There was inter-ethnic solidarity for the Rohingya/Muslims of Arakan dating back to 17 May 1978, the year of the first state-sponsored campaign of terror and destruction against the Rohingyas.
"We, the Representatives of the peoples of Kachin, Karen, Palaung, Lahu, Shan and Wa, in deep sorrow, hereby express our heart-felt sympathy to the defenceless Muslims who fled to escape the compound racial and religious persecution by the Rangoon Government armed forces."
Read on the solidarity statement from 1978 in the attached full text (in 2 JPEG files).
Note the Ngagamin Operation (or King Dragon Operation) launched under the then Home Minister Brigadier Sein Lwin, known as the Butcher of Rangoon in 8.8.88 reached Sittwe in Feb 1978 - in fact on 11 Feb 1978, ironically one day before the Union Day, to celebrate Burma's ethnic diversity in unity!)
By the end of June 1978, over 200,000 - some say a quarter million - Rohingyas and other Muslims fled the country across the border into Bangladesh.
The Bangladeshi Government then led by General Zia Raman opened the border and let the Muslim refugees in to his country to escape the immediate violence, death and rape by the Burmese and Rakhine combined forces (local law enforcement in Rakhine state were made up primarily of Rakhine while senior commanders and administrators were Bama from Rangoon, starting with Home Minister Brigadier Sein Win in Rangoon and Western Command commander based in Sittwe).
Subsequently, Ne Win's Foreign Minister Tin Ohn was invited to Bangladesh capital where Bangladeshi senior officials veiled a threat of arming Rohingya refugees - number over 200,000 - if Burma did not take back their own nationals - Muslims from Arakan.
Bangladeshi general and PM Zia also traveled to Indonesia, Malaysia and other Muslim countries to rally support for the persecuted muslims in Arakan.
Finally, Ne Win backed down and agreed to take the Musim refugees back from Bangladesh.
By July and August UNHCR got involved in repatriating Rohingyas back to Arakan.
In the next 2-3 years, Ne Win and his anti-Muslim/anti-Rohingya deputies including Rakhine academics such as San Thar Aung (physics professor and director general of higher education) and Aye Kyaw (Australian-trained historian of nationalist movements in Burma) connived a legal strategy - and the result was the drafting of the 1982 Citizenship Act.
By Oct 1982, the draft was completed and Ne Win's legal adviser and clerk Dr Maung Maung (British and Dutch-trained lawyer and legal scholar who had a stint at Yale Law School) oversaw the whole legal campaign to strip the Rohingyas of nationality by a stroke of a legal pen. (Hitler and his legal advisers also enacted laws stripping the Jews of Germany of nationality and paving the way for the eventual physical destruction of the Jews as a national/ethnic/religious community in Germany and throughout Nazi-occupied Europe).
Like the Germans under Nazi rule who were told that the Jews were a threat to German nation, the Burmese public has been told a similar genocidal lie about the Rohingyas. (Myanmar Peace Center's Dr Min Zaw Oo is also playing the role of a Nazi-ish adviser, writing a series of delusional essays in Burmese framing the Rohingya issue in the larger equally delusional discourse of 'the War on Terror' - published in THE VOICE - portraying the helpless, half-starved Rohingya as an Islamic threat to "Buddhist" Burma!)
In 1978, the estimated population of the Rohingyas was 1.3 million.
In 2014, Khin Yi, Immigration Minister, former military intelligence and ex-police chief put the Rohingya population at 1.3 million.
Meanwhile the country's overall population is estimated to have grown from 26 millions in 1978 to about 50 million in 2014.
Meanwhile the Burmese regime is telling the public that there is a Rohingya population explosion posing a serious demographic threat to the country, parading around in the Burmese official media some Rohingya family - perhaps rare exceptions - with 4 wives and 30 children (not exact number).
(Khin Yin, Kyaw Yin Hlaing and Ban Ki-Moon's Special Envoy Vijay Nambia were lobbying the UN and governments around the world to drop the Rohingya's self-identity - Rohingya - and telling every official they meet 'Rohingya is a toxic name that will inflame popular opinion among ultra-nationalist "Buddhist" Rakhines, thereby making it difficult to resolve the 'sectarian conflict' - a verifiable distortion of the fact that it is the military - and successive military regimes since Ne Win - that initiated the campaign to destroy the Rohingya, both symbolically via the erasure of the name, the identity and history - and literally as a cohesive ethnic, religious and national group).
This Zero Growth in population is the DIRECT result of a genocidal policy of Burma maintained since 1978.
Ex-General Khin Nyunt also confirmed that there was NO IN-FLOW Muslims from "Bengali', only the fleeing of Arakan's Muslims across the borders into Bangladesh. He did so in his 'top secret' lecture, to a cadre of officiating Burmese brigadier generals at the then National Defense College, (Khin Nyunt was the founder of the notorious Na-Sa-Ka, Burmese equivalent of SS as far as the Rohingyas in Arakan).
It is incredibly pathetic that the entire regime of Nwa Thein Sein - in fact all successive regimes of Bama generals - have been feeding the Burmese public this racist poison for the past nearly 40 years.
All genocidal atrocities are typically preceded by constructing a target community or people as 'viruses' 'threats' 'pests' 'illegals' etc. As Amartya Sen - who lived through violent racial and religion-justified killings in South Asia - Lahore - observed perceptively any otherwise good and peaceful people can be turned to a genocidal lot by carefully crafted state-manufactured propaganda.
Every year the Burmese military regimes since Ne Win's era brought hundreds of Burmese senior and junior teachers to Civil Servant Training School at Hpaung Gyi where high ranking military officers, including Khin Nyunt, would come and spread lies, fear and hatred of the Rohingyas among the country's educators - teachers and other civil service members.
Tragically for those of us the 'good and informed Burmese', our country is populated by the good Buddhist public who have been thoroughly duped and brainwashed into behaving like the German Nazis in the Third Reich.
The result of nearly 40 years of Burmese military's genocidal propaganda is that our country in 2014 is overwhelmingly genocidal and racist towards the Rohingyas. Hatred is never defeated by historical facts. Germans in the Allied- occupied Germany post-Hitler denied any knowledge of atrocities committed against 6 million Jews and another 4-5 millions Poles, 'gypsies', Russians, German communists, the disabled German, Jehovah Witnesses, etc. The American troops forced these defeated ordinary Germans to go and see - and remove by their hands - piles of hundreds of corpses in numerous concentration camps. Even then some Germans, both men and women, were seen laughing and giggling - before they entered these camps as if they were heading to a community picnic! Only when they saw first hand rotten corpses, gas chambers, charred bodies, etc. were they forced to accept that their nation was GENOCIDAL.
No two genocides or cases of mass atrocities are exactly alike.
But denial on the part of the perpetrators and perpetrating nations is an integral to all genocides. I was 15 feet behind (through the glass wall in the International Tribunal Chamber) Brother Number Two of Khmer Rouge - a Thammasat University (Bangkok)-trained law student and education minister - claiming his innocence and 'I was not aware of the atrocities' - during his closing statement.
The Burmese public is of course going to deny that they are genocidally racist. Many a good people who know better keep to themselves against the overwhelmingly genocidal Burmese public sentiment towards the Rohingya.
