Compassionate letter 3:
Third letter for Dear Nan, with love
“today’s human rights violations are the causes of tomorrow’s conflicts”
“… today’s human rights violations are the causes of tomorrow’s conflicts.” by Mary Robinson, High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002)
We all should follow the wise and compassionate advice of our true Buddhist monk in accordance to the true teaching of Lord Buddha, which I copied from the Feb 21, 2006 (DVB) English news, because I am sure that Intra-Myanmar Internet access to all the opposition web sites are blocked.
Monk appeals for calm and understanding after anti-Muslim riots in Burma
A Buddhist monk urged the military authorities to take the correct responsibility and issue correct reports in order to prevent misunderstanding between the Buddhist and Muslim communities, and appealed for calm after nearly four days of anti-Muslim riots in central Burma.
When we face this kind of problem ¨C whether they are Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus or Christian ¨C we must not approach and solve the problem by looking at their physical appearance. If we look at the case and solve the problem, there could be peace,¡± said the monk who doesn’t want to be identified.
He then urged all Buddhists in Burma including the ruling authorities to follow the teachings of Lord Buddha by solving problems with loving kindness in heart.
The riots started on 16 February at UchitkoneVillage, SingbyukyunTownship in Magwe Division and spread to neighbouring towns such as Pwintbyu, Salin and Chauk after a report of an alleged rape of a young Burmese woman by three Muslim men. A couple of people were killed, many wounded and several mosques and homes, shops and properties were destroyed and looted, according to local residents.
The residents claimed that the problem became worse when the authorities tried to hush up the report of the alleged rape and used the riots to divert people’s attention from the real problems in Burma. [DVB]
Dear Nan, I was so surprised to see you so angry as both of us are non-Indian non-Muslims and yet you firmly stand on your principle of opposing against all kind of racial and religious discriminations. That was the time I was really proud of you! Bravo!
I have to admit that the level of your memory, intelligence and kindheartedness are much higher than me. You were always there when your poor in-laws need our help. They search for you and are willing to ask help from you, rather than me, their own blood! Dear Nan, do not misunderstand me that once you are away only, I am praising you to lure you back into my arms.
I hereby request DVB (Democratic Voice of Burma) to kindly allow me to quote one of your articles, and included in my letter to my Nan Sai, as this also help your cause which is the same as all of us, Peaceful democratization of future Federal Union of Burma/Myanmar.
Easy Targets, The Persecution of Muslims in Burma research/interview paper by the Karen Human Rights Group was published in DVB.
Successive Burmese regimes have encouraged or instigated violence against Muslims as a way of diverting the public’s attention away from economic or political concerns………………………….
The above paragraphs are the from the Karen Human Rights Group’s report in DVB web page:.
Instead of hatred we should pity their plights and dilemma.
But our Burmese Muslim friends should understand that not only you, Muslims, are suffering but the whole populations of Burma/Myanmar of different religions, Buddhists, and Christians e.t.c. are also suffering under this cruel autocratic regime.
Do you know how many Buddhists Monks had given their lives and many were de-robed by this so called Religious Buddhist Government As a minority, you must respect the feelings of the majority. Even if you, Burmese Muslims thought you are victimized, you could not take the law into your own hands to revenge.
You could approach the peace loving majority Buddhist citizens. And most of the Abbots and Monks are also kind hearted and have understanding and even ready to protect you. You must not fall into the trap of the Military Junta. You Burmese Muslims should not hate all the monks and Buddhists but must understand the rebel rouser, Myanmar Military Intelligent undercover agents used to instigate almost all the racial and religious riots.
But you must also understand the Law of Nature/physics: each and every action triggered the equal reaction or response. If you show respect, love kindness; all the Buddhists would give you back the similar response. You all must try to avoid the sensitive issues which would hurt your friends of other religions: Buddhists, Christians and Hindu etc.
Dear Nan, our son is repeatedly playing the THE NATURE’S CHILDREN as if he knew what I am writing. Dear Nan, you know that both of us also had curiously experienced the same kind of thinking about the same thing at the same time for countless times. I think that kind of coincidence or paranormal incidences is because of our sixth sense or may be because of the very strong bond between us.
