"I USED TO LIKE WALKING in the jungle, even when I was young. I would go mostly with my friends. We would climb trees. We had this game, you may know it, you cut the bamboo and you fill it with water and seal it, and throw it on the fire—it would explode. I was about 10 or 11 years old.” Ashin Panna Siri was giggling, revelling in his memories. Then he went silent, and withdrew into himself.
“What kind of questions do you want to ask me?” he said, after a long pause. I told the 30-year-old Burmese Buddhist monk that I wanted to know about his life, about his future, and the future of his country.
“My life and my future, they are not important,” he replied. “The future of my country is.”