So we hereby want to summarize all our requests into the following points. A.      Basically at least we, all the Muslims in Burma/Myanma, want to request the right to possess the following documents: 

  1. Birth Certificates

  2. National Registration Cards.

  3. Passports.

  4. Family Registration Cards. 

B.      We, all the Muslims in Burma/Myanma, want to request the following basic rights:  

  1. Right of unrestricted internal travel in the whole Myanmar/Burma. 

  2. Right to travel abroad according to the current government regulations on all Myanmars/Burmese. 

  3. Equal access to education at all the levels including postgraduate studies abroad, according to meritocracy. 

  4. Equal rights to all the government jobs and promotions according to meritocracy. 

  5. Equal rights to settle and work in any part of Myanmar/Burma. 

  6. Equal rights to serve and promotion in armed forces, Police, immigration, Ministry of Foreign affairs. 

  7. Freedom of religion, worship, religious publications, building and repairing of Mosques, religious schools etc. 

  8. Right to participate and contest in the national and regional politics.  

  9. Right to hold the political and administrative posts in various level of government and its’ agencies.  

C.      And we, all the Muslims in Burma/Myanma, want to request the protection of all our Minority Rights and Human Rights according to the United Nations’ standard and Internationally accepted norms.  And our last request is not to just refuse our requests by simply just saying that the Muslims in Myanmar/Burma are not citizens of Myanmar/Burma but recent foreign migrants only. We had already presented the undeniable historical facts of long history of all the Muslims of Burma/Myanmar. We could trace our ancestors well in to the first millennium and now we are even in the third millennium. And our youngest brothers-in-Islam migrated more than half a century ago into Myanmar because we gained Independence on 4th. January 1948 and migration stopped much more earlier than that.

So it is unfair and gross injustice have been committed if the Muslims in Myammar are labelled as foreigners or new guest citizens.

And we must not forget the fact that the “Indian subcontinent Burmese Muslims” who maintained the umbilical cord intact with the Indian subcontinent had returned for good after General Ne Win had “driven them out” in 1964 with nationalisation of all their business, property and demonetisations. Despite the Universal Declaration’s Denunciation of discrimination against minorities some kind of discrimination is almost always seen in many countries including Myanmar. We have to respect the majority rules in all kinds of governments, including the democracy governments. But the majority must respect and protect the rights of the minority.  Even in democracy, there are limits on the concepts of the majority rule, to prevent tyranny of the majority. Majority must rule with the big heart by persuasion, understanding and kindness, but should never coerce the minority with force, threat, cruelty, violence, exploitation and abuse of power or racial riots. Although the population of the Myanmar Muslims increased during the British rule of Burma because of new waves of Indian sub continent Muslim Immigration. This sharply reduced since 1941 because of Indo-Burman Immigration agreement, and totally stopped after Burma (Myanmar) gained independence in Jan.1948. So Myanmar Muslims are at least staying in Myanmar from 50 years and some of them are staying for more than 1000 years already. Myanmar Muslims are descendants of Arabs, Persians, Turks, Moores, Indian-Muslims, Pakistanis, Pathans, Bengalis, Chinese Muslims and Malays intermarried with local Burmese and many ethnic Myanmar groups such as: Rakhine, Shan, Karen, Mon etc. Muslims arrived Burma as travellers, adventurers, pioneers, sailors, Military Personals (voluntary and mercenary), and some of them as prisoners of wars. Some take refuge (from wars, Monsoon storms and weather, shipwreck and some for other various unforeseen circumstances). And some of them are victims of forced slavery. Some of them are professionals and skilled personals such as advisors to the kings and at various ranks of administration. Some are port-authorities and mayors and traditional medicine men. Some of them are good at various vocational skills, culture arts etc. Mixed marriages, intermarriages and assimilation process of throwing away of almost all their foreign languages, foreign dresses and foreign culture slowly shaped them in to Ethnic Myanmar/Burmese Muslim group of today. But we had drawn a line in the ongoing process of assimilation. That line of limit is our religion, Islam. As practising Muslims we could not go beyond the limit of tolerance of Islamic principles. So Myanmar Muslims threw away Urdu, Bengali, Chinese, Hindi and all other foreign languages. Even Arabic is learned just to read Holy Koran and for prayers. Myanmar Muslims speaks Myanmar as our mother tongue, wear Myanmar dress and even have an official Myanmar name as well as Islamic Arabic name. Because we could not compromise our faith in Islam in matters such as: only eating halal foods and drinks, marriage, divorce, inheritance, and other customs which heavily depend on Islam e.g. circumcision, funeral and burial rituals etc. So Myanmar Muslims could not assimilate homogeneously as Chinese, Hindus and others, except for those who convert or renounced Islam. Complete Assimilation of a minority group always needs a compromise of their tradition, their culture and some of their rights. So in view of the present political condition, kindly allow us to present some advice to all the persons and groups involved in the present political arena. 