Back in 1978, other minorities such as Wa, Lahu, Kachin, Karen, Shan, Palaung, etc. dared express their solidarity and empathy for the persecuted Muslim minorities of Arakan.
Now in 2014, even the Kachin Independence Organization's spokesperson ex-Colonel James L. based in BKK denied any knowledge of Rohingya and denied showing any sympathy for the Rohingya.
That IS the direct effect of Nazi-like anti-Rohingya propaganda by the Psychological Warfare Department of Ministry of Defense in Burma.
The thought of Burma's good "Buddhists" turning Nazis really gives me chills down my spine. I hope it does for you too.
Burma’s Struggle for Democracy: A critical appraisal
Burma’s Struggle for Democracy: A critical appraisal
By Maung Zarni with Trisha Taneja
This chapter draws upon the author’s direct political engagement in Burma’s pro-change opposition, and on his own research, to reflect critically on the struggle of the last twenty-five years between the ruling military and the opposition movements.
Aung San Suu Kyi is widely acclaimed as the face of Burmese democratic activism, as a dignified and principled exponent of non-violent resistance, and the symbol of the aspirations of the Burmese people for a government, freely and fairly elected, that champions the rights and welfare of its people. Suu Kyi’s iconic status is exemplified by the award of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize—awarded a mere three years after she became politically active.
This chapter questions the simplified heroic narrative commonly associated with Suu Kyi, and portrays a more complex story behind the struggle for human rights and democracy in Burma. Transnational activism centred on Burma has been plagued by disunity among national actors, and has evolved to follow the Western-Policy Lobby Model outlined by de Waal in chapter 2, with Suu Kyi acting as a national link for Western advocacy/lobby organisations. This anointing of Suu Kyi at the apex of the Burmese struggle has allowed Western policy makers to selectively craft a singular narrative about the country that is aligned to their strategic and domestic interests, without ensuring a corresponding positive change in Burmese struggles.
Maung Zarni's comment:
The use of Rohingyas as porters in the war will kill 2 birds with one stone:
1) Kachin troops will inevitably shoot and kill the Rohingyas who will be marching as mine sweepers in front of Burma Army columns. The Kachins will then be labeled as killers of civilians.
2) It helps the Burmese military to reduce the number of able body Rohingya males (who were kept in jail as part of mass arrests since 2012) - which is an integral part of Burma's slow genocide.
For more information, contact
Gum San NSang
Kachin Alliance, President
Carlisle, PA 17013
For more information, contact
Gum San NSang
Kachin Alliance, President
Carlisle, PA 17013
By Maung Zarni
November 14, 2014
WASHINGTON - United States President Barack Obama will be in Myanmar this week for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit. Unlike his state visit in November 2012, Obama is said to be acutely aware that the upcoming stopover cannot be used as a platform to congratulate himself as "Myanmar as a success story" for his foreign policy.
This is because Obama's Myanmar policy honeymoon has already turned into what New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof calls "a global nightmare". Uncharacteristically, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has recently told the international media that the US government is "overly optimistic" about reforms in her country and challenges anyone to prove her wrong.
On the home front, Obama's Democrats lost control of the Senate in mid-term elections held on November 4, underscoring Obama's lame duck position. Still, he may be tempted to continue to talk up his administration's supposed successful contributions to Myanmar's "opening" and justify his administration's plan to stay the course of unconditional, if unstrategic, engagement.
Against this background, Obama and his advisors would do well to take a deep breath, go back to the policy drawing board, and confront the some of the crucial stumbling blocks in Myanmar's much ballyhooed "democratic transition". So far they have instead gone on the defensive about their failing engagement with Myanmar's clique of supposed "reformers", including President and ex-general Thein Sein.
The emerging reality in Myanmar needs to be appreciated, however inconvenient or unpalatable for Washington: that the generals' top-down reforms are hardly about public welfare or advancement of human rights and civil liberties, but rather about the military and its leaders realigning their strategic interests, personal and institutional, with powerful external players, including the US, European Union and international financial institutions like the World Bank.
In Obama's lingo, the generals' reforms may best be understood as a military strategy of "re-balancing", as opposed to democratizing Burmese politics and devolving the unitary power structure of the state to give the country's ethnic minorities a fair share of power.
Not surprisingly, the reforms have spectacularly failed to live up to the media hype and international policy discussions, which were fueled in the first place by the military's psychological warfare program and its proxy "Myanmar Peace Center, as well as their friends and allies in Rangoon's foreign diplomatic circles, including the Norwegian, British and US embassies.
Reforms, including the freeing of political prisoners, allowing jailed dissidents including Suu Kyi to sit in the military-controlled parliament, media liberalization, economic privatization and the pursuit of ceasefire negotiations with the country's ethnic armed resistance movements, have all been touted by Thein Sein's international supporters as "extraordinary" and "unthinkable only several years ago". Under closer scrutiny, however, they all are now clearly more form than substance.
Both the quasi-civilian parliament and President Thein Sein's administration have opposed categorically any push for amending the anti-democratic constitution devised by and for the military leadership, witnessed in the 25% parliamentary seats automatically allotted to the Ministry of Defense and the clause that bars Suu Kyi and any able Burmese with foreign spouses or offspring from holding the country's highest office.
The discourse that Myanmar is now home to one of Southeast Asia's freest media has been punctured by the stories of the army torturing to death Ko Par Gyi, the former-Aung San Suu Kyi-bodyguard-cum-freelance journalist and the jailing of three Burmese journalists who uncovered part of the military's secret weapons program, with alleged involvement of North Korean experts, using British colonial-era 1923 Official Secrets Act.
Thein Sein's speeches are peppered with buzzwords such as "good governance", "inclusiveness" and "tolerance", but stand in sharp contrast with his government's ranking at the bottom of Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index.
It was under his presidential watch that the military broke its 14-year-old written ceasefire agreement with the Kachin Independence Organization in June 2011, thus re-igniting conflict in the country's strategic and resource rich northern and eastern regions bordering on India and China. Nor has he done anything substantive or significant to curb the hate speech and violence directed against the country's estimated 4-5 million Muslims.
Indeed, Myanmar's reforms are not simply backsliding. Rather, they hold little or no prospect for bringing about genuine and substantive changes, without which neither peace nor prosperity is conceivable. Not in a country with the world's longest political and ethnic strife and pervasive absolute poverty.
Obama needs to understand that the intransigence of Thein Sein's government - not the economic or personal interests of the ethnic minority leaders and their armed resistance organizations - is damaging the prospects of a nationwide ceasefire on which political solutions and lasting inter-ethnic peace will have to be built.
Bleak peace prospects Despite the millions of euros and dollars spent in "peace support initiatives" by the likes of Norway, Japan and the European Union, the prospects for peace, stability and development, especially in the border regions of Kachin, Shan, Karenni, Karen, Mon and Wa communities, remains bleak. The absence of any progress in the pursuit of peace by Thein Sein and his deputies is in spite of the United Nations and neighboring China's involvement in the ceasefire negotiations.
How can there be a nationwide ceasefire, let alone lasting peace, when the most powerful stakeholder - the military's leadership - rejects both equality among the country's diverse ethnic and religious communities and the federalist political vision those groups maintain is the only viable and pragmatic way forward in a country with about two dozen armed ethnic movements?
