Letter of appeal to the Ambassador of the Union of Myanmar to Germany, Mr. U Tin Win

by Michael den Hoet, Hamburg, The Buddhist Channel, Sept 27, 2007

To His Excellency the Ambassador of the Union of Myanmar, Mr. U Tin Win

Yours Excellency U Tin Win,

As a western Buddhist and citizen of a free state I follow the current situation in your country with high concern and sorrow. Recently reports came out telling us that soldiers of your country shot from a distance on peaceful, unweaponed citizen, including members of the venerable ordained Sangha. At least five people are reported to be killed. And this nearby the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon (Rangoon), the most-known holy place and national monument im Myanmar.

Having the power taking care of order in a country military has the task to protect the people. In Myanmar recently the opposite is taking place: There soldiers are the biggest threat to security, wealth and freedom of the people! Former promises of the military government towards stepwise reconstruction of democracy have not been discharged up to now. The winner of the elections from 1990 and supposed Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kji is de facto under arrest until today.

To many Buddhists world-wide the Burmese have the reputation of being "the favorite paople of the Buddha". They have often proved how peaceful and patient they are. The same is the case with most of the minority people in your country as well. It is known in the West that there was a lot of argument among the leaders in uniform of your country concerning the political direction of your country. It would a tragedy if a major bloodshed against the fellow-contrymen took place, only because a few military leaders forgot what it means to serve the people! It is highly indignified, cruel and coward, when soldiers of a Buddhist country even shoot upon Buddhist nuns and monks.

If the situation escalated there only would be losers.

Yours Excellency U Tin Win. I can imagine how painful it is for you - as a representative and patriot of your country - to face the world with the current situation engulfing your country.

However, being the ambassador of an influential western country you have a remarkable influence upon the leaders of your country. When in summer 1991 a group of political adventurers in the Soviet Union wanted to take over the country, declared president Gorbatchev deposed of office and commanded the military to violently break down demonstrations, the Soviet ambassador in Prague, Boris Pankin, refused to follow the regime. After him other ambassadors declared that they would not obey to the putschists. This contributed to that a major outbreak of violence took place. Apart from smaller clashes in Moscow the military forces stayed calm and president Gorbatchev returned. A lot of suffering was avoided.

Yours Excellency, I appeal to you to follow this example. Declare that you take your oath serious - to serve the people of Myanmar. Please delare that you are not able to support a regime which keeps closed towards neccessary reforms, a regime which shoots upon peacful demonstrators, a regime which finally ruins the reputation of your country! Please contribute, by means of a courageuos decision, that escalation is avoided and that the situation of the people in Myanmar will turn for the better.

World-wide respects of millions of people including Buddhists on the whole world were on your side.

My best wishes, excellency, to you and the people of Myanmar.

This letter has been delivered to the Ambassador of the Union of Myanmar to Germany.
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