Peace and prosperity always come together.

There will be no development, progress nor prosperity if there is no peace.  War or any fighting will even destroy what we have already achieved.  Enough is enough.  It is already half a century that the Second World War had finished.  But our country is still plagued with civil wars and infighting.  It had destroyed a lot of properties, human lives and wasted valuable manpower. If we have a chance to use all these and the defense budgets from all the opposing sides, our beloved motherland will be on par with all other Asean tigers.

Wars, fighting, angers, revenge and all kind of the violence are prohibited by all the religions including Buddhism.  There may be some exception as self-defense or holy war but most of us are misusing and are trying to give various excuses to justify our deeds.

There is a saying that the “VICTORY” is an illusion for the fools and the philosophers only.  No one could absolutely win the battles and wars.  Both sides lost in some other way.  Our fifty years’ civil and political war attested this.

Lord Buddha was against all kinds of aggression.The mildest form of this, a mere anger would burn our own heart and self.   Forgive, forget, peace and cooperation with mutual trust and friendship should be the answer to all the problems of our beloved country, Mynnmar (Burma). There must be a compromise, a give and take policy to reach a peaceful settlement.  Prosper thy neighbour.  No need to kill destroy nor bankrupt the neighbours, other Citizens or other races. Procrastination is the thief of time.  Please start the peace and reconciliation talk with the people, opposition parties, especially with the NLD, ethnic minorities, minority religious groups and armed rebels.  You can fool some people for some time. But could not trick the whole world all the time with lame excuses of drawing a new constitution or need to prevent the disintegration of the country.             Please stop discrimination, persecution and ethnic cleansing of Ethnic minorities and other religious groups. Even the powerful Nazi Germany, Slavs, White South Africa and all others had failed in the world history in crushing the relatively very weak minorities.  Those Ethnic cleansing, Religious persecution and prosecution and discriminations are even becoming a blessing in disguise for all of us now.  Because of suppression, Jews migrated and progressed enormously.  Then Palestanians follow their success.             Burmese migrants including Burmese Muslims migrants are now in a better position, better educated, better trained and some of them even became powerful and rich in the new host countries.  Some of their children have even married to the families of the host government members. One of them is now even holding a cabinet minister post in a middle-east country. Please stop the selfishness. Always looking for the benefits and dominance for my army, my party, my ethnic group, my religion etc. Greedy selfish concept of : I must lead, I must govern, I must dominate and I must hold the power etc. is not right. We all must work together, cooperate and unite for our country.  Please look at our own history. General Aung San and U Nu trusted U Razak. He never betrayed their trust.  He had even looked after the interest of the fellow Burmese Buddhists. He had supported the separation of Burma from India. He had denounced the separation of Pakistan from India. U Khin Maung Latt, U Nu’s Minister supported the law protecting the Burmese women against the interest of Muslims in Burma. U Razak, U Rashid, U Khin Maung Latt, Hajima Daw Pu, Saya Chair (Ne Win’s trusted Muslim, who was appointed as the Head of election Commission), Colonel Tin Soe (General Ne Win’s Revolution Council Member) were so loyal to their governments. Even most of the Muslims regarded and accused them to have sold off the interest of the Muslims for their self-benefits.  I am not judging them.  Just wanted to mention their loyalty only. Please stop looking down on us, Muslims of Myanmer (Burma) as foreigners or migrants not worthy of trust. Please look at the Shwe Byin brothers. Just because they had refused to contribute bricks to build the Pagoda, Anawrttha give the order to punish them, but Kyansittha executed them. 