Whoever is in the driver's seat and whatever form the new politics and administration may assume, the military remains wedded to its deeply internalized corporate vision of a unitary state where the armed forces and the officer corps doggedly play the simultaneous roles of referee, coach, and player in national politics.
Besides the military's unitary vision for the state, the ruling generals and top ex-generals possess deep commercial interests in conflict zones which will necessarily be diminished if the state's administrative and political power is devolved to ethnic groups. For instance, many ranking generals and ex-generals have ties to the hundreds of mining companies in the multi-billion dollar jade industry at Hpar-Khant in Kachin State. Ironically, these jade mining companies pay both the Kachin Independence Organization and army, filling both sides' war chests in the process.
For their part, the ethnic minority armed groups have tired of government ceasefire negotiators who have proven to be unable or disempowered to honor past agreements. For instance, in September this year all sides reached an initial agreement on the federalist nature of a new national polity and amendments to the military's 2008 Constitution as the basis for a nationwide ceasefire deal to be signed by all armed groups, including the central government's Armed Forces.
A month later, the government's military representatives walked into the negotiation rooms and informed the leaders of the ethnic armed groups that the September deal was off. They then presented new conditions for a national ceasefire, which included keeping the 2008 Constitution intact and subordinating the ethnic minority armed groups under the government's central command as "border guard forces".
Washington needs to be clear-eyed about the fact that Myanmar's government is still committing widespread crimes against humanity and other mass atrocities, particularly against both Rohingya Muslims and other ethnic minorities such as the Shans and Kachins.
Last week, Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic released the findings of its three-year study of "war crimes" committed by three serving generals in eastern Myanmar, including a powerful minister in President Thein Sein's government.
In the last two-and-a-half years, there has been an alarming and sustained rise in violence, death and destruction against Rohingyas in western Myanmar - so much so that the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, one of the foremost leading institutions dealing with cases of global mass atrocities, recently issued a clarion call to stop the unfolding genocide in Myanmar.
At a Harvard University conference held last week on the worsening plight of the Rohingyas, Nobel Prize laureate Amartya Sen weighed in on the subject by framing Myanmar's persecution of over 1 million Rohingyas as a "slow genocide" unfolding over nearly 40 years, a far more sinister process of state-sponsored intentional destruction of a people than the Holocaust, Rwanda's genocide or the Khmer Rouge's mass atrocities in Cambodia.
Notwithstanding legal and policy debates over the terminologies of the atrocities, including slow genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity, or just plain war crimes, it is unmistakable that large scale mass atrocities are being committed against various ethnic and religious minorities by both official government troops and non-state actors such as the country's ultra-racist monks and Nazi-inspired ethnic Rakhine extremists.
In Washington, a typical American confidence about how to facilitate and support Myanmar's transition from an outright military dictatorship to a more benign entity has given way to policy confusion, uncertainty and defensiveness. As Obama's government ponders why and how the top-down reforms it previously strongly endorsed but now recognize have stalled, it would do well to review the four biggest challenges to engaging Thein Sein's essentially military-led government.
Needless to say, there is no possibility of the US reversing its current unconditional engagement policy and support for the "reformist" clique in Naypyidaw, who are believed to regularly congregate in Thein Sein's office.
However, if US policy is to advance its hidden and official policy objectives, including the severing of Myanmar's ties with North Korea, promotion of democracy, freedom and human rights, and economic liberalization, as well as counterbalancing China's influence and role in the country, Washington's engagement needs to be strategically re-calibrated during Obama's visit.
Tough talking points
First, Obama should make it clear to Thein Sein that as chairman of Myanmar's National Defense and Security Council, the country's de facto ruling body, he must reign in and stop immediately the Armed Forces' continuing war crimes against the Shan and Kachin ethnic minorities. Any claims that Thein Sein, an ex-general and Prime Minister under the former ruling junta, does not control the military's Central Command should be diplomatically refuted as disingenuous.
Second, the US should put a moratorium on any and all military-to-military engagements between the Pentagon and the Myanmar state security sector, including workshops and training programs in human rights and civil-military relations.
The Pentagon, with its own atrocious record of human-rights violations in the name of the "global war on terror" is neither the most obvious choice for the task nor best equipped for the job. Leave that to some other credible organizations such as Asian Human Rights Commission, Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic or the Global Minorities Alliance.
Third, the Obama Administration, represented US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, the Pulitzer Prize winning expert on genocides and the author of A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, should entertain the idea of punitive measures against Myanmar's genocidaires, including against top-ranking government officials as well as communal Rakhine leaders.
If Washington is not prepared to push for UN Security Council authorization for the referral of Myanmar's genocidal military leaders and ex-leaders, including the "reformist" Thein Sein, it should at the least call for the revision of the racist 1982 Citizenship Act, which serves the legal justification for Rohingya persecution.
It should also consider curbing its present ambassador in Rangoon, Derek Mitchell, who reliable sources say is pressuring Rohingya leaders and community elders to accept Thein Sein government's official erasure of the former's voluntary ethnic identity and adopt the government-imposed label "Bengali" - a term that effectively indicates that Rohingyas do not belong in Myanmar.
In a move widely popular with the public, the US Treasury recently blacklisted ex-Brigadier Aung Thaung, chair of the Finance Committee for the military's ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party and a very powerful confidante of the now officially retired despot Senior General Than Shwe, on the grounds he has been directly involved in recent violent campaigns against Myanmar's Muslims. The Obama Administration should also propose and lead similar punitive moves using established global justice mechanisms such as the International Criminal Court or Responsibility to Protect (R2P).
Fourth and finally, as a point of departure from its current policy of unwavering support for Thein Sein's government (and its "less-corrupt" super-ministers and "cleaner" cronies), Washington needs to realign its long-term strategic interests, both commercial and strategic, with those of the public, including farmers, laborers, ethnic and religious minorities and genuine - as opposed to proxy - opposition parties.
The US's short-sighted preference for supporting elite-led quasi-transitional processes in the Middle East and former Soviet Union has already boomeranged. The sustained popularity of Vladimir Putin in Russia and the widespread and palpable hatred of the US on the Arab Street spring to mind. Washington should recognize that Myanmar's persecuted and oppressed ethnic and religious minorities - not only the Rohingyas but also the Kachin, Mon, Shan, Karen and others - would like to see a more decisively pro-democratic and pro-human rights US policy and practice in Myanmar.
The country's various oppressed constituencies are intensely resentful of both meek, mild and ineffectual UN officials and China's narrow interests and slanted policies in favor of their common oppressor in Naypyidaw. They still hold out hope that the US's involvement and pressure on the country's current military leaders will eventually bring genuine democratic reforms and an end to decades of internal conflict. For that to happen, Obama must change his previous tact of unconditional engagement, beginning with a strong message to Naypyidaw that current trends and practices will be met with renewed punitive measures.
Maung Zarni is a lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-author with Alice Cowley of The Slow Burning Genocide of Myanmar's Rohingya in the Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal (University of Washington Law School, Spring 2014).
This analysis article was originally published on Asia Times.
In this 9-minute radio interview with Malaysia's top Business FM station Dr Zarni dissects the state of Burma and Washington's real agenda in his native country.
