The Roman Miracle: A look back 70 years ago today

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Such an incredible to look back at the history..

CNS Blog

VATICAN CITY — Today, taxis, tourists and food carts line the wide piazza in front of St. Peter’s.

IMG_3618 Pius XII Square in front of St. Peter’s Square. (CNS photo/Carol Glatz)

But exactly 70 years ago this week, it was teeming with American tanks, trucks and jeeps, forcing the occupying German troops north and liberating Rome.

June 4, 1944, was the day U.S. troops and Allies reached the Eternal City, freeing it from the insecurities of wartime — hunger, persecution and fear.

A bright floral wreath of yellow and white was quietly hung today under a commemorative plaque on the side of the building that houses the Vatican press office.

IMG_3622 A stone plaque commemorating the role Pope Pius XII played in saving Rome from bloodshed and havoc as the Germans abandoned the city and retreated north on June 4, 1944. (CNS photo/Carol Glatz)

The plaque commemorates the role Pope Pius XII…

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Our attitude toward Change

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By nature human beings want to be appreciated, recognized and valued, which I think is a good bridge, if you like, to interrelate to each other. Some produce actions that would impress others and seek for the appreciation in return. That, I categorize it as a superficial level of doing good if one is intending to do good. Aside from that, there is a saintly level of doing good for others purely for the sake of goodness. A number of selfless figures have laid down good examples for us such as, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Gandhi and Desmond Tutu. These people lived their lives selflessly for the betterment of others. That was how they define life. A human dignity was selflessly earned that way without the intention of earning it. This is the crucial issue that I am going to talk about in this article.

On the road to change in Burma, many of us have already taken a great deal of things for granted. Under the name of ‘change’ individuals are still pursuing for power. The power to take control, the power to earn recognition and praise. Aren’t we tried with a bunch of jerk offs who were desperate for power for more than five decades? Looking at the situation closely, I personally think, this is the right time to detach our inborn immaturity to seek for praise and recognition for the long struggle of peace in our country. It is time to nature the courage to do something of our own good selflessly. 

‘Sacrifice’ is what does not really matter for most of us nowadays. The philosophy of individualism introduces us the rights, needs, and wants of each and everyone of us. On the other side, it teaches us how to get, not how to give. Living in that current of getting, giving becomes the hardest principle to practice. Unless there is something profiting for us, we are not ready to engage in anything. Relationships become very commercial and superficial. In this, I am seriously talking about how we relate and communicate to each other. In this structure, we look at our partner as a prey not as our neighbor. Being genuine is rarely a case in modern time. Fake smiles, fake smart phones, fake friends, fake love and fake things. Pause yourself and think about it, you will realize it is true. The world is becoming too greedy. Including us.

Late Pope, now a saint, John Paul II was famous with only one word during his struggle for the political change in Poland : “Solidarity”. Polish across the country were raising banners that said “solidarity”. This particular world composed of ten alphabets is a magnificent word for change if internalized it by all of us. It is the concern, the care and the understanding of what we are going through as a whole. How could one of us think of taking for granted of things in this situation? Let alone be the greediness and struggle for power, it is time to look at the whole country as a family. If we don’t fix this mess by ourselves, who else is going to fix it for us? It is time for ‘solidarity’ before it’s too late.

What good is it if your brother in Kachin state is not having a meal when you are enjoying a grand dinner in Yangon? What good is it? What good is it if your brother in Chin state is suffering from cold when you are sleeping in a cozy hotel in Yangon? Aren’t we all bear the same identity? Aren’t we all living in the same land? We write our history. We are the author of it. It is the sympathy, the big heart that has rooms to embrace the reality. The reality that we are broken into pieces by our immaturity and selfishness. It is time to accept, realize and move on for the betterment AS A WHOLE. “Sacrifice”, “Solidarity”, and “Selflessness” will do a great deal of good.

  

 

Inside Kachin

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It was really helpful for the viewers hearing from these three different personals: Victor Gao, a so called representative of the China based friendship association between Myanmar government and Kachin, Phil Robertson, a human rights watch and Zoya Phan, a refugee and a political analyst living in UK.

Gao’s main interest is the welfare of China that the Kachin refugees should not cross into China and disturb it’s peace. For that reason, his association was probably established ( the legitimacy of it is still doubtful). He isn’t siding with any party avoiding whatever problem that may cause to them. However, as an individual who cares enough for the misfortune ones, he should get into this conversation with open mind and maturity. He denied the fact that China is somehow the cause of this chaos. Why has he never mentioned that China constantly pursues their plan to establish gold mines and power plants inside Kachin state and other parts of Myanmar? The sovereignty and peace of the Kachins were disturbed by the entry of a bunch of Chinese. Tensions were built between the government and the Kachins protecting their land and rivers. When the chaos comes China wants to wash theirs hands and send the refugees back to Kachin state.

It is as well true that the government has been blocking humanitarian aids across Kachin for they fear that the real situation might be covered by the media, neglecting the sufferings of the Kachin refugees. The cruelty of the government and their ignorance is exposed here. The reason they gave to the world  for blocking the humanitarian groups was pretty funny as well. They reasoned that the aids might go to KIA ( Kachin Independence Army). However, as Robertson, in the video, has explained, the humanitarian aids agents have the capability to differentiate between the combatants and the civilians. It is just a very naive and bold reason that the government gave.

Zoya Phan has made the situation and it’s root very clear. It is the will of the Kachins led by KIO and KIA to have the autonomous federal state. It is the only demand they imposed on the government and the demand actually is quite relevant with the democratic reform that Thein Sein is leading. If the demand is not foreign to such a now- democratic nation, why can’t they just give it to them? Not just to Kachin state, but to all the states across Myanmar.  Zoya added that it is the aim of the military to crash KIA down and level up the military power inside Myanmar. Knowing the situation in general now, we can conclude that Myanmar government has never given up their hope to maintain the control it’s military has on the country and people. A road to democracy as they put it is just an excuse and a hide out for their smoother road to military regime.

Zau Ra

The history of Burma being a neutral country

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The video explained how the early leaders of Burma longed to be a neutral country, resisting the influence from both communism of Russia and democracy of the west. Burma leaders thought they must nature a form of government that best serves the country and it’s people. The type of government they preferred is “socialism”. Watch the video and analyze it for your information.

Guests In our House ( The underlying reason that divides Myanmar apart)

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“Society means a community of ideas. Without shared ideas on politics, morals, and ethics no society can exit.”       -Jonathan Sacks

The underlying crisis in Myanmar is far more than political. It is as well racial and communal problem that acquires intellectual attention of men.  As we all know, a nation is composed of a variety of groups. The state has failed to look at the state as a whole composed of states and divisions. It fails to recognize the identity of each ethnic group residing in different parts of the country. The majority group is denying the individual rights of the minority tribal men, women and children alike across the country.  Let’s agree to this without any further argument because it has been crystal clear if we take a proper look at the history and the present.

This isn’t a superficial problem that can be solved politically by the state alone. Jonathan gave us an insight about it this way,

“Not everything in our shared life is political. Not everything is a conflict of interests, a struggle for power. There are convenantal relationships, such as love, loyalty, friendship and trust. There is such a thing as society, and it is not identical with politics.”

The mentality of superiority is seemingly what has been motivating the government, mainly occupied by Burmese individuals. Monarchy has prospered in the history of Burma and it’s influence is immense and vital. The Burma great history of kings and queens has made the Burmese Generals believe they are the right hires of the throne that no other tribe deserves to sit on. That tribal people were never royal. If this is what is going on, the prosperity of the nation as a whole is severely threatened and endangered. I have personally heard from a number of my friends who unfortunately happened to be Burmese that tribe people, like me, were always complaining of being victims of one thing or another. For that, here I am yelling to the world that we are actually the victims being denied all our rights to exist as part of the nation. Rights to take part in serving the country in all governmental departments whatsoever. A very precise and living example is that the Burmese husband (military captain)  of my aunt was never promoted for he married her who is sadly a Kachin. I am aware as well that ‘politic of victimhood’, where everyone claims what they want as victims and go violent if not provided, is not healthy at all. However, a voice must be launched to the whole world if something unjust is taking place in us.

A nation is free when the state and society communicate ; a dialogue which must take place. And for the sake of all, allow me to remind again that in Myanmar different tribes are settling as Myanmars. How could someone form a government without recognizing the rights and identity of every individual residing in the nation? When a nation loses faith in its citizens, citizens find other identities. They turn inward or they get totally out of it. In most cases,they form closed circles where they can freely breath and be recognized. A sense of belonging to the nation as a whole is completely lost. The nation is broken into pieces. Rebellions all over the nation and the state has lost it’s control over it. Civil wars occur because the state tries to oppress by raging wars against the rebels ; the closed tribal groups seeking for autonomous states. The tragedy right now is as clear as I am writing this.

The reason that breaks Europe apart is not identical to the reason why Myanmar is broken. The moral, ethical, political and economic structures seem to bring Europe down in the name of freedom. Capitalism sets the world on fire with consumers-mentality. Products enslave individuals by making them believe that a person’s life is complete if he buys and updates all his gadgets, clothes and food. This is what is going on in the West, US and some parts of the world. It is hard to make comparisons in every aspects. Yet it is striking to know what is making our own country miserable too. Let me get to the point.

As I have said, the worm which is eating up our flesh is different from that of the West. In terms of keeping and exercising morality, Myanmar, I bet, doesn’t seem to have any problem at all. Sex, marriage, food and social life are not so much politicized. Ancient values narrated by the elders are still appreciated and exercised. The society over all is even called a conservative one. Everyone seems to be shy to talk about sex, though I am aware that improvements must be introduced in this regard. Homosexuality is not encouraged out here (although homosexual issue is still debatable under the realm of moral relativism). Morality is superb! And at some point, I don’t even want democracy to be the form of the future government. I am just being humorous here. What then is the problem that tears us apart? Humility seems to be the one. The government is bearing too much of pride. Personally, I don’t even know distinctively what really is making them so hard to get down to the situation and sort it out with people it is having problem with. Nationalism, patriotism or classicism? None of them seems to answer me. I have no idea which one is their philosophy behind all this misery. What I know is that this country is having more than political problem and as I have said above, not everything is political.

Tribal people are just guests in their own house. Multiculturalism is taking place in us with it’s utmost negative effects. It is a long journey I believe, yet a road to construct and walk on. wisdom is essential and humility must be a way to communicate each other. The government must learn to accommodate each and every of her family member in her house before everyone scatters away. If not adopting children, hospitality as least will do a great deal of good.

Long live Myanmar!