Photos of cyclone I got in my e-mail

Photos of cyclone I got in my e-mail

Cyclone survivors take refuge in a temple after fleeing cyclone-hit ...

 

Cyclone survivors take refuge in a temple after

fleeing cyclone-hit Kyauktan

  

Survivors of the deadly cyclone Nargis work on a roof near the ...

Survivors of the deadly cyclone Nargis work on a roof

near the Pyapon river

Cyclone Nargis survivors sit on a jetty that has been turned ...

Cyclone Nargis survivors sit on a jetty that has been turned

into a makeshift refugee centre in Myang Mya

The following photos are likely to be taken from the CNN vidio

I reposted rarlier.
 

 

 

 ON THE PYAPON RIVER (AP) – As the bloated bodies rise and fall

with the current, women scrub clothes along the river bank,

villagers bathe to cool themselves and a lone child sits on a

dock staring aimlessly into the water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those unable to escape the catastrophic cyclone that pounded

Myanmar’s rice-growing Irrawaddy delta a week ago continue

to litter the flooded landscape. But with little aid still getting

through to desperate survivors, the dead have largely been

abandoned _ left to decay where the brackish waters carried

them or waiting to be pulled out to sea by the rising tides.

“The first few we saw, we were all very shocked,” said U Pinyatale,

a monk from the area who has prayed for the dead.

“After a while, there were just too many.

More than 50 bodies can be spotted in just three hours on the river.

Many have turned white as they float entwined in mangrove trees,

where they remain lodged. The smell of dead fish permeates

the humid air as dozens of small boats ferrying roofing supplies

 and rice navigate around the corpses, but no one seems to notice.

“In some areas there are 5,000 bodies in waterways, stuck

in fields and in the trees,” said Craig Strathern, spokesman for

the International Committee of the Red Cross in Rangoon,

Burma’s biggest city. “We’ve got a combination of seriously

traumatized people themselves who are concentrating on their basic survival.

Cyclone Nargis left more than 60,000 people dead or missing.

The U.N. estimates at least 1.5 million have been severely

affected in the military-run country, with many still struggling

to receive rations of food and clean water.

Body removal remains difficult because some of the worst-hit

areas are located in remote villages crisscrossed by a spider

web of rivers and canals. Another big setback revolves around

the ruling junta’s refusal to open the door to international aid

workers, forcing agencies operating in Burma to rely on their

limited local staff members for all relief work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The situation differs greatly from the 2004 Asian tsunami,

which killed nearly 230,000 people. In worst-hit Banda Aceh,

Indonesia, bodies were a top priority early on, driven largely

by Muslim tradition that calls for burying the dead within the

first day. Corpses were dumped in mass graves as big as football

fields, with aid workers, soldiers and volunteers all working together.

During the same crisis in Phuket, Thailand, emphasis was

also placed on ensuring bodies were taken to refrigerated areas

where they were kept for identification.

“What’s often overlooked is the fact that people do want to

 find the dead and give them a proper burial, and it’s important,”

said Eric Stover, lead author of a critical report published last

year about Burma’s broken health system. “What happens with

those relatives or those who survive, they can also go into this

kind of limbo world thinking their (family members) are dead

but not actually knowing until they have the funeral.

Bodies are cremated or buried in different parts of Burma. It is

essential for Buddhist monks to chant and pray for the dead

 on the first day. The funeral typically occurs on day three,

and on the seventh day a religious ceremony is held where

prayers and chants continue to ensure the soul moves on.

Otherwise, wandering ghosts can remain.

The monk, Pinyatale, said some people simply want the bodies

to be sucked out to sea because they believe if someone touches

them, that person will be cursed with bad luck and haunted

by the unsettled spirit.

“People are scared. Some people hear voices from the river

at night: ‘Help me! Help me!”‘ he said. “But when people

 walk to the river, there is nothing there.

The carcasses of dead livestock, such as buffalos, also have

 not been removed from areas in the low-lying delta where

 entire villages were leveled by the May 3 storm, which packed

120-mile (190-kilometer) per hour winds and 12-foot

(4-meter) -high storm surges from the sea.

UNICEF has distributed 30,000 masks and gloves to help

workers clear the dead amid fears that people can get sick

from handling the corpses. However, both UNICEF and the

World Health Organization have stressed that bodies left

after natural disasters do not spread disease. Leftover

fecal matter can contaminate drinking water, but purification

should eliminate any risk.

Stover, from the School of Public Health at the University

of California, Berkeley, said the military is often best at

helping identify bodies in massive natural disasters because

they are trained to do so for war. But he said his contacts

who have visited the worst-hit areas say they have seen

no soldiers helping to remove corpses.

“There may be cases where neighbors came back and

because of the tidal surge, the bodies were dispersed,”

he said. “It’s going to be difficult. That’s the real crisis here.

 

Please click the following website and look at the 80+ photos of victims. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heartbreaking video-links of Cyclone Nargis

 Heartbreaking video-links of Cyclone Nargis

 

art.begging.afp.jpg

Children line up to get some rice in Dedaye, south of Yangon.

art.kids.getty.jpg

Children live at a Buddhist temple serving as a homeless shelter outside of Yangon.

The country’s ruling military junta is distrustful of Western countries.

A CNN correspondent who is not being identified for his safety said he saw the country’s militia delivering international aid in some bigger cities. But some southern villages seemed overlooked.

They have no drinking water whatsoever,” the correspondent said. “When you don’t have drinking water and you are forced to drink out of puddles and drinking reservoirs contaminated by dead bodies… It is a very dire situation.” Video Watch how rotting corpses line the riverbanks »

More than a week after the cyclone hit the south Asian country, getting relief there has been a daunting task for international aid agencies.

The Britain-based international aid agency Oxfam warns that without the proper relief — particularly clean water — nearly 1.5 million people could be affected by a wider humanitarian crisis. Video Watch a report on widespread death and destruction »

A refugee camp in Pyanpon township was operating with five latrines for 3,500 people, UNICEF said.

The shore along the Irrawaddy River Delta remains lined for miles with bloated corpses. In the village of Da Mya Kyaung, only four of the 200 homes were partially intact.

“When I saw the water coming, I just put my two nephews on my shoulders and ran,” villager U Wen Say said.

His son and his son’s family drowned. Of the 500 people who lived in the village, two-thirds were missing.

The United Nations estimates the death toll from Cyclone Nargis ranges from 63,000 to 100,000, well above the Myanmar government’s estimate of about 28,000. Tens of thousands of people are missing. Video Watch survivors await relief supplies »

U.S. officials hope the relief flights that have been approved by the Myanmar junta will forge a relationship that will allow the United States to send in disaster experts.

“As of right now, visas for them have not been approved,” White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said. “So we’ll keep on working on this. We hope this is the beginning of a long line of assistance from the United States to the people of Burma.”

The military junta has said it will accept international aid but insisted it would distribute the supplies itself. Video Watch relief supplies trickle in to Myanmar »

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday blasted Myanmar’s government for impeding aid efforts, calling on the junta to “put its people’s lives first.”

“This is not about politics. It is about saving people’s lives. There is absolutely no more time to lose,” Ban said

Four U.S. Navy ships that are in the region for an annual military exercise can also help in the relief mission if the Myanmar government gives the go-ahead.

The United States does not recognize the military junta.

Washington has been a vocal critic of the junta, which maintained control of the country even after 1990, when an opposition political party won victory in democratic elections.

Debbie Stothard, head of the Southeast Asian human rights group ALTSEAN-Burma, said her organization has received reports of aid packages being distributed with the names of military leaders on the labels.

“There’s people who are very concerned now that the reason the aid workers are being blocked is so that the military can deliver aid selectively and so that they can appropriate the aid and pretend it was from them in the first place,” Stothard said.

The country’s name was changed from Burma to Myanmar in 1989, but many who do not recognize the current government still use its former name.

 

Compassionate letter No 5: The key to our future relations

Compassionate letter No 5: The key to our future relations

Respecting Human Rights is the key to our future relations

 

Dear Nan,
 Thank you for your surprised phone call early Sunday morning. It was not only a surprise for me; you were also surprised that I had already got out from bed early. Yes dear, only when you are away, I know more about your values and appreciate your daily house works which I am doing now.

Actually I was surprised, because you had already read my latest letter that I just sent through Burma Digest this week. And you just wanted to remind me to add one more analogy between Queen Pua Saw and Ah Ma Gyi Daw Suu. Queen Pua Saw had successfully helped the termination of the “Ta Yoke Pyae Min” and Daw Suu is seen to be going to do the same on “Kyat Pyae or Kyet Pye Min” SPDC.

But I was shocked when you told me that you still love me, but could not trust me fully yet! You want me to answer three questions. Yes three most important questions by a Shan woman for a Bama man to answer. Dear Nan, you already knew that I am fond of reading and I had learned a lot from the fables and fairy tales since I was young. I am used to various types of three wise questions and answers. Three tricky questions, three most important questions disguised in many forms from the numerous stories. And I already knew the answers to your three most important questions and even wish to reply instantly on the phone, but you requested for an official written reply in black and white on paper.

