Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Martyring for freedom in Burma



By Thang D. Nguyen

JAKARTA—Politics and religion should not be mixed. And for good reasons, that is. For one thing, secularism prevents a nation from becoming a theocracy—the antithesis of democracy.

And in the case of radical Islamic groups, their battle for God, or jihad, is carried out as massive, deadly terrorist attacks.

But in Burma, a Buddhist-majority country, religion is now a powerful force for democracy.

It has been over a week since a few hundred Buddhist monks started a protest against the ruling junta in the former capital of Rangoon and other major cities in Burma.

Walking in the rain in Buddhist robes and with their hand clasped, the monks demand for an apology from the Burmese junta for the violent break-up of a civilian rally that was triggered by protests over price rises last month.

Civilians have joined the monks, even though they have asked not to do so for fear of provoking reprisals by the security forces.

To be sure, many activists have been jailed and some have allegedly been tortured for participating in earlier protests.

As a matter of fact, the monks’ march sends a chilled reminder of a mass protest in 1988 when the junta cracked down on activists, killing hundreds, if not thousands, of them.

In the beginning, the junta was reluctant and cautious. The main reason is that, in a country where Buddhist monks are the highest moral authority, a crackdown on them will certainly cause a massive national outcry.

But, after a week of mysterious silence, the junta broke its silence and warned the monks of military action if they did not stop protesting.

Next, military forces arrested over 100 monks and civilians for participating in the protest. But the protesters did not give up, and the military started to crack down on them with tear gas and gun-firing.

So far, three monks are dead and 20 other protestors injured during their clash with security forces. As part of the crackdown, security forces have also raided several Buddhist monasteries.

If anything, the clash shows how defiant the junta is—as always.

As he spoke before the UN general assembly in New York this week, President George W. Bush announced US sanctions against the Burmese military regime.

“Americans are outraged by the situation in Burma, where a military junta has imposed a 19-year reign of fear. The ruling junta remains unyielding, yet the people's desire for freedom is unmistakable,” he said.

The junta obviously did not care much about Mr. Bush's speech.

Lest we forget, this is the junta that has kept democracy leader and Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest since 1990 when her National League for Democracy (NLD) won landslide elections but was never allowed to govern.

This is the same junta that has since defied pressure from the US, the European Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations—of which Burma is a member—and the entire international community to free Aung San Suu Kyi and allow democracy to take place.

Sadly, the one country that can influence the junta’s action, China, has only urged for stability but refused to get intervene, saying that the protest is a matter of Burma’s internal affairs.

As one of its trading partners and corridor to the Indian Ocean, China does not like an unstable Burma.

But, a Beijing-backed crackdown on the monks over their protest will hurt China’s image as it is hosting the Olympics next year.

It remains to be seen how the clash between the junta and Burmese protestors will turn out in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the protest is most significant in several ways.

First, it is a protest initiated and organized by a religious force, as opposed to a civilian one. To be sure, Burmese monks were involved in the 1998 bloody protest, but only from behind the scenes.

Second, because of their position in Burmese society, the monks present the most serious challenge the junta has faced thus far in the country’s modern history.

Third, if protest results in a crackdown similar to that in 1988, it will be remembered as a most significant event that has ever happened for democracy in Burma.

Fighting for democracy is never easy. Or, as Thomas Jefferson put it: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

More monks and civilians will get hurt in this protest. More will die because of it.

But they will die martyrs, not for God, but for democracy.

The writer is an Asia-based columnist. His writing can be read at www.thangthecolumnist.blogspot.com.

2 Comments:

Blogger sexy said...

情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,A片,A片,情色,A片,A片,情色,A片,A片,情趣用品,A片,情趣用品,A片,情趣用品,a片,情趣用品

A片,A片,AV女優,色情,成人,做愛,情色,AIO,視訊聊天室,SEX,聊天室,自拍,AV,情色,成人,情色,aio,sex,成人,情色

免費A片,美女視訊,情色交友,免費AV,色情網站,辣妹視訊,美女交友,色情影片,成人影片,成人網站,H漫,18成人,成人圖片,成人漫畫,情色網,日本A片,免費A片下載,性愛

情色文學,色情A片,A片下載,色情遊戲,色情影片,色情聊天室,情色電影,免費視訊,免費視訊聊天,免費視訊聊天室,一葉情貼圖片區,情色視訊,免費成人影片,視訊交友,視訊聊天,言情小說,愛情小說,AV片,A漫,AVDVD,情色論壇,視訊美女,AV成人網,成人交友,成人電影,成人貼圖,成人小說,成人文章,成人圖片區,成人遊戲,愛情公寓,情色貼圖,色情小說,情色小說,成人論壇

免費A片,AV女優,美女視訊,情色交友,色情網站,免費AV,辣妹視訊,美女交友,色情影片,成人網站,H漫,18成人,成人圖片,成人漫畫,成人影片,情色網

A片,A片,A片下載,做愛,成人電影,.18成人,日本A片,情色小說,情色電影,成人影城,自拍,情色論壇,成人論壇,情色貼圖,情色,免費A片,成人,成人網站,成人圖片,AV女優,成人光碟,色情,色情影片,免費A片下載,SEX,AV,色情網站,本土自拍,性愛,成人影片,情色文學,成人文章,成人圖片區,成人貼圖

12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

徵信, 徵信網, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 感情挽回, 婚姻挽回, 挽回婚姻, 挽回感情, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信, 捉姦, 徵信公司, 通姦, 通姦罪, 抓姦, 抓猴, 捉猴, 捉姦, 監聽, 調查跟蹤, 反跟蹤, 外遇問題, 徵信, 捉姦, 女人徵信, 女子徵信, 外遇問題, 女子徵信, 徵信社, 外遇, 徵信公司, 徵信網, 外遇蒐證, 抓姦, 抓猴, 捉猴, 調查跟蹤, 反跟蹤, 感情挽回, 挽回感情, 婚姻挽回, 挽回婚姻, 外遇沖開, 抓姦, 女子徵信, 外遇蒐證, 外遇, 通姦, 通姦罪, 贍養費, 徵信, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信公司, 女人徵信, 外遇

徵信, 徵信網, 徵信社, 徵信網, 外遇, 徵信, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信, 女人徵信, 徵信社, 女人徵信社, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 女人徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信,

徵信, 徵信社,徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 外遇, 抓姦, 離婚, 外遇,離婚,

徵信社,外遇, 離婚, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信, 外遇, 徵信,外遇, 抓姦, 征信, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信,徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社,徵信,徵信,

7:57 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home