ASEAN LEADERS ARE BARKING AT THE WRONG TREE WITH THE WRONG CAUSE AND WRONG OBJECTIVE

ASEAN LEADERS ARE BARKING AT THE WRONG TREE 

WITH THE WRONG CAUSE AND WRONG OBJECTIVE

 

ASEAN leaders are complaining about the convenient way to solve the Rohingya problem.

But for the Rohingyas or Burmese Muslims or Christian Chins/Karens/Kachins and Buddhist Mons/Shans/Burmese etc AND the NLDS  and political opponents and armed rebel groups_

Whether the SPDC would accept them back is not their main concern. What is the consequences after repatriation is their only problem.

Jailed? Tortured? Is the main concern for all but ‘Village arrest’ (for Rohingyas only) is the problem.

No democracy, no Human Rights, no political life, no respect for the Rights of religious minorities and Ethnic minorities is their main concern.

But the lack of development, economic problems back home are the most important fact for all of them.

There is no clear cut line to DEFINE OR CATEGORIZE THEM INTO POLITICAL OR ECONOMIC MIGRANTS. 

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STOP HATRED, STOP TRYING TO DIVIDE; FOR A LONG LASTING PEACE, PROGRESS, AND PROSPERITY

 

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March 27 Myanmar Military day message

  March 27 Myanmar Military day message

Modified and edited the original letter, Arrogance? Never again”, by Tanya  in the Malaysiakini .

I have edited and adapted to the Myanmar context from the original article. I hope that Tanya and Malaysiakini could understand and forgive us for this. They should even be proud that they could contribute a very good article for the fellow Myanmar/Burmese citizens.

The absolute power of the successive ruling Tatmadaw Junta Generals corrupted them absolutely and their hubris led to their downfall.

The military dictators ravaged Myanmar/Burma for over 46 years, taking away our right to free speech, instilling fear, corrupting the country to the core, and depriving us of the wealth of this country by allowing it as largesse for his cronies. The ruling top senior general’s arrogance filtered down to the `little Napoleon generals’ who outdid him in his arrogance in implementing his will.

One of the greatest crime of the Sr General Than Shwe was the crime of ‘commission by omission’. He also let his greedy family enrich themselves at the country’s expense. However, I still do think he is a cut above the diabolical council of Tatmadaw’s crooks.

Cronies sat down and wagged their tails, happy that they got the crumbs from the table.

Dear Senior General, with all the wealth that you have now, and after all these years of your so-called “service to your people and country”, did you manage to buy peace of mind and dignity in your old age?

General Ne Win was the kind of shameless and under-handed leader we have had for over twenty years. He and his band of brigand cabinet ministers rode roughshod over the people, especially the non-Burmese, very often with barely concealed contempt for them, and most often with open contempt. His was the legacy that was continued during the days of the Than Shwe.

I call on all Myanmar/Burmese citizens from today to never, never, ever again tolerate the kind of arrogance we have been subjected to all these years at the hands of these fellows who have been mistakenly thinking they are our lords and masters. From today we will reclaim our birthright, which includes the right to liberty, freedom of expression and equality before the law. And we will remind the despicable autocrats that they have been put in their positions to serve and deliver, as our servants. They will listen when we speak our minds.

Tatmadaw Yebaws or military rank and file have been made pawns in the game played by these heartless; morally bankrupt generals, solely for the purpose of enriching and empowering themselves.

I am saying this from the bottom of my heart: if the Tatmadaw wants to be a strong and respected force that counts on the global stage, if they want their progeny to be a generation of winners, then they don’t need such generals. All they need is to believe in themselves, claim their pride and dignity, and compete on a level playing field with the civilians. I sincerely believe they can do this. Just go for it.

Most crucial at this juncture is that the delicate balance of racial and religious harmony is maintained. Without that everything else will be futile.