In this 9-minute radio interview with Malaysia's top Business FM station Dr Zarni dissects the state of Burma and Washington's real agenda in his native country.
By Charles Santiago
November 12, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR — With Barack Obama gracing the halls of Naypyidaw this week, the world has quite rightly been calling loudly for the President of the United States of America to raise concerns regarding the backslide in human rights and democracy in Myanmar, not least of which being the institutionalized persecution and ethnic cleansing of the country’s Rohingya minority.
The New York Times Editorial Board on Monday 10 November wrote in no uncertain terms that President Obama had a duty to be clear about the message he was taking to President Thein Sein regarding the lifting of sanctions and other positive measures in support of Myanmar’s transition to democracy.
“Mr. Obama should firmly remind them that his administration still has tools to accelerate, or delay, that process,” The New York Times wrote. “Between now and next fall, when Myanmar is scheduled to hold a general election, there is time to press forcefully for meaningful democratic reforms and an end to the persecution of the Rohingya Muslims.”
At the same time, United to End Genocide launched the powerful “Just Say Their Name” campaign, seeking to ensure President Obama stands up for the Rohingya, and their basic human rights in a country where the government refuses to acknowledge their existence as a people, seeking to wipe out their historical and ethnic identity.
This week, we also saw a powerfully written and timely opinion piece by veteran Burmese human rights campaigner Khin Ohmar in The Irrawaddy. In it, she highlighted the many issues facing her country under the current military-led government, and the need for Obama to take a stand for human rights and democracy if his administration wishes to count its support for an opening Burma as a genuine “foreign policy success”.
“This is President Obama’s chance to acknowledge that the situation in Burma has regressed since his last visit and to tell the people of Burma that the US will stand with them for human rights and democracy with concrete actions that reflect the challenges facing Burma’s reform process,” Khin Ohmar wrote.
While this is indeed an important message, and Obama’s influence on the generals and former generals that continue to rule Myanmar is arguably greater than any other individual’s in the democratic world, it is our enduring shame as a region that there has been barely a whimper of a voice regarding ASEAN’s own responsibility to halt the tide of genocide rising within our borders. We have a responsibility under international law to protect all human beings from genocide – a responsibility each and every ASEAN leader is failing to live up to.
Why has there been no call for action from ASEAN leaders on the Rohingya? Perhaps that is because our “association” of nations is seen as ineffectual and centered around power and wealth only – void of any genuine ability or desire to progress human rights in our region.
It hasn’t been that long since we last saw people slaughtered in the hundreds of thousands in our region. Less than 40 years ago, just one generation back, at least 1.7 million people – nearly a quarter of Cambodia’s population – were killed by execution, disease, starvation and overwork under the Khmer Rouge’s brutal rule from 1975 to 1979.
We must make sure something like this can never happens again. But a quote from a Thai police officer in a Reuters article this week sums up the failures of the ASEAN project and how far we have to go before we become anything close to a “community.” A Thai district police chief was quoted as saying that hundreds of boat people that had turned up in Thai waters after fleeing persecution in Myanmar were not Thailand’s responsibility.
“They are Muslims from Myanmar … They are illegal migrants,” Police Colonel Sanya Prakobphol, head of Kapoe district police told Reuters.
“If they come in then we must push them back … once they have crossed the sea border into Myanmar then that’s considered pushing them back. What they do next is their problem.”
But they are Thailand’s responsibility, Thailand’s “problem”. Protecting their dignity and rights as human beings is the responsibility of all of us, under international human rights law, the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, and our own moral imperative.
The Rohingya are facing a situation of deep despair – persecuted and hounded from their homes in Myanmar where they are denied all basic rights, including to education, work, marriage and travel. Desperate, they flee into boats and the hands of unscrupulous human traffickers, to be traded as commodities – slaves.
Even if they reach Malaysia, they face a harsh existence, and difficulty in being recognised as the refugees and asylum seekers that they are.
For more than two years now ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights has been seeking to generate the political will for ASEAN leaders to step up and act as a community to protect the Rohingya from persecution and intolerable human rights violations – and prevent another genocide.
The failure of legislators, political leaders and of our citizens to make a demand on their leaders to take action to heal the pain of the Rohingya and avoid much, much more says a great deal about the expectations people have of their governments, and of ASEAN institutions.
The concept of the ASEAN community remains nothing more than a convenient myth, used only by the powerful to further their own limited agendas. Certainly for the Rohingya there is no such community.
But if not us to step up and end this tragedy, who? It may be President Obama’s moral duty to make a stand, but it is our shame for having to rely on him to do so.
Charles Santiago is a Member of Parliament for Klang Constituency in Malaysia and President of ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), an organization made up of legislators from across Southeast Asia working to promote justice and human rights in the region.
"Through Isaac’s story I’ll look at the role played by African soldiers in Burma during the Second World War. They numbered 100,000 and they took part in some of the fiercest fighting of the Arakan Campaign, but they have been largely forgotten. I’ll also discuss how the Muslim (Rohingya) population supported the British, whilst the Buddhist population tended to support the Japanese. I will argue that it’s impossible to understand the problems in Rakhine State today without an appreciation of what happened there during the early 1940s.I studied history at Oxford and reported from Africa for the BBC for 15 years. I’m now a Senior Correspondent for Al Jazeera English TV."
"The affected population—referred to as Bengalis by the government of Myanmar but known as Rohingya in the United Nations and in much of the international community—the United Nations uses that word based on the rights of minorities."
The regime in Myanmar or Burma finds it 'disturbing' that UN Sec-General Ban Ki-Moon officially refers to the Rohingyas of Burma Rohingya - as a matter of UN's policy and in accord with international human rights laws.
But the same regime does NOT find it disturbing that Rohingyas are dropping dead, out of malnutrition and blocked access to health care, fleeing by the thousands - nearly 100,000 since June 2012 - , living in sub-human conditions, or being killed by troops and Nazi-inspired Rakhine.
Govt Criticizes Ban Ki-moon Over Use of ‘Rohingya’ Term
Here is the official Myanmar TV coverage of Rakhine Chief Minister ex-Major General and ex-military counter-intelligence division chief Maung Maung Ohn's letter of complaint to UN Chief about UN's official policy of calling Rohingya Rohingya.
In a separate but related development, the Obama Administration urges Burmese leaders to scrap "Rakhine (Rohingya) Action Plan" and draw up a new plan to honor Rohingya identity and grant them full citizenship.
|US President Barack Obama attends the 2nd Asean-US Summit in Naypyidaw on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)|
By Jared FerrieReuters
November 13, 2014
Naypyidaw -- The United States on Thursday urged Myanmar to draft a new plan to allow the ethnic Rohingya minority to become citizens and to scrap a proposed plan to send them to detention camps if they decline to identify themselves as Bengalis.
Most of Myanmar's 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims are stateless and live in apartheid-like conditions in Rakhine state in the west of the predominantly Buddhist country. Almost 140,000 were displaced in clashes with ethnic Rakhine Buddhists in 2012.
The Rakhine State Action Plan will require Rohingya to identify themselves as Bengali – a term most reject because it implies they are immigrants from Bangladesh despite having lived in Myanmar for generations – in order to possibly get citizenship.