1.      What are the basic facts about the Human Rights? What is the “Role of Minorities in Democracy”? How do we protect the minorities’ rights from tyranny of majority?

2.      What do “Good Governance” means? Describe the basic principles.

3.      What is the origin of Shan, Ethnic Minorities and Burma? That is the history or roots of our ancestors.

Dear Nan, from your questions I understand your untold hidden agenda to make a new deal, matrimonial or nuptial contract for our reunion. You wanted to make sure of my own concepts, understandings of our future reunion. I could understand your feelings of do not want to just follow the emotions to rush into a deal.

You are right Nan, you must know whether I really understand, respect and value your companion. Love only is not enough; we must have mutual respect, meaningful discourse in future disagreements and after all my understanding in Human Rights, tolerance on different opinions is important for others.

Dear darling, the following basic Human Rights should be granted to all the citizens:

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

2. Rights to travel abroad must be accepted by the government and to relax the strict present regulations on all Myanmar/Burmese citizens.

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

4. Equal rights to all the government jobs and chance to be promoted according to meritocracy but not based on the Military experience or relationship.

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

6. Equal rights to serve and entitle for promotion to all the ranks in armed forces, Police, immigration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs etc.

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

8. Rights to allow participation in the election process and hold posts in all the levels in national and regional politics.

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

10. Freedom of speech and expression in any form of media is important. But freedom after speech is especially more important!

Dear Nan, despite the Universal Declaration’s denunciation of discrimination against minorities, we are sad to see some kind of discriminations in many countries including Myanmar.

Dear Nan, we all have to respect and follow the majority’s rules in all kinds of democratic governments but we also must accept that the majority have a duty to respect and protect the rights of the minorities’ rights.

As you had said before Nan, the essence of the true democracy is: we all must accept that there are limits on the concepts of the majority rule, to prevent tyranny of the majority. Majority must rule with the good 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.

Dear Nan, we all must recognize and implement:

(i) The Status, Rights, protection, participation and representation of all the Ethnic Minorities.

(ii) The Status, Rights, protection, participation and representation of all the Minority Religious groups.

(iii) The Status, Rights and protection of the poor and downtrodden.

(iv) Programme and implementation for the eradication of poor and general measures to increase the living standard of people. Handicapped people, youths, orphans, aged, disease inflicted people, homeless people, retrenched and unoccupied peoples’ rights and protection must not be ignored.

(v) Majority got the right to rule. But they must respect, protect and guarantee the Minorities’ rights.

(vi) Minorities must have the right of representation because the Majorities with their number of votes could totally monopolize all the good, lucrative and high places and positions, marginalizing the minorities.

(vii) Majority must ‘sacrifice’ their absolute power by reserving some places and positions thus giving the Minorities the chance of participation and representation.

(viii) Workers rights and adequate protection. Rights of forming unions, strikes, compensation, recreation, various benefits, pension and etc.

(ix) On farsighted and fair distribution of investment policy in various fields of : Education, Research and Development, Science, Information Technology, Health, factories, Irrigation, Houses especially low cost houses and infrastructure projects.

There must be antitrust legislature to control the monopoly in each and every field.

We have to look, monitor and record at the –

(a) Distribution of wealth and opportunity among the different groups depending on race, religion and political alignment, Political patronage- awarding government contracts, appointments, promotions, scholarships, land distributions, permits etc.

(b) Rural development, Urbanization, squatter relocation and settlements.

(c) Basic infrastructure facilities, water, electricity, highways, telephone, multimedia facilities, railways, seaports and etc.

Dear Nan you had wisely reminded me not to forget the most important basic issue of :

(i) The Rights of Dissent and Disobedience of the people, parties, minorities and even among the Ruling Party (Party ordinary members, Central Committee Members, MPs and even Cabinet Ministers). Those individuals should not be forced or coerce to always toe the party line.

(ii) Dear Nan, you had even demanded that the minorities must have a say in the governance or at least the laws and rulings that are related or affected them.

(iii) Democratic governments must accept that accepting the participation of minority races and religions is better than hatred, resentment, revolution, racial riots or civil wars.

Dear darling, I never forget your words, “Counting the ballots is better than cracking the skulls”.

Dear Nan, your demands were quite advanced:

1. “The people, whether Majority or Minority must have the right to disobey or resist the commands of the oppressive, authoritative or tyranny governments, if their commands trespass the limit and no longer serve their interests.

2. There must be enough check and balance. ACA (Anti Corruption Agency) or any organizations dealing with corruption must be independent from the administrative branch of Government.

3. Newspapers, TVs and all the media must be free and independent to probe and do investigative reports.

4. NGOs and other right groups must also be free to express their views. All of them and various reporters must have a free access to the government and the big companies as long as there is no real danger of espionage or national security. There is a danger of over protection and trying to hide under the name of national security to avoid exposure of the corruption.

5. There must be real separation of powers in the government. Administrative power of the head of the government should not let to be able to influence the Judiciary, Attorney General’s office and Legislative assembly.

Dear Nan, in gist, the Rights we should get from the good governments are, Political, Civil, Human Rights & Economic Reform, including though not limited to:

Freedom of speech.

Freedom of association.

True, full democracy.

Separation of Powers between Government, Judiciary, Police & Military.

Independent, competitive non-government media, free from government censorship or editorial restrictions.

Full freedom of religious-thought, belief, expression & practice, including abolition of Government controls of religious affairs.

The right of self-determination.

The Rule of Law: The presumption of innocence until proven guilty; Trial by jury of peers; The right to a fair trial with appeal rights; The right to adequate & independent legal representation

Non-discrimination by Governments, individuals or organisations on the basis of race, nationality, colour, religion, gender, marital status, political belief or affiliation, physical or mental disability.

Religious & Political organisations must be permitted.

Dear Nan, my letter is quite long and too thick now and I am afraid that Dr Tayza and Burma Digest Editors would use their rights to throw away my boring letter, if I go into details of other Human Rights such as:

(i) Detainees’ Rights: Prisoners’ Rights, POW’s (Prisoners of War) Rights, Political Prisoners’ Rights etc. Free from torture and inhumane treatments. Right to engage a lawyer, right to remain silence, right to defend one self in proper open court of law, right of access to medical care, communication with the love ones, rights to recreate and rehabilitate in the prison etc.

(ii) Women’s Rights,

(iii) Children’s various Rights,

(iv) Senior citizens’ Rights, Handicapped Persons’ Rights, and various victims of diseases, HIV patients, Ca patients etc Rights.

(v) Workers Rights; Workers Unions’ Rights, Foreign Workers’ (legal and illegal) Rights etc

(vi) Foreigners’ Rights; Foreign temporary Residences Rights, visitors, tourists, Foreign Investors and Asylum or refugee seekers’ Rights etc

(vii) Diplomatic Rights, Inventors’ Rights, Artists’ Rights, Patent Rights etc. etc…

But Detainees’ Rights is our concern as our Ah Ma Gyi Daw Suu and many political activists including your uncle Khun (he is also my uncle! not yours’ only) are currently under various forms of detention and many of them were denied of their rights and were mistreated.

Dear Nan, but you must understand and accept truth that:

(i) I am not an official representative of all the Bamas and

(ii) no one is also foolish enough to give me the “General Powers of Attorney”

(iii) nor that no one had given me the mandate to speak on behalf of the whole country.

And you must know yourself, that you are also not a sole representative of all the Ethnic Minorities nor even for the Shans. But anyway I would request Dr Tayza to kindly publish my letter to you in their Burma Digest so that we could gather different opinions and decide to stay together with the improved second Panglong or Matrimonial Contract, which is fair to all the sides.

Dear Nan, when I asked you, why I need to answer your question No 3, when all you need is answers to Q No. 1 & 2; you told me that, you want to know whether I really love you, know your origin and the origin of other cousins, Ethnic Minorities.

Dear darling, why are you so smart? Only when I searched the history books and many web pages, I realized that we, all the Bamas, Ethnic Minorities and even those late comers, mixed blooded, Burmese Chinese and Burmese Muslims are all “The travellers on the same boat”.

I wish to apologise my Burmese Chinese and Burmese Muslim friends not to angry with me for this sentence calling all of you as new comers or late comers, mixed blooded etc. And I am afraid some of the Bamas and Ethnic Minorities would be offended by putting or downgrading them to the level of so called recent migrants or guest citizens. Please read my whole article first and then you could send your opposing opinions through Burma Digest as that is the main objective of the Burma Digest to form a forum of dialogue on these issues.

Dear darling, not only a lot of people in Burma/Myanmar, but also in almost all the countries around the world believe that they have the right to segregate others, feel superior to them and demanded that they should have more ‘Rights in every field’:

(i) Just because those other’s races or religions are different to what they are used to.

(ii) Or because they regarded themselves as the original natives “original people of the soil.”

(iii) Or simply because they are the majority or strongest among all the citizens.

(iv) Or because of combination of all the above facts.

In extremely religious or less developed countries:

(i) The racial discrimination is not considered wrong.

(ii) In addition, the methods to solve the racial and religious discriminations could not appeal to all races of all the countries.

