On October 20, the full moon day of Thidingyut, the 251st Mandalay Sanga Union Strike was held at a Pagoda in Mandalay. Regarding the strike, KG.COM contacted and asked U Zin Ashin Zay Ya on phone who participated in the Sanga strike.

Q: Please, explain to us about the Sanga Union strike held on the pagoda on the Thidingyut full moon day.

A: To be frank, our country is also one that loves festivals. So, the people are eagerly awaiting festivals. Since we first planned this, we all couldn’t agree. We have different views. We can’t be the same in anything. But this was done with those who agreed. We all know. The whole world knows. As we’re heading into the ninth month of the military coup, we all including the monks and ordinary people must all resist against this injustice for liberation. This was done so that those who share the same desires would participate when carrying out the resistance. It’s not disturbing the pilgrims. It was an activity to show that we could go hand in hand with those who want to oppose the dictator.

Q: As a monk who participates in the revolution, what do you want to say about there being a lot of pilgrims on the Thidingyut full moon day during the revolution period?

A: My opinion as a monk is, I don’t want to say to the pilgrims, ‘Don’t go on pilgrimages’. I don’t want to object and there’s no reason for objection. Monks might not share the same opinions and concepts. There’s no way it could be the same. Under a country so oppressed by the military dictator, we can only be freed if we exert as much as we can. Those who want to be liberated will resist.

Q: Explain to us about the current situation of the Mandalay Sangha Union Strike, please!

A: About Mandalay Sangha, many of us have been arrested. Plus, as the military is chasing after the monks, there are almost no activities at present. As we monks are also escaping, we can’t rely on ourselves as before.

Q: Is it more difficult for monks to go on a trike than it is for ordinary people?

A: Yes, it’s different from ordinary people for sure. There are many difficulties. To be honest, the monastery doesn’t participate in this. Plus, if we do it and if other monks from other monasteries don’t agree with us, they could report us and then we have to escape. In escaping, there are many things different from ordinary people. Ordinary people can take shelter in any place anywhere. But for monks, it’s not easy in such situations.

Q: For the Thidingyut period, what is your message to the people?

A: All Buddhist children and adults, what’s the goal of Buddhists? What’s the last prayer? We want Nirvana. For those who want Nirvana, those who want the wealth of Nirvana, we can only get to Nirvana until we know and break poverty. I say this as a Buddhist. To speak as all religions, why are we in trouble in Myanmar? We can only get the peace/wealth we desire until we know and kill this. I say this as a brief of all the world. To compare things with each other, for Buddhist women, it’s far away to resist against an injustice that has been rooted since continuous life cycles. If we can’t resist against an injustice that began 60, 70 years ago, there’s no way we will have any more heart to dare to resist an injustice that has been rooted since life cycles. Bad deeds and injustices that have been there since life cycles are so far away. Now, if you can’t resist against the military doing injustice, don’t bother praying for Nirvana – it’s far away!

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