ASIA/MYANMAR – Cardinal Bo to the Burmese Government: "Compassion and mercy towards the boat people"

Monday, 25 May 2015

Yangon (Agenzia Fides) - "An agony of immense poignancy unfolds on the seas of South East Asia: a new wave of boat people, ejected by excruciating poverty and conflict from both Myanmar and Bangladesh are adrift in the seas. Exploited by unscruplous human traffickers, men, women and children are huddled in
unhealthy, sqaulor ships, often sent to die in the seas. A new wound opens up. Let mercy and compassion flow like a river in the land of Buddha": is the appeal launched by Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, while the emergence of Rohingya refugees, seeking asylum in countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia continues.
In a message sent to Fides, the Cardinal recalls the boat people of Vietnam and says: "The boat people from Myanmar and Bangladesh are fleeing for dignity and security. In a great gesture of humanity, Malaysia, Phillippines and Indonesia have opened their doors. Myanmar government, has rescued two boats that were adrift with refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh. This gesture, coming from a nation worshipping the Lord of Compassion, Buddha is highly commendable". But, he adds, in recent times democracy has "brought in hatred, denial of rights to sections of the people" in the country, referring to violence perpetrated by Buddhist fringes against Rohingya Muslims and the hostility shown by the Burmese government.
Mgr. Bo remarks: "we strongly urge the government not to allow discourses of hatred to subvert its glorious tradition of compassion. Myanmar citizens have a moral obligation to protect and promote the dignity of all human persons. A community cannot be demonised and denied its basic rights to name, citizenship and right to community".
Citing great Buddhist monks who are "beacon of compassion to the world", the Archbishop recalls that "this religion mainstreams compassion as the noblest virtue" addressed to all living things, animated and inanimated. Compassion and mercy are two eyes of this nation, which allow a vision of peace and dignity. Let mercy and compassion flow like a river in our country", concluded Cardinal. Bo. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 25/05/2015)