(iii) And most of he political parties, governing and opposition parties around the world, usually tried to incite racial sentiments to gather support from the grassroots. And they act like they are the true champions of their own ethnic groups.

So if anyone is against the following “ideal ideas” of Human Rights, they could argue through Burma Digest because this is the main declared policy of this website to reach agreements and mutual understandings through proper discourse, dialogue, discussions and exchange of ideas and concepts about Human Rights and eradication of Racial Discriminations.

Dear darling Nan, I am also a little bit worried if UN or Mr Kofi Annan demand the copy rights fees from me as I could be easily be declared broke. I used to quote from them not because I am bankrupt of ideas. But I never regret quoting or adapting their views and concepts, as the whole world had accepted their words as norms and what am I to invent new ideas or concepts again?

Dear Nan, could you find someone who would accept, if I invent a totally different set of views when the concept of Human Rights is well established and accepted by the whole world as gospel truth? And I feel that there is no need to reinvent the wheels as it would be very foolish and waste of time only.

Dear Nan, our beloved father, General Aung San once gave his opinion regarding his belief about Races and Ethnic Groups as:

(i) A group of people who wish to stay together with a sense of unity and cohesiveness; in thick or thin, rich or poor, in war or peace and in good or bad times.

(ii) Refused to dissociate, ready to defend the disintegration of the mother- land and have a common destiny.

(iii) Race and Ethnicity depends on the sense and spirit of togetherness, cohesiveness, shared values and shared destination, although it must maintain and based upon individual groups’ social, culture, customs and beliefs.

Dear Nan, our father General Aung San had promised Democracy with fair treatment and respect for all the minority races and all religions in Burma. Because of his firm promises and assurances only, all the minorities agree to sign the famous Panglong Treaty, which leaded to the Independence of the whole of the Union of Burma.

His promises were later legally and officially confirmed on 2.10.1947 by U Chan Htoon, Advisor on constitutional affairs to the Constituent Assembly, who later became Chief Justice.

“…born in Burma, raised and educated in Burma, whose Burmese citizenship, according to paragraphs # 11 (ii) and # (iii) of the parents, or at least one of them, were Burmese (citizen), automatically had constitutional rights as citizens, they would enjoy the same status, rights and privileges as all other citizens of Burma.

Paragraph 13 of our first Constitution guaranteed that all the citizens of Burma, (without regard to origin, religion, race, or sex) should be equal before the law.

Paragraph 14 guaranteed equal opportunity to all citizens in matters of public service and in employment in any post, professional or business whatsoever. They also were entitled to all the other privileges of the citizen mentioned in the constitution, even the right to candidacy for the election to the post of President of the State and to the membership in the two Houses of Parliament.”

Dear Nan, you told me that the word ‘Citizen’ is the concept started from the time of Romans. This concept originated from the Latin ‘city’ and came from the idea of city-nations and the people residing in them. ‘Citizen’ concept is created so that there would be loyalty to the authorities of the city: the king, Mayor, the church and the fellow city dwellers.

Dear Nan, I still could recall your words about ‘Nationalism’; the people’s pride and sense of togetherness based on their love, unique and unity in the cultural, social, historical and territorial identity.

Dear Nan, I got a rare chance to know that you could express your unique radical ideas by sugar coating with some sense of humour, when you joked that, “sometimes nationalism is associated with ‘the sense of illusion or delusion of self-greatness, self glorification and renaissance’.

Dear Nan, because of you I have to re-examine my love of the Nationalistic spirit. At first I strongly believe that it increased our pride and love for our own nation, race and religion. But I have to agree with your wise words that there is only a very thin razor line between true Nationalism and extremism or ultranationalist spirit. Those fanatics could spoil all the greatness and benefits associated with Nationalism and most of the times Nationalism was misused by various parties for their own benefits.

Dear Nan, regarding the ‘Minority Groups and Civil Liberties’. Among the most of the members of United Nations there are citizens with difference in race, religion, ethnicity, social, culture and language. And there are many nations in which some minority groups’ rights are compromised to a variety of extent. Most of the time, the minorities have to adjust or fine-tune themselves to avoid the confrontation or conflicts with the majorities.

Dear Nan, sometimes the minority communities’ wish, to be recognized as equal citizens, was denied in many countries and was even sometimes unfairly treated as pariahs or untouchables. In addition to that, their wish to be granted all the equal Rights of Citizens and for the protection according to the Internationally recognized ‘Basic Human Rights’ were conveniently denied by most of the majorities.

So dear darling, now I understand that your concerns for the possible tyranny of majority on your Ethnic Minorities could not be brushed aside but must be addressed before hand in advance.

Dear Nan, your request to at least basically accept without any conditions, the right to possess the following documents for all of our minorities’ citizens is fair and reasonable:

1. Birth Certificates

2. National Registration Cards.

3. Passports.

4. Family Registration Cards.

With the globalization and the world is shrinking to become a global village, we Shwe Myanmars are every where in various status. Now we knew that even among the foreigners, we were not treated equally by most of the Foreign Government Authorities.

Dear Nan, I have to accept the bitter truth you told me, Ko Tin Nwe, now only you are at the receiving end of the discrimination. You continued sarcastically that you were glad I could get the chance to learn and taste the bitter lessons of discriminations against others.

Lastly, but not least, before I finish my letter please me say dear darling now I’ve  realized that our Myanmar/Burmese ladies’ house works were rarely appreciated in our country even if the house wife is also a bread earner or just compliment the overall household income. As non working house wives’ house works could not earn a cent, their whole day’s house work’s value was never obvious for laymen. For a working house wife, they have to work at their schools, hospitals, office, factories, and various other places and once came back home have to do some house works again whether they have maids or others to help them.

Yes dear, I cannot just came back from work and straight away go and sit on the sofa, in front of TV now, as you were not around. Even if we bought back food to eat at home, I could even relax with a book or newspaper, but you have to reheat, put into the plates etc. After that while you were washing dishes and cleaning the dining room, I could relax again. Yes dear, even when our children were around, boys will relax and let the girls to do the entire house work. This is serious gender discrimination in our society. Although you had tried to train our boys, once you are away their laziness forced them to commit gender discrimination on their sisters.

I still remember your words dear, and I agree with you that even all the strict laws, regulations and procedures are useless if we always search for the loop holes of the laws and the more powerful party tried ‘to walk on the eyebrow of others’. Mutual understanding and reciprocal respects are more important in the long run. Understanding the basic knowledge and practising of ‘Good Governance’ and true Democracy, especially the respect and protection of minorities’ rights is more important to hold any unions. You rightly pointed out that all the divorce cases started from mutual disrespect, mutual mistrust and failure or break down of proper communications.

Thanking you for giving me a chance to show and prove of my love and respects for the rights of your minority group.

Wishing for a quick reunion

Your loving darling

(Ko Tin Nwe)
BO AUNG DIN 

TQ for the interest and republishing

Politics in America

Election 2008 and Politics

Compassionate letter No 5: The key to our future relations

May 12th, 2008

Mikeâ

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Compassionate letter No 4:The most remarkable leader of our time

Compassionate letter No 4: The most remarkable leader of our time

As Bo Aung Din in Burma Digest

Dear Nan,

As you know, 8th of March is International Women’s Day. So Dr Tayza and friends invited me to an unofficial ‘Sunday morning coffee party’ this week, to participate, discuss and praise the courage and greatness of our democracy heroines who are in fact the icons of human right movements around the world. Actually they are planning to hail our Burma’s courageous women activists for democracy and human rights, such as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Su Su Nwe (detained for fighting against forced labour), Nan Cham Taung(had an audience with US President George W. Bush), Dr. Cynthia Maung, (known popularly as Florence Nightingale or Mother Theresa of Burma, the first recipient of the Jonathan Mann Award.) etc.  

Dear Nan I think we should also search and at least mention some great women leaders in Burmese history and instead of praising my own elder sister with my words, I wish to quote the words of two persons: 

Fergal Keane, who knows her personally and introduced her “Letters from Burma” to us. “Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the most remarkable leaders of our time. Read it and revel in the courage, the strength and the humanity.” He continued: 

“This is not the strength of guns or money but rather the power derived from faith in a simple idea: that all men and women have the right to a life that is FREE from FEAR and OPPRESSION.” 

Madhu Kishwar, a well-known Indian woman activist and editor of the Manushi journal praised our leader: 

”She is one of the few women leaders who have lived up to Mahatma Gandhi’s vision that in ‘the war against war, women of the world will and should lead’, and made the Mahatma’s dream come true that women’s entry into politics would act as a cleansing and humanizing force.” 

Courage is the ability to confront fear in the face of pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation.

The precise view of what constitutes courage not only varies among cultures, but among individuals. For instance, some define courage as lacking fear in a situation that would normally generate it. Others, in contrast, hold that courage requires one to have fear and then overcome it.

There are also more subtle distinctions in the definition of courage. For example, some distinguish between courage and foolhardiness in that a courageous person overcomes a justifiable fear for an even more noble purpose. If the fear is not justifiable, or the purpose is not noble, then the courage is either false, or foolhardy.

