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Economic Growth

To Burmanet readers,

On Jan 27, brelief@xxxxxxx (Ken and Visakha Kawasaki) wrote
in Letter to the Editor, The Daily Yomiuri, in response to Yasuda's 

>For example, he believes that Suu Kyi's request that foreign
>countries not resume economic aid has kept the Myanmar
>people from obtaining their "dream about the country's eco-
>nomic growth." In case Yasuda has not noticed, it has been the
>incompetence of the military that has ruled the country since
>1962 and destroyed the economy that has kept Myanmar from
>achieving affluence, not Suu Kyi's request that foreign
>investment be delayed.

I would like to ask everyone out there, what is all this
about the "dream" of "achieving affluence" that we seem
to be caught up in? Is this what we all really want for Burma?
Is this what the Burmese really want? If so, then they are as
sick as we are/were.

I don't know about anyone else, but I am fighting because
of human rights abuses, and the inability of others to freely 
determine their future. Not so that the Burmese can achieve
unrestrained economic growth. We should have seen by now
that this is a path that leads to nowhere but destruction of the
Earth and our souls.

Why do we continue to HELP others to attain this path, when
we see how disfunctional it is for US?

Maybe someone can get this to the elected leaders:

Economic growth is growing to hell. Sustainable societies practiced
economic restraint. If something was not sustainable, such as cars
and VCRs, they did not accept it in their lives. They rejected it
like the disease they knew it was. And we must do the same. I
am not in this to help the Burmese achieve cars and VCRs. If that
is what this is about, I want out, and I encourage everyone else to
get out, also, while we still can.

If we want to help the Burmese achieve a just and democratic
society, so that they can learn this with our help, great. If we are
in this to help them achieve unrestrained capitalism, then let's
please re-examine our goals, fast. Are we to help the Burmese 
participate in the oppression of others for whom we fight by 
helping them use more fossil fuels, and buy more consumer 
electronics and Coke?

I'd like to ask the Burmese out there if their Buddhist traditions 
make a place for the oppression that goes on to bring them 
consumer products. The oppression of nature, people and 
materials. I expect I'll get a barrage of hate mail on this, but I 
don't see any other way. If we continue to fight for the ability 
of others to freely oppress the Earth, with what will we be left?

Please respond, folks, as I am planning a demonstration for two
weeks from now, but may have to rethink my commitment.

>To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way
>that respects and enhances the freedom of others (p.625).
>From "Long Walk to Freedom" by Mandela

With utmost sincerity
and reverence for the Earth,

Tim Keating, director
Rainforest Relief