Sunday, October 6, 2013

Burmese monk slams "shameful" neighbors and UN



Prague - One has to look further than to the inner clique of Burmese generals when trying to apportionate blame for the existence of what must be the longest ruling military regime in today's world.
Burmese monk Ashin Sopaka believes that the neighboring countries are only too happy to see the incompetent junta drive his motherland to the ground, and he does not hesitate for a second to call this behavior shameful.
The Burmese exile who recently came to Prague as a guest of the human rights film festival One World also has some harsh words for the United Nations and its secretary general, who, he believes, "should use his brain" when choosing his special envoys.

Much like in the first part of his extensive interview for Aktuálně.cz which we had published earlier, Ashin Sopaka strenghtens his arguments with personal experience and bits of the Buddhist teaching which provides for a refreshing look at the issues under debate.


Q: You have been living in Germany for the last six years. But as many Burmese who flee their motherland you started your life of an exile in Thailand which hosts the biggest Burmese expatriate community. Just recently there have been some reports about alleged preparations for a crackdown against the exile groups on Thai-Burmese border. What do you make of this and what do you expect from the new(ish) Thai government led by Abhisit Vejjajiva when it comes to support for the Burmese pro-democracy movement?
Ashin Sopaka:
We are still trying to find out what kind of person he really is. I had a lot of expectations from him since he is the Democratic Party leader and his predecessor (and former mentor) Chuan Leekpai was a big supporter of Burmese democratic movement. I thought he would follow in his footsteps but I am not so sure any more. Nevertheless, I do believe that we need fully democratic Thailand, because it is very important for the freedom of Burma as it may greatly help the cause we are espousing.


Sadly, it is not happening. If you were to count the number of Thai people who are actively involved in the fight for the restoration of democracy in Burma, you will find they are only a few, maybe a hundred. And Thailand is a big country, but the government is controlling the people, making them hate rather than help the Burmese, by bringing up the issue again and again of Burmese kings invading and destroying (the capital of Siamese kingdom) Ayutthaya in the 18th century. They are really playing with the people and it is a bad behavior, because history is history - those things are long gone and we should be thinking of how to live together.
Besides, it is also thoroughly anti-Buddhist to do this, because whenever they bring up these old animosities, they tell people to hate others, not to love them, which is really bad in a country that is predominantly Buddhist like we are.


More here.

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