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Health and Food / Re: Daytime naps may be linked to a healthy heart
« on: September 12, 2019, 04:59:09 AM »
while the study was "somewhat interesting", it seems that those who nap once or twice a week have healthier or organized lifestyles, but that those who napped daily were likely to be more sick[/b].
For now, far better to aim for regular good night's sleep and to follow usual lifestyle advice of good diets and decent activity levels.[/b]"

Health and Food / Re: Daytime naps may be linked to a healthy heart
« on: September 12, 2019, 04:55:06 AM »

"This means the former pattern of occasional napping is intentional and the latter of more regular napping likely represents sub-clinical illness linked to poorer lifestyle. This would then explain the differential risks," Sattar told the SMC.

"I don't think one can work out from this work whether "intentional" napping on one or two days per week improves heart health so no one should take from this that napping is a way to lessen their heart attack risk," he added.

"For now, far better to aim for regular good night's sleep and to follow usual lifestyle advice of good diets and decent activity levels."

Health and Food / Re: Daytime naps may be linked to a healthy heart
« on: September 12, 2019, 04:53:50 AM »

"Sleep patterns have previously been reported to be associated with a range of chronic medical conditions," said Stephen MacMahon, a cardiovascular expert at Oxford University's George Institute for Global Health, who was not involved in the study.

"Some, but not all, these associations will reflect the effects of underlying chronic disease on sleep rather than the converse. It's often difficult to untangle what is cause and effect, especially when some serious conditions, such as coronary heart disease, can be largely symptom-free for decades prior to a critical complication such as a heart attack," he told the Science Media Centre (SMC) in London.

Naveed Sattar, Professor of Metabolic Medicine at the University of Glasgow, said that while the study was "somewhat interesting", it seems that those who nap once or twice a week have healthier or organized lifestyles, but that those who napped daily were likely to be more sick.

Health and Food / Re: Daytime naps may be linked to a healthy heart
« on: September 12, 2019, 04:52:24 AM »

The observational study, which was published in Heart, the journal of the British Cardiovascular Society, found that no such association emerged for greater frequency or duration of naps.

While some studies have been done on the impact of napping on heart health, many published studies fail to consider napping frequency or duration, the researchers said.

"Subjects who nap once or twice per week have a lower risk of incident CVD (cardiovascular disease) events, while no association was found for more frequent napping or napping duration," the report authors said.

Health and Food / Daytime naps may be linked to a healthy heart
« on: September 12, 2019, 04:50:08 AM »

Daytime naps once or twice a week may be linked to a healthy heart, researchers say

By Amy Woodyatt, CNN
September 10, 2019

daytime-naps-once-or-twice-a-week-may-be-linked-to-a-healthy-heart-researchers-say-2-500 - Show Posts - islander
Researchers looked at the association between napping frequency and average nap duration and the risk of fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular disease 'events,' such as heart attack, stroke, or heart failure.

(CNN)Some good news for nap fanatics -- a new study has found that a daytime nap taken once or twice a week could lower the risk of heart attacks or strokes.

Researchers from the University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland studied the association between napping frequency and duration and the risk of fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular disease complications.

Tracking 3,462 people between the ages of 35 and 75 for just over five years, the report authors found that those who indulged in occasional napping -- once or twice a week, for between five minutes to an hour -- were 48% less likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke or heart failure than those who did not nap at all.


In this crisis, the term “Buddhist” is used to designate cultural identity, not a religious belief or practice. Someone who identifies as a Buddhist doesn’t necessarily follow the teachings of the Buddha. Even back in the Buddha’s time, there were “bogus monks” who tried to join the sangha. These were not true monks but merely “men in yellow robes,” and were ejected from sangha gatherings. We should understand the situation in Myanmar as a cultural conflict rather than a religious conflict. As Azeem Ibrahim wrote, it is the exclusive nature of the Theravada tradition that often leads to “violent inter-ethnic tension in Sri Lanka and Thailand, as well as Myanmar,” not Buddhism itself.

The military government of Myanmar is cynically using Buddhism to manipulate people to behave with violence and hatred, rather than compassion and generosity. In my experience, conversations about Myanmar tends to get mired in debate about whether Buddhism is a non-violent religion. Perhaps we should leave Buddhism out of the conversation. In order to focus on addressing the actual situation more effectively and responsibly, it’s important to understand the complex political and ethnic issues more deeply. With a deeper understanding, we might be able to engage with the situation more effectively.


The main point of the documentary is that, despite the apparent movement toward democracy, ethnic violence is engineered by the government in an attempt to keep its grip on power. Based on the evidence presented, it appears that the eruptions of violence against the Rohingya and other Muslim groups across Myanmar were organized and planned, not spontaneous, communal, or unintended consequences of democratization. While the government has dismissed any allegations of its links to the violence as “nonsense,” Stoakes writes, “Evidence obtained by Al Jazeera shows conclusively that the recent surge of anti-Muslim hatred has been anything but random. In fact, it’s the product of a concerted government campaign clearly aimed at promoting instability and undermining the opposition by stirring up the forces of militant nationalism.”