The Myanmar Tatmadaw will go all out to turn the Bamas against the other races. They must never succeed in this. Let us not be deceived by the Tatmadaw generals’ lies and start to distrust each other. If we work for the common good, we can ensure that all of us, will prosper. Isn’t that what we all want?

I would like to exhort all Tatmadaw rank and files not to let these evil generals poison your minds against the other minority races and minority religious persons.

If we let those generals win at their game we will all become abject losers. Above all, let us all have generous hearts. Let us not believe in the adage ‘beggar thy neighbour’. On the contrary let us believe in ‘prosper thy neighbour’. Together we will prevail.

Note: Rank and file (Idiom) =

  • Followers,
  • the general membership.

This expression comes from the military, where_

  • a rank denotes soldiers standing side by side in a row,
  • and file refers to soldiers standing behind one another.

The first recorded figurative use of this term was in 1860. 

e.g. This new senator really appeals to the rank and file in the labor unions.

 

Pope provokes Muslim anger by baptising controversial journalist

Pope provokes Muslim anger

by baptising controversial journalist

Excerpts and my remarks put into Times Online

 

Magdi Allam, who converted to Catholicism from Islam, is baptised by Pope Benedict XV
Magdi Allam is baptised by Pope Benedict XVI

Richard Owen of The Times, in Rome 

Pope Benedict XVI has risked (more appropriate to use provoked) a renewed rift with the Muslim world by baptising a converted Muslim born journalist who describes Islam as intrinsically violent and characterised by “hate and intolerance” rather than “love and respect for others”.

In a surprise move at the Easter vigil at St Peter’s on Saturday night, the Pope baptised Magdi Allam, 55, an outspoken Egyptian-born critic of Islamic extremism and supporter of Israel.

Mr Allam’s conversion was kept secret until less than an hour before the service. He took the middle name “Christian” for his baptism.

After the baptism, the Pope said that faith “is a force for peace and reconciliation in the world: distances between people are overcome, in the Lord we have become close (in Christianity).”

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However the move revived memories of the Muslim fury which greeted Pope Benedict’s speech at Regensburg University in German in 2006 in which he branded Islam as inherently violent, inhumane and irrational by quoting a Byzantine emperor.

However, in a combative article for Corriere della Sera, the Italian paper of which he is a deputy editor, Mr Allam – who has lived in Italy most of his adult life and has a Catholic wife . . . .

Mr Allam, who was educated at a Salesian Catholic school in Egypt and was one of seven adults baptised during the Easter vigil, which is traditionally used for adult conversion ceremonies.

He said that by baptising him publicly the Pope had “sent an explicit and revolutionary message to a Church that until now has been too cautious in the conversion of Muslims because of the fear of being unable to protect the converted, who are condemned to death for apostasy”.

Muslim groups in Italy said Mr Allam would have done better to have undergone a low key conversion at a local parish. “What amazes me is the high profile the Vatican has given this conversion,” said Yaha Sergio Yahe Pallavicini, deputy head of the Italian Islamic Religious Community.

Today, Pope Benedict celebrated Easter Mass on St Peter’s Square, calling for an end to “(MUTUAL) injustice, (MUTUAL) hatred and (MUTUAL) violence.”

The Pope called for “solutions that will safeguard peace and the common good in Tibet, the Middle East and African regions such as Darfur and Somalia.

He deplored “the many wounds (including you, Pope, had inflicted now on Muslims) that continue to disfigure humanity in our own day. These are the scourges of humanity, open and festering in every corner of the planet, (at St Peter’s on Saturday night) , although they are often ignored and sometimes deliberately concealed; wounds (including this that Pope himself had inflicted) that torture the souls and bodies of countless of our brothers and sisters“.

He called for “an active commitment to justice (from your Christian point of view) in areas bloodied by conflict and wherever the dignity of the human person (dignity of Islam not included) continues to be scorned and trampled”.

