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SV: [Pali] Re: Burmese crisis: A case for democracy

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  • Ong Yong Peng
    Dear Dmytro, thanks for the links. metta, Yong Peng. ... I would highly recommend the detailed video report:
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 14, 2007
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      Dear Dmytro,

      thanks for the links.

      metta,
      Yong Peng.


      --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Dmytro O. Ivakhnenko wrote:

      I would highly recommend the detailed video report:

      http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/A0A81AA6-DACD-4913-AB67-AA8602962EAB.htm
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UqQaizM15Q
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2goTVC5g3M

      And the account from inside the monastery:
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7022475.stm
    • Ong Yong Peng
      Dear Gunnar, I think you have carried my message beyond its intention. I did not intend to link Asoka or any other historical person to be a cakkavatti. There
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 14, 2007
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        Dear Gunnar,

        I think you have carried my message beyond its intention. I did not
        intend to link Asoka or any other historical person to be a
        cakkavatti. There also isn't any discussion to nominate the monks to
        any award.

        It is true that Myanmar is not constitutionally Buddhist, but it is
        still by and large culturally Buddhist. The cakkavatti is an ideal,
        something for any Buddhist political leader to work towards. I am not
        arguing for despotism but democracy.

        I am also not aware of any part of Asian culture which supports
        tyranny, if you could enlighten us.

        metta,
        Yong Peng.


        --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Gunnar G�llmo wrote:

        > The brutal treatment of its people by the Myanmar
        > government does not befit good old Asian traditions.
        > Asian culture balks at tyranny.

        Well well well - Buddhist culture does, but Asian
        culture in general? I think the history of Asia is
        much more complicated than that; despotism can be
        found there as well as in other continents. (Many
        Europeans, blind for the failings of their own region,
        have thought it even an Asian specialty and talken
        about "Oriental Despotism".)
      • Gunnar Gällmo
        ... I didn t say _you_ did. I said it has often been done in Buddhist history. ... There is some - see
        Message 3 of 9 , Oct 15, 2007
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          --- Ong Yong Peng <pali.smith@...> skrev:

          > Dear Gunnar,
          >
          > I think you have carried my message beyond its
          > intention. I did not
          > intend to link Asoka or any other historical person
          > to be a
          > cakkavatti.

          I didn't say _you_ did. I said it has often been done
          in Buddhist history.

          > There also isn't any discussion to
          > nominate the monks to
          > any award.

          There is some - see

          http://www.mizzima.com/MizzimaNews/EdOp/2007/Oct/01-Oct-07.html

          Unfortunately Mr Corso, who wrote the article, managed
          to do about everything wrong:

          1. He thought he is entitled to nominate, which he
          probably isn't.

          2. He nominated for the wrong year - nominations for a
          certain year must be presented no later than February
          1:st that year.

          3. He tried to nominate through a public article,
          which the committee wouldn't accept - it abhors public
          campaigns.

          4. He didn't define exactly whom he wanted to
          nominate.

          That's why I would like to know if there actually is
          any person or organization who could, realistically,
          be nominated, or not.

          (I have sent a e-mail to Mizzima pointing these things
          out, but they haven't answered.)

          > It is true that Myanmar is not constitutionally
          > Buddhist, but it is
          > still by and large culturally Buddhist.

          Now we are coming into problems of definitions. In
          Thailand, Buddhism is officially state religion; but
          that doesn't guarantee it is always ruled according to
          Buddhist ideals. (For example, it still has the death
          penalty, which many Non-Buddhist countries manage to
          do without.)

          I person becomes a Buddhist by taking the three
          refuges; but a country can't do that.

          > The
          > cakkavatti is an ideal,
          > something for any Buddhist political leader to work
          > towards. I am not
          > arguing for despotism but democracy.

          True.

          > I am also not aware of any part of Asian culture
          > which supports
          > tyranny, if you could enlighten us.