Stoakes responsibly notes that none of this evidence is clear proof of the connection between the government and Ma Ba Tha, but it is nevertheless illuminating. If the government has been corrupting men wearing the robes of a monk, then Buddhism is not being used as a rallying cry of hatred and exclusion, but merely as a veil for it.


The Al Jazeera documentary presents other monk leaders of the Saffron Revolution who claim Wirathu works for the government. These monks specify that Wirathu called them at their monasteries after they were released from prison in 2011, and invited them to come see him. When they went, they say he attempted to recruit them to join his anti-Muslim crusade with the offer of an office, complete with an Internet-connected laptop, a telephone, and a payment of $1,000 (in a country with a per capita income of $1,195). The film also shows a secretly taped mobile phone recording of a meeting between government officials and Ma Ba Tha clerics. Then, an anonymous acquaintance of Wirathu claims that Yangon’s Special Branch agency (undercover police) works closely with Wirathu, saying he has seen its members at Wirathu’s monastery in Mandalay. Further evidence is seen in a Powerpoint presentation used by members of the military at a training session in 2012 in the capital city of Naypyidaw, titled “Fear of Losing One’s Race,” a presentation in which the very same anti-Muslim language used by Ma Ba Tha is found, including the conspiracy of a Muslim plot to make Buddhism and Buddhists extinct. Other documents circulated among government officials and obtained by Al Jazeera warn of Muslim plots to rape Buddhist women, start riots, and carry out terrorist acts, including intentions to “cut off the heads of departmental staff members.”


Ibrahim explores the origin of the connection between the government and the Ma Ba Tha. The organization did not exist before the opening up of the country in 2011. Ibrahim writes that the monks who were arrested during the Saffron Revolution in 2007 were later offered money and state patronage to join the Ma Ba Tha and promote its core message of hatred of all Muslims. These revelatory claims are based on an article by Emanuel Stoakes, “Monks, Powerpoint Presentations and Ethnic Cleanings,” published in Foreign Policy on October 26, 2015.

Based on the evidence presented, it appears that the eruptions of violence against the Rohingya and other Muslim groups across Myanmar were organized and planned.

In his article, Stoakes interviews an anonymous monk who claims that after his release from prison, he had a meeting with three government officials and was offered money to join Ma Ba Tha and preach anti-Muslim rhetoric. He is one of four monk leaders of the Saffron Revolution who claim the government made similar offers to them. Stoakes also produced an investigative documentary with Al Jazeera, “Genocide Agenda,” which aired in October 2015. In the film, one anonymous monk leader explains the situation bluntly: “Gradually, monks from the Saffron Revolution ended up in Ma Ba Tha.” He further clarifies exactly what anyone trying to understand the situation needs to know: “Ma Ba Tha is controlled by the military. When it wants to start a problem at any time, it’s like turning on a tap. They will turn it on or turn it off when they want.”



Amnesty International says those Rohingya who remain in their villages and camps are being systematically starved, to force them to flee the country. It is a situation ripe for genocide.

In all cases of violence against Muslims, reports of police participation in the attacks raised suspicions of a link between the mobs and the government. In Azeem Ibrahim’s 2016 book The Rohingyas: Inside Myanmar’s Hidden Genocide, Ibrahim says that the violence in Myanmar is closely related to inter-ethnic tension in Sri Lanka and Thailand. The key difference in Myanmar, he writes, is that several prominent Buddhist groups are actively driving the anti-Muslim violence, such as Ma Ba Tha. Then Ibrahim makes the shocking assertion that “there is growing evidence that the Ma Ba Tha Buddhist extremist organization was set up by the military as an alternative power base.” He suggests the group is a “front organization” for the military. He continues, “In effect, the military is directly backing two different groups in contemporary Myanmar,” the USDP (their political party) and “its own organization of Buddhist extremists who both offer the means to channel electoral support to the USDP and to create violence that can later be used to justify a military intervention.”


August 2017

Armed Rohingya rebels—of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA)—launched a coordinated attack on thirty border police posts, killing a dozen security forces. This caused the Burmese army to retaliate against the Rohingya throughout Rakhine State with a “scorched earth campaign.”

March 2018

By March, more than 6,000 Rohingya had been killed and more than 655,000 had fled to Bangladesh. Over fifty-five villages had been completely bulldozed, removing traces of buildings, wells, and even vegetation. Here we can see the Myanmar army has learned from the Israeli Army, which many Myanmar officials admire; when asked how to respond to the Rohingya, Dr. Aye Maung, head of Rakhine Nationalities Development Party, said, “We need to be like Israel.”


