Circle of Joy and Sorrow

Everything that exists is in a manner the seed of that which will be. -Marcus Aurelius

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Today I thought to comment on something I honestly think the whole world should be watching and lending support to, which are the Buddhist monks leading protests against the totalitarian military regime of their country of Burma. Monks have been marching by the thousands after fuel prices in their country doubled without warning last month. Most affected are Burma's poor, a country where 1 in 3 children are malnourished.

Monks, who are highly respected in Myanmar, have energized a protest movement that began a month ago after the government raised fuel prices, sparking anger over economic hardship in the impoverished Southeast Asian nation.

The demonstrations also reflect long pent-up opposition to the military regime and have become the most sustained challenge to the junta since a wave of student demonstrations that were put down by force in December 1996.

The government appeared to be handling the situation gingerly, aware that any action seen as mistreating the monks could ignite public outrage. They are aware that restraining monks poses a dilemma, because monks are highly respected in predominant Buddhist Myanmar, and abusing them in any manner could cause public outrage.

We talk a lot about encouraging peace and democracy in the world, but this is the sort of change that occurs only with widespread global care and support. These monks are some of the bravest heroes you will see on television, but their struggle is likely to end in blood shed and tragedy, and go unrewarded at next year's Emmy's.

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