The ruling military junta did not hesitate to use force even against unarmed, peace promoting modestly robed Buddhist monks. They were kicked and beaten as soldiers rounded them up and shoved them onto trucks. Doors of the monasteries were broken; things were ransacked and taken away.
The cowardly and brutal acts of the ruling military junta should be condemned by the whole international community. Definitely these acts of aggression against unarmed civilians and monks are inhumane and treacherous to the human race. On the other hand the actions of the brave people of
In this whole incident, two important events impressed me greatly.
Firstly it was the bravery of the people of
Secondly the mutual love between the people and the monks was exceptionally captivating. It was touching to see the people forming a human shield around the monks who lead the procession. The people were willing to give their lives to defend their monks.
We witness a situation where two groups of people each willing to even sacrifice their lives for each other. These actions of the monks should be a lesson for not just Buddhists but for all. It puts us to shame when we compare our own clergy-laity relationship.
Injustice and oppression occurs everywhere all the time. It is there in the government, in our offices, in schools, in our families, among friends and even in our Church. Those in positions of power adopt all sorts of tactics and maneuvers to deny the ordinary people their legitimate rights. They become masters of the very people they are supposed to serve.
Dissenting voices are quickly shut up, whistle blowers are punished and freedom of expression denied. The entire government machinery, media, armed forces, police and the judiciary are abused to silence those who speak the truth. Jesus himself was a victim of the rich and the powerful.
As Christians it is our obligation to speak out against injustice and oppression wherever and whenever it occurs. We may not be a position to do great things to change the whole world but we can do little things with great passion and love to change the small world around us.
What do we do when the government bulldozers through unfair policies that are detrimental to the people? What do we do when people in power in the organizations we are in misuse their power and funds? What do we do when our calls for moderation, accountability and reform are not heeded? Very often, under such pressures, we lose hearts and quit but is quitting the right decision?
Let’s offer special prayers for the brave people of
the peace and freedom that they yearn for over four decades. As we pray for our fellow men in