The people of Myanmar are facing a double crisis: the coronavirus and the military coup. The Burmese Army – the Tatmadaw – is the enemy of the people.
The people have been holding out against the ruthless military dictatorship with their bare hands for a year now. People are suffering in a terrible way. People will win, but the price is very high.
The international community is the only one that could shorten the time of this suffering, yet it is still unable to do so.
This is Myanmar today: a courageous people on a journey, which endures evil to give the new generations a more human life, even at the price of its own. It is a challenge to the world for the entire international community to make mankind’s values its own and defend them, under all skies.
In Myanmar it is our common human nature that is violated, it is our conscience that is challenged, every day, every moment.
The unity of the world today is this common destiny.
This is the prophecy of Myanmar today. It announces new things, it brings forth changes.
We thought the great ordeals had been now behind us, after decades of military dictatorship in Burma.
The dream of democracy of Aung San Suu Kyi and an entire people unequivocally spoke in the polls on 8th November 2020. Years of great common commitment to build democracy, peace and well-being would have awaited Myanmar. To grow the garden, as Aung San Suu Kyi said in the only election speech on TV in times of pandemic: removing stones and weeds, growing flowers and fruits. I thought of Isaiah’s vineyard:
«1 I will sing for my beloved / my canticle of love for his vineyard.
My beloved had a vineyard / on a fertile hill.
2 He spaded it and cleared it of stones / and planted choice vines;
He built a tower in the middle of it / and dug a vat.
[…] 7 He expected justice, / and behold, bloodshed,
He expected righteousness, / and behold, the cries of the oppressed».
I wrote that to her.
On 1st February 2021 the hurricane engulfed the garden: mass arrests, killings, rapes, torture, bombing. Myanmar is going into free fall, both economically and socially. The path of its history has been arbitrarily and violently diverted due to the interests of a few.
A scandal in front of the world, in this 21st year of the 21st century.
But the coup failed, despite the continuing tragic oppression. The conscience of Myanmar does not stand by the military, it rejects any violence, any legitimacy. Definitively.
In the face of evil there is an unshakable confidence in the good, which is transformed into continuous resistance.
Around this choice, the greatest unity in the history of the Country has been achieved so far: unity of the people, of ethnic groups – even the armed ones – with the Rohingya themselves. A profound unity between the people and their legitimate representatives – the CRPH – which gathers elected MPs, the NUG (National Unity Government), the PDF (People’s Defence Force).
This is the prophecy of Myanmar.
This is the time of the passion, the time of the resurrection will come. It is already in the hearts of people, of the young people who make their lives available for a future not of death and violence, but of life and peace in their Country. It is already in the hearts of adults willing to give their life so that young people have it in abundance.
The innocent victims, women, men, children, the villagers, especially on the borders, the refugees hiding in the forest are the living condemnation of the evil choice of the military. The victims question us: where are you? Humanitarian corridors have not yet been opened.
The people of Myanmar, with their many ethnic groups, are experiencing their path of liberation alone. They are defending alone the universal values of humankind, against all inhumanity in front of the world. They are defending democracy while everywhere in the world it is under pressure. Myanmar helps the world understand what is the challenge of our time, and asks the world for another step: it asks the UN, the European Union, China, the USA for it, the powers that hold the fate of the world in their own hands, often using the power of money, weapons, lies.
Truth and peace, dialogue, non-violence and justice: this is the message that Myanmar addresses to us today.
We have many friends there, we are in contact with them, we share. The Sisters of Reparation have the privilege of walking today, as yesterday, with the people of Myanmar, in every corner of the Country. Working together as a group.
Prayer is above all this: walking together, this recognising the prophecy of Myanmar for the gift of freedom and peace, for itself and for all of us. Prayer entrusts people and history to the Spirit, to Wisdom. “Get up early in the morning to find her, and you will have no problem; you will find her sitting at your door”. (Wisdom 6:14-15)
Aung San Suu Kyi has been experiencing Burma’s path of liberation for a long time. She chose to live it. Confined to the house for many years, today her testimony has become that of a whole people. In the most complete spoliation: no one knows where she is, she cannot communicate with the outside world. She is the great fear of the military, who rages against her with a sham trial, bending the right to its political convenience. Rarely does a politician choose to put his/her entire life at the disposal of his/her people, whatever the circumstances in which this occurs. Her life speaks out, her silence speaks more than words.
She is the beacon of her people, essential today for every internal and international negotiation, for every dialogue and reconciliation, as some ASEAN countries have pointed out in recent days.
On 1st February of this year – a year later – the military will not be able to celebrate the coup, as it failed in the Country, it failed in the soul of the Burmese people, it failed in the history of Myanmar, it failed in the face of the world. A giant with feet of clay, as cruel as it is helpless.
It will collapse in the end.
The great lesson of Myanmar today is this: only truth, peace and reconciliation ensure the future of a country.
When it is an entire people who wants it and says it, salvation is near.
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