          I don't think it is possible to speak about "Asian
          culture" in singular, nor "European culture" in
          singular. There are several cultures in both parts of
          the Eurasian continent.

          A recent example of one of the Asian cultures
          supporting tyranny is State Shinto during the time
          prior to World War Two, and the Shogunate before that.
          Also, the Pali texts contain many stories about evil
          rulers, so I think there must have been some in India
          as well; and let's not forget that Prince Siddhattha
          actually ran away from home not to risk becoming one.
          (And note: we often end our recitations with "raajaa
          bhavat_u_ dhammiko" - but never with "bhavat_i_"...)

          The culture of any region, whether Asia or some other,
          is not only its lofty treatises, but also the actions
          actually done, which is often something quite
          different. In that respect, I think the distinctions
          between continents are negligible.

          Gunnar

          http://metrobloggen.se/esperanto


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        • Ong Yong Peng
          Dear Gunnar, I do agree on diversity among cultural elements over the Asian subcontinent . In particular, we see religious diversity alongside varying
          Message 4 of 9 , Oct 20, 2007
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            Dear Gunnar,

            I do agree on diversity among "cultural elements" over the
            Asian 'subcontinent'. In particular, we see religious diversity
            alongside varying degree of interaction among the Asian communities.
            Multireligious communities had long existed in large parts of Asia,
            including China, India, Japan, Korea, Tibet and Southeast Asia.

            The underlying principle towards this observed cultural phenomenon is
            religious tolerance, which is the result of, I think, the wide spread
            influence of Buddhism (non-violence) and Confucianism (secularism) in
            Asia.

            Even though it is not an easy task, it is such key elements as
            religious tolerance which I would employ in defining an "Asian
            culture".

            Secondly, it is hard for me to accept that a momentary period in a
            nation's history can be used to define its culture. We do not live in
            a perfect world, and we have witnessed tyranny in different places at
            different times. The ascension and even the long reign of a tyrant
            ruler does not constitute support of tyranny (especially in the
            absence of democracy). Also, in my views, Japan of WWII is more a
            colonial evil than a domestic tyrant.

            metta,
            Yong Peng.


            --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Gunnar Gallmo wrote:

            > I am also not aware of any part of Asian culture which
            > supports tyranny, if you could enlighten us.

            I don't think it is possible to speak about "Asian culture" in
            singular, nor "European culture" in singular. There are several
            cultures in both parts of the Eurasian continent.

            A recent example of one of the Asian cultures supporting tyranny is
            State Shinto during the time prior to World War Two, and the
            Shogunate before that. Also, the Pali texts contain many stories
            about evil rulers, so I think there must have been some in India as
            well; and let's not forget that Prince Siddhattha actually ran away
            from home not to risk becoming one. (And note: we often end our
            recitations with "raajaa bhavat_u_ dhammiko" - but never
            with "bhavat_i_"...)

            The culture of any region, whether Asia or some other, is not only
            its lofty treatises, but also the actions actually done, which is
            often something quite different. In that respect, I think the
            distinctions between continents are negligible.
          • Gunnar Gällmo
            ... I agree (I wouldn t like Sweden to be defined by the Thirty Years War). I just want to avoid over-generalisations, in both directions. Wars can,
            Message 5 of 9 , Oct 21, 2007
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              --- Ong Yong Peng <pali.smith@...> skrev:

              > Secondly, it is hard for me to accept that a
              > momentary period in a
              > nation's history can be used to define its culture.

              I agree (I wouldn't like Sweden to be defined by the
              Thirty Years' War). I just want to avoid
              over-generalisations, in both directions. Wars can,
              unfortunately, be found in most cultures. So can lofty
              thoughts. I think both are much older than recorded
              history.

              After all, cultures are built by people, and as the
              Buddha said: the animal is an open field, the human
              being is a jungle. It is, unfortunately, quite normal
              in human history to preach one thing and practice
              another.

              Gunnar

              http://metrobloggen.se/esperanto





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