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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Burmese Days (Myanmar Knights)

Good Morning General Than Shwe, Gentlemen, Respected Leaders,

I realise your time is valuable so I shall be quite brief. I am here today to request the release of Aung San Suu Kyi

General: (responding with a curious tone of voice) Why should I even consider your request? What sort of official are you? What government do you represent?

(nervous laughter from several people but not the General)

Old Man: (calmly) I represent no government. I work for absolutely no organisation. I am here to request the release of Aung San Suu Kyi on behalf of the Tao.

General: The Tao? What Tao are your talking about?

Old Man: The Tao of this Universe. Respected General, in the natural order of things three in ten die young. Three in ten live to be old. Three in ten have a choice. Suu Kyi has grown old under this tedious order of affairs. You should release her simply in following the natural order of the universe. Your citizens will respect you for this wise decision, just as they respect you for your efforts to protect the tiger.

General: The tiger does not threaten the peace of this country as does Aung San Suu Kyi. The tiger is part of the natural forest life of Myanmar. Many people will come to try to see the tiger.

Old Man: Many more people will come to see a beautiful country that respects the freedom of their most intelligent citizens. The publicity from her release alone will be so great your airports will barely be able to handle the flow of visitors. This is in keeping with the Tao, the natural order of things in the Universe.

General: Consideration will be given to your request. Guards, see that this old man is placed on the next flight out of this country.

Head Guard: General, what old man are you talking about?

General: This man standing right here in front of me!

Head Guard: But, General, with all respect, there is no old man standing before you and the other respected leaders.

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