Dear darling, God or nature had done another wonder again. I cannot dismiss this as a mere coincidence. Our daughter-in-law, you called Jin Phaw Thu, just arrived and gives me your letter and the presents for me, the same Hti Sai’s VCD! Actually you had given that to her husband, our son, in the last week of January. With this kind of bond, I believe, our family could not be separated by any one or any misunderstanding!
And I could not believe this. Jin Phaw Thu took out the old DVD, put your VCD and played the first song you selected and recorded. Again, this is the same THE NATURE’S CHILDREN
So the song is already forcing me to search for the place of eternal peace, free from arguments, fights, riots, killings and wars. I have to admit that my thoughts, ideas, concept and views were based on your repeated input to brainwash me.
YES YOU ARE RIGHT DEAR NAN; AS LONG AS WE COULD NOT LOOK AT A FELLOW HUMAN BEING AND SEE AS A HUMAN, BUT JUDGED THAT PERSON ACCORDING TO SKIN COLOUR, RACE, RELIGION, ORIGIN, CLOTHING, WEALTH, RANK AND TYPE OF JOB, OUR SEARCHING OF HEAVEN ON EARTH, WOULD WE LIKE TRYING TO CATCH OUR SHADOWS OR LIKE TRYING TO GRASP THE CLOUDS WITH THE HANDS.
As long as there is profiling of the human based on other merits and features and denied the basic Human Rights, there would be never ending conflicts and wars.
Dear Nan, I still remember your wise words and salute you millions of times, from the bottom of my heart.
Bamas are not superior to other Ethnic Minorities viz; Shans, Kachin, Karen, Kayahs, Mons e.t.c nor vice versa is true i.e. Shans, Kachins e.t.c. are also not in a superior position to Bamas.
Westeners and White people are not superior to the coloured persons; Easterners, Asians, and Africans. And we Asians, Arabs, Chinese, Indians, Koreans and Japanese are also not superior to the Europeans and Americans.
We all are same. Just different in external features only and those are also not important. Our deeds and heart is more important than external appearances.
But your later words shook my heart, I even could not accept at first; All the Bamas and Ethnic Minorities are also not in a higher position than Chinese, Indians, Mixed blooded people, Burmese Chinese and Burmese Muslims. And those all mentioned above, so called visitor citizens by Ne Win and cohorts are also not better than Bamas and Ethnic Minorities! All the citizens are equal and must have the same rights!
Although I kept quiet to avoid another argument or war of words with you, I cannot accept your ideal ideas of Human Rights and Citizen’s Equal Rights to practice on those Chinese and Indians. (Forgive me for my immaturity at that time, now my dear wife had successfully opened my eyes to respect the Human Rights of all the other races.)
But it was not my fault alone, all the successive National Leaders of Myanmar Military had successfully brain washed all of us to have a strong Nationalist Spirit, to love the race, country and religion etc.
But now only, when staying abroad, when I am at the receiving end of the discriminating process, I have learnt the bitterness of those discriminations based on different modalities.
Why are you so smart, humane, advanced and intelligent dear? I even not only admire, praise but am jealous of you my dear Nan.
When I told you that you are right, you smile with a mock and told me at least I am not too bad because once I suffered the discriminations, I immediately acknowledge my fault of discrimination on all the non-Bamas and especially my Burmese Chinese and Burmese Muslim friends.
Your words: Our Lord Buddha had teach us to be like a tongue, to know the taste with a drop of food, but not like a ladle, always has the chance to touched and stir the food but never knew the taste. is full of wisdom.
But I think you are some times too proud and insult my feelings when you continue, Darling, Ko Tin Nwe, you are like a tongue, easy to learn a lesson, I am like a brain, could imagine or estimate the taste without even have a chance to taste.
