Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Who is Suu Kyi? World's greatest Buddhist?

Journeyman Pictures; Ashley Wells, Oo Win, Maya, Wisdom Quarterly

The Lady on the Lake
A film by ABC Australia distributed by Journeyman Pictures 
The glory of Burma's massive Shwedagon Pagoda built on a hill in the former capital of Rangoon, which houses the Buddha's hair relics (airpano.com)
RANGOON, Burma - Aung San Suu Kyi makes her first political trip since her release from her 15-year house arrest under Burma's military dictatorship, and ABC Australia is there to document it.

After months of negotiation, this report secured an exclusive and rare interview with Burma's Daw ("the Lady") Suu Kyi. A powerhouse of ideas, she explains her vision for Burma and her relationship with the dictatorial government.

Pres. B. Obama and former Sec'ry of State Hillary Clinton visit Shwedagon after cutting deals with military dictators to pretend to yield power to democratic processes, at least in appearance (Carolyn Kaster/AP/telegraph.co.uk).
In her stately, crumbling old home by the lake, Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi remains an inspiration for the people of Burma and the world. She has been separated from her British husband and children for years. For from here she has spent the majority of the last 20 years driving the freedom movement.

(SDS Dateline) Burma is still ruled by secretive military junta.
Strangely, she finds house arrest no impediment: "No, because after all, I can get out my message." As she explains her vision for change, she warns about impatience, but also says change may come more quickly than many might expect.
"Political change can come very unexpectedly, sometimes overnight when you least expect it." Recently, she has been granted more freedoms and has been using this to re-connect with the Burmese people. While she remains closely watched and her words remain carefully chosen, her mantra throughout is: "Democracy is something for which everybody can work in their own way."
(Journeyman) The horror and mystery of war is hard to fathom or calculate. The rebirth of of soldiers as children is usually unspeakably miserable. Kids are dragged into war, ruining their lives and those of others for generations.

It is a message that the people seem to be taking to heart. Like Zayar Thaw, who writes anti-government raps, thousands have been jailed for speaking out against the brutal regime [led by 1984-style dictator Than Shwe].
However, revolution does not appear to be imminent, and Suu Kyi is not looking for an open confrontation with the regime, despite her continuing support for international sanctions on Burma. "We always wanted to engage with the government."
Facing accusations of being out of touch, can Suu Kyi use her new freedom to continue to be a force of change?

Justice for the Burmese ethnic Muslim minority Rohingya (USCampaignforBurma.org)
Pagan or Bagan, Burma, near Mandalay -- a testament to former Buddhist glory -- a land of countless shrines (stupas) and temples again open to tourists (Platongkohphoto/flickr).

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