September 11, 2007

Monasteries Under Surveillance, Freedom from Fear

The military junta in Myanmar is keeping Buddhist monasteries under surveillance because monks have been rippin' it up right under the dictatorship's noses over the past few weeks. And it seems the letter from Hollywood glitterati to the U.N. Sec-Gen has yielded fruit:

At U.N. headquarters in New York, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stepped up his pressure on Myanmar's military leaders, saying he was committed to working toward the "full democratization" of the country. He also urged the government to yield to international demands to release Suu Kyi.

Check out this perfectly preserved 1,300-year-old Buddha statue from Korea (It was buried underground, face down.)

The Taipei Times reports on how the railway in Tibet might be a tool for conquest rather than economic rebirth or whatever else might be said of it by the government in Beijing. (It's being expanded to Shigatse.) Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian also sticks up for human rights in Tibet, and said Taiwan should enjoy freedom from fear -- China has 1,000 (or so) missiles pointed across the Strait, but don't worry, China wants to swallow Taiwan whole. They don't want to have to chew it up. Nepal and China are holding a trade fair in Kathmandu to celebrate cross-border trade. Maybe China wants to butter Nepal up in case the Everest Olympic torch run requires some cooperation from the southeast ridge.

And to top it off pro-Taliban militants detonated a bomb in an attempt to destroy Buddhist carvings in Pakistan. (Remember when the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan was described by filmmaker Christian Frei as a dress-rehearsal for 9/11?) This has been described as an attempt to embarrass Pakistan internationally. But isn't it also embarrassing that the Taliban is in Pakistan? But I guess Osama Bin Laden's probably there too, so the more the merrier.

A great post by Danny Fisher on the 9/11 anniversary. Well worth a read.

- Philip Ryan, Webmaster

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