Dear Nan, I copy the above from Wikipedia encyclopedia, but do you remember our late father, General Aung San’s speeches: which were once played repeatedly on the radio and printed in the Burmese newspapers prominently? How wise he was, I am sure he had exactly mentioned about the courage as above. And I am glad his daughter who was two years old when he was assassinated had not only listened to his words but shown the whole world of her true courage. 

But I am sad to hear that General Aung San’s speeches disappeared from all the MYANMAR media, his photos were removed from every where, even from the MYANMAR Military’s banknotes.

Never mind dear, why are you so upset about this. As our Burmese saying goes, “The genuine Ruby could never lost in the mud!” SPDC mud or thugs could not remove our General Aung San’s name from our heart. His daughter Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s sacrifices and courageous struggles are pushing up her father’s name above all those thugs’ efforts and even became a renaissance among the people of the whole world.

Because Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was the daughter of General Aung San, she is loved and revered by all the Burmese citizens. Because she learned, knew about her father, she regarded her sacrifices as her historical or family duty to carry on. Now her struggles could even reach and could be compared to the level of her father’s sacrifices for the country.

Dear Nan, but I wish to whisper to you, so that no one could know that I am very selfish: “Please come back abroad to me and struggle from outside Burma. Don’t leave me alone dear, I am not brave enough like Michael Aris, a British, who could sacrifice his love for his wife’s country. I inconsiderately hope and pray that your love and wish to sacrifice for the country is also much less than Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

I am advising not only because of my selfishness but you see; SPDC and Kyant Phut thugs could even dare to attempt an assassination on Daw Suu at Depayin. If like you, a non prominent person, would just disappear under the SPDC Military’s boots like dust. Thousands of anonymous martyrs had already sacrificed with their lives for the democratic reform of our country.

Dear Nan let us search some more famous Burmese ladies (of all the nationalities of Burma).

The first should be Daw Khin Kyi, mother of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. She had taken good care of all the wounded Burmese soldiers, met General Aung San and married. After independence she had worked prominently as the Ambassador of Union of Burma.

Dear Nan, do you still remember the very active NLD divisional organising committee member Daw Win Mya Mya, who you met at your last visit to Mandalay. While telling me about her words of courage, you even could not stop your tears. Relating to her Depayin Assault, ordered by Daw Than Shwe, directed by the present PM Daw Soe Win and committed by the Kyant Phuts, “They had already broken my both hands and assaulted me all over the body. What should I scare for any more? I would continue with my NLD duties without any fears…”

I still remember your question about that Depayin incident for the SPDC to answer. Even if we just ignored the opposition’s claim of roughly a hundred fatalities, SPDC’s immediate press conference revealed and admitted that four persons had died. The four deaths must be accounted for. Kyant Phuts (Swan Ah Shin), local leader Daw Soe Win who executed the operation and commander-in-chief Daw Than Shwe who ordered the whole conspiracy must take responsibility for that four fatalities. If they wish to claim innocent, tell all to us, all the Myanmar citizens and the whole world have the right to know the truth! Why did all of you shamelessly punished the innocent victims, while you all know the truth that the whole drama was planned by you and committed by Kyant Phuts under your order? 

If SPDC could prove to the world or UN that NLD was at fault, they should charge NLD and Ah Ma Gyi Daw Suu, but they must be tried in an open court and must allow the international observers. Actually if SPDC wish to pursue the above course, they have to give permission to the UN investigation team first, to investigate and interview freely, without any restrictions. Now they refused all the above.  

Dear Nan, we are glad that the latest but not the last of the episode of the dramas depicting “The clashes of the religions” directed by SPDC and acted by Kyant Phuts is stopped. That drama series was last time acted by the 007 MI agents of Daw Khin Nyunt. Now as Daw Khin Nyunt was behind bars and her village thugs were banished, producer and advisor Daw Than Shwe was forced to use her village goons, Kyant Phuts to act.  

Dear Nan, although Kyant Phuts are new actors, we could not dismiss their skills of action. Those villains had practiced a lot since their failed attempt to shoot the movie, “How to nail the coffin of NLD”. They even unsuccessfully tried to shoot a drama, “The assassination of the Fighting Peacock Princess”. Actually the above three episodes are part of the well planned great drama series “The Eternal Kingdom of Vampire Myanmar Military to suck out the blood of all the citizens”.  

Although the Kyant Phut’s stardom is a lack luster, we could not lightly dismiss their ability of acting as actually they are not the new kid around the corner but veterans. Daw Than Shw’s eldest sister Daw Ne Win started to organize Kyant Phuts in 1958 as a Housekeeping Village Head. Actually Myanmar Military got the taste of our blood since then. When at last Daw Ne Win redeemed herself and was taken over by the new-fangled breed of Myanmar Military leaders. When General Saw Maung publicly announced his desire for redemption, Ne Win’s notorious daughter (Major, Doctor) Sandar Win shoot him on the thigh and injected him with the hallucination drugs. He was announced insane and there was a palace coup d’état and Daw Than Shwe was declared the head of Vampire Myanmar Army.   (Note: no one knew the truth, so we could accept this rumour as Daw Khin Nyunt’s Military Intelligence was also strongly behind her. SoI have unintentionally proposed Sandar Win to be recorded for the unique place of a notorious Burmese lady.) 

So actually Kyant Phuts are a force to watch out, for they are always planning for further dirty attempts. The senile puppet master Daw Than Shwe is the director and also producer with the big bank account, so she is searching for the good drama script writers to continue creating new episodes to distract the world’s audiences. They had successfully fooled U Pinheiro and U Yazali, who are eager to see the “Democracy pictures” but were instead shown the “Power crazy Pictures”. Now they are trying to deceive U Hamid Alba with their fresh play settings, camera-tricks and latest special effects with the help of computer experts at their new Yanglone-Wood studio. The facilities there could easily compete with the famous Hollywood and Bollywood studios. Dear Nan, if Yanglone-Wood studio’s name is too long to remember, we could safely call it the Dogwood studios as Yanglone, which is the name of the new Myanmar capital, was taken from the common house hold name for dogs. 

Dear Nan, in the mean time Daw Than Shwe and her sisters would try to divide us with gossips, rumours, and staged dramas as a propaganda warfare. We must not keep our guards low and must be united. 

Dear Nan, I was carried away by the drama stories and almost forgot our search for the great women leaders of Burma. 

Queen Pwa Saw of Bagan dynasty (10th to 13th centuries A.D) was the chief Queen-cum adviser or the puppet master to four successive kings. A reputed British writer of Burma, Maurice Collis, admired Queen Pwa Saw so much that he fictionalized her biography entitled “She was a Queen”. He based on characters and events drawn from the official account of Burmese history, the Hman Nan Yazawin, or Glass Palace Chronicle. Collis described a mysterious oriental court, with its maneuverings and conspiracies: a scheming chief minister, a corrupt immoral rulers and a strong-willed woman, desperately trying to hold a disintegrating country together.  

Although originally written in 1937, this book could also be read at the present time as an analogy of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s current-day battle with the ruling junta: two amazing women struggling through a crucial period in Burmese history. Queen Pwa Saw had to struggle with the four kings then, and dear Nan, our Ah Ma Gyi Daw Suu also had to deal with: Ne Win, Saw Maung, Than Shwe and the other relatively less powerful PMs Khin Nyunt and Soe Win. 

Maurice Collis (1889-1973), historian, biographer, and novelist, served in colonial Burma, like George Orwell. They later became friends in literature. 

So my friend Shwe Ba had presented the present day “Burma Animal Farm” adapted on George Orwell’s book. Another friend Maha Bandoola had also taken some facts about racial riots from Maurice Collis’ book in “United We Stand” and now, I am quoting his book again. Not only Maurice Collis and George Orwell were friends, served in Burma and written novels, now they seem to have a vision and could predict the future of present day Myanmar/Burma. Now we, a group of friends known through Burma Digest are writing the articles based on those two famous friends again.  

Dear Nan, although you are away, I could see your face smirk and sneer because I am comparing our selves with two very famous world’s renowned writers. Never mind dear, you should be happy, I am working or struggling the whole day for our family and using all my free leisure times on just doing research and writing to Burma Digest. At least I am away from clubs or parties.  And actually we knew that we are not up to the levels of those great famous authors but just referring and adapting some of their works only. 

Dear Nan, may be because of my age, I am now drifting again from my topic of great Burmese Ladies. Thank you for the information you give me on the phone, about the following historically famous Burmese ladies: 

The Panhtwa Princess ruled the ancient city of Beikthano till its destruction in the fifth century BC.  

Pyu Queen Nam Hkam (Malasandi) reigned in Thagya-in, now Sri Kittra. 

Queen Kywaypi of Arakan State ruled in the 3rd century AD. 

Queen Shin Saw Pu (1453 – 1472 A.D) was the Queen of the Mon, Hongsawaddy dynasty. She was the daughter of King Razadarit. She had donated her weight in gold for use in the first gilded coating applied to Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon.  

Set Kya Dewi, the chief queen of King Mindon (1853- 1878 A.D) who assisted the king in the conduct of diplomatic relations and daily administrations of Burmese Kingdom.  