According to a draft of the plan obtained by Reuters, the government has proposed that authorities build camps "for those who refuse to be registered and those without adequate documents".
The plan violates "universal rights" and challenges Myanmar's reforms, said U.S. deputy national security adviser for strategic communications Ben Rhodes.
"We would like to see a new plan that will allow the Rohingya to become citizens through a normal process without having to do that type of self-identification," he told reporters in Myanmar's capital where U.S. President Barack Obama is meeting leaders at a regional summit.
On Wednesday, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he had expressed his concern to Myanmar about the Rohingya "who face discrimination and violence".
That prompted a backlash from Myanmar officials, many of whom reject the term Rohingya, insisting the population was historically known as Bengali.
Rhodes said the Obama administration understood there were "contested views of history" but they should not interfere with human rights.
Obama will travel to Myanmar's largest city, Yangon, on Friday to meet opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi at her home where she spent more than 15 years under house arrest because of her opposition to the former military junta.
Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, has been notably quiet on the plight of the Rohingya.
Rhodes urged her to speak out.
"Her voice is obviously critically important," he said.
Myanmar emerged from 49 years of military rule when a semi-civilian government took power and initiated reforms.
Obama told the Irrawaddy magazine in an interview published on Wednesday Myanmar was "backsliding" on reforms, citing issues including a crackdown on journalists and the treatment of Rohingya.
Asian Journal of Public Affairs, LKY School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, Vol. 5, No. 2.
"... ex-military officers and their active-duty brethren retain complete monopoly control over the entire change process, reforms or not. In the new era of democratic transition, these men, in skirts or in green shirts, continue to hold all levers of state power at all levels of administration, including “people’s bicameral parliament”, judiciary, foreign affairs and finance, besides their legitimate domain, namely state security apparatuses. And it is they – not collaborating dissidents or the developmental technocrats – who determine the reforms’ nature, scope, priorities and pace."
The Slow Burning Genocide of Rohingyas at Harvard - Program Detail
TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
from the BUDDHIST TEACHERS NETWORK
URGING YOU TO ADDRESS ANTI-MUSLIM VIOLENCE AT THE UPCOMING ASEAN MEETING IN BURMA/MYANMAR
Dear President Obama,
We as 381 Buddhist Teachers in America represent a large community that is deeply concerned about the growing anti Muslim violence in Myanmar and across Asia, and the plight of the 1.3 million Rohingyas, many forced to live against their will in inhumane internment camps and permanent ghettoized communities. We know you have been supportive of all Burmese people and have encouraged peace and reconciliation across the nation. Your upcoming visit to Burma is an important opportunity to strengthen your capacity as a peacemaker. We urge you to once again express concern for Burma’s Muslims and Rohingyas in your public speeches and as well as in your diplomatic engagements there. We believe you can do so in a positive way, honoring the Burmese legacy of tolerance and Metta, values shared across all the great spiritual traditions, as nations including our own face challenges of injustice and prejudice. Thank you for your care in this matter that affects so many lives in Burma.
- Dr. Jack Kornfield, Spirit Rock Center. Woodacre, CA
- Hozan Alan Senauke, International Network of Engaged Buddhists Berkeley, CA
- Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Chair, Buddhist Global Relief (BGR), President, Buddhist Association of the United States (BAUS), Chuang Yen Monastery, Carmel NY
- Dr. Robert Tenzin Thurman, Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, Dharma teacher, Menla Mountain Retreat Center, Phoenicia NY
- Dr. Reggie Ray, Dharma Ocean Foundation, Boulder and Crestone, CO
- B. Alan Wallace, Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies, CA
- Lama Surya Das, Spiritual Director, Dzogchen Center, Cambridge, MA
- Gina Sharpe, New York Insight Meditation Center, NY, MY
- Carol Wilson, Insight Meditation Society, Barre, MA
- Joseph Goldstein, Insight Meditation Society, Barre, MA
- Dr. Rick Hansen, San Rafael, CA
- Will Kabat-Zinn, Spirit Rock Mediation Center, Woodacre, CA
- Dr. Donald Rothberg, Spirit Rock Center, Woodacre, CA
- Gil Fronsdal, Insight Meditation Center, Redwood City, CA
- Lama Palden. Sukkhasiddhi Fdtn. Fairfax
- Trudy Goodman, InsightLA, Los Angeles, CA
- Tara Brach, Insight Meditation Center, Washington, DC
- Sylvia Boorstein, Spirit Rock Center, Woodacre, CA
- Roshi Joan Halifax, Abbot, Upaya Zen Center
- Pamela Weiss, SF Insight, San Francisco, Ca
- Sebene Selassie, director New York Insight Meditation Center, New York, NY
- Venerable Dr. Pannavati, Co-Abbot, Embracing Simplicity Hermitage
- Venerable Pannadipa, co-abbot, Embracing Simplicity Hermitage
- Acharya C Dhammaratana, Embracing Simplicity Hermitage
- Susie Harrington, Desert Dharma, Moab, UT
- Steve Armstrong, Vipassana Metta Foundation, Maui, HI
- Kamala Masters, Vipassana Metta Foundation, Maui, HI
- Matthew Brensilver, PhD, Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society , San Francisco, CA
- Jane Baraz, Berkeley, CA
- Art Jolly, Oakland, CA
- Dr. Nikki Mirghafori, Spirit Rock Center, Woodacre, CA
- Narayan Helen Liebenson, Cambridge Insight Meditation Center
- Cambridge, MA
- Konda Mason, East Bay Meditation Center, Oakland, CA
- Maureen Shannon-Chapple, InsightLA, CA
- Kokyo Henkel, Santa Cruz Zen Center, CA
- Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara, Village Zendo, NY, NY
- Santacitta Bhikkhuni, Aloka Vihara, Placerville, CA
- Kate Lila Wheeler, Compassion Sangha
- Somerville, MA
- Tempel Smith Spirit Rock Center. Woodacre, CA
- JoAnna Harper, Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, Los Angeles, CA
- Erin Treat, Durango Dharma Center, Durango, CO
- Richard Shankman, Spirit Rock Center, Woodacre, CA
- Gregory Scharf, Insight Meditation Society, Barre MA
- Ralph Steele. Buddhists of New Mexico
- Stan Lombardo, Kansas Zen Center, KS
