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Mindfulness in Revolution

by Shwe InnThu, SHAN, September 25, 2007

Don’t underestimate the Treacherous Junta

Yangon, Myanmar -- Being an eye witness of the "8888" (the largest ever national Burmese uprising demanding democracy which erupted on 8 August 1988 in Rangoon) democracy movement and have overheard the talking of some of the retired generals, I have come to understand the Burmese army strategy of patiently waiting for the opportune moment, until the target became closer and clearer and only when it is sure that it will not missed the target, they will start firing into the crowds.

So also today I sense that the craftiness of the army, who is patiently but surely and carefully watching the peaceful and unarmed monks and people until they all gathered at a certain point like City Hall or what ever, and then they will open fire.

I also clearly recollect, of how the Burmese army released several thousands of criminal prisoners to participate in the demonstration and to initiate riots, free for all, skirmishes, fights, duel to the point of beheading some of the suspects and hanging their heads at the cross roads. These gristly scenes were deliberately created to justify their justification that the Communist had entered the cities of Burma.

Some Brigades of soldiers from the front lines who did not know anything about politics or condition of the country or about the people’s demonstration were brought into cities and given orders to shoot. This was because the soldiers who were stationed in the city knew the real situation and were reluctant to shoot or kill the peaceful demonstrators.

They harbored some idea of the peoples’ grievances and understand their cause. The Generals had tricked the naïve soldiers from the front line jungles to kill the people. This scenario can be repeated again, as the Junta can use the non Buddhist soldiers who are battling the ethnic armies to do the dirty works for them.

Another instance in 1988, the army suddenly lift the curfew to encourage anarchy and encourage killings and lootings but the people sense this nasty trickery of the army and took over the security and responsibility by immediately forming a committee composed of elders, respectable monks, and students to shoulder the security of their respective places. At that short space of time, the country was peaceful and under control of traditional administration system and even give a chance to a thief to confess, return the things he had burgled and to ask for forgiveness, which was readily given. The army knew that his trick was not working and so they stopped this community administration and arrested the potential leaders just to create chaos and justify the coup. Such kind of trickery by the army is still a possibility.

Currently the Burmese Buddhist monks have initiated a peaceful demonstration chanting Metta Sutta (loving kindness towards all beings), and strictly following Buddha’s teaching of non- violence way. This aspect will make the army very difficult to crack down on the monks who are quite revered. This momentum must be continued and follow the monk’s non-violence demonstration, avoiding any action of violence which can fall into trap of the army. One should be in mind that the Burmese army is infusing bogus monks among the clergy to create chaos and confusion just for its own justification to crack down. Don’t let the 8888 mistakes be repeated.

We should also sense that the international community is watching very closely and is quite ready to help giving the necessary support provided that it is a peaceful demonstration which every democratic country would practice. Now this coming Monday the monks have called on the populace to join them and there is every possibility that some hot heads will commit the excesses and give the excuse to the army to crack down on the monks and peaceful demonstrators.

This is also a test for the morality and religious affliction of the soldiers, will they obey the orders of their general to shoot into the crowds. The USDA or better known as Soon Ah Shin cannot match the monks and the people. But one cannot underestimate.

The great difference to comparison of 8888 was the whole country uprising where all walks of life and all ethnics participate with dedication but as of today it was confine to monks only. We do hope and pray that the minorities both religion and races should join together in the overthrow of this Satanic Burmese Generals. We hope that this would be the historical landmark leading to a peaceful Union of the country for unity is strength and victory is awaiting us.

The opposition groups outside the country should more emphasize on lobby for the international support to be on time, and protect the demonstrators by talking to the military government to face the fact bravely and solve the present demonstration peacefully as the monks and people are demonstrating by non violence means.

And also this is the right time and the best opportunity for the military regime to confess to the monks and change the administration accordingly what the people fairly asking and fighting for decades. If the army stills want to maintain its integrity there can be resolution by means of dialogue.

At the same time, the opposition parties and the likes should be careful not to arouse the people to become emotional and violent. Political exploitation in a wrong way will destroy the whole cause. Mindfulness is needed in every step.

The monks are approaching a peaceful way and there is a glowing light at the end of the tunnel and if we want have victory over the Satanic forces, there is no other means than to be united and follow he monks chanting Metta Sutta or just say all beings to be well. We should have broad minded as Metta is for all, and everybody can enjoy it. Only Metta can win the anger and brutality.

The Author is an Intha, whose people dwell the Inlay lake of Shan State

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