Myanmar/Burma is world's second-biggest producer of opium and derivative heroin. Also exporting methamphetamine is big. Natural gas, gemstones are also up for "grabs" if the situation deteriorates.
Photos of world wide demos and inside Burma here.
How many more lives need to be murdered by our brutal regime till you help us stop them effectively? Please do not waste any more time by listening to their fake stories. They are making their soldier as monks and dragging real monks out to prison or killing them right away. There should be no time to listen to them at all as we all seemed it clearly. We really need your help. Regime is coma now. They are about to be gone. This is our 45 years long peaceful struggle. WE MUST IMMEDIATELY STOP THIS jUNTA who has no brain. Monks involve in country cause is just normal. We had many monks (such as U Ottama) led to fight for our independence before. They have nothing to do with politics. Burma's current situation is not about politics. Political result has already been shown clearly since 1991 but losers are keep on ruling by using their guns.
Q: What touched off the current demonstrations in Myanmar?
A: The trigger was the military regime's huge hike of fuel prices (500% over night after signing a oil discovery pact with the Russians), which caused the cost of public transport -- used by most people in Myanmar -- to also rise. But the protests also reflect long-standing discontent with the repressive military regime and were initiated by veteran pro-democracy activists.
Armed Myanmar security forces march down the streets of downtown Yangon Thursday.
Q: What do the demonstrators want?
A: The original demands were for the fuel price to be dropped again and other measures to ease people's economic burdens in one of Asia's poorest nations. But they also include apologies for mistreating monks during a demonstration. More importantly, they have broadened to include the release of all political prisoners including opposition leader.There is no official leadership of the protest movement, however, so the demands are not universally recognized.
Q: Why are monks involved and what role do they play in society?
A: Buddhist monks have traditionally spearheaded movements for social and political change, against British colonialism as well as post-independence military dictatorships. They were very active in a failed 1988 pro-democracy uprising, as well as 1990 protests that were put down over several months with raids on hundreds of pagodas and the arrests of hundreds of monks. Monks are revered by the majority of the nation's predominantly Buddhist population as the conscience of society.
Q: Will the military government pay heed to international pressure? Who has leverage on the junta and why?
A: Myanmar's government so far has been able to shrug off harsh criticism and economic and political sanctions applied by the U.S. and other Western nations. It has survived by cultivating investment in its potentially vast oil and gas reserves. Neighboring China and India curry favor with the junta because of Myanmar's strategic location and resources. China is the regime's main ally, supplying the most aid and diplomatic muscle at international forums.
Q: The U.S. government announced sanctions on Myanmar; will they have an impact? What is the history of the U.S. in Myanmar?
A: As long as the military government can turn to other sources for support, any sanctions are likely to be ineffective. Some analysts argue that by so completely ostracizing the regime, Washington loses any chance at influencing it or elements in the military to make reforms. To Americans, the country is best known for its role as a World War II theater that was a back road into China, with troops fighting in the jungle and pilots flying supply missions over the nearby Himalayas. Its most famous citizens are Suu Kyi, the 1990 Nobel peace laureate, and the late U Thant, who served as U.N. secretary general.
Q: What does Myanmar have that the world wants?
A: Myanmar's location on the Indian Ocean makes it a desirable outlet to the sea for its northern neighbor China. That fact makes it important for China's regional rival, India. The country is rich in natural resources, with offshore natural gas topping the list. But it also has valuable mineral deposits and is one of the world's biggest suppliers on gem stones. It is also a source of illicit drugs, being the world's second-biggest producer of opium and its derivative, heroin, as well as a major exporter of methamphetamine. The government claims to be trying to suppress the drug trade.
Q: Is the country's name Myanmar or Burma?
A: In 1989, Burma officially changed its name in English to the Union of Myanmar and renamed the capital, Rangoon, as Yangon, bringing the English names into conformance with their pronunciation in the national tongue. The nationality -- Burmese -- also was changed to Myanmar. Government officials said the change in the country's name was to better reflect Burma's ethnic diversity. The term "Burma" connotes Burman -- the country's dominant ethnicity -- to the exclusion of minorities who have fought for greater autonomy from the central government. Many who regard the military junta as illegitimate continue to call the country Burma.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Oct 1: Sources located in Yangon, Myanmar have provided confirmed
reports to the Buddhist Channel on the status of monks currently
detained by the security forces. The informant also said that many
civilians are being tortured by their apprehendors.
Last night a senior monk who had been allowed to visit novices held in
Burma's notorious Insein jail said several had been sentenced to six
years' imprisonment for taking part in the protests.
So far, about 1,000 of Burma's 400,000 monks have been arrested. Tens
of thousands more are locked in monasteries, and many more have gone
on hunger strike.
Read the full article on the Buddhist Channel
Related Buddhist Site: http://What-Buddha-Said.net
Aung San Suu Kyi's Missing Peace Warriors
Six days after the brutal clampdown by the Burmese generals, the world is left wondering what has become of Aung San Suu Kyi's "peace warriors". The Buddhist monks, who last month turned small protests against hiked fuel prices into a mass display of peaceful protest against the military, have simply vanished from the streets. Rangoon's famed Shwedagon Pagoda, Burma's holiest shrine and the symbolic heart of the latest anti-junta uprising, remains occupied by soldiers.
“Warriors, warriors, Lord, we call ourselves. In what way are we warriors?’‘We wage war, Brethren; therefore are we called warriors.’‘Wherefore, Lord, do we wage war?’For lofty virtue, for high endeavour, for sublime wisdom – for these things do we wage war? Therefore we are called warriors.’
The above mentioned golden verses about the role of monks or Bhikkhus as a “warriors” had been once acknowledged by Lord Buddha’s disciples in the holy Buddhist text of “Anguttara-Nikaya” and very scholarly referred fifty-six years ago by a famous Buddhist Studies scholar- Mr. Christmas Humphreys♥ in his equally famous book – “Buddhism” as one of the important essence of “Theravada Buddhism or Doctrine of the Elders”. And today world community has not to search anywhere for these warriors of Lord Buddha in orange robe, which could be easily found in all big and small cities – Rangoon, Mandalay, Pakokku, Sittwe, Hakha, Kyakse, Myitkyina, Taunggok and many other cities/villages of Burma.
who, unmindful of the impermanence of earthly things
and anticipating a long life, had built himself a large house.
The Buddha wondered why a man so near to death
had built a mansion with so many apartments,
and he sent Ananda to the rich Brahman
to preach to him the four noble truths
and the eightfold path of salvation.
The Brahman showed Ananda his house
and explained to him the purpose of its numerous chambers,
but to the instruction of the Buddha's teachings he gave no heed.
"It is the habit of fools to say,
'I have children and wealth.'
He who says so is not even master of himself;
how can he claim possession of children, riches, and servants?
but they know nothing of the changes of the future."
Scarcely had Ananda left,
when the old man was stricken with apoplexy and fell dead.
The Buddha said, for the instruction of those who are ready to learn:
"A fool, though he lives in the company of the wise,
understands nothing of the true doctrine,
as a spoon tastes not the flavour of the soup.
He thinks of himself only,
and unmindful of the advice of good counsellors
is unable to deliver himself."
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