March 2013

Extreme violence erupted in the central Myanmar town of Meikhtila—where both Muslim and Buddhist communities are largely Bamar—after a Buddhist couple claimed a Muslim jewelry store owner sold them a fake golden hairpin and a brawl started between them. While police watched, Muslim-owned shops were burned and Muslims were attacked; later, a group of Muslims knocked a Buddhist monk off of his bike, beating him as he lay on the ground, and then set his body on fire. This led to outright carnage, with outside groups again bused in to lead a full pogrom against Muslims in the town, resulting in a death toll of forty-three people, mostly killed by sticks and knives, and 830 buildings destroyed. (Again, the men making up the mobs were reported to be drunk and/or high on drugs.)

June 2013

After the report of a rape of a Buddhist woman by Kaman Muslim men in Thandwe, violence erupted again, not just against Kaman but also against Rohingya far away from the incident.


October 2012

A second wave of violence occurred, with apparently organized mob attacks on Muslim communities in nine townships across Rakhine State.

There were close-quarter machete attacks and torching of houses on both sides, but only Rohingya violence was “constructed as terrorism,” and ascribed to “jihad.” In this way, these small, local disturbances—of inter-community slaughter, not uncommon in South Asia—suddenly became part of a global crisis.

PHR_Burma_Violence_Map_Aug-2013-1 - Show Posts - islander
Map. Huffington Post. December 16, 2017. “New Report Documents Scope of Religious Violence in Burma.” Provided by Physicians for Human Rights.

Wirathu and other monks from his 969 group organized a complete Muslim boycott, prohibiting Buddhists from having any interaction with Muslims whatsoever. Any Muslim “sympathizer” would also be persecuted, and one Buddhist who continued to do business with Muslims was beaten to death. The monks’ ban of Muslims set the precedent for an Islamophobia that went beyond the Rohingya to include officially recognized citizens of Myanmar.


Behind the Current Crisis

The current crisis started in 2012. Here’s a brief timeline of events:

May 28, 2012

Twenty-six-year-old Rakhine woman Ma Thida Htwe was gang-raped and murdered by three men the state media identified as “Bengali Muslim” or “Islam Followers.” These men were promptly arrested.

June 3, 2012

A few days later, three hundred Rakhine men attacked a bus carrying Muslims in the town of Taungup, beating ten passengers to death. These Muslims were not Rohingya, but missionaries from northern areas not in Rakhine State.

June 9, 2012

Mobs of Rohingya retaliated by attacking Rakhine properties in Maungdaw, torching houses. Mobs of Rakhine in turn burned Sittwe’s Muslim quarter of Nasi to the ground, chasing tens of thousands of the Rohingya inhabitants out of Rakhine and into camps or exile in Bangladesh (some estimate up to 120,000). These mobs were reportedly bussed in from elsewhere in Rakhine State. They were reported to be drunk and/or high on drugs.


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Ashin Wirathu


The latest upsurges of violence are also aided by globalization. With the internet, Islamaphobic fanatics can connect the old Burmese narratives about Islam with the contemporary narrative of global jihad. In The Venerable W. —shot before the 2016 election — Wirathu says, “In the USA, if the people want to maintain peace and security, they have to choose Donald Trump.” Through such comments, and his aggressive use of social media and DVD propaganda, Wirathu demonstrates his awareness of rising xenophobic nationalism around the world. He’s aware of 9/11; the attacks in Paris, Berlin, Nice, and Brussels; Brexit; Marine Le Penn in France; neo-Nazis in Germany; and the right-wing nationalist governments ruling in Hungary, Poland, and elsewhere in Europe. He knows he is tapping into a larger global vilification of Islam — a world vs. Muslim jihadist narrative. This framing is made possible by the internet, which only became widely available in Myanmar in 2011. Wirathu seems to be committed to connecting his regional crusade to a broader global movement. In 2014, he traveled to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, to sign a memorandum of understanding between Sri Lanka’s own Islamophobic monk group, Bodu Bala Sena (Army of Buddhist Power), and 969 (the precursor to Ma Ba Tha).

All of these conditions — the colonial history, the emergence of the internet, the global anti-Islamic narrative — provide a ripe ground for violence and persecution. The question that remains: are the crimes against humanity in Myanmar a tragic byproduct of random circumstances unabated by the peaceful doctrines of Buddhism, or is the violence part of some concerted effort by an as-of-yet unnamed actor, Buddhist or otherwise?


With the internet, Islamaphobic fanatics can connect the old Burmese narratives about Islam with the contemporary narrative of global jihad.

