In Religious News Today . . . .

I’ll bet none of youse knew I have a B.A. in ‘Religious Studies’ from this place! That’s in the way to explain why you’ll be seeing stories, I means posts – on certain aspects of religion, and different religions at that. Now this certainly caught my eye . . . .

Hundreds of defiant monks marched through Yangon on Tuesday, walking 10 miles through streets lined with cheering crowds, after being barred from Myanmar’s most important Buddhist temple, witnesses said.

The marches were the latest in a series of anti-government protests, which began Aug. 19 after authorities raised fuel prices by as much as 500 percent, putting the squeeze on already impoverished citizens. The protests have continued despite the detention of more than 100 demonstrators and the rough treatment of others.

I guess now would be the time to say ‘500 freakin’ percent!’ I was really going to say ‘fucking’ but Sr. Anna Margaret might show up and I’d have to explain myself. 😆

Soooo…..

Monks have been at the forefront of political protests in Myanmar, also known as Burma, since British colonial times. Because they are so revered by the public, repressing them is politically risky. The junta is wary that demonstrations could gain momentum.

Tuesday’s marches also marked the 19th anniversary of the coup in Myanmar, in which the current junta took over after crushing a failed pro-democracy rebellion that sought an end to military rule, imposed since 1962. The anniversary was also commemorated by protesters in the Philippines, India and New Zealand.

The 1000-strong protest monks who marched under the heavy rain without umbrellas were joined by thousands of civilians on 22 September.DVB, September 22, 2007.

Photo: Democratic Voice of Burma. (Sponsor: Voice of America) Photo Gallery

Sooo . . . . it can only get worse, especially given the track record of the military there who attained power.

In reading, the one thing that really struck me was the centralized structure of Burmese society. There have been name changes to not only the country, but major cities as well. The government, the meting out of justice, and administration are maintained by a structure that actually is simple in its organization.

What I gleaned was that originally, the State Law & Order Restoration Council (SLORC) was the primary administration. It developed/merged into the ‘State Peace & Development Council (SPDC). From this, out spokes Law & Order restoration Councils (LORC). The country is divided into states (7) and divisions (7), as are some of the larger cities. There’s this “chain of command” which threads throughout this country in order to maintain a tight rein on the populace. Although the use of martial law and the imposition of curfews has been discontinued from the time of the military takeover, it is still illegal for 5 or more folks to gather in public without a permit. One of the strangest things I discovered was the move the government made of its offices from Yangon (renamed from the original of ‘Rangoon) ‘ to a brand new city specially built/developed called Naypyidaw – which is smack dab in the center of the country – “more centrally located.” It’s in the state of Mandalay. [Yangon is ‘off’ the Bay of Bengal, Cape Negralis area.]

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