Dear Nan, as you mentioned our Lord Buddha’s teachings; my mind correlated it with our race and religious issue. In our Buddhists, 550 Religious Stories, tales about the repeated reincarnation of Buddha as human forms or other creatures (animals) there were very good lessons we learned. Buddha taught us about THE KAMA OR FAITH, IF ANYONE, ANIMAL OR HUMAN, DOES ANYTHING ONE HAS TO REAP WHAT ONE SOWS.
ALL THOSE MERITS WERE NEVER BASED ON ANY RELIGIOUS PRINCIPLES OR GUIDELINES BUT BASED ON THE ETERNAL TRUTH OF GOOD VERSUS EVIL.
Dear darling, do you remember the story I told you about two friends; one is very religious but another one is quite naughty. On one auspicious day, there was a special prayer section in the village hall. Religious and good friend calls his bad friend to accompany him, but the bad friend refused to join and instead counter proposed the good one to join him as there was a very pretty, young fresh call girl in their village. Both of them could not get an agreement and they parted their ways.
Religious friend was in the prayer section but his mind was wondering how his naughty friend would be enjoying with that pretty girl, sometimes even blaming himself for not following his friend. He daydreamed that if he had followed his friend he could also enjoy the pleasure of new experience with that girl.
But life is different on the other side of the moral divide. Although physically playing love with those girls, the naughty friend’s heart is heavy; he realized that he is committing serious religious crime and wonder if he could be better like his religious friend on this auspicious day, performing special prayers. He wished he could change his bad habits and to do more good deeds. Suddenly a big disaster fell on the whole village and both friends died.
Dear Nan, you already agreed that the bad guy could be rewarded by God, and the good poise friend would be definitely punished. But you are witty and reminded me that although substance is more important than form, I should not be absent from your regular prayer sections. You reminded me that, practice made perfect, and to try to control our mind during the prayers. You even dislike the story because you are afraid that some mischievous persons would use this as an excuse to commit adultery and claim that he is trying to change. Yes dear, you are right in your own way, at least you could prevent me from encroaching into other woman’s territory.
Anyway the basic moral is, in any religion, humans would not be judged by the outside appearance only, but their heart and intention would also be counted.
THAT MAXIM IS TRUE NOT ONLY FOR BUDDHISTS, BUT ALSO TRUE FOR CHRISTIANS, MUSLIMS, HINDU, JEWS AND ALL THE RELIGIONS. JUST BECAUSE SOME ONE IS A BUDDHIST MONK, CHRISTIAN PASTOR, MUSLIM IMAM, HINDU PRIEST, RABBI OR THE HOLY PERSON OF ANY RELIGION COULD NOT EXPECT TO GET A CONFIRMED TICKET FROM GOD TO ENTER THE HAVEN OR NEIKBAN OF ETERNAL PEACE.
It depends on each individual’s deeds. We have to accept that any GOD of any religion has more than enough WISDOM of knowing the differences between appearances in forms and true benevolence acts.
In Buddhism and many religions there are no clear indications that all other subjects of not that faith would be condemned to hell.
So we are not God, and no one could prove that our religion only is right and others are wrong. And when actually all the religions have common basic good principles, why should we fight for the mere difference in appearances or form and fail to look each other as human beings and meritocracy of its deeds?
If we all could stop looking each others based on race, colour, decent, national or ethnic origin and recognize the individual’s merit there would be less conflicts, arguments, fights and wars in this world.
When other people’s opinions and beliefs are not respected by anyone of us just due to their religion or way of thinking that is strange or new or foreign to our belief or religion, we could not expect the return of mutual respect and recognition from others.
IF WE DISCRIMINATE OTHERS AS FOREIGN BECAUSE THEY AND THEIR RACE AND RELIGION ARE DIFFERENT TO US, ALL THE OTHERS COULD ALSO LOOK DOWN AND DISCRIMINATE ON US BECAUSE WE ARE ALSO FOREIGN TO THEM!
Dear Nan, do you remember the ghost story, The Others acted by Nicole Kidman? Nicole Kidman and her family were already dead and continued staying in the haunted house and they thought that the real humans came to their house were ghosts. We could learn a great lesson even from the movies that sometimes our views, concepts may be wrong and we just could not dismiss others because we could not understand them or just because they are strangers or relatively new comers.
