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From Norway, Buddhist Solidarity with demonstrating monks in Myanmar

by Egil Lothe, Buddhist Federation of Norway, The Buddhist Channel, Sept 27,

The Buddhist community in Norway, counting 10.000 members of the Buddhist Federation of Norway, among the 25.000 individuals adhering to Buddhism in our country, is watching with great apprehension the events unfolding these days on the streets of Yangon and other towns of Myanmar.

Monks in their thousands, coming from the most respected monasteries in the country, have entered the streets, chanting the Metta Sutta in front of the guns of the security forces and the army. At the time of writing, threats of dire consequences have not yet resulted in blood of monks and innocent civilians being shed in the streets of Yangon.

However, considering the appalling record of violence of the present military rulers of Myanmar, exemplified by the cold blooded massacre of thousands of civilians in the streets of Yangon in August 1988, we fear that the guns of the army will again be turned against those they are supposed to protect.

Fearing that the horror of August 1988 will be repeated in Myanmar in the days to come we appeal to you, as the President of the WFB, to act on behalf of the world community of Buddhists, entreating the rulers of Myanmar to refrain from shedding the blood of monks and peaceful civilians, encouraging them instead to follow the honourable road of seeking a solution to the crisis in Myanmar through peaceful dialogue, respecting the will of the people that they are supposed to serve.

In our view, the Buddhist neighbours of Myanmar have a particular responsibility to call upon the rulers of Myanmar, who designate themselves as Buddhists, to refrain from acting against the fundamental tenets of the Dhamma through shameful acts of violence against monks and innocent civilians.

We expect nothing less from the WFB than a clear stand against the threats of brute force and violence against monks exercising their duty to give moral guidance to a government that has gone seriously astray from the most fundamental Buddhist principles of moral governance.

This letter was sent to the attention of Mr. Phan Wannamethee, President of The World Fellowship of Buddhist, based in Bangkok, Thailand

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