Burmese women have also shown their talent and skill in various fields in literature: 

Mi Phyu, Mi Nyo and Yawai Shin Htwe were famous during the Inwa and Nyaung Yan dynasties as poet writers.  

Queens Ma Mya Galay and Hlaing Htaik Khaung Tin were song composers and harpists during Kong Boung dynasty of Burma.

Daw Mya Sein, M.A, daughter of Home Member U May Aung, delivered her speech in flawless English, during the British colonial period, at the Round Table Conference in the British Lower House, demanding for the separation of Burma from India.

The legend of Min Maha Giri or Lord of the Great Mountain takes us back to Tagaung, origin of the Burma. There stayed Maung Tint De, a blacksmith with Herculean strengths. Maung Tint De was shackled to a champak tree and burnt alive. His sister, the queen jumped into flames and died with him. Although some would say it was only a fable and if true also it was a foolish daredevil act: Dear Nan, you just look at her as a queen with full luxuries and some powers but her innocent brother was lured into the palace as if she, his sister had requested, and murdered cruelly just because the king was afraid of his strength. As she sacrificed her convenient position for love of her brother and as an ultimate protest to the cruel king, she should be listed as a Burmese Hereon apart from being worshiped as a small god or nat. 

Queen Su Phaya Lat was also known to have controlled our last Burmese King, Thi Baw Min. (Real Thi Baw, but not a fake descendent like your mother-in-law Daw Than Shwe.) She was said to have told her Ministers to wear the “Hta Mi” ladies’ sarong in Burmese if they were scared to fight back the invading army. And if compared to our present first lady Daw Kyaing Kyaing, just a gate keeper to collect bribes, she had a real influence on the daily administration of Burma and should be listed as one of the great Burmese ladies.

Dear Nan, do not forget Lu Du Daw Ah Mar and Khin Myo Chit but now I knew that you are getting angry because I purposely left behind your Aunty, daughter of our Burma’s first president, one of the founders the SSA. You already knew her name, no need to mention.

Dear Nan, our friend Dr Tayza who kindly arranged for the delivery of my letters to you secretly in to Burma, informed me that my last letter was too thick and he scared that Myanmar Secret Intelligent Agents could easily noticed the thick bundle of papers. He had already arranged to send my last letter with two couriers; I don’t know whether he could send this letter together with the last half left behind or send later only again. It is up to him. I am happy as long as I could send some letters to you.  

Thanking you for the reply letters 

Your loving darling 

(Ko Tin Ngwe) 

BO AUNG DIN

Compassionate letter : Third letter for Dear Nan, with love

Compassionate letter 3:

Third letter for Dear Nan, with love

As Bo Aung Din in Burma Digest
 “today’s human rights violations are the causes of tomorrow’s conflicts”   

“… today’s human rights violations are the causes of tomorrow’s conflicts.” by Mary Robinson, High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002)             

Dear Nan,

               We all should follow the wise and compassionate advice of our true Buddhist monk in accordance to the true teaching of Lord Buddha, which I copied from the Feb 21, 2006 (DVB) English news, because I am sure that Intra-Myanmar Internet access to all the opposition web sites are blocked. 

Monk appeals for calm and understanding after anti-Muslim riots in Burma

A Buddhist monk urged the military authorities to take the correct responsibility and issue correct reports in order to prevent misunderstanding between the Buddhist and Muslim communities, and appealed for calm after nearly four days of anti-Muslim riots in central Burma.

When we face this kind of problem ¨C whether they are Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus or Christian ¨C we must not approach and solve the problem by looking at their physical appearance. If we look at the case and solve the problem, there could be peace,¡± said the monk who doesn’t want to be identified.  

He then urged all Buddhists in Burma including the ruling authorities to follow the teachings of Lord Buddha by solving problems with loving kindness in heart.  

The riots started on 16 February at UchitkoneVillage, SingbyukyunTownship in Magwe Division and spread to neighbouring towns such as Pwintbyu, Salin and Chauk after a report of an alleged rape of a young Burmese woman by three Muslim men. A couple of people were killed, many wounded and several mosques and homes, shops and properties were destroyed and looted, according to local residents.

The residents claimed that the problem became worse when the authorities tried to hush up the report of the alleged rape and used the riots to divert people’s attention from the real problems in Burma. [DVB]

Dear Nan, I was so surprised to see you so angry as both of us are non-Indian non-Muslims and yet you firmly stand on your principle of opposing against all kind of racial and religious discriminations. That was the time I was really proud of you! Bravo!

I have to admit that the level of your memory, intelligence and kindheartedness are much higher than me. You were always there when your poor in-laws need our help. They search for you and are willing to ask help from you, rather than me, their own blood! Dear Nan, do not misunderstand me that once you are away only, I am praising you to lure you back into my arms.

I hereby request DVB (Democratic Voice of Burma) to kindly allow me to quote one of your articles, and included in my letter to my Nan Sai, as this also help your cause which is the same as all of us, Peaceful democratization of future Federal Union of Burma/Myanmar. 

Easy Targets, The Persecution of Muslims in Burma research/interview paper by the Karen Human Rights Group was published in DVB.

 Successive Burmese regimes have encouraged or instigated violence against Muslims as a way of diverting the public’s attention away from economic or political concerns…………………………. 

The above paragraphs are the from the Karen Human Rights Group’s report in DVB web page:.  

Instead of hatred we should pity their plights and dilemma.

But our Burmese Muslim friends should understand that not only you, Muslims, are suffering but the whole populations of Burma/Myanmar of different religions, Buddhists, and Christians e.t.c. are also suffering under this cruel autocratic regime.

Do you know how many Buddhists Monks had given their lives and many were de-robed by this so called Religious Buddhist Government As a minority, you must respect the feelings of the majority. Even if you, Burmese Muslims thought you are victimized, you could not take the law into your own hands to revenge.

You could approach the peace loving majority Buddhist citizens. And most of the Abbots and Monks are also kind hearted and have understanding and even ready to protect you. You must not fall into the trap of the Military Junta. You Burmese Muslims should not hate all the monks and Buddhists but must understand the rebel rouser, Myanmar Military Intelligent undercover agents used to instigate almost all the racial and religious riots.

But you must also understand the Law of Nature/physics: each and every action triggered the equal reaction or response. If you show respect, love kindness; all the Buddhists would give you back the similar response. You all must try to avoid the sensitive issues which would hurt your friends of other religions: Buddhists, Christians and Hindu etc.

Dear Nan, our son is repeatedly playing the THE NATURE’S CHILDREN as if he knew what I am writing. Dear Nan, you know that both of us also had curiously experienced the same kind of thinking about the same thing at the same time for countless times. I think that kind of coincidence or paranormal incidences is because of our sixth sense or may be because of the very strong bond between us.

                        Dear darling, God or nature had done another wonder again. I cannot dismiss this as a mere coincidence. Our daughter-in-law, you called Jin Phaw Thu, just arrived and gives me your letter and the presents for me, the same Hti Sai’s VCD! Actually you had given that to her husband, our son, in the last week of January. With this kind of bond, I believe, our family could not be separated by any one or any misunderstanding!

And I could not believe this.  Jin Phaw Thu took out the old DVD, put your VCD and played the first song you selected and recorded. Again, this is the same THE NATURE’S CHILDREN

So the song is already forcing me to search for the place of eternal peace, free from arguments, fights, riots, killings and wars. I have to admit that my thoughts, ideas, concept and views were based on your repeated input to brainwash me.

YES YOU ARE RIGHT DEAR NAN; AS LONG AS WE COULD NOT LOOK AT A FELLOW HUMAN BEING AND SEE AS A HUMAN, BUT JUDGED THAT PERSON ACCORDING TO SKIN COLOUR, RACE, RELIGION, ORIGIN, CLOTHING, WEALTH, RANK AND TYPE OF JOB, OUR SEARCHING OF HEAVEN ON EARTH, WOULD WE LIKE TRYING TO CATCH OUR SHADOWS OR LIKE TRYING TO GRASP THE CLOUDS WITH THE HANDS.

As long as there is profiling of the human based on other merits and features and denied the basic Human Rights, there would be never ending conflicts and wars.

Dear Nan, I still remember your wise words and salute you millions of times, from the bottom of my heart.

Bamas are not superior to other Ethnic Minorities viz; Shans, Kachin, Karen, Kayahs, Mons e.t.c nor vice versa is true i.e. Shans, Kachins e.t.c. are also not in a superior position to Bamas.

Westeners and White people are not superior to the coloured persons; Easterners, Asians, and Africans. And we Asians, Arabs, Chinese, Indians, Koreans and Japanese are also not superior to the Europeans and Americans.

We all are same. Just different in external features only and those are also not important. Our deeds and heart is more important than external appearances.

But your later words shook my heart, I even could not accept at first; All the Bamas and Ethnic Minorities are also not in a higher position than Chinese, Indians, Mixed blooded people, Burmese Chinese and Burmese Muslims. And those all mentioned above, so called visitor citizens by Ne Win and cohorts are also not better than Bamas and Ethnic Minorities! All the citizens are equal and must have the same rights!