Last week, the Pope broke his silence on Tibet, calling for for an end to violence and urging “dialogue and tolerance.” But Beijing brushed off the appeal, declaring there was “no tolerance for criminals, who will be punished by the law.” Neither the Easter message nor the Good Friday meditations specifically mentioned China, a reflection of the Vatican’s desire not to upset its dialogue with Beijing over the fate of the country’s Catholics.

 

Troubling times

Troubling times

Modified and edited the original comment written By P RAMAKRISHNAN . He is Aliran president and this article first appeared in Aliran Monthly and reprinted in Malaysiakini.

I have edited and adapted to the Myanmar context from the original article P RAMAKRISHNAN . I hope that the P RAMAKRISHNAN  and Aliran  could understand and forgive us for this. They should even be proud that they could contribute a very good article for the fellow Myanmar/Burmese citizens

The silent majority must wake up and take a stand against chauvinistic Myanmar Military who are using race and religion to stir the cauldron. These are troubling times and we have every reason to be troubled. Race and religion seem to be running riot and upsetting the equilibrium of our lives and portending a dangerous future for Myanmar/Burma.

Race and religion can cause discomfort and disquiet. They can be a very potent force that can threaten and shatter our fragile unity, undo our common efforts to live in peace and harmony.

We have witnessed these many months how unscrupulous people have used the issues of race and religion for their selfish ends without any consideration for the welfare of the country.

It is indeed sad that more than half-a-century of nationhood has not produced a common citizenry. We are still compartmentalised into our ethnic identities in so many ways. Whether it is your birth certificate, National Registration card, application forms, registering for an examination, getting married – whatever you do in Myanmar – you are forced to identify yourself along ethnic and religious lines.

It is only when we apply for passports to leave the country that most of us can identify ourself as a Myanmars. But once we return Myanmar, we lose that identity.

We should not be subjected to this moral shame. It is demeaning and undignified that I should leave the country as a Myanmar and return home as an Indian mixed blooded (read migrant).

Why is it so difficult to forge a common nationhood?

Shouldn’t that be the natural consequence of independence?

Wasn’t that the dream of our forefathers that eventually we would evolve into a nation with a common destiny, remaining true to our  Country?

But that was not to be so. Selfish communal politicians and Military leaders made sure that it is in their interest to keep the various races and religions apart. They never stopped stirring the cauldron of hate; they made sure that intolerance and prejudice would be there at all times, smouldering and simmering.

Stirring the cauldron

It was only recently that we witnessed how extreme the situation has become. It was shocking that so much venom was spewed with such impunity in the General Ne Win’s BSPP party convention prior to the formulation of the new Immigration Law, which was termed as ‘the most racially charged Tatmadaw event in years, shocking many people who read the proceedings and the apple-polisher newspaper articles, comments and editorials calling the Burmese Muslims, “Kala dein” or spawns of Indians and “Mi Ma Sit_Pha Ma Sit”, in Burmese meaning BASTARDS.

No one intervened to stop them from expressing so much antagonism, anger and hatred. Nobody chided them for their unbridled tirade. But, on the other hand, there was much cheering and approval for what was said.

Clearly some of the things that were said were without doubt seditious. They had a tendency to inflame emotions and provoke passions.

Actually every human being is willing to risk lives and bathe in blood in defense of race and religion. Don’t play with fire Tatmadaw leaders. If you mess with our rights, we will mess with yours.

 ‘When tension rises, the blood of Jehadist warriors could run in our veins’. And Burmese Muslims’ thread of driving the cars full with petrol tanks and jerry cans into the Buddhists homes and set the whole city on fire as the revenge had made the Military leaders, agitators and provocateurs to stop their plan to create more anti-Muslim riots.

 ‘Don’t test the patience of the Burmese Muslims and don’t play with fire’.

Japanese Bushido Samurais believe that once ‘You have unsheathed the knife KATANA, you must use it’

It was so bad and shocking that the level of open debate on issues relating to race and religion was worryingly threatening Myanmar Muslims. But it appeared that we were helpless to put a stop to this very damaging rhetoric that had a field day in Myanmar up to the present!

