Disturbing news from Myanmar

Myanmar is now under assault and on fire everywhere, incidents like the below are barely being reported, as even more terrible things make the headlines. And because so few know what is happening there, they have received scant support. Through the ongoing and dangerous work of @InsightMyanmar we have received new distressing reports.

Some of you might have spent some time in the Sagaing area in Myanmar and some of you may even have spent some time in the monastery of Kyun Pin Sayadaw, a meditation teacher in the Mahasi tradition where many foreigners used to come to meditate.

The situation that was described to IM was horrible. The military attacked and invaded the two villages near the monastery, continuously bombarding the area for two days with mortars and rockets. The monastery grounds were damaged, meditation kutis were destroyed by airstrikes, and soldiers disrupted nuns and yogis sitting in the meditation hall. The military then burned the surrounding villages down. The residents fled, many taking refuge in the monastery, including children, the elderly, and pregnant women. The soldiers then slaughtered every animal in the area, both livestock and pets. The villagers are distraught; everything they have ever owned has been burned to the ground, and they are now homeless.

Read the whole story here: Madness strikes a meditation center — Insight Myanmar

Another distressing report speaks of military forcing an entry into a nunnery and beating the nuns:



These are the sounds of Buddhist nuns being beaten.

A friend with too much experience in conflict zones told me. “It is harder to hear someone get beaten, than it is to actually be beaten yourself.”

A dozen young nuns, some only 7 years of age, agree with this.


This is very sad and tragic.

What is the reason for this attack?

Do the villagers near the monastery actively oppose the regime?

What is the endgame in these monsters’ mind? Kill or torture anyone they suspect is against them?


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My thoughts exactly, Gabriel.

Such a sad situation.


"They were soldiers, but they were not wearing uniforms. ":thinking:

I wouldn’t say monsters but a type of subhumans if we understand the human evolution is explained by moral.

The goal can be whatever, although when seeing these things, it seems clear they would destroy Dhamma first in Myanmar and later in the whole world.

All the support for the people protecting Dhamma in Myanmar. :pray:

This article presents the view from inside the opposition. The actions by the military in attacking a monastery result from their increasing frustration at losing territory in that pressure point area:

"With access to both the Ayeyarwady River and nearby Mandalay and Sagaing regions, the coup regime has stationed three infantry battalions (IBs) in Yesagyo in an attempt to keep it under their control. "

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Being in the Buddhist community for a long time, I sometimes need to remind myself that other people don’t share my beliefs and some people are perfectly fine with lying, stealing, killing, and raping.

Not to sound like a downer or a purveyor of doom & gloom, but there’s a lot of miserable suicidal people out there who have no qualms about taking other people’s lives along with their own, even if it’s through road rage or randomly deciding one day they’ve had enough.

Be careful out there, it’s a crazy world! and I hope those nuns are able to get help.

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Ahh so there is some sort of organised resistance running a parallel adminstration in the area then?
And by default they associate these religious centres and communities with these opposition forces?

Some of the populace is sympathetic to the junta, and these are being armed:

The NUG:


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What a sad Reality. Let’s hope they get help and get saved from these evil people whoever they are.

I really wonder how can it be so easy for people to kill or hurt others. Such a sad Reality. :pensive: None fears results of their actions.

If folks want some good news, there seems to be smiles all around here: :slightly_smiling_face:

It’s not so simple … if you have an authorized internet connection, everything you do with that is monitored. So you better show how wonderful everything is and not talk about anything potentially controversial. The militairy is in control of the internet and is monitoring everything; for the slightest misdemeanor you can have your internet cut, or much worse.

When I first came to Myanmar I was told in no uncertain terms that I was not to talk about the government, the militairy, the generals or anything else controversial. You were not even allowed to say the name “Aung San Suu Kyi” because whoever you were talking to was going to be punished. In the meditation center we were all to just be happy and meditating and that is the image they wanted to see.


emphasis on seems

My dad grew up under communism, and taught me how, under an oppressive regime, you have to talk in silences. In gestures. In puns. Omissions.

