Friday, September 28, 2007

Taking the Spiritual High Ground; Let them be our example of how to stand up to a military junta peacefully


[Right] Human rights activists in Hong Kong stage a vigil against the military crackdown in Yangon, Myanmar. Religious leaders in Asia joined world leaders in calling for a peaceful solution to the crisis. (CNS/Reuters)


By Catholic News Service

HONG KONG (CNS) -- Religious leaders in Asia have joined world leaders in calling for a peaceful solution to the crisis in Myanmar, where the military junta has launched a deadly crackdown on demonstrators. In a message to the president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Myanmar, Archbishop Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato, Philippines, secretary-general of the Hong Kong-based Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, expressed his "deepest concern" over the "troubling events" in Myanmar. Media reported Sept. 28 that soldiers violently dispersed demonstrations led by Buddhist monks in Yangon, Myanmar's capital, killing at least 10 people and occupying or barricading Buddhist monasteries. UCA News, an Asian church news agency, reported that in the federation's message to Archbishop Paul Zinghtung Grawng of Mandalay, Myanmar, Archbishop Quevedo said Asian bishops read with great sympathy and understanding the Myanmar bishops' statement issued two days earlier, calling on Catholics to pray during the crisis. "On behalf of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, may I express our solidarity with you on your stand. I am hereby urging our member episcopal conferences and our associate members to offer prayers and holy Masses to the Lord of peace so that no further violence might take place," Archbishop Quevedo wrote. "We pray that the problems in your beloved country (will) be resolved through peaceful dialogue for the sake of the common good. This process we urge on all parties concerned," he added. In the southern Philippines, Archbishop Fernando Capalla of Davao told UCA News Sept. 27 that the Bishops-Ulama (Islamic scholars) Conference of Mindanao was sending prayers for peace and an assurance of fraternal solidarity to Archbishop Charles Bo of Yangon and the bishops of Myanmar.
BUDDHIST PEACE FELLOWSHIP
1
Karaniyam atthakusalena Yan tam santam padam abhisamecca Sakko uju ca suju ca Suvaco c'assa mudu anatimani

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness
Having glimpsed the state of perfect peace,
Let them be able, honest and upright,
Gentle in speech, meek and not proud.

2
Santussako ca subharo ca Appakicco ca sallahukavutti Santindriyo ca nipako ca Appagabbho kulesu ananugiddho

Contented and easy to support,
With few duties, and simple in living.
Tranquil their senses, masterful and modest,
without greed for supporters

3
Na ca khuddam samacare kinci Yena viññu pare upavadeyyum Sukhino va khemino hontu Sabbe satta bhavantu sukhitatta

Also, let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Let them cultivate the thought:
May all be well and secure,
May all beings be happy

4
Ye keci panabhut'atthi Tasa va thavara va anavasesa Digha va ye mahanta va Majjhima rassakanukathula

Whatever living creatures there be,
Without exception, weak or strong,
Long, huge or middle-sized,
Or short, minute or bulky,

5
Dittha va yeva adittha Ye ca dure vasanti avidure Bhuta va sambhavesi va Sabbe satta bhavantu sukhitatta

Whether visible or invisible,
And those living far or near,
The born and those seeking birth,
May all beings be happy

6
Na paro param nikubbetha Natimaññetha katthacinam kanci Byarosana patighasañña Naññamaññassa dukkham iccheyya

Let none deceive another
Or despise any being in any state;
Let none wish others harm
In resentment or in hate.

7
Mata yatha niyam puttam Ayusa ekaputtam anurakkhe Evampi sabbabhutesu Manasam bhavaye aparimanam

Just as with her own life
A mother shields her child,
her only child, from hurt
Let all-embracing thoughts
For all beings be yours.

8
Mettañ ca sabba-lokasmim Manasam bhavaye aparimanam Uddham adho ca tiriyanca Asambadham averam asapattam

Cultivate a limitless heart of goodwill
For all throughout the cosmos,
In all its height, depth and breadth --
Love that is untroubled
And beyond hatred or enmity.

9
Titthañ caram nisinno va Sayano va yavat'assa vigatamiddho Etam satim adhittheyya Brahmam etam viharam idhamahu

As you stand, walk, sit or lie,
So long as you are awake,
Pursue this awareness with your might:
It is deemed the Divine Abiding- here and now.

10
Ditthiñca anupagamma silava Dassanena sampanno Kamesu vineyya gedham Na hi jatu gabbhaseyyam punar eti'ti

Holding no more to wrong views,
A pure-hearted one, having clarity
of vision, being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.


Troops Take Back Control in Myanmar

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Soldiers and police took control of the streets Friday, firing warning shots and tear gas to scatter the few pro-democracy protesters who ventured out as Myanmar's military junta sealed off Buddhist monasteries and cut public Internet access.

On the third day of a harsh government crackdown, the streets were empty of the mass gatherings that had peacefully challenged the regime daily for nearly two weeks, leaving only small groups of activists to be chased around by security forces.

"Bloodbath again! Bloodbath again!" a Yangon resident yelled while watching soldiers break up one march by shooting into air, firing tear gas and beating people with clubs.

Thousands of monks had provided the backbone of the protests, but they were besieged in their monasteries, penned in by locked gates and barbed wire surrounding the compounds in the two biggest cities, Yangon and Mandalay. Troops stood guard outside and blocked nearby roads to keep the clergymen isolated.

Many Yangon residents seemed pessimistic over the crackdown, fearing it fatally weakened a movement that began nearly six weeks ago as small protests over fuel price hikes and grew into demonstrations by tens of thousands demanding an end to 45 years of military rule.

The corralling of monks was a serious blow. They carry high moral authority in this predominantly Buddhist nation of 54 million people and the protests had mushroomed when the clergymen joined in.


AP: Myanmar Protest Questions and Answers


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