Please stop doing the same treatment and perceptions, persecutions on us, Muslims in Myanmar (Burma). 

Yes! Even if the authorities punish us we will still continue to refuse to obey the orders if they are against our religion, ISLAM.

But please trust us, we will even sacrifice for our beloved country, Myanmar, Burma, like that same Shwe Byin brothers. Please don’t forget that they had sacrificed their lives to penetrate the very powerful inner defense and innermost security and drawn lines on the forehead of the Chinese king, Utibwa. If Burmese troops have to fight a traditional battle on the ground they were sure to lost. Successful penetration of the most inner circle cracked the morale of the Chinese king, Utibwa and chilled up to“his backbone with fear”, leading to peace agreement. 

So, please allows us, Muslims in Myanmar, to serve the country as same as Shwe Byin brothers.  We promise to even risk our lives to draw lines on the forehead of the enemy kings. 

But don’t just simply suspect, persecute and prosecute us. We also love our country, Myanmar, Burma.Redemption and reconciliation is never late. Do not breed the hatred.  Stop blowing the wind on the fire of hatred.  Do not cook the pressure to increase so that it will be out of control and burst.  This is the best time for redemption.  This is the time the Myanmar military has almost absolute control of the whole situation in Myanmar.  The ball is on your side.  The pendulum will definitely swing to the opposite side in the near future.  Next time around the People will be very difficult to control because of the pent up pressures and would not be easily controlled like in 1998.  At the present condition, if Senior General Than Shwe or other Myanmar military leaders started the National Reconciliation process, all of us, actually the whole country, will definitely forgive and forget all the past.  Now with the NLD and its leaders, Daw Aung San Su Kyi, U Aung Shwe, U Tin Oo and others are around, and could definitely control the people, especially the extremists.  Please reed the book of Daw Aung San Su Kyi’s discussion with Allan Climent. Even that book alone could convince us that we can trust the NLD and Daw Su.  Sure they are sincere.  They are not cheating nor bluffing, just to get the power.  After reading this book only, I believe and trust them.  Then only, I am sure that NLD and the present leaders could form a government with a sincere gentleman face.  NLD with Daw Aung San Su Kyi, representatives from all the armed rebels, ethnic minorities and religious group should be invited to participate in the new ”Coalition Caretaker Government”.  As the present Myanmar Military have an expertise and experience of running the government for decades, all should cooperate for the benefit of the mother country. No one could deny that there were definitely some excesses done by the present authorities.  It is a nature for those who had suffered would want to demand for the justice and because of that same reason also, those dictators who had perpetrated the injustice have every reason for the fear of reven­ge. Present Military may want to cling on the power to protect their interest. There must be a give and take from all sides. The opposition, from NLD to rebels and including all the people of Myanmar (Burma) must simply accept the nonspecific apology, if announce by the Military leaders.  Full stop.  No more.  There must be no witch-hunt or any legal action nor any revenge. We must agree this and give a very strong promise to the present leaders.  There must be no investigation at all for the property of the military leaders.   The people who had suffered, imprisoned, tortured, died, lost job, lost the properties should be allowed to claim compensation from the new caretaker government only. No one of the Myanmar military leaders should be called to testify, condemn, try in court or punish in any way at all against their will. Definitely, there must be some investigations initiated from their claims but we must guarantee for the complete immunity of any form of punishment to all the leaders.  I want to make a point again.  We must learn from the present and the past but these are not very important when compare to the future. 

We must accept that for the future of our country, our children, we must try to forgive and forget all our sufferings. 

