Nonviolence fights with strong hope, but they need our support
By Claus Kiaer
Over 20 years ago, I was trying to travel to Myanmar for the first time. For 8 years I tried to get a visa until I succeeded in 2009. My first trip coincided with the opening of democratic opportunities in Myanmar. The trip took place in August 2009. There was a lot of international attention as at that time there was a lawsuit going on against Aung San Sui Kyi.
I had a lot of worries and a lot of considerations before I left. “What could I ask people? “Will I be watched?” “Can I cope mentally and emotionally with the journey? “
All my western worries and ignorance of the plight of the Burmese people were covered with shame when I got into the car where my guide was waiting for me. He greeted me with the following words: “Hi my name is Eric and now I will tell you how the situation is in this country”. Her mind and heart were open and her smile and laughter were the best symphony in life.
From that moment, I was completely abandoned to this beautiful country and its people. My trip lasted 3 weeks and along the way I encountered a human warmth and affection that I had never experienced before in my life. Every day I met people with whom I had been their best friend all their life, without my fully realizing it.
That is why my heart is determined to help my friends in Myanmar.
Once again, these beautiful people are subject to the same oppression that has afflicted them for over 50 years. Since February 1, the military regime has executed, murdered, raped and tortured with brutal means. All of this takes place in the streets or in people’s homes.
Houses, shops and villages were set on fire. Planes dropped bombs. Cars, rickshaws and surveillance cameras were destroyed.
More than 600 died. Thousands of people have been imprisoned and far too many have disappeared without their families and friends knowing their whereabouts.
I have received pictures and videos from my friends who brutally tell me what is going on.
Unfortunately, the international community has only condemned the situation, as I and many other citizens of the world have.
We know the story of September 11 where there was no problem for the United States and its allies illegally attacking and occupying Iraq and with explanations that it was to protect the Iraqi people from the oppression of Saddam Hussein. We know the stories of Arab men attacking a newsroom in Paris and immediately in all the mass media, terrorism became a clear statement against the attackers and for the people of the world.
What has been happening for 2 months in Myanmar, and what will continue for a long time, is “state terrorism”.
Almost every country in the world is committed to respecting United Nations human rights. Conventions have been created to protect the civilian population. There are international action programs that can legally be launched when a people and / or a minority is subjected to persecution and extermination.
Myanmar as a country is a minority compared to the rest of the world and therefore needs to be protected.
When the powerful leaders and organizations of the world do not help, it cannot be because the more powerful have special economic interests that are too closely tied to Myanmar’s military regime. This may be due to the oil. But the main reason for the lack of help is that the powerful of the world do not feel like brothers and sisters to the people of Myanmar. I do.
And once again, it is important for the global human being to take to the streets and show our solidarity and civil disobedience in support of the people of Myanmar. Any coherent action is the little seed of hope which is born and also grows for the benefit of other oppressed brothers and sisters.
In the Western world, people say that we are not oppressed! We may not be pushed by a gun to our head, but instead we are deeply addicted to fashion, entertainment, sports, alcohol, cocaine, hashish, unhealthy food, weather forecasts and lying politicians.
About 50 years ago I experienced the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia on television and since then I know that one day I should help the people of this region again.
Deep in my heart, my soul tells me that I want peace and justice for the people of Myanmar and for all those who today suffer from all kinds of violence and discrimination.
The fight for a non-violent and peaceful universal world is on.
Lastly and more important than my words, I want you to read and understand this post from a friend of mine:
To all my foreign friends, some of you may think that we in Myanmar are very sensitive and very emotional just because of the military coup. But what you know is only the surface. The following list is a summary of what is really going on in Myanmar:
- If anyone was arrested alive at night, the next morning only the corpse will be returned
- If you are medical personnel and help injured protesters, you will be arrested and tortured or killed.
- It doesn’t matter if you stay home or go out to protest, you can be killed anytime for no reason
- It doesn’t matter if you are a woman, a woman carrying a child or a toddler, you can be killed at any time for no reason.
- Even if you don’t protest, you can be beaten and tortured anytime and anywhere (day or night)
Myanmar is not a war zone. War means that at least all parties have weapons. But now we the people of Myanmar have no weapons and we are fighting against this brutal fully armed army.