- Daishin McCabe, Soto Zen Buddhism
- George Pitagorsky, NY Insight Meditation Center, NY
- Zipporah Portugal, Insight Meditation Society NYC, NY
- Kirsten Rudestam, Insight Santa Cruz, CA
- Kathryn Turnipseed, Albuquerque, NM
- Bill Spangle, Kagyu Changchub Chuling, Portland, OR
- Dora DeCoursey, Kagyu Changchub Chuling, Portland, OR
- Lori Wong, Insight Meditation Central Valley, Modesto, CA
- Kirtan Coan, Winston Salem Dharma Community, NC
- Rev. Gaelyn Godwin, Houston Zen Center, Houston, TX
- Claire Stanley, Ph.D., Vermont Insight Meditation Center, Brattleboro, VT
- Rev Christine Palmer, Soto Zen, Mill Valley, CA
- Jeanne and Steve Lowry, Gathering Waters Sangha, Milwaukee WI
- Rev. Eido Frances Carney, Olympia Zen Center, Olympia, WA
- La Sarmiento, Insight Meditation Community of Washington, MD
- Gordon Peerman, Insight Nashville, TN
- Ruby Grad, Portland Insight, Portland, OR
- Dr Pawan Bareja, East Bay Meditation Center, Oakland, CA
- Ann Buck, InsightLA, Los Angeles, CA
- Janice Clarfield, WestCoast Dharma
- John Mifsud, East Bay Meditation Center, Oakland, CA
- Ayya Dhammadhira, Mahpapajapati Monastery, Pioneertown, CA
- Rev. Judith Randall, San Francisco Zen Center, CA
- Wildecy de Fatima Jury, EBMC, Oakland, CA
- Daniel Bowling, Spirit Rock Center, Woodacre, CA
- Shell Fischer, Insight Meditation Center, Washington DC
- William (bill) Brooks, Insight Meditation Community of Fredericksburg, VA
- Gary Buck, PhD., Spirit Rock Center, Woodacre, CA
- Francesca Morfesis, Insight Meditation Society, Barre, MA
- Elizabeth Rapaport, Albuquerque Vipassana Sangha , NM
- Jundo Cohen, Treeleaf Sangha
- John Blackburn, Tennessee Community of Mindfulness, TN
- Deborah Ratner Helzer, Insight Meditation Community of Washington, MD
- Vanee Songsiridej, MD, Peace Sangha, WI
- Ron Vereen. Durham, NC (Triangle Insight Meditation Community)
- Gary Singer, New York Insight, NY
- Susan Orr, Sacramento Buddhist Meditation Group, CA
- Dosho Port, Great Tides Zen, Portland, ME
- Cornelia Santschi, Newark Community Meditation Center, Newark NJ
- Katy Wiss, Westchester Insight Meditation Community, Danbury, CT
- Maureen Fallon-Cyr, Durango Dharma Center, CO
- Lesley Grant, Marin Mindfulness Institute , CA
- Oren J. Sofer, Oakland, CA
- Susan Bachman, Insight Meditation Center, Redwood City, CA
- Don Morreale. Colorado Insight Meditation Community, CO
- Carol Cook, Prescott Vipassana Sangha – Prescott, AZ
- Patricia Dai-En Bennage, Mt. Equity Zendo, Jiho-an, Muncy, PA
- Zenkei Blanche Hartman, San Francisco Zen Center, CA
- Katherine Barr, Durango Dharma Center. CO
- Judith Roitman (Zen Master Bon Hae), Kansas Zen Center, KS
- Rev. Nonin Chowaney, Nebraska Zen Center / Heartland Temple, NE
- Ocean Gate Zen Center Shinshu Roberts/Jaku Kinst
- Sharon Beckman-Brindley, Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville, VA
- Denis Martynowych, Seattle WA, Seattle Insight Meditation Society
- Richard A. Heckler, PhD, Pundarika Foundation, CA
- Mary Helen Fein, Mountain Stream Meditation, Nevada City, CA
- Linda Ruth Cutts , San Francisco Zen Center / Green Gulch Farm Zen Center / Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, CA
- Amy Selzer, New York Insight Meditation Center, NY
- Ani Gilda Paldrön Taylor, Portland Sakya Center, Portland, OR
- Janet Lipner, Buddhist Peace Fellowship
- Kate Wylie, Vermont Insight Meditation Center, VT
- Shinchi Linda Galijan, Tassajara Zen Mountain Center
- Howard Cohn, Mission Dharma, San Francisco, CA
- Susan Ezequelle, Insight Meditation Center
- Rikki Asher, Chan Meditation Center, Rego Park, NY
- Charmaine Henderson. New York Insight Meditation Center and North Fork of Long Island Insight Meditation Sangha
- Rev. Edward Keido Sanshin Oberholtzer, Lewisburg, PA
- Joseph Priestley Zen Sangha
- Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat, Abbot, Zen Studies Society, Livingston Manor, NY
- Caverly Morgan, One House of Peace, Portland, OR
- Charles A. Lingo, Jr
- True Seal of Virtue, Chan An Duc, Breathing Heart Sangha, Mindfulness Practice Center of Atlanta, Decatur GA
- Stephen Brown, Berkeley CA
- Lisa Ernst, One Dharma Nashville, TN
- Susan Kaiser Greenland, Inner Kids, CA
- Keri Pederson, Seattle Insight Meditation Society, WA
- Tenney Nathanson (Sensei), Desert Rain Zen, Tucson, AZ
- Rev Furyu Schroeder, Abiding Abbess, Green Gulch Farm, San Francisco Zen Center, CA
- Debra Seido Martin, Zen West/ Empty Field Zendo, Eugene, OR
- Santussika Bhikkhuni, Karuna Buddhist Vihara, Mt. View, CA
- Arthur Silacci, Prescott Vipassana Sangha, Prescott, AZ
- Rev. Therese Fitzgerald, Dharma Friends, Maui, Hawai’i
- Alicia Dougherty, Prescott Vispassana Sangha, Prescott, AZ
- Toni Greene
- Camille Hykes, Natural Dharma Fellowship, Boston, MA
- Anna Suil, Santa Cruz, CA
- Shinzen Young, Vipassana Support International
- Deborah Alberty, Vipassana Sangha
- Richard Brady, Mountains and Rivers Mindfulness Community.
- David Lawson, Still Mountain Buddhist Meditation Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Martha Wooding-Young
- Barbara Casey
- Chan Linh Thong, True Spiritual Communication, Peaceful Refuge Sangha, Ashland, OR Kristi Holmstrom
- Dr. Karen Hilsberg, Order of Interbeing, Culver City, CA
- Laura Goldstein
- Rik Center, Mindfulness Care Center, San Francisco, CA
- Myokei Caine-Barrett Shonin, Myoken-ji Temple/Nichiren Buddhist Sangha of Texas
- Houston, TX
- Ernestine Enomoto, Honolulu Mindfulness Community, Honolulu, Hawaii
- Helen C. Morgan, Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
- Rev. Keiryu Lien Shutt, AccessToZen.org
- Kristen Larson, NO Sangha – Diamond Sangha lineage, Port Angeles WA
- Lhundup Jamyang (Marleen Schreuders), FPMT
- Shastri David Stone, Chicago Shambhala
- Andrew Palmer, Sensei, Open Source Zen (Vast Refuge Sangha, Wet Mountain Sangha, Springs Mountain Sangha), Colorado Springs, CO
- Douglas Kaishin Phillips; Empty Sky Sangha; West Cornwall, CT and Lexington, MA
- George Bowman Zen Priest, Furnace Mountain Zen Community, Clay City, KY
- Joan Sutherland, Roshi, Awakened Life & The Open Source, Santa Fe, NM
- Younes Mourchid, Spirit Rock, Woodacre, CA
- Leslie Baron
- Gretchen Neve, Shambhala Center of Chicago
- Jeanne Anselmo, Plum Village Tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh
- Leslie Rawls, Dharma teacher, Charlotte (NC) Community of Mindfulness
- Kenn Duncan, Prescott Vipassana Sangha, AZ
- Mahin Charles, San Francisco, CA
- Ven. Bodhin Kjolhede, Abbot, Rochester Zen Center, Rochester, New York.
