Archive for October 23rd, 2007

Window into Burma

THE BUBBLES OF RAGE and protest have ceded to a false calm back in Burma – the fragile and still-simmering status-quo restored through brutal force. But this cannot be the end, and we cannot forget the people who have disappeared under the junta’s cloak.

Choe Sang-hun, a reporter for The New York Times and International Herald Tribune, has been doing some serious digging around in Burma, risking his ass to put out some really compelling and insightful stories (for more on foreign journalism in Burma, check out ‘Required Reading’ in the sidebar). His latest gives us a window into the shell-shocked Buddhist sangha, and is accompanied with a surreal photo series – I say ‘surreal’ because to be visually taken from inside of the temple, where monks meditate and read peacefully, to the streets, where they march carrying megaphones and signs, feels otherworldly.

The current situation in Burma presents an endless frustration. Not only do we as ordinary citizens feel impotent to enact real change (my two [perhaps naive] letters to lawmakers went unanswered, likely unacknowledged), but even if we held political clout a despot like Than Shwe would lend no ear. But this is no time to give a shrug and go about business as usual – in a world without real walls or borders, all our fates are intertwined.

In whatever small way we can, we must push, raise a voice, and have courage for those who may feel all is lost and hopeless.

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