loses the (hearts of the) people loses the state."
It has been 10 days since the beginning of the nationwide anti-Junta protests started by the monks in Burma, and the situation is getting worse every day. Already large numbers of monks & civilians have been beaten, arrested, even slain by the merciless soldiers sent in to crack down on peaceful protesters.

The Dao De Jing says:
"Why threaten the people with death,
when they are no longer afraid of dying?"
My heart goes out to the suffering Burmese monks and people. Despite its rich natural resources, economically Burma is no better than North Korea after decades of isolation. After the recent 5-fold increase in fuel prices, the impoverished people are literally faced with starvation, which leaves them no choice other than to take to the streets along with the monks. However instead of being heard they are shot at, struck down with sticks and thrown behind bars.
The Junta government in Burma has oppressed its people for far too long. They have no qualms about plunging their own nation into an abyss of poverty and hopelessness, only to cling on to illegitimate power. Nothing has changed since the 1988 massacre of 3,000 over protesters, other than the mastermind of the violence - General Tan Shwe, another ruthless dictator. Like North Korean "Dear Leader" Kim Jong Il, he himself lives like a King while the rest of the country are going through hell trying to survive from day to day.

What future does the Burmese nation have, under such a corrupt and violent regime? How can ordinary people and monks with little possessions hope to topple their military rulers, who have been entrenched in power for the past few decades?

The answer lies in one word - Karma. The sins of the Junta has ripened since 1988, and the reaping of their evil fruits is imminent. On the surface it looks impossible for the people to overthrow them, but the Junta is not as united as it appears to be. The moment they spilled the blood of the Sangha as well as the people, the Junta effectively sealed their own fate in the same way that the Taliban sealed theirs when they destroyed the Bamiyan Buddha statues. Forces of dissent among the military are growing stronger in different parts of Burma. These forces feel sympathy for the Buddhist religion as well as for their own countrymen. Mark my words, soon there will be revolts within the Burmese Army itself.

The Dao De Jing also says:
"When the people no longer fear oppression,
then the great calamity (for the ruler) has arrived."
And that would be the beginning of the end for the Junta and General Tan Shwe. Even as monks, ordinary folks and foreign journalists lay dying on the ground, surely the dawn of a new era awaits Burma after an eternal midnight. Let us pray for the safety and peace of all those suffering people. May they be protected by the power of the Dhamma, sadhu.

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