- Shoyo Taniguchi, Ph.D.
- Kaye Cleave, San Francisco, CA
- Jill Allen
- Cynthia Loucks, Prescott Sangha, Prescott, AZ
- Tubten Pende, Santa Cruz, CA
- Annik Brunet, Sukhasiddhi Foundation, Fairfax, California
- Jack Lawlor, Lakeside Buddha Sangha, Evanston, Illinois
- David I. Rome
- Myoshin Kelley
- Susan Antipa
- Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Zen Center of NYC
- Venerable Chang Wen, Buddhist Monk, Dharma Drum Retreat Center, Pine Bush, NY
- Noah Levine, Against The Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, Los Angeles, CA
- Ann Barden, Insight Meditation Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI
- Karen Drimay Gudmundsson, Gelongma FPMT, Land of Medicine Buddha
- Rev. Konin Melissa Cardenas,
- John Yates PhD Dharma Treasure Buddhist Sangha, Upasaka Culadasa
- Susannah Freeman White
- Glenda Hodges-Cook, Louisville Vipassana Community, KY
- Dr. Gareth Sparham
- Philip Davidson & Kay Davidson, Mindfulness Meditation For Richmond
- Tsechen Ling, University of Michigan, University of California
- Ruben L.F. Habito, Maria Kannon Zen Center, Dallas, TX
- Gerry Shishin Wick, Roshi, Great Mountain Zen Center, Berthoud, CO
- Nancy Baker,NY, NY, No Traces Zendo
- Jacqueline Mandell, Samden Ling, Portland, OR
- Ethan Nichtern
- Bruce Wilding
- Rev. Shinkyo Will Warner, Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community, KY
- Michael Schwammberger – Chan Phap Son
- B. Alan Wallace, Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies
- Tim Olmstead, The Pema Chodron Foundation, The Buddhist Center of Steamboat Springs. CO
- Dr Daniel M. Ingram, MD
- Sheridan Adams, IMCB
- Tim Geil, Seattle Insight Meditation Society
- Gyalten Palmo, Tse Chen Ling Center
- Jonathan Landaw, Land of Medicine Buddha, Soquel, CA
- Dr. Libby Howell, Desert Lotus Sangha, Phoenix, AZ
- Rev. Ronald Kobata, Buddhist Church of San Francisco, SF, CA
- Lorne Ladner, PhD. Guhyasamaja Buddhist Center.
- John Dooley, Prescott Vippasana Sangha, AZ
- David Chernikoff; Boulder, CO; Insight Meditation Community of Colorado
- Maria Janca, Sangha in Prescott AZ
- Josh Korda, Dharmapunx New York + Againsthestream
- Chas Macquarie, President, DZIMC
- Stephanie Tate, Glass City Dharma, Toledo, OH
- Rev. Henry Toryo Adams, San Mateo Buddhist Temple, San Mateo, CA
- Kenneth Folk
- Rev. Maia Duerr, Upaya Zen Center, AZ
- Matthew Daniell, IMS, Barre MA & IMC Newburyport, MA,
- Dr. Nicholas Ribush, Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive, Lincoln MA
- Dharmacharini Viveka Chen, Triratna Buddhist Order, SF, CA
- Amy Miller, Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT)
- Ani Samten Palmo, Sebastopol, California
- Helen Farrar, IMCW, Buena Vista, VA
- Jill Shepherd, IMS, Barre, MAr. Danny Fisher, Greensboro, NC
- Chan Phap Tri, Rose Apple Society’s Center for Contemplative Practice, VT
- Dr. Jan Willis, Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GA
- Anne Klein /Lama Rigzin Drolma, Dawn Mountain Tibetan Buddhist Center, Houston, TX
- Leslie(Lhasha) Tizer, Insight Meditation Tucson, AZ
- John Orr and the New Hope Sangha
- Jill Hyman, Insight Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
- Karma Lekshe Tsomo, Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women
- Grace Gilliam, East Bay Meditation Center, Oakland, CA
- Erin Selover, Berkeley, CA
- Wendy Garling, Garden of Dharma, Concord, MA
- Rev. Nomon Tim Burnett, Red Cedar Zen Community, Bellingham, WA
- Rachelle Quimby, Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA
- Terry Ray, Insight Meditation Community of CO
- Ed Mushin Russell, Prairie Zen Center, Champaign, IL
- Caitrìona Reed & Michele Benzamin-Miki, Manzanita Village
- Barbara Brodsky, Deep Spring Center, Ann Arbor MI
- Roberta Orlando, San Francisco, CA
- Marinell Daniel, Woodacre, CA
- Koshin Paley Ellison, New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, NY
- Joel Levey
- Michael Dempsey, Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley, CA
- Augusta Hopkins, San Francisco Insight, CA
- Rodney Smith, Seattle Insight Meditation Society, WA
- Jason Murphy-Pedulla, Insight Santa Cruz, CA
- Amma Thanasanti Bhikkhuni, Awakening Truth, Colorado Springs CO
- Esteban and Tressa Hollander
- Rev. Myo-O Marilyn Habermas-Scher, Dharma Dance Sangha in Minneapolis, MN
- Wendy Zerin, MD, Insight Community of Colorado Boulder, CO,
- Rev. Wendy Egyoku Nakao
- Cynthia McAfee, Kensington, CA, Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
- Deborah Kory, Berkeley, CA
- Joseph Curran, Insight Meditation Center of the Mid-Peninsula, CA
- Rev Joan Hogetsu Hoeberichts, Heart Circle Sangha, Ridgewood, NJ
- Samu Sunim, Zen Buddhist Temple, New York, NY
- David Rynick, Abbot, Boundless Way Zen Temple, Worcester, MA
- Larry Mermelstein, Nalanda Translation Committee
- Sarah Bender, Springs Mountain Sangha, Colorado Springs, CO
- Deborah Todd
- Elizabeth Hird, Spirit Rock Meditation Center
- Hai Nguyen, Sinh Thuc Meditation Center, Wardensville, WV
- Eric Rodriguez, Ventura, CA
- Pamela Kirby, Redwood Valley, CA
- John Makransky, Foundation for Active Compassion, Bodhipaksa
- Triratna Buddhist Order, NH
- Diane Perea, Berkeley CA
- Ven. Seikai Luebke, Pine Mountain Buddhist Temple, Maricopa, CA
- Gail Ganino, Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, Berkeley, CA
- Ajahn Prasert Avissaro, Wat Buddhanusorn, Thai Buddhist Temple, Fremont, CA
- Liz Brown, Berkeley, CA
- Mushim Patricia Ikeda, East Bay Meditation Center
- Bruce Kristal
- Tulku Sherab Dorje, Blazing Wisdom Institute
- Bhiksuni Thubten Chodron, Sravasti Abbey, Newport WA
- Rev. Sumi Loundon Kim, Buddhist Families of Durham, Durham, NC
- James Baraz, Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley (IMCB) & Spirit Rock Meditation Center
- Chris Crotty, Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, Cloucester, MA
- Rev. Heng Sure, Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, Berkeley, CA
- Diana Winston, UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center
- Heather Sundberg, Mountain Stream Meditation Center, Nevada City, CA
- Kenneth Keiyu Ford, Clouds in Water Zen Center, St. Paul, MN
- Diana Lion, Berkeley, CA
- Guy Armstrong, Spirit Rock Center, Woodacre, CA
- Erin O’Connor, New York Insight, Brooklyn NY
- Hal Nathan, San Francisco, CA, Partners Asia
- Anushka Fernandopulle, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, CA
- Charmi Neely, Mindfulness Meditation Group of Staunton-Waynesboro, and Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville, CA
- Dr. Janice Sheppard, Madison Insight Meditation Group/Madison Vipassana, Inc., Madison Metropolitan Area, WI
- Byakuren Judith Ragir, Clouds in Water Zen Center, St. Paul, MN
- Charles Agle, Insight Meditation Community of Washington, Washington, DC
- Amy Predmore, Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville, Charlottesville, VA
- Wes Nisker, Spirit Rock, Woodacre, CA & YogaKula in Berkeley, CA
- Gendo Allyn Field, Upper Valley Zen Center, White River Junction, VT
- Rev’d James Ishmael Ford, Boundless Way Zen Buddhist Network, Providence, RI
- Sosan Theresa Flynn, Clouds in Water Zen Center, St. Paul, MN
- Rev. Jill Kaplan, Zen Heart Sangha, Woodside, CA
- Jennifer Stanley, Insight Meditation Community of Washington, Washington, D.C.
