Letter of compassion and concern for the people of Myanmar
To our beloved Sisters and Brothers, the courageous people of Myanmar suffering under a brutal military coup,
Greetings of solidarity and love.
Our hearts go out to you. Global news and personal friends who are in Myanmar tell us firsthand about your extreme plight—we feel your pain. A Burmese Sister texted us:
“My mind and body are in illness … Myanmar situation is very terrible day and night. Myanmar Army are arresting in public people every day … pray for us … Thank you for your kindness and concern.”
We are writing you from the Philippines although we come from different parts of the world. We have joined our voices with “Sacred Springs of Loyola School of Theology, Manila” to reach across the miles with our hands outstretched in solidarity. Friends, we are ONE with you. You do not deserve the disrespect and cruelty you are now experiencing. We are deeply saddened.
We condemn the cold-blooded brutality of the military. We are standing with you as you fight for your freedom and join in your cry that your human dignity be respected—absolutely. We honor and acknowledge the more than 800 courageous, mostly young people, who have sacrificed their lives in the name of the struggle … some cruelly murdered in their homes for doing nothing at all. They were simply freedom-loving people.
You have borne the burden of ruthless military rule for too many years; it has been too long—especially since the coup of 1962 to the present day. To all the courageous defectors from the military, although you are still very few, we pray that your example will encourage others to do what is right and bring to a conclusion these decades of military oppression.
We have been very moved and inspired by Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng. She fell to her knees in front of the police and cried out, “I begged them not to shoot and torture the children, shoot me and kill me instead.” It seems public officials will stop at nothing to hold on to power such as Min Aung Hlaing who said, “There is nothing I dare not do.” And Gen. Ne Win exclaimed, “soldiers do not shoot at the sky, they shoot at the point (the people).” It is the young people who are bearing the brunt—they are the seed out of which eventually freedom, justice and democracy will grow.
Our sisters and brothers, you are not alone. We wish we could do more but know that deep in our hearts we are with you. We have not forgotten you. Please let us know if there is anything we are able to do on your behalf. Our prayers coming from the silent centers of our heart together with our communal prayers rise above to the Son on the cross. His resurrected power is with you.
Sacred Springs Dialogue Institute of Spirituality and Sustainability: AWARE, Institute of Formation and Religious Studies, Sisters of Our Lady of Sion, Ateneo de Manila University, Maryknoll Sisters, Cambodia