Although I kept quiet to avoid another argument or war of words with you, I cannot accept your ideal ideas of Human Rights and Citizen’s Equal Rights to practice on those Chinese and Indians. (Forgive me for my immaturity at that time, now my dear wife had successfully opened my eyes to respect the Human Rights of all the other races.)

But it was not my fault alone, all the successive National Leaders of Myanmar Military had successfully brain washed all of us to have a strong Nationalist Spirit, to love the race, country and religion etc.

But now only, when staying abroad, when I am at the receiving end of the discriminating process, I have learnt the bitterness of those discriminations based on different modalities.

Why are you so smart, humane, advanced and intelligent dear? I even not only admire, praise but am jealous of you my dear Nan.

When I told you that you are right, you smile with a mock and told me at least I am not too bad because once I suffered the discriminations, I immediately acknowledge my fault of discrimination on all the non-Bamas and especially my Burmese Chinese and Burmese Muslim friends.

Your words: Our Lord Buddha had teach us to be like a tongue, to know the taste with a drop of food, but not like a ladle, always has the chance to touched and stir the food but never knew the taste. is full of wisdom.

But I think you are some times too proud and insult my feelings when you continue, Darling, Ko Tin Nwe, you are like a tongue, easy to learn a lesson, I am like a brain, could imagine or estimate the taste without even have a chance to taste.

Dear Nan, as you mentioned our Lord Buddha’s teachings; my mind correlated it with our race and religious issue. In our Buddhists, 550 Religious Stories, tales about the repeated reincarnation of Buddha as human forms or other creatures (animals) there were  very good lessons we learned. Buddha taught us about THE KAMA OR FAITH, IF ANYONE, ANIMAL OR HUMAN, DOES ANYTHING ONE HAS TO REAP WHAT ONE SOWS.

ALL THOSE MERITS WERE NEVER BASED ON ANY RELIGIOUS PRINCIPLES OR GUIDELINES BUT BASED ON THE ETERNAL TRUTH OF GOOD VERSUS EVIL.

Dear darling, do you remember the story I told you about two friends; one is very religious but another one is quite naughty. On one auspicious day, there was a special prayer section in the village hall. Religious and good friend calls his bad friend to accompany him, but the bad friend refused to join and instead counter proposed the good one to join him as there was a very pretty, young fresh call girl in their village. Both of them could not get an agreement and they parted their ways.

Religious friend was in the prayer section but his mind was wondering how his naughty friend would be enjoying with that pretty girl, sometimes even blaming himself for not following his friend. He daydreamed that if he had followed his friend he could also enjoy the pleasure of new experience with that girl.

But life is different on the other side of the moral divide. Although physically playing love with those girls, the naughty friend’s heart is heavy; he realized that he is committing serious religious crime and wonder if he could be better like his religious friend on this auspicious day, performing special prayers. He wished he could change his bad habits and to do more good deeds. Suddenly a big disaster fell on the whole village and both friends died.

Dear Nan, you already agreed that the bad guy could be rewarded by God, and the good poise friend would be definitely punished. But you are witty and reminded me that although substance is more important than form, I should not be absent from your regular prayer sections. You reminded me that, practice made perfect, and to try to control our mind during the prayers. You even dislike the story because you are afraid that some mischievous persons would use this as an excuse to commit adultery and claim that he is trying to change. Yes dear, you are right in your own way, at least you could prevent me from encroaching into other woman’s territory.

Anyway the basic moral is, in any religion, humans would not be judged by the outside appearance only, but their heart and intention would also be counted.

THAT MAXIM IS TRUE NOT ONLY FOR BUDDHISTS, BUT ALSO TRUE FOR CHRISTIANS, MUSLIMS, HINDU, JEWS AND ALL THE RELIGIONS. JUST BECAUSE SOME ONE IS A BUDDHIST MONK, CHRISTIAN PASTOR, MUSLIM IMAM, HINDU PRIEST, RABBI OR THE HOLY PERSON OF ANY RELIGION COULD NOT EXPECT TO GET A CONFIRMED TICKET FROM GOD TO ENTER THE HAVEN OR NEIKBAN OF ETERNAL PEACE.

It depends on each individual’s deeds. We have to accept that any GOD of any religion has more than enough WISDOM of knowing the differences between appearances in forms and true benevolence acts.

In Buddhism and many religions there are no clear indications that all other subjects of not that faith would be condemned to hell.

So we are not God, and no one could prove that our religion only is right and others are wrong. And when actually all the religions have common basic good principles, why should we fight for the mere difference in appearances or form and fail to look each other as human beings and meritocracy of its deeds?

If we all could stop looking each others based on race, colour, decent, national or ethnic origin and recognize the individual’s merit there would be less conflicts, arguments, fights and wars in this world.

When other people’s opinions and beliefs are not respected by anyone of us just due to their religion or way of thinking that is strange or new or foreign to our belief or religion, we could not expect the return of mutual respect and recognition from others.

IF WE DISCRIMINATE OTHERS AS FOREIGN BECAUSE THEY AND THEIR RACE AND RELIGION ARE DIFFERENT TO US, ALL THE OTHERS COULD ALSO LOOK DOWN AND DISCRIMINATE ON US BECAUSE WE ARE ALSO FOREIGN TO THEM! 

Dear Nan, do you remember the ghost story, The Others acted by Nicole Kidman? Nicole Kidman and her family were already dead and continued staying in the haunted house and they thought that the real humans came to their house were ghosts. We could learn a great lesson even from the movies that sometimes our views, concepts may be wrong and we just could not dismiss others because we could not understand them or just because they are strangers or relatively new comers.

But it is easy to preach others but difficult to practice by our selves. Do you remember the story you told me when I could not decide correctly during the racial riots we encountered because of my bias towards one race, Bama? You told me that the doctors should not treat their own family members’ dictum could be applied to avoid judging others if you are an interested party.

You even told me about a famous monk who used to console the whole village. When his own mother passed away, he could not stop crying and the villagers reminded the monk that he was the person who used to always preach all of them for peace of mind in the similar conditions. That monk replied, They were your parents, not my mother, now mother has passed away!

In order to organize or unite the whole world; all the races, religions, all the different coloured persons from all the different countries, we may need a bogyman like an alien invasion or the world wide disaster as in Hollywood movies. (Excuse me for this radical, sarcastic idea. I pray that we all would be free from this kind of trouble.)

This radical and sarcastic idea came into my mind because we humans are divided and fighting and we could not stop these yet. And we humans had a very bad reputation in our history that we even had harmed or attacked and killed the Gods or the messengers of God. Lord Buddha was harmed by a fellow monk by rolling the stone from a hill, Israel’s Moses was the victim of repeated assignation attempts and had to lead his people in an exodus, early Muslims had to migrate away from Mecca with their Prophet because of danger to their lives, and Jesus Christ was crucified.

Even great leaders known for their peace initiatives were assassinated; Mahatma Gandhi, Egypt‘s Anwar Sadat, Israel’s PM Rabin, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and our father General Aung San. Late Pope John Paul II was also a victim of an assassination attempt.

Only when we compare with the above events, we  could understand the present Military government’s cruel actions on the  peace loving people like; Ah Ma Gyi Daw  Su, your uncles including Uncle Khun Tun Oo and my uncles U Win Tin, U Tin Oo and thousands of our citizens.

Our leaders are not criminals and are willing to forgive and forget all the past. They all are searching for a peaceful solution through negotiations and dialogue. They are even willing to give the Military upper hand or handicap by recognizing their Military Government as a legitimate Interim Government!

Dear Nan, how would you answer if any one asked the following hypothetical question to us; what the present Military leaders would do to the great leaders, Prophets and Lords mentioned above if they preached against their Military Dominance doctrine and aim of holding the power forever?

I wish to indirectly answer the above question with this paragraph. Not worth compare with any great personalities mentioned above, but forgive me for mentioning your mother-in law Daw Than Shwe’s sister Daw Khin Nyunt. Although she had played a lot of underhand dirty tactics and committed a lot of injustices and even tortured many innocent people, at least she had successfully made peace with a lot of rebels. She had some dialogue with NLD and showed a soft sweet face to the International Community. Even that soft negotiator was thought to have passed the tolerance level of hardliners and was kicked out unceremoniously and is in custody by her elder sister.

Dear Nan, we need to change the present socio-political conditions in our country. Enough is enough! Not only in our country, but millions of people all over the world are suffering now as they have been victims of discrimination, preferences and exclusions in view of their race, skin colour, sex, religion, language, national or ethnic origin and form of expression, causing extreme sufferings and even loss of a lots of lives daily; during routine daily struggles for their livings, fights, and various wars.

So darling Nan, we have to start from ourselves; to change our views and to treat all the others as fellow human beings. I think we have to go a very long way to achieve world peace but we should try in our beloved country, Burma/Myanmar first.

SO PLEASE DARLING, DO NOT EVER CALL ME OR LABELLED ME AS BAMA AND I WOULD TRY TO STOP PROFILING YOU AS A SHAN. WE ALL ARE BURMESE/MYANMAR. We should not discriminate all other Ethnic Minorities including so call mixed blooded citizens.

