Ramadhian Fadillah, Jakarta – Scores of monks and protesters from the Indonesian Buddhist Solidarity (SBI) held a peaceful action at the Myanmar Embassy on Wednesday October 3. They also presented a ‘love letter’ to the Myanmar junta.
After waiting for almost half-an-hour, representatives of the Myanmar Embassy finally met with demonstrators. Burmese Embassy secretary Tedy Guritno, who is an Indonesian citizen, emerged from the 2.5 meter greet gate that had earlier been closed when demonstrators held the action alongside the embassy on Jl. Agus Salim in Central Jakarta.
With the gate now open, action coordinator Ponijan Liaw together with four of his friends immediately approached Guritno. Liaw also handed Guritno a love letter for Myanmar junta. The letter contained an appeal to stop the mistreatment and violence against monks. They also condemned the inhuman and uncivilized actions in Myanmar – formally called Burma – and in all other parts of the world.
“We express our love to the Burmese government, hence we are handing over this love letter. We ask that it be forwarded immediately to the Myanmar government,” Liaw told Guritno. Liaw also offered Guritno a chance convey his greetings. “If Bapak has a greeting, please,” appealed Liaw. Guritno however only shook his head. “No, I have no greetings”, he replied.
After handing the letter over, they shook hands and Guritno went back into the embassy building and the gate was closed again. Following the meeting, Liaw said that they saw this as a positive response. “We see this as a development. If there had been no response, perhaps we would have continued the action”, he said.
During the action, they also demanded that the government give attention to the 10 Indonesian monks and seven Buddhist Indonesian citizens who are studying in Myanmar. A representative of the monks, Matra Maitri, appealed for the monks in Myanmar to stand firm.
“There they must be patient. We here will not stay silent. We will continued to read prayers, particularly for the monks from Indonesia. Hopefully through this action the Myanmar government will hear our call and end the violence against the monks”, he concluded. (mly/sss)
[Translated by James Balowski.]