Wednesday, October 31, 2012


BUDDHIST RAKHINES AND MUSLIM ROHINGYAS - Authorities in Burma say they are working to restore calm to western Rakhine state after a week of sectarian violence left nearly 100 people dead, destroyed thousands of homes and displaced 30,000 people, the vast majority of them Muslim. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has expressed concern the instability could spread. Burma officials on Tuesday said thousands of security officers are trying to restore order in western Rakhine state, following clashes between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims. 
While hundreds of Buddhists were displaced, and dozens of their homes destroyed, more than 27,000 Muslims were pushed out and some 4,000 lost their homes. Entire Muslim villages were burned to the ground. It is still not clear what started the latest round of fighting. Many Rohingya fled the coast of Rakhine state by boat and made their way to crowded camps in the capital Sittwe. 

Satellite photos published by Human Rights Watch showed a Muslim sector in the town of Kyaukpyu levelled by what appeared to be methodical and premeditated arson - more than 600 homes and nearly 200 houseboats were destroyed. The Rohingya, who are Muslim, are not recognized as citizens by the Myanmar government, nor are they are among the 135 official ethnic groups in the country formerly known as Burma. Deeply impoverished and effectively stateless, the Rohingya are viewed by the Buddhist majority as unwelcome immigrants who have crossed over illegally from neighbouring Bangladesh.
“It is very disturbing to see that the conflict has worsened,” Zaw Nay Aung, a democracy activist said. “The Burmese, the majority of whom are Buddhists, are Islamophobic.” He said anti-Islamic pamphlets have lately been circulating in western Myanmar, stirring up fear and anger among the Buddhists there.

Violence has continued this week in western Myanmar, as an apparent campaign of ethnic cleansing is being carried out against the Muslim minority group known as the Rohingya. There have been widespread reports of razed and burning homes, gunfights and many Rohingya fleeing in small wooden boat. The Rohingya in Burma number around 800,000 but are not recognized as citizens and have few legal rights. Most people in Burma consider them illegal migrants and refer to them as Bengalis. The U.N. considers them one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. We should see our real identity, beyond the body, to accept everyone as part of our family.

In spiritual training, perhaps the single most important point to understand is that you are not your body. You are the soul within it. The soul is completely transcendental to the body, and does not come under the same designations that we give to the body. It does not belong to a certain family name or ethnic group. The soul is not Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc. It is also not American, Indian, Russian, Chinese, Pakistani, or anything else. According to the Upanishads it is also not happy, sad, frustrated or content, nor does it imagine anything but what it ought to imagine. It does not take birth, grow, change or die. ... There is a saying that anything that is temporary or changes is not the eternal truth. We have to go beyond what is temporary to get a glimpse of what is real and true. And the soul exists in that field of eternity that is completely beyond the mind, body and senses.

Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
“Thirty-one Days to Salvation on the Vedic Path”
“Day Twelve: You Are Not Your Body”  -

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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