But it is easy to preach others but difficult to practice by our selves. Do you remember the story you told me when I could not decide correctly during the racial riots we encountered because of my bias towards one race, Bama? You told me that the doctors should not treat their own family members’ dictum could be applied to avoid judging others if you are an interested party.
You even told me about a famous monk who used to console the whole village. When his own mother passed away, he could not stop crying and the villagers reminded the monk that he was the person who used to always preach all of them for peace of mind in the similar conditions. That monk replied, They were your parents, not my mother, now mother has passed away!
In order to organize or unite the whole world; all the races, religions, all the different coloured persons from all the different countries, we may need a bogyman like an alien invasion or the world wide disaster as in Hollywood movies. (Excuse me for this radical, sarcastic idea. I pray that we all would be free from this kind of trouble.)
This radical and sarcastic idea came into my mind because we humans are divided and fighting and we could not stop these yet. And we humans had a very bad reputation in our history that we even had harmed or attacked and killed the Gods or the messengers of God. Lord Buddha was harmed by a fellow monk by rolling the stone from a hill, Israel’s Moses was the victim of repeated assignation attempts and had to lead his people in an exodus, early Muslims had to migrate away from Mecca with their Prophet because of danger to their lives, and Jesus Christ was crucified.
Even great leaders known for their peace initiatives were assassinated; Mahatma Gandhi, Egypt‘s Anwar Sadat, Israel’s PM Rabin, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and our father General Aung San. Late Pope John Paul II was also a victim of an assassination attempt.
Only when we compare with the above events, we could understand the present Military government’s cruel actions on the peace loving people like; Ah Ma Gyi Daw Su, your uncles including Uncle Khun Tun Oo and my uncles U Win Tin, U Tin Oo and thousands of our citizens.
Our leaders are not criminals and are willing to forgive and forget all the past. They all are searching for a peaceful solution through negotiations and dialogue. They are even willing to give the Military upper hand or handicap by recognizing their Military Government as a legitimate Interim Government!
Dear Nan, how would you answer if any one asked the following hypothetical question to us; what the present Military leaders would do to the great leaders, Prophets and Lords mentioned above if they preached against their Military Dominance doctrine and aim of holding the power forever?
I wish to indirectly answer the above question with this paragraph. Not worth compare with any great personalities mentioned above, but forgive me for mentioning your mother-in law Daw Than Shwe’s sister Daw Khin Nyunt. Although she had played a lot of underhand dirty tactics and committed a lot of injustices and even tortured many innocent people, at least she had successfully made peace with a lot of rebels. She had some dialogue with NLD and showed a soft sweet face to the International Community. Even that soft negotiator was thought to have passed the tolerance level of hardliners and was kicked out unceremoniously and is in custody by her elder sister.
Dear Nan, we need to change the present socio-political conditions in our country. Enough is enough! Not only in our country, but millions of people all over the world are suffering now as they have been victims of discrimination, preferences and exclusions in view of their race, skin colour, sex, religion, language, national or ethnic origin and form of expression, causing extreme sufferings and even loss of a lots of lives daily; during routine daily struggles for their livings, fights, and various wars.
So darling Nan, we have to start from ourselves; to change our views and to treat all the others as fellow human beings. I think we have to go a very long way to achieve world peace but we should try in our beloved country, Burma/Myanmar first.
SO PLEASE DARLING, DO NOT EVER CALL ME OR LABELLED ME AS BAMA AND I WOULD TRY TO STOP PROFILING YOU AS A SHAN. WE ALL ARE BURMESE/MYANMAR. We should not discriminate all other Ethnic Minorities including so call mixed blooded citizens.
Dear darling, your sudden emergency phone call to me confirms that, even if we could draw a line on the water, no one could able to separate us. Present racial/religious riots in Burma/Myanmar are a blessing in disguise for us. Not only it became an ice breaker in our relation, it also confirms our common stand on religious and racial tolerance. And as I am worried about you and some of our family members back home in Burma, you are also aware and sure that I would be anxious about all of you.