Dear darling, your sudden emergency phone call to me confirms that, even if we could draw a line on the water, no one could able to separate us.  Present racial/religious riots in Burma/Myanmar are a blessing in disguise for us. Not only it became an ice breaker in our relation, it also confirms our common stand on religious and racial tolerance. And as I am worried about you and some of our family members back home in Burma, you are also aware and sure that I would be anxious about all of you.

I salute you for your courage and anger about the latest events, but I think it is not very wise and it is very dangerous to discuss any sensitive socio-political issue on the telephone in Myanmar because all the telephone conversations are usually tapped and recorded. They could put you behind the bars for a dozen of years!

And I was also stupid to tell you on the phone about the opinion article written by my friend Maha Bandoola, “United We Stand, Divided We Lose” published in 12-18 -02-2006 issue of Burma Digest.  Burma Digest had bravely published the very sensitive issue even few days before the recent riots started. I told my friend Maha Bandoola not to be too proud because although he wrote and predicted on record about that impending racial riots, it is the open secret that all the people knew. Myanmar Military has to find its way out of the present difficult conditions and creating racial riots is one effective way of diverting the people’s tension.  

I used to stay in the free land outside Myanmar and forgot the UNFREE STATUS OF ALL OF THE MYANMAR CITIZENS. Burma Digest is also blocked by Myanmar censors. So I hereby copy some salient facts from the letter, after my request to quote was granted by the author.

Daw Aung San Su Kyi once comments regarding the political extremists, religious fanatics and ultra nationalists, 

Well, there are people who think that it’s right to do any thing in the name of their religion, their race, their family, or any organization to which they may belong.

It would be much better if we look at the facts that trigger the Inter-religious conflicts and riots to stop them or prevent them from happening again.

For me no excuse is right, conflicts should be avoided at all costs from both sides. I am not going to search who is right or wrong, but the basic causes or events that trigger the conflicts only. I believe that if anyone fight or try to use force, both sides are wrong. I am searching the ways to avoid the repeat of those conflicts. 

We all must unite, if not we will fall. I will now try to search the triggering sparks of racial and religious riots in Burma/Myanmar.

                        Please read the US States department’s Human Right Reports, about Religious Problems in Burma/Myanmar. I do not wish to write any details but just read this web page  to see what the SPDC Junta is doing on Buddhists, Christian, Muslim citizens and the Ethnic Minorities of Burma/Myanmar. 

Actually you all will find out that I am just searching the ways to avoid the split of the democracy forces inside and outside Burma. We all know that Than Shwe is an expert on Propaganda Warfare. I foresee that the enemy SPDC Junta Generals and their Intelligent Mechanism would try to split our forces and at the same time divert the attention of all the Burmese people and the world’s spectators by creating racial or religious conflict. United we stand, divided we loss!

I hereby wish to advice all of you that many real actually correct facts would hurt both sides. I am opening the old wounds or doing the Post Mortem on the dead issues to search the triggering factors so that we could do the damage control any time if the similar things start to appear.

Mutual understanding, mutual respects and the granting of basic Human Rights irrespective of Race, creed, colour, religion or ethnicity would defuse most of the ill feelings among us.

                       The pride and good feelings of NATIONALISM: the love for the country, race and religion is frequently exploited and used by many politicians, ultra-nationalists, religious fanatics, racial extremists and present Military Junta of Burma.   

Adolph Hitler of Nazi Germany and Slobodan Milosevic, were the most prominent and indisputable example. But it is shameful to admit that many governments and politicians around the world are guilty of this crime one time or another to get or accomplish their own agenda or to cover up their faults and failures.

They use to threaten their own people with the foreign powers and enemies, western colonists, imperialists, religious terrorists, Communists and possible out break of racial riots, danger of losing independence of their beloved country. 

It is sad to note that, that propaganda warfare is usually successful with the help of the local government controlled media and because of the use or exploitation of the nationalistic spirit. PEOPLE AGAINST THIS WOULD BE LABELED AS UNPATRIOTIC OR TRAITOR.

ONCE INTOXICATED WITH THE PATRIOTISM AND NATIONALITY FEVER, PEOPLE WERE BLINDED. THEY ARE READY TO DO ANY THING FOR THAT PATRIOTISM. THEY ARE EVEN WILLING TO KILL OR DARE TO BE KILLED. THEY ARE WILLING TO SACRIFICE THEMSELVES, THEIR FAMILY, THEIR PROPERTY AND EVERY THING ON EARTH. PATRIOTISM COULD MOBILIZE THE WHOLE NATION.

With the GLOBALIZATION, the whole world is becoming a GLOBAL VILLAGE. So we, SHWE MYANMAR/BURMESE are also spreading like wildfire around the whole world.

It is said to note that the hatred to foreigners is rooted to fear of losing, insecurity, low self-esteem and jealousy of the respective locals. Then now we all SHWE MYANMARS are in the same position as the Indian, Chinese foreigners in our own country, Burma/Myanmar.

We Burmese are now migrating, working legally and illegally in many different countries. Now many of those host citizens are hostile to us, Burmese/Myanmar Citizens, claiming that we are taking their jobs, replacing them. They claim that because of our cheap labour they could not demand for pay rise. We are poor, dirty; we bring in diseases into their country etc.

We Burmese are accused by our own brothers, Ethnic Nationalities that Bamas are  acting like big brother, arrogant, want to assimilate or destroy them, raping them etc.

THE CURATIVE PORTION OF MEDICINE IS ALREADY IN THE UN CHARTER.

The purposes of the United Nations are¡ to achieve International cooperation… in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS FOR ALL WITHOUT DISTINCTION AS TO RACE, SEX, LANGUAGE AND RELIGION 

 EQUALITY, JUSTICE, DIGNITY is the emblem that represents the goals of the Human Rights Committee. The comprehensive implementation of actions against racism, racial discrimination, XENOPHOBIA and related intolerances is a very important topic because these forms of intolerance have been global issues since biblical times. 

FOR DECADES, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN VICTIMS OF DISCRIMINATION, PREFERENCES AND EXCLUSIONS IN VIEW OF THEIR RACE, SKIN COLOR, SEX, RELIGION, LANGUAGE, NATIONAL OR ETHNIC ORIGIN AND FORM OF EXPRESSION, CAUSING EXTREME SUFFERING AND EVEN LOSS OF LIFE

RACIAL DISCRIMINATION is the ability or power to make distinctions among people based on race, color, descent, national or ethnic origin rather than individual merit.

XENOPHOBIA is a fear of the foreign, of what is strange. RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE occurs when someone’s opinions and beliefs are not respected by others due to their religion or way of thinking. (Wikipedia free Encyclopedia)

In extremely religious or less developed countries, sexism is practiced, and racial discrimination is not considered wrong. In addition, the methods of solving racism could not appeal to all countries. LOTS OF PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SEGREGATE OTHERS AND FEEL SUPERIOR TO THEM, just because they are different to what they are used to. The following are only some of the many examples in which discrimination has been highly presented: 

During World War II, the Holocaust genocide by the Nazis exterminated over 15 million people. In the course of the 11th- 13th centuries, the Crusades took place, in which European Christians fought the Muslims and a lot of casualties on both sides.  Dear Nan you are right that although millions of people were killed by the powerful superpowers of that time, no one could eliminate those three races/religions. Now how powerful are we to try and forced out others! Why waste our energy on these un-winnable conflicts. Better use all our forces together to rebuild our country. Yes dear, you are right, we all must unite and liberate our country first so that it could move forwards on the Democracy tracts towards our destination, heaven on earth, Union of Federal Republic of Burma.

After the 27 years in prison of the Racial discriminatory Apartheid Whites, the noble response of Nelson Mandela, when he became the South African Leader should be the example to all of us. He used his nonviolence strategy and fought to eradicate the object of racial division and turn it into the open democracy that today exists and the country prospers.

Lord Buddha teach us to detach from ATTA, I, my, me, mine. I realized that it could extend to my family, my relatives, my race, my religion, my home, my town, my country. And Buddha even advised to love and pity all humans and animals including our enemies.

Our common enemy SPDC would definitely create another racial riot in a near future to divert the discontented people and smoke shield the world opinion. 

We all are like the married couple. In Burmese, married couple is compared with the tongue and the teeth. We could unintentionally bite the tongue. If we could understand that the teeth is helping the tongue by chewing the food into smaller pieces to get better taste and forgive all will be OK.

In Burmese there is a saying. If we are near we always frequently fight amongst each other. Once we are away only we missed each other too much as if going to die if we cannot see each other.

Now I missed all my friends of different races and religion. We must unite against our common enemy whether we are in Burma proper or abroad.  UNITED WE STAND divided we loose.

Dear Nan, do you remember the unfortunate incidence of racial riots that took place in our town? After one mid night we were awakened by the knock on our door. My best friend Ko Hanif @ Ko Tin Mg was crying at our door step; his shop was looted, his home was burnt and his wife and youngest daughter were killed. Before that incidence because we thought that the fights are nothing to do with us, would not affect us, we just stayed away without any involvement.

