Game Plan for the Uprisings

Game Plan for the Uprisings

Because of Ko Zay Ya’s call for the 666 uprising and Dr Salai Tun Than’s call for the idea of civil disobedience, I hereby present the Burmese Politics according to a mathematician’s eye. 

Economist John Nash won the Nobel Price because of his famous “Game Theory”. 

Most of the politicians played along the line of this classic ‘game theory’. 

Let us consider Burmese/Myanmar politics according to the Nash’s theory but I wish to just present it in a very simple way or layman’s terms and calculate the possible outcomes or results. 

I like to explain the game first. Not a very nice example to all the readers, especially if they are related to the present military leaders but it is easy to understand this GAME THEORY by looking into the dilemma of the two detainees in the police lockup. Let’s assume that the two persons Bo Tin Oo and Bo Khin Nyunt had committed a crime together. Police detained them in two separate cells. (Please forget for a while about the real situation in Burma where police are servants of Military.) The police inve stigator told both of them separately “If you both confess, each of you will get 10 years’ jail sentence. If you both stay silent, we won’t have enough evidence and  both of you would be freed, but if only one of you confesses, I give you only five years in jail and while the other will get 15 years in jail”.  

Common sense would dictate that the best strategy is for both to stay silent and cooperate. This is the cooperative solution in game theory as it maximizes the two players’ joint welfare. But both Bo Tin Oo and Bo Khin Nyunt are in separate cells and cannot cooperate (or even if they do communicate somehow, they do not trust each other, or worse, both are of the untrustworthy kind ready to take advantage of any situation at the drop of the hat).  

Bo Tin Oo says to himself, “If Bo Khin Nyunt confesses, I am better off confessing; if Bo Khin Nyunt stays silent, I still am better off confessing. So I am better of confessing under any condition.” Bo Khin Nyunt thinks about it the same way, and concludes that he too is better off confessing. “Therefore both players have the same best strategy, for selfish gain, no matter what the other chooses”.  

This is called the dominant strategy. When both players have the same dominant strategy, it is an example of Nash Equilibrium. The result for the prisoners is that they both get 10 years in jail. They are both worse off.  

< div class=MsoNormal style=”MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt”>(This example is nothing to do directly with what happened to Bogyoke Tin Oo and Bogyoke Khin Nyunt, one died in helicopter crash and the other is suffering the long term jail sentence.) 

Now let’s see the pre-independent era of Burma. There were several games that fitted the game theory.  

Game No 1: 

Look at Burmese politics during the British rule. You have multiple players such as Bamas, ethnic minorities, Burmese Indians (Muslims and Hindis) and Burmese Chinese. All of them realized that the best strategy for all Burmese citizens is to cooperate although there are many different groups and ideologies. We all had basically cooperated to fight the foreign powers, British and Japanese. Then during the struggle to get Independence from post Second World War weak British, Bogyoke Aung San successfully organized the Panglon Conference. Though Bamas had the main share of political power, the other players more or less has some important say in policy making. This is the result according to the cooperative solution in game theory as it maximizes the players’ joint welfare. Catch point was the option to some states to separate from the Union after 10 years’ of Independence. 

But in 1947, because of alleged instigation of Ne Win and with the help of some British Army personnel, Galone U Saw decided to assassinate Bogyoke Aung San and the whole cabinet.  The dominant strategy results the tragic loss for Burma. 

In 1961-62, because of the impending Federal Constitution changes, although actually there was no real danger of breaking up of Union of Burma into pieces, Ne Win give that excuse and took over power with the help of Burmese Military. Ne Win and successive Military rulers decided not to share power with the other players. Instead it wanted all of the power for itself. This is akin to one of the prisoners breaking away and not cooperating. The result is that everyone would be worse off. And we can see some of the worsened situations already: polarized communal politics, blatant discrimination and corruption and destruction of the socioeconomic condition of whole Burma and multicolored ethnic, race, religion and ideology based rebels.  

Game No. 2.  