I salute you for your courage and anger about the latest events, but I think it is not very wise and it is very dangerous to discuss any sensitive socio-political issue on the telephone in Myanmar because all the telephone conversations are usually tapped and recorded. They could put you behind the bars for a dozen of years!
And I was also stupid to tell you on the phone about the opinion article written by my friend Maha Bandoola, “United We Stand, Divided We Lose” published in 12-18 -02-2006 issue of Burma Digest. Burma Digest had bravely published the very sensitive issue even few days before the recent riots started. I told my friend Maha Bandoola not to be too proud because although he wrote and predicted on record about that impending racial riots, it is the open secret that all the people knew. Myanmar Military has to find its way out of the present difficult conditions and creating racial riots is one effective way of diverting the people’s tension.
I used to stay in the free land outside Myanmar and forgot the UNFREE STATUS OF ALL OF THE MYANMAR CITIZENS. Burma Digest is also blocked by Myanmar censors. So I hereby copy some salient facts from the letter, after my request to quote was granted by the author.
Daw Aung San Su Kyi once comments regarding the political extremists, religious fanatics and ultra nationalists,
Well, there are people who think that it’s right to do any thing in the name of their religion, their race, their family, or any organization to which they may belong.
It would be much better if we look at the facts that trigger the Inter-religious conflicts and riots to stop them or prevent them from happening again.
For me no excuse is right, conflicts should be avoided at all costs from both sides. I am not going to search who is right or wrong, but the basic causes or events that trigger the conflicts only. I believe that if anyone fight or try to use force, both sides are wrong. I am searching the ways to avoid the repeat of those conflicts.
We all must unite, if not we will fall. I will now try to search the triggering sparks of racial and religious riots in Burma/Myanmar.
Please read the US States department’s Human Right Reports, about Religious Problems in Burma/Myanmar. I do not wish to write any details but just read this web page to see what the SPDC Junta is doing on Buddhists, Christian, Muslim citizens and the Ethnic Minorities of Burma/Myanmar.
Actually you all will find out that I am just searching the ways to avoid the split of the democracy forces inside and outside Burma. We all know that Than Shwe is an expert on Propaganda Warfare. I foresee that the enemy SPDC Junta Generals and their Intelligent Mechanism would try to split our forces and at the same time divert the attention of all the Burmese people and the world’s spectators by creating racial or religious conflict. United we stand, divided we loss!
I hereby wish to advice all of you that many real actually correct facts would hurt both sides. I am opening the old wounds or doing the Post Mortem on the dead issues to search the triggering factors so that we could do the damage control any time if the similar things start to appear.
Mutual understanding, mutual respects and the granting of basic Human Rights irrespective of Race, creed, colour, religion or ethnicity would defuse most of the ill feelings among us.
The pride and good feelings of NATIONALISM: the love for the country, race and religion is frequently exploited and used by many politicians, ultra-nationalists, religious fanatics, racial extremists and present Military Junta of Burma.
Adolph Hitler of Nazi Germany and Slobodan Milosevic, were the most prominent and indisputable example. But it is shameful to admit that many governments and politicians around the world are guilty of this crime one time or another to get or accomplish their own agenda or to cover up their faults and failures.
They use to threaten their own people with the foreign powers and enemies, western colonists, imperialists, religious terrorists, Communists and possible out break of racial riots, danger of losing independence of their beloved country.
It is sad to note that, that propaganda warfare is usually successful with the help of the local government controlled media and because of the use or exploitation of the nationalistic spirit. PEOPLE AGAINST THIS WOULD BE LABELED AS UNPATRIOTIC OR TRAITOR.
