[Buddha-l] I kill I kill the monks are dead.

JKirkpatrick jkirk at spro.net
Sun Aug 15 14:28:34 MDT 2010

A Dictator And The "Largest Democracy"
Sunday 15 August 2010

by: J. Sri Raman, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

I see I hear I know
I beat I hit I touch
I kill I kill the monks are dead.

That was the chant of Than Shwe, Burma's military dictator, as he
meditated recently at Bodhgaya, the place in India where Gautam
Buddha attained enlightenment. Or, so says the satirical verse
doing the rounds on the Internet.

Whether the junta leader chanted these words or not, the
government of India had indeed seen as well as heard and it knew
what the junta led by Shwe had done to the people of Burma. None
of this, however, stopped New Delhi from rolling out the red
carpet to the 77-year-old general as he arrived in the country on
July 26 for a five-day state visit.

Beginning his tour at Bodhgaya, in a gesture obviously aimed at
Burma's Buddhist majority (including the monks at the forefront
of the pro-democracy movement), Shwe proceeded to the diplomatic
part of the mission, and departed with a clutch of bilateral
agreements. The pacts provided his regime millions of dollars in
assistance and trade revenue and, more importantly, a shade more
of political legitimacy. Clearly, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's
government was not constrained by either its officially oft-cited
reputation as the "largest democracy" or its past policy of
support for the pro-democracy movement.

The timing of the visit was significant for both sides. Shwe was
rediscovering his Buddhist roots in time for the "elections" he
proposes to hold later this year. For New Delhi, the more
noteworthy fact was that the visit comes just a month after
China's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao traveled to Rangoon, the
Burmese capital, to sign a raft of economic deals.
The planned elections will be the first after the polls of 1990,
when the junta simply set aside the voters' landslide verdict in
favor of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and its
charismatic leader Aung San Suu Kyi. She has been under house
arrest for most of the time since then. The NLD ceased to exist
as a party in May 2010 after Suu Kyi was barred by a new
Constitution from contesting polls as someone married to a
[the article goes on to explore reaons for India's new abject
stance toward Burma.]

Joanna K.

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