Original post in burmese by may nyane
Translated by Burmese Bloggers w/o Borders
For the whole of last week, I was unable to do anything. With every moment, my mind was filled with various emotions: prayers, expectation, and loving-kindness. There was bloodshed in Burma on the full-moon day of last week. The sorrow that I felt since that full-moon day, has been so devastatingly overwhelming that in my entire life of 40 years, never have I found myself feeling such extreme emotions of grief, agony, embarrassment and frightened anxiety.
During the 1988 uprising, there were only feelings of anger and sadness. However, with the current situation, there is also an alarming feeling of worry.
Everything has begun to stumble down in Burma since 1995. The educational system for the new generation of students has been systematically ruined under General Khin Nyunt's (chairman of the Burma Education Committee) organized projects which I will not elaborate further. Basically, his main intention was to systematically suppress the national spirit of new generation of students. As a result, the standard of Burma’s education slowly disintegrated after a decade and in 2005, it stood almost at zero level. Burma currently ends up with academically under-developed new generation of students.
In 1995, the military junta revamped the images of stupas in Bagan which is a place, well-known for keeping the ancient culture of Burma alive. They hoisted the new “Htees”, the umbrellas on the top of the stupas, re-painted the stupas and applied plastic paint over the precious mural paintings which were drawn on the walls inside the stupas. In an interview with BBC regarding the matter, the famous Burmese historian, Dr. Than Htun, bravely said; “Historians still cannot say for sure who established Bagan. But we now certainly know who has destroyed the essence of Bagan”. He went on to explain the facts as to how Burma’s ancient culture was being destroyed. Upon hearing his words, I couldn’t help but to cry.
Theravada Buddhism was introduced in Burma by the Venerable Shin Arahan in 11th century, Bagan Era, during the King Anawrahta’s kingdom. Many centuries have passed by and during the thousand years, Burma has become a country where the spirit of Buddhism shines the brightest among all the other Buddhist countries in the world. Not only has the junta ruined the standards of Burma’s education and health systems, but also shattered the spirit of Buddhism by carrying out unimaginable actions of crackdown on the monks’ peaceful movement. If they can even take such actions against Buddhism, which they always declare to be most faithful of, they will surely carry out worse things against other religions. It seems as if the military junta is trying to reduce the lives, dignity and values of Burmese people to almost nothingness.
Right now, I and my fellow Burmese people cannot raise our heads high in the world because of our country’s predicament. Even those countries which are gaining from the natural resources of Burma, tend to look down on Burma and take advantage of Burmese people.
I feel that everyone in Burma needs to be part of the current peaceful protests and it is high time that we start a general strike. Only with the active participation of every single person, we will be able to triumph over the junta. If we do not succeed in this movement again, there will be more dire consequences than 1988 uprising and the national identity of Burmese people may even vanish.
If we look back at the events of Burma’s struggle for freedom, we can see a series of suppressions against the students’ peaceful movements. Under General Nay Win’s rule, there were suppressions against students’ movements on 7th July 1962, U Thant’s movement in 1974, a student-led commemoration of the 100th birthday of Thakin Kodaw Hmaing (the revered veteran nationalist leader) in 1976 and finally, the most devastating 1988 uprising. After General Nay Win, under General Khin Nyunt’s rule, more repressions against the students and civilians occurred, namely during 1996 movement. After 1996, the military junta adopted a very cautious and repressive nature against the students in Burma. Not only have they tried to instill fear into the minds of Burmese students, but also made attempts to degrade the intelligence and inspiration of the students.
If the movement against the military junta is to fail again this time, Burma will end up losing even the essence of Buddhism and enter the complete dominance of the junta. The junta will strongly discriminate between the pro-junta and anti-junta groups of people. I am extremely worried that the junta may even set up a practice of worshipping the military instead of paying homage to Buddha. As a result, the whole of Burma will be thrown into complete poverty and even risk becoming military slaves, with the exception of the supporters of junta having the comfortable and privileged lifestyles.
Burma, which has been ruined since General Nay Win’s rule in 1962, will even end up being guarded upon with caution by other nations in the world, as a country where ruthless killings of its own people and revered monks had occurred. Eventually, future generations of Burma will come to a point where they do not even dare to reveal their own national identity in the world and Burmese nationality will gradually dwindle away.
As such, Burmese people inside Burma will end up being the uneducated and uncivilized group of people, driven by poverty and the need for survival, prompting them to surrender to the military junta. Many years of isolation from the rest of the world will also take its toll over the Burmese people. There will be no escape but to kneel down in front of the military junta and accept the influence of China. We will end up leading lives with no national identity and no rights to any form of freedom.
By echoing Dr.Than Tun’s words, if we cannot achieve our endeavor to freedom this time, there may become a historical milestone that states the following; “Though it is unsure whether the beginning of Burma was in Takaung or Sri Ksetra (Thayekhittayar) eras, it can be said with certainty that the end of Burma was caused by the SPDC (State Peace and Development Council)”. The same is true for the Buddhism in Burma. Theravada Buddhism was introduced to Burma by the venerable monk Shin Aharan in 1044. The King Anawrahta found peace under the Buddhism and further developed the Budda Sarsana to a broader level. Now the historical records will show that the culprit, who brings an end to the Buddha Sarsana, is the SPDC led by Sr.General Than Shwe in collaboration with some like-minded leaders of Sanga Mahar Naryaka, who have also played a part in the bloodshed of the protesting monks from 25 September 2007 until now.
At this point, I recall what Aunty Su (Daw Aung San Suu Kyi) has said before: “The people of Burma are also responsible for allowing the BSPP (Burma Socialist Programmee Party) to rule over them for 26 years”. She is completely right. And now, SPDC (State Peace and Development Council) has been ruling Burma for almost 20 years. If we let them continue to rule over Burma, our future generations will definitely blame us for allowing our country to sink deeper into the abyss of darkness. Hence, I would like to implore everyone to use all ways and means to free Burma during our generation.
Original post in burmese by may nyane