Saturday, September 29, 2007

Crimes against humanity

The ancients have always advocated for a ruler to be benevolent since only when he loves his people can they enjoy peace and prosperity in the state. But when a ruler only thinks of profits or wants to manifest his power to oppress a powerless people of his own state or others, we see examples of a crime against humanity. In the days of old, we read of such crimes committed against the multitude in China by Chou Hsin of Shang and Shih Huangdi, the first emperor of Chin.

A few thousand years later, with much human development and education, we still witness crimes against humanity with the world looking on usually helpless.

If we think of the Second World War, the Middle East, Bosnia, several African states, Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Myanmar (Burma), we see powerful images of crimes against humanity. The whole world is outraged and yet remains helpless. Besides protesting against the ruler(s) for the whole world to see, with cries for help what can an overtly oppressed people do against guns and the might of a superior army? The unarmed and the peaceful cannot alone fight against oppression and a well armed army. It would be like throwing eggs at a rock, trying to split it?

How many more people need to die or get displaced before the world body, the United Nations steps in? What has the United Nations done except split hairs and listen to the rhetoric of powerful nations, their biggest paymasters? Where is the world statesman when he or she is needed? The answer, my friend, is ‘Blowing in the Wind’.

The world sorely needs a statesperson – a Da Ren - who commands global respect because the great person (the Da Ren) is both humane and just to people on earth. And who has the actual means and sincerity to back up the rhetoric. Perhaps then there will be respite from crimes committed against humanity in the world.

In the Book of Poetry, it is said,

‘Before the sovereigns of the Yin dynasty had lost the hearts of the people, they could appear before God. Take warning from the house of Yin. The great decree is not easily preserved.’

This shows that, by gaining the people, the kingdom is gained, and, by losing the people, the kingdom is lost.

[Da Hsiao – The Great Learning 10 .5]

Surely the ruling generals of Myanmar have ignored the advice in the above poem or quotation in the Great Learning for the past forty five years.

For the sake of profits and power, these heartless rulers oppressed their own people. The Burmese Buddhist monks are right in denying the generals and the army access to pay respects to Buddha. By committing crimes against humanity, can the generals and their soldiers really appear before Buddha?

No, says the ancients in the Book of Poetry and the Great Learning. And I wholeheartedly agree.

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