With whom will the army stroll?

With whom will the army stroll?


Adapted and Burmanized from Malaysiakini’s Column by Azly Rahman | Jul 14, 08


No man is an island, entire of itself;

every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.

If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less,

as well as if a promontory were,

as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were:

any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind,

and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.

John Donne, English poet

We do not need an emergency rule of the SPDC.

Those days are over.

Myanmar Military Junta is history. This is a time for the natural state of things to unfold. A time to let a hundred flowers bloom. The semiotics of structural violence must not be paraded in front of Burmese/Myanmars who now know how to protest peacefully.

They know what a totalitarian military regime means.


They now know what separation of powers means.

They want to see an urgent evolution of this philosophy.

Only those military generals in danger of losing power want to maintain hegemony and will use the ideological state apparatuses to maintain power. Machiavellians included.

  • Emergency military rules are for nations in desperation.
  • For dictators facing an imminent and violent political death.
  • For despots who refuse to detach themselves from power.
  • For military governments that allow prime ministers to rule for as long as they like. Burma is not. We do not need dictators. We need to facilitate the process of democracy yearning to break free.

Than Shwe, Ne Win, Saw Maung, Suharto, Idi Amin, Shah Reza Pahlavi, Somoza, Noriega, and Marcos were are all tyrants. Some fell from grace because of their greed or of their families or of their women.

Typical Marie Antoinette syndrome.

Army and Police must maintain justice

We are evolving into a civil society in which civilians are beginning to speak up in the name of building our own civilisation from the possibilities of social and global justice, universal human rights, cosmopolitanism, and radical multiculturalism. A deployment of the army will kill this image of a civil society, right at its infancy.

Soldiers fight to protect external enemies of the people, not to protect corrupt generals against their own people. The latter is philosophically wrong.

The police are supposed to be maintaining justice in a world of irrationalities and unjust behaviour. The police need no extra protection if they are true to their conscience and always available and reliable to protect the citizens, even against the military rulers who abuse power.

An image of the army on the streets of Myanmar is a violent one – both in truth and perception. We need not go that route – the route of Zimbabwe, Nigeria or Uganda. Burmese people are gentle people with gentle ways of dealing with conflicts. We are not meant for a junta nation. We do not have Hutus and Tutsis, but military rulers are painting charcoal on our faces so that we would fight each other.

In Burmese, “Ain Kyet Chin_Oh Mae Thoke_Khut Khine Thee,” meaning as the cocks from the same household refused to fight, they painted the faces of two cocks so that they could not recognize each other leading to vicious fights.

A gentle people

Gently done, we had voted out the military regime affiliated party and chosen the NLD in 1990 because the military government is no longer gentle to the people who tolerated them in power.

Gently, the Internet will take its natural course in igniting mental revolutions first and peaceful revolutions next. In the Saffron revolution and the recent Nergis Cyclone; internet, multimedia and digital technology reveal the true images to the whole world.

We do not need the army on the streets. We need to instead arm ourselves with revolutionary ideals, to hold on fast to our dreams of a republic of virtue, and to use the Internet to voice our dissenting views and to engineer regime change.

We are already an army of intellectuals in our own way, patrolling the mindscapes of Malaysia, spreading the message of peace, policing against politicians that are corrupt to the core. We are an army and a police ourselves. We do not need the semiotics of violence to take root.

Myanmars are gentle people. Only the Military Junta and its lapdogs; police, Swanaar Shins and Kyant Phuts are getting more and more violent,.

Forgotten, unheard stories

We have forgotten the more important news of the day: the Ludu/people suffering through the recession and possible depression, youth losing their moral compass, failing schools, sprawling urban poverty, continuing systematic spread of racist propaganda in schools and universities, breakdown of family values, siphoning of the nation’s wealth out of the country, declining standards of our universities and a plethora of other issues we should be addressing and finding solutions to.

And many more. Stories of the Ludu/people. These are the masses whose stories must be heard. These are not the elite whose stories are pushed daily to the forefront, shoved into our consciousness ad nauseum.

No, the army must stay home and meditate or at best be deployed to protect the frontiers from the outside enemies’ intrusions. The people must be trusted to express themselves freely, peacefully.

The people are armed with better knowledge of what will work for them as Myanmars and what has miserably failed. They want change because the only permanent thing in this world is change.

No, we do not need the army patrolling the streets. The family members of the army and the police are also suffering from the recession and the astronomical increase in the price of everything. They too are armed with the knowledge of why the country is messed up as a result of the messing up of global and local politics.

For whom the bell tolls

In the end, the bell tolls for thee. When the time comes for the truth to surface, no army can stop it from violently appearing from the ground beneath. No police can guard truth from appearing in the eyes of the public.

No army can defeat revolutionary forces that install better regimes through peaceful, silent, ethical and intelligent means. No iron bars can imprison the conscience and the yearn for one to speak the truth to power. The goodness in men and women will be the best police and the best army.

Man is born free yet everywhere he is in chains.

No army on our streets, please. We are Burmese. We must let justice take it natural course.

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