September 24, 2007
The Final Countdown
The Saffron Revolution
When I saw the gathering people at the Bronze Image, in front of and around the foot of the Shwedagon Pagoda, I and my colleagues were amazed our call for that day’s campaign and their arrival. Before 10:00 am countless citizens could be seen.
The most important thing for that day was to do management for the security of those who involved in the demonstration. Usual tasks had been done; all were exciting for the coming moments!
The former supporting groups of social activists were preparing for our monks’ lunch at the Bronze Image, discussing with them and other organizations for that day. We were also very busy for that day. For me, I was very exciting.
Ko Zarganar (the most famous clown and activist) took his hand-phone and gave it to me,
‘A news agency wants to interview with you.’
It asked, ‘What’s your purpose? Do you think your monks and people’s wished can be fulfilled by the government?’
I replied, ‘It’s very early to answer your question about our demands. Our focus is that we are proceeding to our destination peacefully. I’m busy now, and speak to Ko Zarganar.’
I gave his hand-phone to him. Them I rushed managing for the representative grope, discipline ones for tomorrow.
At the target time of sharp 12:00 that day, we marched for ‘the General Strike’, opposing to the recent government led by monks as a prominent factory, throughout history, university students had taken such roles.
For us, monks, it’s a public movement, people and students must be placed in the central part of the march, protecting the rim by the monks.
But, in reality people put monks at the core of the marching line, protecting along sides by students and the enormous mass following. Our usual pattern of the demonstration previous days. I’m still seeing the images, and hearing the voices that day.
There were a sea of monks and people around the foot of the Shwedagon Pagoda. Waves of monks’ robes, Buddha Sasana’s flags and the wave of the Mitta Sutta’s reciting scrubbed my face, and entered into my mind.
‘May all beings be at ease.
Let none deceive another
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another,’
Along our march, people came out of the monks, and roads, paying their respects to the monks, their homage to us putting their hands in lotus but position, and praising and clapping their hands. Even the people living in the high floors such as sixth, seventh and eights ones of downtown Yangon appeared to the front corridors or veranda to pay respects and homage to our marching passer-by monks. Writers, Artists, Singers, Actors and Actress actively joined to the demonstration.
Also, former political prisoners, 88 generations, part in it. Along the march, some monks got damages at their feet, necessary drugs were supported, supplying fresh drinking water and cold drinks to the monks_ sharing as a family on the streets.
Senior polities gave us notes of suggestions at the day as a support to us. We went round the whole city reciting the Mitta Sutta as demonstration monks and people.
What would be on the 24th September, 2007? What would its response to our march. These would have been oppression, fear and insult to the people. We, monks students, peoples and others believed that it’s a revolution! To reveal against the oppressed government. For us, it may be ‘A Revolution’ in our history_ ‘the Saffron Revolution.’