October 19, 2007
President Bush is threatening more sanctions for Myanmar for continuing to defy international will and failing to "stop their vicious persecution." He also called on India and China, Burma's most powerful neighbors, to do more. This last part seems like the way to go. You can try and isolate countries like North Korea and Cuba, and the people end up starving while the government grows rich. Burma was pretty much a closed country anyway. But how about the president calls David J. O'Reilly, CEO of Chevron, and tells him to stop doing business in Myanmar? Well, human rights are human rights, but dammit, we need that oil. Take a look at how many dictatorships are propped up by oil money. It's not a pretty picture. Indeed, oil revenue held the Soviet Union together, and falling oil prices may have helped undo it.
The Burmese junta admits interrogating monks and says "some are still being brought in for questioning" despite the protests of UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari, who is touring SE Asia trying to gather support to confront the junta and force them to stop the arrests. And a 26-year-old monk, Eik Darea, has been given a jail sentence of seven and a half years for taking part in the pro-democracy protests.
An article from the Canadian Press profiles Sit Down and Shut Up! author Brad Warner. My favorite line from the article, discussing the relative freedom of American Zen masters over Japanese ones:
Being outside of the mainstream, however, has given American Zen some breathing room.
The "breathing room" bit is good and the article is worth a read.
- Philip Ryan, Web Editor