You advised me to go and request the help of our respected Abbot. When I tried to take my licensed pistol and the knife hidden in the walking stick, you were wise to stop me from carrying those weapons and followed us instead, to defuse any danger.

To make it short, we got the approval from our Abbot, to bring in the local town Muslim leaders, and Ko Tin Mg even managed to persuade his religious leader, Maulawi Sub, who followed with some offerings for the monks. Our Abbot refused to accept the valuables but accepted some fruits as a good will gesture. Our Abbot managed to organize the meeting of the young monk leaders and Muslim elders.

We agreed that although there was a rumor of wrong doing by a Muslim man on a local Buddhist girl, we have to allow the authorities to take action according to the law. Both side must obey the truce agreement and if there were any misunderstandings, to report to the relevant religious leaders to handle and to avoid revenge and violence.

To our surprise, the leader of young Buddhist monk called all of us and handed over thousands of anti-Muslim pamphlets given by the Myanmar Military Intelligence, headed by General Khin Nyunt.

Ko Tin Mg and other Muslim friends did not know what to do with lorry-load of MI anti-Muslim pamphlets. Monks did not want to keep but difficult to get a lorry for our friends and my dear Nan had showed your wit! You advised to take out all the pamphlets into the monastery compound and burnt them.

To our surprise, Ko Tin Mg was arrested for distribution of letters about the above peace agreement, asking to love each other and to observe the truce! I have to salute your courage and connections my dear Nan. You wrote the complaint letter to the District Authorities and approach your cousin who was married to a Special Branch Officer. Because of you, my friend Ko Tin Mg was freed from detention.

Dear Nan, my letter is already too long, I have to stop now. As you know, even my love letters to my wife are also subjected to strict Myanmar censorship and we have to smuggle it into Myanmar. Especially as my letters include politics, it is dangerous for the bearer of the letters.

There is not only no freedom of speech in Myanmar but there are draconian laws, came out from the barrel of guns, that would make sure that THERE IS NO FREEDOM AFTER A SPEECH. I wish to ice the cake with the advised of a great man.

The United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan stated: 

There is no country in the world exempt of discrimination. No matter how severe or how mild the ratio of discrimination is, no nation is free from it. Either for one circumstance or another, not all countries are capable of giving the importance and dedication this issue needs. Even though we are all consciously aware of this topic, there is still a long road to cross.

 Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda… Our mission therefore is to confront ignorance with knowledge, and bigotry with tolerance. RACISM CAN, WILL AND MUST BE DEFEATED. Almost every country in the world suffers prejudice among its own people, racial discrimination, xenophobia or religious intolerance.

Dear Nan I hereby wish to end my letter with the recent another advice of UN Secretary General, Mr Koffi Annan:

 THE IMPORTANCE OF OVERCOMING MISUNDERSTANDINGS AND ANIMOSITIES BETWEEN THE PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT BELIEFS AND CULTURAL TRADITIONS IS THROUGH PEACEFUL DIALOGUE AND MUTUAL RESPECT.

Waiting for your quick return home,

Your loving darling,

(Ko Tin Nwe) 

BO AUNG DIN

Crisis in Myanmar offers a chance for junta to reform

Crisis in Myanmar offers a chance for junta to reform

Story by KEN KAMOCHE | FROM THE FAR EAST

The Burmese junta prides itself on its resilience, its capacity to take whatever the world, critical of its brutal dictatorship, throws at it. External criticism, sanctions, internal protests, name it. They take it all within their stride and still refuse to budge.

For 46 years, this once-promising country has been in the grip of one of the most brutal and ruthless regimes on earth.

Cyclone Nargis may have dented that resilient image, even as it unleashed its own brand of terror on the population, leaving more than 22,000 dead and hundreds of thousands homeless.

With wind speeds of 190km per hour, Burma reels from the worst cyclone to hit the region since 1991 when 143,000 perished in Bangladesh, another poverty-stricken country. Some reports suggest that even more people were killed by the tidal waves that rose over three metres high.

Just nine months ago, the junta was clobbering monks and innocent protestors. Monks have been out on the streets again, this time clearing the debris and offering help as the junta drags its feet in response to the crisis.

As many cyclone survivors are pointing out, the junta’s crackdown on the monks’ peaceful protest last year was quick, decisive and unsurprisingly uncompromising.

This time, when a real disaster struck, it took them days to mobilise the army to come to the people’s aid and clean up the debris, leaving the work to monks and catholic nuns who are not particularly well-equipped for the job.

Cynics claim that the soldiers were focusing their efforts in the areas where the leaders live. These claims have only served to alienate the junta further and portray the generals as insensitive.

When you have a very bad reputation from a history of repression, it is difficult to make people see any sincerity in your actions.

This explains why some claim that soldiers are being exhibited for the cameras in front of fallen trees that they have no intention of clearing away.

The junta missed a chance to earn some goodwill by its slow response. If they had acted promptly, by issuing early warnings, and subsequently galvanising their resources to clear the streets to allow rescue and emergency operations, people might have been able to say, oh, they do care, after all.

But the generals are not without a sense of humour, or at least an understanding of public relations. Their belated response has been something of a publicity stunt.

The generals who are more at home issuing decrees, talking tough and ordering soldiers to inflict pain, have been out and about, emerging from helicopters, armed with grim expressions, greeting victims, possibly even offering a few words of comfort.

The victims must be finding it a very strange experience, especially those who have been visited in temples that house monks who came face to face with the full force of military operations last September.

That this time the junta has agreed to welcome some foreign help should not be interpreted to mean a willingness to open up and welcome other forms of much-derided foreign intervention. It simply shows that on this occasion they are unable to cope.

Sanctions, mostly American, have had an impact, but only a minor one, as Europe refuses to lend its support, but cracks are beginning to show.

Four years ago when a tsunami struck, they spurned approaches for help, in an ill-advised attempt to demonstrate they could do without the rest of the world’s concerns about their capabilities, both the more obvious economic at the time, as well as the implied social-political.

They were trying to say to the international community, we can handle this tragic disaster, and we will jolly well handle our politics ourselves. But tables have turned. Extending the analogy, since they cannot handle Cyclone Nargis, their ability to handle the political crisis comes into question.

Whether this results in a dissipation of their power or not remains to be seen. At least it shows the oppressed citizens that these generals are not really as tough as they have been claiming for almost half a century.

They are fallible, just like the rest of us. If they can deign to accept help from those who frequently criticise them, they’ve been exposed as mere mortals, and whatever divine decree they might have imagined they governed by, is no longer tenable.

Accepting help is also calculated to shore up their popularity and portray themselves in a positive light. But it is a strategy that is likely to fail if they continue insisting on going ahead with the proposed constitutional referendum that is a part of their so-called road to democracy.

As one victim exclaimed, the last thing those who have been rendered homeless and are grieving the loss of loved ones need, is democracy.

They need water, food and medicine. But I would question if the proposed referendum is really about democracy. If and when it takes place, it will be a sham, a charade, a disingenuous effort to retrench military rule behind the façade of “democracy”.

Meanwhile, Asia maintains a troubling silence over the state of Burma. Now, they have an opportunity to take the lead in tackling the humanitarian crisis while the emergency door yawns ajar, and begin a reasoned debate with the junta on the crisis that has lasted 46 years.

Professor Ken Kamoche is an academic and a writer.

Over 30,000 cyclone victims from Laputta township evacuated

Over 30,000 cyclone victims from Laputta township evacuated

 Over 30,000 Myanmar victims in cyclone-hardest-hit township evacuated

www.chinaview.cn 2008-05-12 21:31:49

YANGON, May 12 (Xinhua) — More than 30,000 victims in cyclone-hardest-hit Laputta township in Myanmar’s southwestern Ayeyawaddy delta division have been evacuated to less-affected nearby areas by road or waterway to seek shelter there, according to Monday’s local Weekly Eleven News.

    Laputta, which comprises 63 wards and villages, was totally destroyed and survivors from the area have been moved out and scattered in nearby townships such as Myaungmya, Einme and Wakema, the report said, adding that Myaungmya alone has accommodated over 10,000 such victims.

    According to earlier official report, a total of 9,330 cyclone victims have been accommodated in 32 relief camps opened in three areas for homeless survivors in the division — Maubin, Wakema and Myaungmya.

    Official victim figures for other townships in the division are not yet available.

    The authorities claimed that rescue operations are daily underway to search for the missing people in the division with health staff going right down to the villages to provide healthcare for the survivors.

    Deadly tropical cyclone Nargis, occurred over the Bay of Bengal, severely hit five divisions and states — Yangon, Bago, Ayeyawaddy, Kayin and Mon — on May 2 and 3. It covered a large scope of coastal towns in the Ayeyawaddy division including Haing Gyi Island, Pathein, Myaungmya, Laputta, Mawlamyinegyun, Kyaiklat, Phyarpon and Bogalay, and the biggest city of Yangon.

    The Cyclone sustained the heaviest ever casualties and infrastructural damage. A total of 28,485 people have lost their lives in the cyclone storm with altogether 33,416 people remained missing, according to an official updated death toll Sunday.

Editor: Bi Mingxin