The page you linked to shared 39 posts in 2020, the year before the coup. In the year and a half since, they’ve posted 9 times. Make of that what you will.


The above seems aligned with a certain political narrative. If we return to 2018, the United Nations presented their opinion on alleged human rights violations:

  • U.N. human rights investigators issue report on Myanmar

  • Say Myanmar army operations in Rakhine showed “genocidal intent”

  • Decry crimes against humanity in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin states

  • Call for Myanmar commander-in-chief, generals, to face justice

  • Say civilian govt. led by Aung San Suu Kyi contributed to crimes

GENEVA, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Myanmar’s military carried out mass killings and gang rapes of Muslim Rohingya with “genocidal intent” and the commander-in-chief and five generals should be prosecuted for orchestrating the gravest crimes under law, U.N. investigators said on Monday.

The civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi has allowed hate speech to thrive, destroyed documents and failed to protect minorities from crimes against humanity and war crimes by the army in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan states, they said in a report.

In doing so, it “contributed to the commission of atrocity crimes”, the report said.

The U.N. panel, led by former Indonesian attorney-general Marzuki Darusman, named the Myanmar army’s commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, and five other generals who should face justice.

Myanmar generals had "genocidal intent" against Rohingya, must face justice - UN

Therefore, at least in the view of the UN Investigators, both parties in the current Myanmar political dispute were complicit in the Rohingya situation (in Rakhine) but also complicit in other actions against other minority groups in Shan and Kachin states.

However, you give the impression of subscribing to a narrative the military (Tatmadaw) lead by Min Aung Hlaing was not only the only party committing the actions against the Rohingya but now the Tatmadaw in inherently attacking Buddhism. This seems highly improbable to me.

Sophisticated weapons of war do not grow in rice paddies or on teak or palm oil trees. The ‘rebel’ opposition to the the military (Tatmadaw) are also obviously armed and are probably also threatening civilians who do not support them or who side with the the military (Tatmadaw).

If read carefully, the entire 2021 article below by Reuters seems to have a jumbled/mixed narrative. However, it reports:

Security forces stood guard at some schools and brought pupils under armed escort from their homes.

An official of the Myanmar Teachers’ Federation, who sought anonymity for fear of retribution, said that even fewer puplis had turned out than had been enrolled because parents were concerned about security, as well as joining the boycott.

Teachers were also afraid, he said, adding, “Some teachers go to school in normal clothing and change into their uniforms only inside the school.”

Boycott and bombings mar Myanmar's new school year | Reuters

Therefore, if the above Reuters article is accurate, who were the “security forces” protecting? They were obviously protecting teachers & students who chose to not engage in protests & civil disobedience against the military government.

The point I am suggesting is this Myanmar political conflict seems unrelated to any inherent attack upon Buddhism. :neutral_face:

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"“In addition to arresting and killing civilians, they [take] away all the valuables and things they [find] in the monastery. These acts have become routine for them. They are doing all this because they have no supplies coming from behind the frontlines.”—Abbot of Sagaing monastery

Current centre of fighting:

Kale Township is a township in Kale District in the Sagaing Division of Burma (Myanmar). The principal town is Kalay. This State has borders with India.

Sagaing Region (Burmese: စစ်ကိုင်းတိုင်းဒေသကြီး, pronounced [zəɡáɪ̯ɰ̃ táɪ̯ɰ̃ dèθa̰ dʑí]; formerly Sagaing Division ) is an administrative region of Myanmar, located in the north-western part of the country between latitude 21° 30’ north and longitude 94° 97’ east. It is bordered by India’s Nagaland, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh States to the north, Kachin State, Shan State, and Mandalay Region to the east, Mandalay Region and Magway Region to the south, with the Ayeyarwady River forming a greater part of its eastern and also southern boundary, and Chin State and India to the west.

