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Letters sent and received

Buddhist Relief Mission
DATE:September 4, 1995
TIME:7:20 PM
SUB:Letter to NLOM and SLORCish hate mail

     Unfortunately the "New Light of Myanmar" (sic) has
no letters to the editor column.  Perhaps the Burmanet will
serve the purpose, since SLORC regularly monitors the net.  
     In the August 1 article "Let there be no jealousy or
envy," (kindly reprinted in The Irrawaddy, August 15) "U
Phyoe" seeks to make much of the fact that he, now a layman,
was once "a clergy," although that makes him no more than
the vast majority of males in Burma who have spent time as
monks in robes at some point in their lives.   
     Mr Phyoe, layman, offers us a special "spiritual gift"
in the form of a little lesson in Dhamma.  Since Mr. Phyoe, in
remarkable contrast to the vast majority of men and women in
Burma, finds the SLORC the greatest government imaginable,
"really and so swiftly achieving so much progress in promoting
the people's living standards, in developing towns and
countryside, in providing airports and seaports, and in building
pagodas, monasteries, hospitals, dispensaries and parks," we
might expect to disagree with his Dhamma lesson as well.
     And so it is.  Mr. Phyoe skips right down the list of
defilements, past the heavy-duty kilesas of greed, hatred,
delusion, and wrong view to single out jealousy, envy (issa
macchariya) as the most abominable.   An interesting choice.
The target for his malice is, of course, Daw Aung San Suu
Kyi, whom he is unwilling or unable to mention by name. 
Because she has cautioned foreign governments not to rush
into Burma, she is said to be jealous and envious.  Note well,
however, that there are two requisite conditions for
covetousness: 1) Another's property and 2) a strong desire for
it, thinking,  if this property were mine'.  Neither of those
conditions holds in Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's case, however. 
In cautioning foreign governments in their rush to give money
to the SLORC, which, after all, is only a council, not a
government, and certainly does not represent the people of
Burma, there is no "property" involved, least of all, SLORC's. 
Actually the SLORC is taking, using, and selling what belongs
to the people, without their consent.  Furthermore, Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi is not  thinking "let this property be mine," and
has not wished for anything for herself,  Since neither condition
pertains, Mr. Phyoe's diatribe is quite undeserved and entirely
     Poor Mr. Phyoe.  Can he truly believe that "the State
Law and Order Restoration Council is striving to build up the
country in all sectors and all aspects: and that "it has
successfully organised all national groups to reunite"?  Burma
TV regularly broadcasts a song with various ethnic minorities
in their best "Visit Myanmar Year" costumes.   Conspicuous
by their absence are all the Karen.  Doesn't that speak volumes
about the reunion?  If it isn't clear enough, just consider the
over 100,000 refugees on the Thai/Burma border alone.
     If poor Mr. Phyoe really wanted to offer a lesson on the
kilesas, he might better look instead at the policies of the
SLORC itself.  What better examples do we have of greed--selling Burma's natur
al resources "like fast food" for their
own profit and controlling virtually all business ventures in the
country; hatred--systematically destroying entire ethnic
villages as well as eliminating all political opposition; and
delusion--thinking that their short-sighted policies can save the
country and hat their criminal acts and cynical exploitation of
Buddhism (This is a regime that imprisons and tortures
monks!), will really be for their own future happiness.  These
are truly "abominable" kilesas, defilements, which perpetuate
the cycle of samsara and prevent the attainment of perfect
peace.  And what of the defilements of issa macchariya,
jealousy and envy?  The article clearly indicates how much
Mr. Phyoe and SLORC envy and resent Daw Aung San Suu
Kyi's unfailing inner strength and her undimmed popularity. 
     It is laughable to read Mr. Phyoe's praise of the brutal
SLORC and that his "heart goes out in pity to that person for a
deed so vile and so abominable."   His attempt, however, to
use the Dhamma to cast aspersions on one who herself
understands that Dhamma so well, whose speeches and
writings are well-illuminated with apt references from the Pali,
but who is unable to reply, is deplorable.  Burma has long been
regarded, and to a great extent still is regarded, as the country
where the level of the teaching of the Dhamma is the highest. 
By allowing such an article as this to be published officially,
the SLORC shows once again how far removed it is from that
     As for Mr. Phyoe, he might well recollect Buddha's
words to Ananda before he essays to teach Dhamma to others. 
Five things should be well established before one should teach
 I will speak Dhamma in a gradual way;
I will speak with the goal in mind;
I will speak with kindliness;
I will not speak as a means of gain;
I will speak not to harm anybody.'

Anguttara Nikaya III:183)

  --- ++++

The following charming example of SLORC's articulateness
was waiting for us at the post office.  We have, out of
consideration for the readers, replaced the obscenities with
"***".  While some might question the need to expose this sort
of thing, we suppose that vermin fear and detest the light of
day for good reason.  

>Burmese Relief Center

>Self-relief persons,

>You all are only out of some, who don"t want to see our
>Country (MYANMAR) to be flourished.

>You dare insult our Patriotic Army Personnels away from
>Japan because you might be an Alien or the Minions who ***
>up by and sucked up to the Japanese.

>Suckers!  You are crying out like a parrot being satisfied
>yourself the status of slavery sucking to the Japanese.  Be
>careful!  If you were identified one day, all 500 thousand
>Army personnels will ***  you exactly.

>You are not a Patriot, just only a parrot.

>Dont use the name of our Burmese people, Suckers!
>                                               Retired Army Veteran
>P.S. This letter has been sent out to all other parrots.  Your
>partners also know what you are doing in Japan, Dr, Aung
>Khin; Please kindly send out this letter to U Thaung
>(ZAWANA) and U Myint Thein from Texas, because I dont
>have their addresses.

(It was mailed from Washington, DC July 14, and of course,
was unsigned.)