Suu Kyi has received widespread criticism for her silence on the Rohingya issue — especially in light of her earlier writing and speeches. In a 1989 open letter to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, for example, Suu Kyi wrote, “The chief aim of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and other organizations working for the establishment of a democratic government in Burma is to bring about social and political changes which will guarantee a peaceful, stable and progressive society where human rights, as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are protected by rule of law.” Then, in a speech she gave in Kachin State on April 27, 1989, Suu Kyi declared, “If we divide ourselves ethnically, we shall not achieve democracy for a long time.” Despite the apparent achievement of democracy in Myanmar, violent ethnic divisions continue to occur under Suu Kyi and the NLD’s leadership.


We can trace the history of the current crisis in Rakhine State to the military takeover of the country in 1962. Burma achieved independence in 1948, but after fourteen years of constitutional rule, the military junta took over in 1962. The junta systematically stoked fears of the demise of Buddhism and the break-up of the nation to cultivate loyalty among a resentful population. But they also held a monopoly on violence and prevented citizens and monks like Wirathu from encouraging social disturbance. (In 2003, Wirathu was arrested along with forty-four other monks for using hate-speech to promote attacks on Muslims and a mosque, and spent eight years in prison.) Ironically, it was only with the ostensible transition to democracy that began in 2011 that public religious tension between Buddhists and Muslims surfaced again. As Francis Wade writes, the idea was that “the stirrings of democratic change in Myanmar might level the playing field, allowing communities who felt long disenfranchised by the military to assert great claims to the nation.” It was feared that Muslims in particular would take advantage of democratic freedom, and if they did, Buddhists would suffer.

A crucial moment came in 1982 with the Citizenship Law, when the government issued an official list of 135 ethnic groups, or “national races” that held Myanmar citizenship. The list excluded the Rohingya, cementing their stateless status. A census in 2014 was then designed to exclude “alien” minorities from voting, and the 2015 elections resulted in Aung San Suu Kyi becoming State Councilor, with great gains for her National League for Democracy (NLD) — and also in the total absence of Muslims from Myanmar’s parliament for the first time since independence.


This narrative — that the Burmese people need to protect Buddhism from enemy foreign invaders — has persisted for over a century, though the perceived enemy has changed from British to Muslim. The first instance of this shift can be seen in a rally of 10,000 Burmese at Rangoon’s Shwedagon Pagoda, in 1938, to protest the writing of Muslim intellectuals who were accused of insulting Buddhism. The protests resulted in attacks on Muslim communities across the city. In addition to anti-Muslim movements, the 1930s and 1940s also saw the rise of anti-Christian and anti-Hindu sentiments, the latter culminating in a series of anti-Indian riots. All of these incidences arose as part of anti-colonial movements and strengthened the idea that one must be Buddhist in order to be truly Burmese.

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A mass grave is uncovered in Myanmar.

An important contributing factor to the current crisis in Rakhine occurred during WWII. Under Japanese occupation, Buddhists in Rakhine (then called Arakan) were recruited to fight as proxies for the Japanese. Local Muslims, in contrast, were armed and mobilized by the British as independent militias who performed guerilla-attacks on Japanese forces. This meant that Buddhists and Muslims were fighting against each other, which resulted in the groups becoming geographically separated and “ghettoized,” with Muslims fleeing north to avoid the anti-Muslim violence of the Japanese offensives, and Buddhists fleeing south to avoid the anti-Buddhist violence of the guerilla counter-offensives. After the war, waves of government violence against Rohingya occurred in 1954, 1962 (during the military takeover), 1977-78 (when the military forced the Rohingya to carry Foreign Registration Cards, and over 200,000 were driven into Bangladesh), 1992, 2001 (in response to the Taliban’s destruction of Buddhist statues in Bamiyan), and 2003.


The narrative that the Burmese people need to protect Buddhism from enemy foreign invaders has persisted for over a century, though the perceived enemy has changed from British to Muslim.

The 800-year connection between the monarchy and the sangha was severed in 1885, when the British invaded Upper Burma and incorporated it into its Indian colony. Dissolving the border between the countries, Indian Hindus and Muslims moved en masse — voluntarily or forcefully — into Burma, permanently altering the demographics of Rangoon in particular, where many found success in trade. With the loss of a Buddhist king and the loss of favor of the Buddhist education system, due to the British promotion of Christianity, 1885 saw the emergence of the first Buddhist nationalist movements.

The modern movement of Vipassana meditation arose out of this anti-colonial movement, with monk Ledi Sayadaw spreading the idea that it was the duty of every Buddhist to protect and preserve Buddhism by meditating and studying Buddhist scripture, both of which were previously only practiced by a small portion of monastics. Ledi Sayadaw’s movement was pacifist, but monks also led armed rebels to attack British troops in upper Myanmar during the British invasion. Nationalistic independence movements rose over the following decades, and in the 1920s and 30s a popular anti-colonial rallying cry was “Amyo, Batha, Thathana!” — which roughly translates to “Race, language, and religion!” The Ma Ba Tha organization derived its name from this slogan, of which it is an acronym.

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