[portfolio: vamos.com.sg email: foocheechang@gmail.com phone: +65 9622 9024 twitter: foocheechang]

blood or birth?

when i pair buddhist monks and activism, the above comes to mind – the classic image of self-immolation performed by thich quang duc, a buddhist monk, in protest against the repression of buddhism in south vietnam during the vietnam war years.

i am watching the current developments in burma with great interest.

you know something is really wrong when normally dormant groups such as monks take to the streets in protest against the government. the monks are not alone in this struggle, as the majority of the burmese – being buddhists – see them as the moral authority of the country. the monks are also backed by a number of high-profile celebrities, and i believe that with this much support, the resistance will only gain steam.

but the signs are ominous. a sea of red robes (saffron to be precise) flooding the streets, where a sea of blood can so easily be.

it seems like things have reached a breaking point, and how the situation plays out will be of great significance to the future of burma as a country. will the ‘passive resistance’ adopted by the monks and their supporters yield a result reminiscent of gandhi’s sucessful push for india’s independence from the british, or will this turn out to be a re-enactment of the tiananmen square massacre – voices silenced by weapons – followed by an even more dictatorial regime?

we’ll see.

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