There is currently a growing internal conflict in Burma, which has non-pleasant similarities to the leading-up phase to the genocide in Rwanda, which was stopped by the international community only after 800 000 people had been killed - by their own neighbours! Therefore, Avaaz is now doing a petition to raise awareness on this. As a part of this, more than 50 000 people in Burma has recently joined Avaaz, and a quick poll showed that many of them have been raised to have big prejudices regarding a minority in Burma (the Rohingyas) which they think should be expelled and that their citizenships should be revoked. Such thoughts are only possible if you only, or at least mostly, have talked to like-minded people, and Avaaz will therefore try to initiate a dialogue between these Burmese members and the rest of the members in the global network. I think that this is a wonderful initiative, on so many levels, and as a part of this, I have just sent this open letter: which I also publish here on the blog.
Picture from the Burma campaign at Avaaz.
we have never met, but I guess that we have many things in common anyway. The reason why I believe that is that it is true for all human beings: we have much more in common than we have differences, and the most important things - our true value, our "core" as humans - are in my mind absolutely guaranteed to exist within all of us.
When this similarity between us is looked for, it reveals itself, and becomes more obvious and clear. And then you realize that all people - whether they be Swedish, German, Burmese, Rohingya, Chinese, etc - should be treated as a brother, and never, ever, as less than a human being.
It is also my understanding that a society works at its best when tolerance and love and brotherhood are the core-values from which decisions are taken. Then public institutions, politics, healthcare, etc work, because trust is the oil by which all such organisations are kept agile. Therefore, if you want to create a well-functioning society, it is my advise to look at all your neighbours from these brotherly eyes. When I look at how we have constructed a relatively well-functioning society in Sweden, I see that this has been the recipee. But you should of course create your own society, in your own wonderful and unique way. Today is an important turning-point, by which you will make that creation come true - for good or for bad!
Gunnar from Sweden