Insensitive, irresponsible

The remarks are intolerably rude, crude and insulting.

The hate-filled sentiments at the assembly, was regrettable and the whole Burma/Myanmar is shrouded in an atmosphere of fiery and emotional sentiments, remarks that were more poisonous and unreasonable.

They could raise issues of race, religion and citizenship. That is every government or leader’s rights. But the Myanmar Military leaders should not attack or hurt the feelings of other communities while highlighting the problems of one particular community…You think it’s very clever, but it hurts people’s feelings…Don’t do anything that will provoke.

The unkind debates over the mixed blooded Kala Deins are the cause for concern for all of us.

But it should not be viewed as if only the Myanmar-Muslims were upset and angry with what transpired Myanmar. A vast majority of well-meaning Burmese, both Buddhists, true monks and non-Muslims, were aghast that the Myanmar Military Junta and Military Intelligence or MI could have descended to such an atrocious level. They were disappointed that a dominant ruling Military Junta leaders could be so insensitive and irresponsible in dehumanising and demonising the fellow Muslim citizens.

Religious ultras, opportunistic politicians

While the racial approach is being played contemptuously, the religious approach is gaining a frightening momentum. It is fanned by the ultra-conservatives and opportunistic Military Generals who are hell-bent on changing the way of life that we have been accustomed to. They have gone into top gear to bring about changes that will ultimately affect all those who disagree with them by denying the very rights that are guaranteed under the old constitution and the late General Aung San.

Knowing that it is Tatmadaw that dictates policies and sets the directions of the country, citizens have cause to worry. Military Junta’s decisions become national policies with no regard for the majority opinion at the national level.

It is difficult to comprehend the reasoning for this uncompromising stand. They proclaim that Islam is in the assault mode on Buddhism but produce no evidence.

We wonder how is it possible to have mature democracies in the uncivilised military dominated Myanmar.

How is it there can be so much tolerance and mutual respect elsewhere that seems to be lacking here?

No problem before

There were no racial problem nor tensions before 1930 when the Bamas used the Nationalistic Spirit against the Indians and Muslims as a smoke-shield to start a revolution against Colonial rulers, British. Actually most of the Burmese Citizens had accepted the, One God, Many Paths, reflecting the viewpoints of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Science.

Since then, things have taken a dramatic turn for the worse. It has become so intolerable that what used to be a natural thing as wishing and greeting one another during festive occasions and even visiting houses were abandoned in some towns.

Time to wake up

If we take a careful look at the way things are evolving, it reveals a minority vocal group in influential positions in the Myanmar Tatmadaw and MI who are dictating terms and deciding policies against Muslims of Myanmar. And as long as the majority who disagree with them stay sullen and silent, things will not get better – it will only become worse.

That is why it is necessary for the majority of Burmese to realise that unless we get together and take a common stand against the forces that pose a clear danger to our ethnic relations and harmony, we stand to lose all that we cherish.

Well-meaning people must get involved in this effort all over the country and send forth a clear message that if the present Military Junta leaders do not change, then we must change them for the good of the nation. We must not hesitate but act seriously and bravely.

Let us draw strength and hope from this saying:

‘It is from the numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.

Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

Vatican and Muslims’ permanent dialogue

Vatican and Muslims

to establish permanent dialogue

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican and Muslim leaders agreed on Wednesday to establish a regular official dialogue to improve often difficult relations between the two religions.

 

 

File photo of Saint Peter’s square at the Vatican April 1, 2007.

 

The Vatican and Muslim leaders agreed on Wednesday to establish a regular official dialogue to improve often difficult relations between the two religions. (REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/Files)A joint statement said the first meeting of the “The Catholic-Muslim Forum” will take place on Nov. 4-6 in Rome with 24 religious leaders and scholars from each side.

It said the themes of the first session would be “Love of God, Love of Neighbour”, “Theological and Spiritual Foundation”, and “Human Dignity and Mutual Respect”.