ONCE INTOXICATED WITH THE PATRIOTISM AND NATIONALITY FEVER, PEOPLE WERE BLINDED. THEY ARE READY TO DO ANY THING FOR THAT PATRIOTISM. THEY ARE EVEN WILLING TO KILL OR DARE TO BE KILLED. THEY ARE WILLING TO SACRIFICE THEMSELVES, THEIR FAMILY, THEIR PROPERTY AND EVERY THING ON EARTH. PATRIOTISM COULD MOBILIZE THE WHOLE NATION.
With the GLOBALIZATION, the whole world is becoming a GLOBAL VILLAGE. So we, SHWE MYANMAR/BURMESE are also spreading like wildfire around the whole world.
It is said to note that the hatred to foreigners is rooted to fear of losing, insecurity, low self-esteem and jealousy of the respective locals. Then now we all SHWE MYANMARS are in the same position as the Indian, Chinese foreigners in our own country, Burma/Myanmar.
We Burmese are now migrating, working legally and illegally in many different countries. Now many of those host citizens are hostile to us, Burmese/Myanmar Citizens, claiming that we are taking their jobs, replacing them. They claim that because of our cheap labour they could not demand for pay rise. We are poor, dirty; we bring in diseases into their country etc.
We Burmese are accused by our own brothers, Ethnic Nationalities that Bamas are acting like big brother, arrogant, want to assimilate or destroy them, raping them etc.
THE CURATIVE PORTION OF MEDICINE IS ALREADY IN THE UN CHARTER.
The purposes of the United Nations are¡ to achieve International cooperation… in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS FOR ALL WITHOUT DISTINCTION AS TO RACE, SEX, LANGUAGE AND RELIGION
EQUALITY, JUSTICE, DIGNITY is the emblem that represents the goals of the Human Rights Committee. The comprehensive implementation of actions against racism, racial discrimination, XENOPHOBIA and related intolerances is a very important topic because these forms of intolerance have been global issues since biblical times.
FOR DECADES, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN VICTIMS OF DISCRIMINATION, PREFERENCES AND EXCLUSIONS IN VIEW OF THEIR RACE, SKIN COLOR, SEX, RELIGION, LANGUAGE, NATIONAL OR ETHNIC ORIGIN AND FORM OF EXPRESSION, CAUSING EXTREME SUFFERING AND EVEN LOSS OF LIFE.
RACIAL DISCRIMINATION is the ability or power to make distinctions among people based on race, color, descent, national or ethnic origin rather than individual merit.
XENOPHOBIA is a fear of the foreign, of what is strange. RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE occurs when someone’s opinions and beliefs are not respected by others due to their religion or way of thinking. (Wikipedia free Encyclopedia)
In extremely religious or less developed countries, sexism is practiced, and racial discrimination is not considered wrong. In addition, the methods of solving racism could not appeal to all countries. LOTS OF PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SEGREGATE OTHERS AND FEEL SUPERIOR TO THEM, just because they are different to what they are used to. The following are only some of the many examples in which discrimination has been highly presented:
During World War II, the Holocaust genocide by the Nazis exterminated over 15 million people. In the course of the 11th- 13th centuries, the Crusades took place, in which European Christians fought the Muslims and a lot of casualties on both sides. Dear Nan you are right that although millions of people were killed by the powerful superpowers of that time, no one could eliminate those three races/religions. Now how powerful are we to try and forced out others! Why waste our energy on these un-winnable conflicts. Better use all our forces together to rebuild our country. Yes dear, you are right, we all must unite and liberate our country first so that it could move forwards on the Democracy tracts towards our destination, heaven on earth, Union of Federal Republic of Burma.
After the 27 years in prison of the Racial discriminatory Apartheid Whites, the noble response of Nelson Mandela, when he became the South African Leader should be the example to all of us. He used his nonviolence strategy and fought to eradicate the object of racial division and turn it into the open democracy that today exists and the country prospers.
Lord Buddha teach us to detach from ATTA, I, my, me, mine. I realized that it could extend to my family, my relatives, my race, my religion, my home, my town, my country. And Buddha even advised to love and pity all humans and animals including our enemies.
Our common enemy SPDC would definitely create another racial riot in a near future to divert the discontented people and smoke shield the world opinion.
