Reconciliation in Myanmar
Myanmar is in the news today because of a huge problem with hundreds of thousands of refugees in the border area of North Western Rakhine state and neighbouring Bangladesh. Hardly anyone knows about the far more reaching process of Reconciliation the country is in, after fifty years of military regime. This is an attempt to change the course of history comparable to South Africa after the Apartheid regime.
News reporting is fully dominated by mainstream media like CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera, and the English newspaper The Guardian. Opinions of United Nations, European Union and NGO's like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and MSF are generally being reproduced totally uncritically. State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi speaks of an iceberg of disinformation. Mainstram media at most look at the top of the iceberg, and totally forget that the most important part of an iceberg is the unseen part. This is called delusion or stupidity by the Buddha.
In Myanmar itself there is a totally different vision on the issue, which goes back until about two hundred years. British colonial era until 1948 and fifty years of isolation during military regime from 1962 have not been conductive for the facts to become common knowledge in the West.
Aung San Suu Kyi in her speech of September 19 2017 on 'National Reconciliation and Peace' makes an appeal to the rest of the world to broaden their knowledge about it. Remarkably enough she explicitly mentions the need of generosity and courage to do so. As a practising Buddhist she will most probably refer to attachment to opinions in this respect.
Her biographer Alan Clements ('Aung San Suu Kyi, The Voice of Hope') recently made the following statement about her (Facebook, 14 september 2017):
"Aung San Suu Kyi is a non-violent visionary, not a villain colluding with violence. She is undertaking the (nearly) impossible: making peace with everyone in her country, the oppressed and oppressors alike. This is unprecedented emotional territory, and not easy for the 'us and them' dynamic that dominates mainstream politics, and spirituality as well. Yes, it is very hard to make sense of this situation, preciesly because the 'Dhamma of nonviolent reconciliation' is the new edge of human transformation on our beleaguered planet."
Below one finds information gathered by me since August 2017.
From November 26 till February 6 2018 I will be in Myanmar again. Most of the time (December 1 - January 31) in a retreat at Panditarama Hsemine Gon Forest Center.