- Rev. Genjo Marinello, Seattle Zen Temple
- Josho Pat Phelan, Chapel Hill Zen Center, Chapel Hill, NC
- Silvia Garcia Pereira, Insight Meditation Community of Washington,
- Mitra Bishop, Mountain Gate, Ojo Sarco NM
- Rev .Jisho Warner, Stone Creek Zen Center
- Anna Roudebush, Insight Fort Wayne, IN
- William F. Mies, Arnold, MD
- Barbara A. Lahman, North Manchester, IN
- Ann Herington
- Iris Diaz, Oakland, CA
- Peter Schneider
- Tamara Dyer
- Rev Robert Schaibly/Brother True Deliverance, The Order of Interbeing
- Angie Boiss, Floating Zendo, San Jose, CA
- Kay Davidson
- Eiko Joshin Carolyn Atkinson, Everyday Dharma Zen Center, Santa Cruz CA
- Marjorie Markus, NYC, Community of Mindfulness
- Kathy Schwerin, Community Dharma Leader, Dharma Zephyr Insight Meditation Community
- Haju Sunim/ Linda Lundquist, Zen Buddhist Temple, Ann Arbor, MI
- Catherine Brousseau, Insight Meditation Community of Washington
- Rev. Zenki Mary Mocine, Abbess Vallejo Zen Center, Vallejo, CA
- Les Kaye, Kannon Do Zen Center, Mt. View, CA
- Rev. Domyo Burk, Bright Way Zen, Portland Oregon
- Devi Weisenberg, Inverness, CA, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, CA
- Taigen Dan Leighton, Ancient Dragon Zen Gate, Chicago, IL
- Dr. Bill Knight, Muskoka Mindfulness Community
- Manny Mansbach, Vermont Insight Meditation Center
- Cornelia Shonkwiler, Middle Way Zen, San Jose, CA
- Susan Lee Bady, Brooklyn Sangha of New York Insight Meditation Center, NY
- David Silver, Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville, VA
- Tonen O’Connor, Milwaukee Zen Center, WI
- Daniel Terragno, Rocks & Clouds Zendo, Sebastopol, CA
- Trish Magyari, Insight Meditation Community of Washington (IMCW), Baltimore, MD
- Joen Snyder O’Neal, Compassionate Ocean Dharma Center, Brooklyn Center, MN
- Barbara Rhodes, Kwan Um School of Zen
- Stephanie Golden, Brooklyn NY and of NY Insight Meditation Center
- Jennifer Jordan, IMCW Family Program
- Abby Cassell, NewYork Insight, Brooklyn Sangha
- Elizabeth Fryer, St Louis Insight
- Ann Pendley, Knoxville Insight Meditation, TN
- David Flint, Dharmacarya, New York City, NY
- Jon Aaron, New York Insight Meditation Center, NY
- David Loy
- Jim Dalton
- Robert Beatty, Portland Insight Meditation Community
- Debra Kerr, Oakland, CA, Alameda Sangha and East Bay Meditation Center, CA
- Merra Young, Rivers’ Way Meditation Center, TCVC, Common Ground Meditation Center, Minneapolis, MN
- Nina Wise, San Rafael, CA
- Soren Gordhammer, Santa Cruz, CA
- Jill and Bruce Hyman
- Gil Fronsdal, IMC Redwood City, CA
- Meg Agnew, Dharma Wisdom Seattle Sangha
- Kitsy Schoen, East Bay Meditation Center
- Ellen Furnari, PhD, Buddhist Pathways Prison Project, Solano prison, Vacaville, CA.
- Hugh Byrne, PhD, Insight Meditation Community of Washington, Silver Spring, MD
- Chaplain Eileen Phillips, BCCC, Mt Stream Meditation Center and Spirit Rock Meditation Center, CA
- Tere Abdala-Romano
- Bob Stahl, Guiding Teacher Insight Santa Cruz, CA
- Frank Ostaseski, Founder, Metta Institute, CA
- Jayla Klein, Insight Santa Cruz, CA
- Anna Douglas, Spirit Rock, Woodacer, CA
- Philip L. Jones, Silent Mind Open Heart Sangha, Columbia, MO
- Jennifer Kim, New York, NY
- Leslie Tremaine
- Rebekah Laros, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, CA
- Brian Lesage, Flagstaff Vipassana Meditation Group, AZ
- Nina Nagy, New Canaan, CT
- Gregory Gerber
- Jeff Scannell, Montpelier Insight Meditation, VT
- Elaine Retholtz, New York Insight Meditation Center, NY
- Laura Crawford Hofer, Eugene, OR
- Tina Rasmussen, Ph.D., Awakening Dharma, San Francisco Bay Area, CA
- Anne Briggs, Insight Meditation Community of Chestertown, Chestertown, MD
- Alice Alldredge, Open Door Sangha, Santa Barbara , CA
- Devon Hase, Madison City Sangha
- Nancy Hilyard, Oceano, CA
- Berget Jelane, San Jose Insight Meditation, CA
- Barbara Poe, Prescott Vipassana Sangha, Prescott, AZ
- Kerry Walsh, San Anselmo, CA
- Luke Lundemo, Jackson MS Meditation Group, MS
- Jai Uttal, San Anselmo, CA
- Tomi Kobara, Awakening in Deep Refuge sangha – East Bay, CA
- Nancy Taylor, Teton Sangha, Jackson Hole, WY
- Elissa Epel, Ph.D., UCSF, San Francisco, CA
- Russell Long, Ph.D., San Francisco, CA
- Sakula Mary Reinard, Portland Friends of the Dhamma, Portland, OR
- Michele Ku, Yes, East Bay Meditation Center, Berkeley, CA
- Betsy Rose, Berkeley CA & Spirit Rock Meditation Center
- Gayle Markow, San Francisco, CA
- Philippe Daniel
- Arpita Brown
- Jessica Graham, Eastside Mindfulness Meditation , Los Angeles, CA