We must sacrifice now and must compromise to get an early agreement.  Daw Su advised us to overcome our fear.  But it is also very important to try to help our opposition of their legitimate fear.  Mutual trust is needed to eliminate all the fears.  I think it is the time for us to help the other side reduce the fear.  Once they give up the power, or share the power with us, if there is the possibility of starting an investigation against them, they would not relinquish their power.  It is natural that they have to protect themselves. We have to praise the Shah of Iran, Suharto of Indonesia and President Marcos of Philippines for the giving up the power without resisting up to the end. If they just continue to defend themselves up to the end, there would be more lost of life and more sufferings on the respective people.  Our Myanmar (all citizens of Burma) should declare and show that we are more farsighted, mature and we would not resort to any kind of retaliation like the people of Iran, Indonesian, Peru, Argentina and Philippines.  I am not telling that they were wrong.  They may be right but they had clearly started some shock waves to all the dictators.  Now all of the dictators are scared of retaliation and witch-hunt followed by law suites if they relinquish their power. We must be fair to both sides. 

If the dictators could not be overthrown easily like in our country, and if they agree to transfer or share the power, we should not punish them for doing so.  We have to reward them with the unconditioned amnesty. 

At least they have helped shortened the sufferings of the people. And I hereby want to point out one important thing.  Love of the mother country or patriotism.  We could not monopolize it. And it is not right to claim by one party only that they are the ones who love the country.  And should not suspect, claim or accuse that their enemies or their opposition have no love for the country.  No one with the right mind could deny that all the parties concern love the country in their own ways. We should not claim that General Ne Win and the successive military governments did not love the country.  And they also should not doubt the NLD leaders including Daw Su’s love for the country.  Even those armed rebels also love the country.  They had sacrificed their entire homes, family lives and the whole civilization for the love of the motherland.  It is not right to suspect or accuse or question the other people’s love for the nation. 

If we really love our country, please show proof by sacrificing our present positions, compromise and let us work together for our country. And please stop thinking that we, Muslims in Myanmar, have no patriotism. 

We, Muslims in Myanmar(Burma) also love our mother land.  Please trust us, allow us to work and contribute in the reconstruction of our country. As the present military government may need concrete assurances of safety, and as they agree to share the power without the oppositions’ real powerful removal, we should consider giving the ministry of Home Affairs and Defense Ministry to them.  We should even consider giving the President’s post to one of the present military leaders to oversee and control the new government to safeguard the integrity of the Nation.

Prime Minister post should be given to Daw Aung San Su Kyi of NLD.  Deputy Prime Minister post must be chosen from the ethnic minorities eg.  Shan, Kachin and Karen.  This Caretaker government should rule, rebuilt and develop the country for ten years without any election.  After five years only they should consider for the local Municipal council elections.

No one should rule the country more than ten years. If we all compromised and work together, with the help of all the people inside and outside the country and definitely with all the possible investment and help from all the foreign countries, I am sure our country will develop and catch up with others very rapidly.  Please stop all the suspicions, discriminations, accusations and hatreds.  Please stop the desire to revenge.  If we love each other and our country, trust and work together nothing is impossible. We need mutual understanding and mutual trust. Especially as all of us need to forgive, trust and work together with the Present military government.  And at the same time, the military leaders must trust the NLD, the oppositions, including the People in exile, students, armed rebels, ethnic minor­ities and all the other religious groups including all the Muslims in Myanmar.  Let us look at the future, progress, goals and march forward together with mutual love, trust and respect. Please recognize and accept our Myanmar (Burmese) Muslims’ participation in building our country.  Please do not shut us out. Today our country has reached a crit­ical state where we must accept to love, trust and cooperate to save our beloved country or perish to doom.  There is actually no other alternative.  We have fight for half a century without success.  Our country only suffered because of our fighting. We all love our country in our own way.  The way we love and the system we choose were different. But now all of us have accepted that Democracy and market economy is the only way to rebuild our country. Why should we quarrel any more? We all must sit together to formulate the fair and just laws to protect all of us..                            I  

One Response

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: