The BBC reports that huge pro democracy protests are occuring in Burma (Myanmar):

Tens of thousands of monks and civilians around Burma have held the biggest protest marches against the military government yet.

Eyewitnesses say up to 100,000 people marched peacefully through Rangoon with monks demanding better living conditions and national reconciliation.

To those of us in the Philippines, this brings back memories of the EDSA revolution, where hundreds of thousands demonstrated against Marcos, led by priests and nuns and the greatly revered Cardinal Sin.

When intellectuals write scathingly of religion, they usually chose the worse case scenerios: the most ignorant and extreme as examples of religion.

But the real danger of religion to governments and others who want to control people’s lives is twofold: One, that religious leaders are respected by the common people, and two: that religious leaders answer to a Higher Power, and so a government is not able to insist their law is supreme. The third way religion is dangerous is that threats of death is not a deterrant.

Yes, this last reason has been twisted out of recognition by jihadi “suicide bombers” who kill civilians they consider heretics (mainly Shiite Muslims). But it was this fearlessness and sense of peace that marched in defiance of threats of violence that made the Freedom Marcher of Selma and the Edsa and Gandhi and of Solidarity so inspiring.

If there are only two ways to overthrow an evil government (war from within and war from without) it is religion that  gives a third way: peaceful resistance.

The BBC has an article on  Democracy advocate and Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi   HERE.

THIS WEBSITE has updates on the situation.

and Gateway Pundit has a long report with links of the huge protests against that military junta…led by Buddhist monks.

One worry in all of this is China. A the BBC reports, they are an ally and trading partner of the government of Myamar but ironically, one thing standing in the way of their support of a government crackdown is….the Olympics.

instability or even war in Burma is not in China’s interest. But neither is a bloody crackdown, because China is worried about its own image in the run up to next year’s Beijing Olympic Games.
And a Beijing-backed crackdown in Burma would spoil China’s idea of a trouble-free Olympics.

So one of the ironies is that the Burmese people might get their democratic government because of the Olympic games.

Now, if only we could pressure South Africa’s support of Mugabe, by threatening a boycott of their World Cup

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Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket, and she writes about Zimbabwe at Makaipa Blog.

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