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INSTANT KARMA: We Are With You In Myanmar

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BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) Hunkered down in their war rooms hundreds of miles from mass protests, the aging, hard-line generals in Myanmar are known as a suspicious lot who view the West with disdain and depend on browbeaten advisers and astrologers to guide them.

The demonstrations are the stiffest challenge to the ruling junta in two decades, a crisis that began Aug. 19 with protests over a fuel price hike then expanded dramatically about two weeks ago when Buddhist monks joined the protests.Since Wednesday, soldiers and riot police have clubbed, shot and detained demonstrators in Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, the largest city in what used to be called Burma. At least 10 people were killed, dozens injured and hundreds detained, including Buddhist monks whose monasteries were shot up and destroyed in overnight raids by security forces.

aungsuukyi1.jpgThe heavy-handed response, analysts said, was not surprising given the junta’s long history of snuffing out all dissent since the country’s independence in 1948. For decades, they have also waged a brutal war against ethnic groups in which soldiers have razed villages, raped women and killed innocent civilians atrocities that continue to this day.

Since the 1980s, they have detained and tortured thousands of political prisoners including Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leader who has been under house arrest for almost 12 of the past 18 years. When hundreds of thousands of citizens took to the streets peacefully in 1988, the military opened fire, killing as many as 3,000. MORE

TIMES OF LONDON: Live Blogging The Crackdown

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All tremble at the rod. All fear death. Comparing others withbuddha1.jpg oneself, one should neither strike nor cause to strike.

All tremble at the rod. Life is dear to all. Comparing others with oneself, one should neither strike nor cause to strike.

Whoever, seeking his own happiness, harms with the rod other pleasure-loving beings, experiences no happiness hereafter.

Whoever, seeking his own happiness, harms not with the rod other pleasure-loving beings, experiences happiness hereafter.

–Buddhism. Dhammapada 129-32
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WITH APOLOGIES TO ALLEN GINSBERG

I’m with you in Rangoon
where you’re madder than I am
I’m with you in Rangoon
where you must feel very strange
I’m with you in Rangoon
where you laugh at this invisible humor
I’m with you in Rangoon
where we are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter
I’m with you in Rangoon
where your condition has become serious and
is reported on the radio
I’m with you in Rangoon
where the faculties of the skull no longer admit
the worms of the senses
I’m with you in Rangoon
where you scream in a straightjacket that you’re
losing the game of the actual pingpong of the abyss
I’m with you in Rangoon
where you bang on the catatonic piano
the soul is innocent and immortal it should never die
ungodly in an armed madhouse
I’m with you in Rangoon
where fifty more shocks will never return your
soul to its body again from its pilgrimage to a
cross in the void
I’m with you in Rangoon
where there are twenty-five-thousand mad com-
rades all together singing the final stanzas of the Internationale
I’m with you in Rangoon
where we wake up electrified out of the coma
by our own souls’ airplanes roaring over the roof
they’ve come to drop angelic bombs
O starry spangled shock of mercy the eternal war is here
O victory forget your underwear we’re free
I’m with you in Rangoon
in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea- journey
on the highway across America in tears

to the door of my cottage in the Western night

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