Compassionate letter No 4: The most remarkable leader of our time
As Bo Aung Din in Burma Digest
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
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