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October 15, 2007

Burma and Boycotts

Big Buddhist week in New York last week: Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama were in town (see the Worst Horse tracking Gawker Stalker as HH rolls through the Village), and the Tricycle office had a little gathering attended by many fine readers from the area plus Sharon Salzberg and Lama Surya Das. British PM Gordon Brown is working to put pressure on Burma. He will press for tough sanctions in the UK and the EU and asks those countries that trade most with Burma to cut ties. More »
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October 11, 2007

Islamists Deface Another Buddha

Literally defaced. Great. More of this here The Zennist discusses the term "aryan" in its Buddhist context. And no, he doesn't discuss the swastika. UPDATE: Donald Lopez discussed the term "aryan" in Tricycle's Winter 2006 issue. We'll put this article online later so everyone can read it. More »
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October 11, 2007

Blood, Robes, and Tears

TIME has a piece on the Burmese protests from which comes the title of this post. When in our recent past have Buddhist monks other than the Dalai Lama been so prominent in the American consciousness? Maybe not since Vietnam. Apparently Mandalay didn't suffer the same treatment the rest of the country did. Read about it in "Buddha's Peace Prevailed." ASEAN issues a statement condemning violence to Buddhist monks in Burma. From the article by George Yao, foreign minister of Singapore: When Western countries cheered us for speaking out, it worried us. Strident calls to bring down the regime showed a lack of understanding of the problem. More »
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October 11, 2007

Does China Have Religion?

Slavoj Zizek, author of The Parallax View, writes on "How China Got Religion" in the New York Times. He discusses Communism avowed atheism as it relates to Falun Gong, the ukase regulating reincarnation, Burmese monks, and the commodification of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism: In recent years, the Chinese have changed their strategy in Tibet: in addition to military coercion, they increasingly rely on ethnic and economic colonization. Lhasa is transforming into a Chinese version of the capitalist Wild West, with karaoke bars and Disney-like Buddhist theme parks. The Dalai Lama spoke at Ithaca College. More »
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October 10, 2007

Germans Love Buddhism. Christopher Hitchens Hates It.

Interesting article on how hard Cubans must work in order to blog. They have to pretend to be foreign and sneak into the big hotels that have unfiltered -- or at least more open than elsewhere on the island -- internet pipelines to the rest of the world. (The blog mentioned, in Spanish of course, is here.) This is a small part of what our fellow humans living under totalitarianism must do to have their voices heard. Be thankful for your political freedom and don't take it for granted! More »
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October 10, 2007

Burmese Days Continued

The situation in Burma has exposed links with the dictatorship all over the world. Obviously, most of Burma's trading partners will be neighbors, just as the U.S.'s largest trading partner is Canada. This has put southeast Asia -- already a troubled area with two Communist countries (Vietnam and Laos) and two other military dictatorships (Burma and Thailand, which has a virulent Muslim insurgency in its south) -- in a tight spot. As a result, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations opposes sanctions on Burma, and Singapore is said to be "a crucial ally" of the junta. The Western Powers (The U.S., France, and Britain) have issued a "softened" UN statement decrying the crackdown in Burma. More »
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October 09, 2007

Even More Asian Classics

As reported here previously, the Asian Classics Input Project is doing great work making classic Buddhist texts available, in a searchable database, no less-- they're now on Release number 6 -- check it out. The junta claims weapons were found in Buddhist monasteries after the crackdown on the democratic protests Maybe they were and maybe they weren't but no one believes the Bulldog and his clowns anyway. The Dalai Lama spoke with the fine folks at the Ithaca Journal about his book, The Good Heart: A Buddhist Perspective on the teachings of Jesus. More »
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October 09, 2007

Who Isn't Doing Enough for Burma?

Bill Kristol, who is a vociferous supporter of the Surge and everything else the U.S. is doing so well in Iraq, says in the Washington Post that the U.S. ought to lean on China re: Burma. Fair enough. (China opposes U.N. sanctions against Myanmar and is widely perceived to be the regime's biggest -- or only -- friend.) But then he goes on to wonder if "limited military actions, overt or covert" might be directed against the Myanmar junta. More »
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October 08, 2007

Burma Headlines

As long as there is attention on Burma, there's hope, from the San Francisco Chronicle. Malaysia presses its southeast Aisan neighbors for talks on Burma, from the BBC. Authorities are still rounding up dissidents in Burma, says the Bangkok Post. Forget conflict diamonds -- here come the blood-red rubies of Mogok. More »
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October 05, 2007

