The peaceful protest of the buddhist nuns and monks against the dictatorial regime in Burma/Myanmar seems as far from playful as it’s possible to get. Certainly the Chinese sponsored government is not playing in the most common sense of the word in its brutal attempts to quash the protests. They have cut off access to the internet, shot and killed a Japanese journalist and admitted that they have killed another 10 protesters, though unofficial reports put this closer to 200. So no they are not playing in one sense, but in the aspect of play that is power play they are most definitely playing their hand. They are perfectly aware that the peaceful protests are as powerful as violent riots if not more dangerous because there is no justification for the retaliation – hence the death of the journalist, the one-way brutality puts them firmly in the wrong and they don’t want the world to see that or for the protesters to gain strength from external support.
The monks and nuns are subverting the system with their peaceful stance they are not playing by the rules, they are taking control through giving up control. We should pray for them, for their courage and the courage of the people in the government who may disagree with this action. We should act by expressing our support and by supporting organisations like Amnesty which are campaigning against the government’s actions.
Here are some interesting stuff on the situation from around the web…
NPR – Q&A on Burma/Myanmar
Channel 4’s collected reports on the situation
Ruth Gledhill has posted a very moving video on her blog on The Times
Boing-Boing have some interesting links to bloggers posting via contacts in London and elsewhere and places to post your support.