Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Current Events (For lack of a better title)

I think I'm too old to be this clueless.

It was just a few days ago that I learned about what was going on in Burma Myanmar. Who pays attention to Burma, right?
I mean, we have enough going on here in the US. Britney Spears performed a little hit and run and is being charged, Nicole Richie is pregnant and you just never know when Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are going to adopt another kid so you gotta keep watching that.
How could we possibly be expected to know what's going on in other countries?

The news in Burma caught my attention because it involves the protest and demonstration of Buddhist Monks.
Buddhists, especially the monks and nuns, are peace-loving people but these monks and nuns are the ones standing up to an unjust regime. They are the ones that are demonstrating incredible bravery and risking their lives to bring democracy to their country.

In reading about them, I kept hearing the name Suu Kyi. I didn't know who this was, so I started some research.
Aung San Suu Kyi, a woman, is a pro-democracy activist who has been under house arrest in Burma. In 1990, the National League for Democracy won the general election which would have made Suu Kyi Prime Minister. The problem was the military junta refused to relinquish power and she has been in and out of detention ever since.
She hasn't seen her children in years and she didn't even get to be with her husband when he died from cancer in 1999....all because she stands for democracy.

Amazingly, she's still alive and made a very shocking appearance at the gate of her home prison to give her blessing to the demonstrating monks.
Today, the military struck and it is reported that 5 monks were killed.

Surprisingly, CNN reports that the monks are leading a violent protest.

Monks have vandalized shops of those supporting the dictatorship in Myanmar, briefly taken local officials hostage and are now threatening to launch a boycott as early as Tuesday against the military leaders and their families.

This is going on virtually under our noses. Just like the Lost Boys of the Sudan in the 80s. Just like the mass genocide in Darfur. Just like the brutal regime of the Taliban in the 90s.

I'm not saying that I'll stop reading about the delicious mess that is Britney Spears but maybe I need to spend a little more time on the real world.

Aung San Suu Kyi info via

Somewhat of an update:
I just read this at Time's website.

A man on a motorcycle rode up. Motorcycles have been banned in Rangoon for years, ever since — the story goes — the paranoid generals fear being shot by assassins riding one of them. Most people on motorcycles are therefore assumed to be spies.

Thus sensing an enemy, the mob pounced. The man was pulled off his bike and set upon by students and people armed with wooden sticks. "Beat him!" they cried. "Kill him!" Quickly, the monks intervened and ushered him away to the safety of a nearby monastery. The mob, however, set upon his motorbike with clubs and rocks, smashing it to bits.

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