The regime's view

We know what's going on with the Free Burma side. But here's a poster that allows us  to glimpse into the propaganda of the regime ruling Myanmar. - Philip Ryan, Web Editor  More »
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October 05, 2007

Buddhists for Burma

Russia and China vote to take no action on Burma in the Security Council. Again, if the U.S. hadn't abused and exploited the U.N., it would be easier to benefit from the good things the Security Council can actually do. The Myanmar state media says 2,093 people had been arrested in the crackdown and that 692 of them have been released. Human Rights Watch calls these numbers "very plausible." The Wall Street Journal discusses politically active monks and says the junta has used Buddhism to its own ends over the years. More »
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October 05, 2007

Free Burma!

Oops, a day late with this. Too busy reading other people's blogs? More »
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October 05, 2007

Aung San Suu Kyi says 'No' to talks with Bulldog

From Reuters, Junta rounds up scores more, and Detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's party dismissed a Myanmar junta offer of talks as unreal on Friday, while China said the ruthless suppression of pro-democracy protests did not require international action. Does the international community agree with China on this? One City / the Interdependence Project has a post recommending action for Burma. Danny Fisher points us to Amnesty International's efforts on Burma -- They are organizing demonstrations across the globe. More »
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October 04, 2007

Keep Your Eyes on Burma

We can't look away. News today: Junta sets terms for talk with opposition. This is good news. Talking is better than shooting. Without pressure the junta wouldn't have consented to anything. Myanmar media lashes out at foreigners. Xenophobia serves tyrants well. More arrests and climate of fear in Burma. Fear also works well for tyrants. The inimitable Christopher Hitchens draws links between Beijing and the junta. And "The Bulldog" will meet with Aun San Suu Kyi. More »
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October 04, 2007

Bloggers Speak Out on Burma (Free Burma!)

Here's Jeff Alworth, no longer avoiding writing about Burma: I have avoided writing about Burma because ... well, because I really don't have anything substantive to add to the discussion. How do you comment on a train wreck? anthropologi.info calls attention to the suffering of the Muslim minority in Myanmar: Burma’s protesters may have been silenced, but we must continue to support them, writes Brendan Barber in The Guardian. But maybe we should not focus too much upon the courage of the monks. More »
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October 03, 2007

Alan Wallace

Alan Wallace, the prolific translator of Tibetan texts and author of many original works on the intersection of Buddhism and science, was a Buddhist monk for fourteen years. He's written a new book, Hidden Dimensions: The Unification of Physics and Consciousness, and you can read an excerpt here. You can also read the three "winning" questions -- and Alan Wallace's answers -- from the latest Tricycle Q & A. The next Q & A will feature Gil Fronsdal, who was a monk in benighted Burma before teaching at the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, California, where he's been since 1990. - Philip Ryan, Web Editor More »
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October 03, 2007

Burma Links, October 3, 2007

Global Voices Online reports on the junta's efforts to force monks to disrobe (in the religious sense) and give up their religion. The Democratic Voice of Burma reports the junta has buried protesters it killed, rather than retruning them to family members for burial and the merit-making ceremony seven days after the death. More »
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October 02, 2007

U.N. Envoy meets with Myanmar Junta and Burmese Opposition Leader, Aung San Suu Kyi

U.N. special envoy Ibrahim Gambari met with the Myanmar junta supremo Than Shwe in the new capital of Nay Pyi Taw, then flew to Yangon (Rangoon) to meet with the detained Nobel prize winner. Also, Burmese Catholics show support for the protesting monks, now held captive somewhere and being subjected to who knows what. Where are they? Oh yeah, and the arcticice cap is shrinking so quickly even pessimistic scientists are flipped out. More »
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October 01, 2007

Monks 'to be sent away'

The BBC reports that 4,000 monks have been rounded up, disrobed, and shackled, and will soon be sent away from Rangoon. Some reports say they are on a hunger strike. How shameful this all is, and how difficult to watch with so little information. (It's almost like the days before the internet and the 24-hour news cycle.) Pressure needs be put on China. - Philip Ryan, Webmaster More »
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October 01, 2007

Stand with the Burmese Protesters

Sign this petition to show your support for the protesters in Burma. Show your solidarity, from the U.S. Campaign for Burma Sympathy protests in Japan. A Japanese journalist is said to have been killed by the junta -- will the Japanese government apply pressure? And the countries have the most influence over the junta seem reluctant to use it. More »