The game in the context of opposition parties. Military decided not to share real policy-making power with others; Ethnic Minorities, rebels (underground and ceased fire groups), and pro democracy forces inside the country and exiled.  From the perspectives of ceased fire groups and some puppet ethnic minorities, the dominant strategy for them would be to stop cooperating with SPDC Military leaders and break way from the untrustworthy ‘partner’. That is what is best for them. This is their dominant strategy according to the game theory. Instead, most of them opted to stick with their ‘partner’ Burmese Military, equivalent to getting the worse jail sentence of 15 years in the example of the prisoner’s dilemma. The result: these parties are sidelined and the communities that they represent are marginalized.  

Game N0 3.  

From the perspective of various minority Ethnic Minority Groups politics.  Shan, Kachin, Karen, Mon, Kayah, Chin, Rakhines and numerous other parties that represent almost all the other minorities in Burma are the game players. After the SPDC Military made it clear not to share real power with the minority groups, the dominant strategy for the minority would be to break away from the SPDC and stick together among themselves.  

This is equivalent to confessing in the prisoner’s dilemma. Since Bo Tin Oo had already confessed, Bo Khin Nyunt’s best strategy is to confess too. Tit for tat. Otherwise, Bo Khin Nyunt would get the worse jail term of all. As we all know, various groups and people of Burma chose the worst strategy for themselves. Some of them chose not to stick together, but instead played along with SPDC.  

Another way to look at this is to keep Military out of the picture and ask what is the best strategy for NLD, Ethnic Minorities, rebels, all the other oppositions and the whole population of Burma. As in the prisoner’s dilemma, the best strategy for them is to cooperate. However, the dominant strategy for some of the groups and people is to cheat and rat on each other. Instead of civil disobedience like India led by Mahatma Ghandi, they confessed and ratted on each other to curry some favours or to get a chance to bite and chew on the bones left over by the Burmese Military hoping that they would be better off individually. As a group, they picked the worst strategy. For the minorities and the whole population, this is the worst outcome.  

Game No 4.  

Opposition politics. The best strategy is for them to cooperate. However, since the dominant strategy is for each of the players to betray each other and grab more than its share of power, NLD naturally picked to ignore the Christians and Muslims’ plight giving excuses as if they are avoiding religious politics.  

NLD claims once get the Democr acy, all the different races and religious groups would be looked after. They scared to loose the support of Buddhist Monks and Buddhist Majority. They should clearly declare that Democracy is not meant to terrorize the minority by the majority but protect the Minorities’ rights.

But the SPDC has even started the Psychological warfare of divide and rule by claiming t hat NLD is infiltrated by Indian Kalas. 

This Game No 5 of divide and rule is successfully played by all the Dictators and Colonial Masters in the history of the world. All of us Burmese citizens must aware of that.  

The best GAME Strategy for Burma/Myanmar is for all of the people, political parties, rebels, ethnic minorities and religious groups to be united and negotiate with the present Military leaders to form a care taker government for about 5-10 years to concentrate the devel opment of our country. 

In 8888 movement we had achieved some success. But much anticipated 9999 movement was fizzled out. We missed the opportunity to up rise and throw out the military rulers during the Depaying Incident. Now the time is ripe for 666 uprising. Now we are getting the UN, USA, ASEAN and International’s support and because of the deteriorating socio economic condition I hope the time is right to reap the democracy crops. Now the whole world knows that SPDC is not sincere for rapid Democratic changes, dragging their feet and trying to bluff the whole world. It is good that there is no more Khin Nyunt with a good prince’s mask tricking the whole world but now all of us could see the unmasked SPDC and Military rulers’ ugly faces.  

So it is the time to mobilize all our recourses for the 666 uprising. Dr Salai Tun Than’s call for the idea of c ivil disobedience should start with non violence boy court of the Military and its related associations friends and relatives. Try not to deal with Government Business. And later, those who dare should do something to the immediate family members of top army personals. Now all of them are exploiting our country and freely looming the whole country and around the world. We should intimidate and restrict their freedom by all means. We should seek Interpol Warrant of arrest for all of them once they step the international airspace. We must put fear into their mind that they could be high jacked by Interpol even when they are travelling to their friendly countries. Their business and properties abroad and their children studying abroad are also not safe and are subject to be interfered using the International Laws.  

Bo Aung Din

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