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Network of Engaged Buddhists: Statement on Burma

The Buddhist Channel, Sept 26, 2007

The largest public demonstration against the repressive military regime  in nearly 20 years has been carried out in the past weeks by thousands of Burmese monks and nuns . As the Alliance of All Burmese Buddhist Monks march, chant, and overturn their almsbowls (patam nikkujjana kamma), refusing to accept donations from members of the military regime, the UK Network of Engaged Buddhists  offers our full support and solidarity.

Burma has lived under direct social and political repression for nearly 20 years, since the democracy uprisings of 1988. The army's answer to the people's yearning for freedom in 1988 was the killing of thousands of demonstrators. This repression has in no way abated over the years, bringing with it ethnic cleansing of minority groups, corruption, forced labour, and widespread poverty.

We recognise these non-violent demonstrations by Buddhist monks and nuns as expressions of compassion at a time when the already impoverished nation is staggering under the government mandated price hikes. We salute Burma's monks and nuns who have historically used techniques on non-violence against oppression and who today are leading the way to democracy and human rights.

We urge the international Buddhist community as well as the UK Government to support the call for liberation and the end of military rule. We urge Burma’s leader to meet the monks, nuns and representatives of all the millions yearning for freedom with open eyes and ears, and with all weapons set aside, so that Burma will again find its rightful place as a beacon of freedom and dharma in the world.

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