Conflict & Justice

Burmese monk in exile

(What prompted you to risk your life and get involved in the protests a year ago?) We took to the streets because the people of Burma didn't have any rights. We also took to the streets because the economy of the government is not managed well and the inequality of the country is getting worse. (Did you hope the international community would get involved to change things in Burma and represent you?) We always hoped the U.N. and international community would get involved, but the reality is they didn't get involved. (And how many monks remain in prison from last year's protests?) According to our source there are still 300-400 monks who remain in jail. (Are you still calling for protests from the U.S. and do you think that action will be taken seriously by monks who remain in Burma?) We've held many demonstrations and we hope they help show solidarity for people on Burma who remain at risk. (What's your life been like living in New York?) I'm glad to see people in the U.S. enjoy freedom but I don't know if I can survive in this cold weather and we can't work so we survive from assistance from the U.S. government. (Are you able to live the aesthetic life of a monk?) I survive on the $500 dollars I receive from the U.S. government. I don't know how long that'll last. (Do you plan to go back to Burma even before a change in the current government?) I'd get killed or arrested if I went back to Burma before a new government was there.

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