Buddhist Monks of Burma

  • 8 October 2007
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I have read that the feet of the protesting Burmese Buddhist monks were bruised and bloodied after several days of marching.


Testament to their sincerity and heartfelt dedication to the cause of democracy. These brave men seek justice in a country long held down by a brutal dictatorship, one that has no mandate of any kind to govern- or misgovern- more than fifty million people.

Some onlookers found the sight of those bloodied feet obnoxious and unbearable.

But I would suggest that there is a lot more blood on the hands of the Burmese Junta leaders and on those of the un-elected leaders of Communist China who back them than you'll find on the feet of those humble monks who want nothing more than the freedom we in the West take for granted.

The freedom to organise politically…the right to vote…to elect the government of one's choice in a free election…to express one's opinion without fearing a knock on the door from secret police…the freedom to protest peacefully without fearing the batons and tanks and machine guns of a ruthless nest of glorified thugs and killers that Hitler would have been proud of.

The Chinese Red-Fascist regime that backs the Burmese despots cares nothing for human rights. They have their eyes trained on the potential for building lucrative gas and oil pipelines across the oppressed territory of their neighbouring dictatorship.

Politicians in the West are wringing their hands and saying: Oh, we hope that China will exert its influence to rein in these generals.

What they overlook is that that China is also an undemocratic authoritarian state. Like the Burmese junta, it has suppressed pro-democracy demos with crushing military might; killing, maiming, or imprisoning unknown thousands of democrats.

That's apart altogether from the reign of terror it continues to inflict on the people of Tibet, a nation it invaded and occupied with the intention of incorporating it into a Greater China.

In that ravaged, brutalised country, Communist thugs have murdered thousands of Buddhist monks, and more than a million civilians, since that ancient nation, famously perched on the “roof of the world”, was subjugated in 1950.

When the invaders entered Tibet, they first set about rounding up the monks. In the opening week of the conquest, many of these peace-loving men were dragged behind vehicles until they expired. Uniformed Communist Party officials applauded as the monks died horribly. Others were tortured to death in concentration camps.

Business people from many of the nations that condemn the undemocratic Burmese system of government are jet-setting to China “twenty-four-seven” to close multi-billion pound, euro, and dollar deals that are completely outside any ethical consideration of human rights violations and ongoing state repression.

They clink champagne glasses with people whose concept of morality differs little from that of the bureaucrats who administered Hitler's Final Solution.

When hands joined in peace and prayer are met with troops, tanks, and guns, you know that a democracy versus dictatorship contest is underway. And there can be no doubting who is in the right.

In June 1944, Europe experienced the historic D-Day landings that heralded the beginning of a continent's liberation from barbarism. The Burmese and Chinese despots would do well to remember what became of their infamous predecessors:

Hitler shot himself in a bunker; Mussolini was lynched from a lamppost; Stalin died crying out for forgiveness; Cambodia's Pol Pot died in disgrace before he could be tried for crimes against humanity, as did Serbia's Slobadon. Rumania's dictator was shot by a firing squad. Panama's squalid butcher-cum statesman is serving a life sentence for his crimes…one could go on.

Those of us who enjoy the fruits of freedom need to speak out on Burma's behalf. We need to send a clear signal to the dictatorship and its ally China that we don't do business anymore with mass-murdering megalomaniacs posing as heads of state.

In 1936, Western nations saw nothing wrong with facilitating the Third Reich by sending athletes to participate in the Berlin Olympics. We now realise how wrong that was, with the benefit of hindsight. But we have no excuse when it comes to deciding how to approach the forthcoming Beijing event, which will be a PR bonanza for the dictators of the 21st century.

It must be boycotted. For the sake of the oppressed millions of Burma, China and Tibet.