Pope Benedict will address the group, the statement said.

The announcement was made at the end of a two-day meeting at the Vatican with five representatives of a group of more than 200 Muslims who had signed an unprecedented appeal to the pope to begin a dialogue.

Catholic-Muslim relations nosedived in 2006 after Benedict delivered a lecture in Regensburg, Germany, that was taken by Muslims to imply that Islam was violent and irrational.

Muslims around the world protested and the pope sought to make amends when he visited Turkey’s Blue Mosque and prayed towards Mecca with its Imam.

After the fallout from the Regensburg speech, 138 Muslim scholars and leaders wrote to the German-born pontiff and other Christian leaders last year, saying “the very survival of the world itself” may depend on dialogue between the two faiths.

The signatories of the Muslim appeal for theological dialogue, called the “Common Word”, has grown to nearly 225 since.

Although Benedict repeatedly expressed regret for the reaction to his speech in Regensburg, he stopped short of a clear apology sought by Muslims.

The Vatican side at the preparatory meeting that ended on Wednesday was headed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

The Muslims were led by Sheikh Addal Hakim Murad, also known as Timothy J. Winter, president of the Britain’s Muslim Academic Trust and included Yahya Sergio Yahe Pallavicini, vice-president of the Italian Islamic Religious Community.

“We have to bring the dialogue up to date following the great successes of the pontificate of John Paul II,” Pallavicini told Reuters in an interview before the meeting.

Pallavicini said the meeting later this year would undoubtedly talk about terrorism.

“Terrorism is one thing that has to be discussed,” he said. “All religious leaders must renew a message of peace in their faith. Then it will be easier to isolate extremists and avoid the wrong use of religion,” he said.

Copyright © 2008 Reuters

Similarities between Jesus and Muhammad

  Muhammad and Jesus

Similarities between Jesus and Muhammad

Comparative Religion: 

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Before we look at the differences between Jesus and Muhammad, let’s identify a few of their similarities.

Great religious leaders

Jesus and Muhammad established the world’s two largest religions, Christianity with 2.1 billion, and Islam with 1.8 billion people, together half of the world’s population.

Monotheism

Although their views of God’s nature were different, both men believed in and taught about one true God who is sovereign, infinite, all powerful, all-knowing, and the ultimate judge of all mankind.

Old Testament Scriptures

Both men accepted the Old Testament as God’s Word, and acknowledged Abraham, as the one through whom God would make a great people. Jews and Christians believe God’s promise is through Abraham’s son, Isaac, while Muslims believe it is through Abraham’s other son, Ishmael.

Written legacy

Neither Jesus nor Muhammad wrote a book. However, their respective followers recorded their words that we have today; the New Testament detailing the eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ life and words, and the Qur’an, which records Muhammad’s account of his revelation. Whereas Muslims regard the Qur’an as a “Miracle” that must be taken by faith without the necessity of evidentiary support, Christians point to numerous evidences of ancient documents substantiating the reliability of the New Testament.

Muhammad’s most enduring influence has been his ability to unite disparate groups of Arab peoples under the banner of Islam, primarily by military conquest. This influence spread further by conquests of several surrounding countries.

Between the 8th century to the 13th century, Islam was instrumental in several developments in the arts and sciences. This period of cultural advancement is called “The Golden Age of Islam” During this Golden Age Muslim scholars made contributions to literature, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and chemistry. Muhammad’s influence rings loud today through his 1.8 billion followers around the world.

Jesus Christ influenced Western Civilization peacefully. He told us that God loves each of us individually and created us for Himself. He taught us to love and forgive each other. Secular world historian Will Durant credits Jesus’ teachings with “the beginning of democracy.” Jesus’ teaching of the high value of the individual resulted in the establishment of schools such as Yale and Harvard, the abolition of slavery, the elevated dignity of women, and countless hospitals charities and humanitarian works.