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Friday, September 28, 2007

Buddhist monks lead popular uprising in Burma.

I've had very little time to follow this story beyond the daily reports in the Boston Globe, so I hope those of you who are following it more closely will add links to informed commentary. Thousands of Buddhist monks and nuns in Burma have been leading several days of peaceful mass demonstrations against the repressive military junta that governs the country. (The government calls the nation Myanmar, not Burma, which generates some confusion as some media use the official name while others use the traditional name.) The military is now trying to repress the public demonstrations with violence, with reports yesterday saying that nine people have been killed and several hundred monks jailed. Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's leading human rights activist, has also been jailed.

UU Buddhist bloggers Jeff Wilson and James Ford are writing about the demonstrations; please share other links you think my readers would find helpful.

("Junta's crackdown in Burma intensifies: Security forces kill nine, raid monasteries," Edward Cody [Washington Post], Boston Globe 9.28.07; "For military junta, a history of shrugging off sanctions and criticism," Grant Peck [AP], Boston Globe 9.28.07; earlier: "Monks lead massive protest in Burma: Antigovernment demonstrators shout for Suu Kyi," AP, Boston Globe 9.24.07)

Copyright © 2007 by Philocrites | Posted 28 September 2007 at 7:44 AM

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September 28, 2007 08:44 AM | Permalink for this comment

See also the commentary and links at Sisyphus.

Jeff W.:

September 28, 2007 11:59 AM | Permalink for this comment

Colleen at Arbitrary Marks has been blogging this story too. Thanks for keeping it in the public eye, this is a major story with implications for politics (and religion) throughout Southeast Asia.


September 28, 2007 12:38 PM | Permalink for this comment

There is also a Canadian Theravadin monk's blog which talks about the uprising and has some good links.


September 28, 2007 01:57 PM | Permalink for this comment

Thanks for the post Chris. This type of spiritually led civil disobedience is something for UUs to celebrate and support.

A good friend of my family is part of the US Campaign for Burma ( They have regular updates and information on the site, and it's also a chance to make a financial donation to help the fight for freedom from the junta.


September 28, 2007 02:11 PM | Permalink for this comment

Try this link instead:

Sorry (and thanks Jeff)


September 28, 2007 03:12 PM | Permalink for this comment

Here's a statement from UUA President Bill Sinkford:

The people of Burma/Myanmar are in our thoughts and prayers.The images we've seen and the stories we've heard of the brave and inspirational witness offered by Buddhist religious leaders and citizens have touched our hearts and souls. Their peaceful protest against a cruel and repressive government is a notable moment in the multi-generational struggle for peace, liberty and justice in our world. The arrests, the killings, and all the forms of violence which they have suffered in response from the government are entirely unjustified. We stand in spiritual solidarity with the people of Burma as they risk their safety even as further governmental reprisals occur. We pray for their well-being, their vision, and their commitment.

We call upon United States government and the United Nations to pressure the government of Myanmar to refrain from violent responses and to release political prisoners, including Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for nearly seventeen years. Unitarian Universalists are asked to engage in advocacy for the people of Burma with their elected representatives, and to hold the people of Burma in their thoughts and prayers during worship this weekend, and in the weeks to come.

("Statement by Rev. William G. Sinkford in Response to Recent Events in the Country of Myanmar (Formerly Known as Burma)," 9.28.07)

Free Burma!:

October 1, 2007 08:08 AM | Permalink for this comment

Free Burma!
International Bloggers' Day for Burma on the 4th of October

International bloggers are preparing an action to support the peaceful revolution in Burma. We want to set a sign for freedom and show our sympathy for these people who are fighting their cruel regime without weapons. These Bloggers are planning to refrain from posting to their blogs on October 4 and just put up one Banner then, underlined with the words „Free Burma!“.

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