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Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence - Dhamma Wheel

Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Anagarika
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Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Anagarika » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:49 pm

An interesting article in this season's issue of Tricycle on the plight of the Rohingya people living in a sector of Burma.

http://www.tricycle.com/feature/buddhis ... lism-burma" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I haven't studied the issue carefully, nor have I visited Burma to get an on the ground sense of what is occurring. Violence seems to be ongoing on both sides, between the Muslim Rohingya people and the Buddhist Burmese.

One thing that does seem to be clear is that Burmese monks have been part of the virulent parade of anti-Rohingya sentiment, fueling further violence against men,women and children. This crisis was an opportunity for the Burmese monastics to take a Dhammic stand against violence, and illustrate for the world what Metta and Karuna means in he face of a very difficult political and ethnic issue. Instead, it appears that some monks have violated precepts and encouraged violence against the Rohingya.

I'm not assessing blame: violence by the Rohingya against the Burmese is to be disdained on a par with violence against the Rohingya. Still, it is shocking to see the Bhikkhus in the streets carrying signs threatening genocidal violence against the Rohingya. I would have hoped for a far better response to this difficult issue from the monks. Their behavior is appalling.
Last edited by Anagarika on Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SDC
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby SDC » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:01 am

A recent discussion about this issue:


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Dmytro
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Dmytro » Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:37 am



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Anagarika
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Anagarika » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:08 pm


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Paribbajaka
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Paribbajaka » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:25 pm

May all beings be happy!

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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Dmytro » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:43 am



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Paribbajaka
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Paribbajaka » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:55 pm

I agree that focussing on a persons positive qualities is more constructive, as is focussing on wise monks. This does not change the fact that there are monks currently spreading and inflaming prejudice.
We shouldn't focus on it, but I think downplaying it or when it is discussed acting as though it is a misinterpretation is not the right choice either. Until problems are honestly faced and assessed, they can't be solved. :anjali:
May all beings be happy!

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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Anagarika » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:53 am


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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby householder » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:57 am

Kicking off again, this time in Meiktila near Mandalay...

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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Dmytro » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:42 pm

Hi Householder,

Evidently you are talking about this clash: http://www.mizzima.com/news/inside-burm ... ktila.html

Numerous monks participated as well in various protests, e.g. Letpadaung copper mine protest .

I searched for a first-person explanation from a monk, and came up with:

"Several years ago, I interviewed Ashin Sopaka when he was in Thailand, having left Myanmar in 2003. The premise for his political activism, he said, lies in Buddhist doctrine that explicitly calls for the alleviation of human suffering: "If the people are suffering, then we have a responsibility - of course it [the suffering] is because of the political situation… [and] the political situation is connected to everything." While the government then attempted to slander protesting monks as heretics, many among the clergy consider activism as a natural obligation borne of Buddhist doctrine.
This was manifested in 2007 when monks organised to boycott religious duties for the generals, symbolised by the thousands who marched with their alms' bowls upturned. The act deeply unsettled the country's rulers, who are known for their almost paranoiac devotion to higher powers - the refusal to grant them and their colleagues merit, a cornerstone of Buddhist practice, had a tangible effect, with numbers of government workers who were effectively excommunicated during the uprising choosing to resign rather than continue to carry the stigma of being associated with the junta at that time."

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinio ... 63504.html

Seems that since 2007 some part of the monks is intent to be politically and socially active, much like the "Bodu Bala Sena", or Buddhist Force, and The National Heritage Party (Jathika Hela Urumaya) in Sri Lanka, with all the consequences that ensue.


householder
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby householder » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:20 pm

Yes - unconfirmed reports on the latest incident involve an extremist 'Buddhist' group that allegedly instigated yesterday's events, spurred on by a sayadaw preaching anti-Islamic rhetoric.

EDIT: Allegedly now spread to parts of Rakhine state (again) and Dala township in Yangon. Since I leave in a majority-Muslim township, I'm naturally concerned...

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Mr Man
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Mr Man » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:03 pm

Stay safe Householder.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:54 am

Another report on the form the BBC.

If I recall correctly, Meikthila is the hot and dry region in Middle Burma. I don't understand how monks can be fomenting or involved in this violence. They must be very poorly educated monks.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Kusala
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Kusala » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:04 am

Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

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Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Lazy_eye » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:31 pm

I'm not a huge fan of the Dalai Lama, but I do appreciate the strong statements he made in recent days against the violence in Burma. Details here:

http://www.newstrackindia.com/newsdetai ... Lama-.html

He specifically criticized U Wirathu, the anti-Muslim monk who has been nicknamed "the Buddhist Bin Laden".

I've noticed, however, that although various Buddhist luminaries have issued statements and signed declarations, most of them seem to be Vajrayana or Mahayana -- or, if Theravada, they are Westerners (e.g. Bhikkhu Bodhi and Ajahn Brahm) and associated with the Thai Forest Tradition.

Are there any influential Burmese clerics, teachers or scholars who have spoken out against the killings, mayhem and "ethnic cleansing"?

By the way, if you want to see U Wiratha's version of events, there is an interview . I read it and was not impressed. He comes across to me as one-sided and dishonest, a typical opportunist seeking to exploit tensions in order to boost his prestige and political clout.

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Alex123
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Alex123 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:31 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:36 am


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Dan74
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Dan74 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:49 am

_/|\_

householder
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby householder » Wed May 01, 2013 5:47 pm

Kicked off yet again yesterday and tonight. Plenty of reports of local monks trying to calm things. The release of the government's previously secret 'commission' reports (here, when there's an issue, the government forms a commission) doesn't inspire much hope that anything will change anytime soon, and may well get worse. Still, the spice must flow...

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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby binocular » Wed May 01, 2013 6:50 pm



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