We all are like the married couple. In Burmese, married couple is compared with the tongue and the teeth. We could unintentionally bite the tongue. If we could understand that the teeth is helping the tongue by chewing the food into smaller pieces to get better taste and forgive all will be OK.
In Burmese there is a saying. If we are near we always frequently fight amongst each other. Once we are away only we missed each other too much as if going to die if we cannot see each other.
Now I missed all my friends of different races and religion. We must unite against our common enemy whether we are in Burma proper or abroad. UNITED WE STAND divided we loose.
Dear Nan, do you remember the unfortunate incidence of racial riots that took place in our town? After one mid night we were awakened by the knock on our door. My best friend Ko Hanif @ Ko Tin Mg was crying at our door step; his shop was looted, his home was burnt and his wife and youngest daughter were killed. Before that incidence because we thought that the fights are nothing to do with us, would not affect us, we just stayed away without any involvement.
You advised me to go and request the help of our respected Abbot. When I tried to take my licensed pistol and the knife hidden in the walking stick, you were wise to stop me from carrying those weapons and followed us instead, to defuse any danger.
To make it short, we got the approval from our Abbot, to bring in the local town Muslim leaders, and Ko Tin Mg even managed to persuade his religious leader, Maulawi Sub, who followed with some offerings for the monks. Our Abbot refused to accept the valuables but accepted some fruits as a good will gesture. Our Abbot managed to organize the meeting of the young monk leaders and Muslim elders.
We agreed that although there was a rumor of wrong doing by a Muslim man on a local Buddhist girl, we have to allow the authorities to take action according to the law. Both side must obey the truce agreement and if there were any misunderstandings, to report to the relevant religious leaders to handle and to avoid revenge and violence.
To our surprise, the leader of young Buddhist monk called all of us and handed over thousands of anti-Muslim pamphlets given by the Myanmar Military Intelligence, headed by General Khin Nyunt.
Ko Tin Mg and other Muslim friends did not know what to do with lorry-load of MI anti-Muslim pamphlets. Monks did not want to keep but difficult to get a lorry for our friends and my dear Nan had showed your wit! You advised to take out all the pamphlets into the monastery compound and burnt them.
To our surprise, Ko Tin Mg was arrested for distribution of letters about the above peace agreement, asking to love each other and to observe the truce! I have to salute your courage and connections my dear Nan. You wrote the complaint letter to the District Authorities and approach your cousin who was married to a Special Branch Officer. Because of you, my friend Ko Tin Mg was freed from detention.
Dear Nan, my letter is already too long, I have to stop now. As you know, even my love letters to my wife are also subjected to strict Myanmar censorship and we have to smuggle it into Myanmar. Especially as my letters include politics, it is dangerous for the bearer of the letters.
There is not only no freedom of speech in Myanmar but there are draconian laws, came out from the barrel of guns, that would make sure that THERE IS NO FREEDOM AFTER A SPEECH. I wish to ice the cake with the advised of a great man.
The United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan stated:
There is no country in the world exempt of discrimination. No matter how severe or how mild the ratio of discrimination is, no nation is free from it. Either for one circumstance or another, not all countries are capable of giving the importance and dedication this issue needs. Even though we are all consciously aware of this topic, there is still a long road to cross.
Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda… Our mission therefore is to confront ignorance with knowledge, and bigotry with tolerance. RACISM CAN, WILL AND MUST BE DEFEATED. Almost every country in the world suffers prejudice among its own people, racial discrimination, xenophobia or religious intolerance.
Dear Nan I hereby wish to end my letter with the recent another advice of UN Secretary General, Mr Koffi Annan:
THE IMPORTANCE OF OVERCOMING MISUNDERSTANDINGS AND ANIMOSITIES BETWEEN THE PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT BELIEFS AND CULTURAL TRADITIONS IS THROUGH PEACEFUL DIALOGUE AND MUTUAL RESPECT.
Waiting for your quick return home,
Your loving darling,
(Ko Tin Nwe)
BO AUNG DIN
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