Archive for March, 2011

An interview with one of the central Buddhist-monk leaders of the 2007 Saffron Revolution of Burma, and his colleague Ashin Kovida, conducted in Mae Sot at the Best Friend Library, March 2011. We discussed the nature of the post-2007, and post 2010-election, resistance movement, what kinds of response to current conditions the movement is taking, and how it might be maintained in the long-term. The Best Friend Library, with a sister-branch in Chiang Mai, and formerly many more in Burma itself, is a buzzing hive of cultural, educational and social activity for young Burmese activists and refugees, Western aid workers and volunteers, and visitors from all over the world. Its Peace Cafe near the heart of the Burmese market has weekly film-screenings and discussions hosted by Garrett Kostin. At the heart of both places is the calm, twinkling presence of King Zero, also known as Ashin Issariya, and Ashin Kovida, both committed to bringing freedom and reconciliation to all Burmese, including those who continue to oppress them. They are at the rockface of nonviolent resistance in the world today, not least for their persistence, courage and sheer endurance in the face of what seem often intractable odds.

My interview with them can be read here: http://ashin-kovidach.blogspot.sg/2012/05/pen-is-sharper-than-sword-martin-kovan.html

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