When covert/proxy wars occur, ‘rebels’ are generally supplied through border towns, which is why, for example, the recent Libyan War started in the distant port town of Benghazi and the recent Syrian War started in the Jordanian border town of Daraa and why the only fighters currently remaining against the Syrian government are in the Turkish border region of Idlib.

In conclusion, I have my personal doubts religion is inherently related to the current Myanmar political & military conflict; just as religion was not the salient factor in the Lebanon & Syrian Wars. ‘Religion’ is often an easy emotional narrative used by mass-media. In any war, military forces, including ‘rebel’ forces, may take shelter in civilian buildings and even use civilians as ‘human shields’. Therefore, if ‘rebel forces’ in border regions supplied with foreign weapons are taking shelter in churches, temples or mosques then it will be expected those churches, temples & mosques may be damaged or destroyed. Personally, I naturally consider my theories rather than subscribe to unsubstantiated theories about deliberate military attacks upon religions. :neutral_face:


Whether the military is actively targeting religious institutions just for the sake of it, or as a result of their association ( perceived or actual) with rebel groups is beside the point, and not the goal of the OP. I don’t know why you keep bringing it up. It’s about sharing news of the horrible things happening at a place Ven Vimala and others are familiar with.

Kindly refrain from deflecting the seriousness of these attacks on defenceless nuns and bombing of monastery for example, with your personal theories and using sutta quotes to justify them.

It strikes me as terribly, terribly insensitive and callous in light of the suffering being faced by these communities, and their loved ones and supporters living abroad,


A correction in terminology. The National Unity Government of Myanmar is the elected government overthrown in a military coup.

As pointed out by the Abbot, another reason is that supplies are more concentrated in monasteries and in the absence of army provisions, the front line military ransacks them. People in SE Asia culturally go to monasteries in times of need including now in Myanmar. The PDF is not using monasteries as a base. Long term there will be two beneficial effects of these military attacks on monasteries. One is that the desecration of their historical religion will cause the populace to turn further away from the junta, the other is the exorcising of the superstition that magical protection is afforded by monasteries and cause a reorientation to personal practice. The winds of change in samsara necessarily have a hard edge.


To add to this, a fortnight ago, four democracy activits in Myanmar were officially executed - the first such killings in decades.
Press release from UN human rights office here


From the @InsightMyanmar instagram account:

In this meditation center in Sagaing, a kuti on the nun’s side of the compound was raked with bullets from soldiers firing indiscriminately.

Think about this.

The Tatmadaw, the Burmese military, has justified their brutal regime under the guise of protecting Buddhism.

Consider this as well. Even if not looked at through the prism of Buddhist meditation, the least harmful act one can do in this world is to sit in silence.

In return, these soldiers seem to be motivated by little more than absolute destruction, total terror, and utter control.

The greatest spiritual aspiration of any Buddhist is to let go of inner defilements through a rigorous observation of the mind-body connection. They may apply different techniques in their practice to achieve this aim.

The organization claiming to protect Burmese Buddhism is trying to kill a Burmese Buddhist nun in the act of meditation!

For 19 months, no one has been under any delusion what psychopathic killers these coup leaders were. Since 1962, no one has been under any delusion what lengths of torture, rape, abduction, and murder these dictators were willing to commit.

And yet still, a Buddhist nun in silent contemplation must now fear bullets hitting her forest kuti in a monastery compound, fired from intoxicated soldiers.

The sickest part is, these soldiers know they can act with impunity. They have already gotten away with murder. They know that no one much will care, and for those who do, no real consequences will come to them.

They know that this will be just another social media post competing with all the millions of others from influencers teaching how to actualize your best self, and this post will lose out to those. Somehow this ongoing story of human drama playing out in Myanmar is not able to break through the noise to engage a wider audience. Even progressive crowds in Western countries can scarcely be bothered.

But this humble account will not be silenced. Even if it sometimes feel like yelling into a brick wall, we will continue to share these stories.

Maybe one day this work will help to at least remove a few bricks.