Tun Dr M’s ‘open letter’ to the Myanmar Military leader Senior General Than Shwe

Tun Dr M’s ‘open letter’ to the

Myanmar Military leader Senior General Than Shwe

NOTE: If young Tun Dr M were in Myanmar, I hope he would write a letter like this to the Myanmar Military leader Senior General Than Shwe. Actually I had changed his letter sent to the PM Tunku Abdul Rahman at his time. Dr M was expelled from the ruling party because of this letter. 

Dear Senior General,

“You have become so powerful, both by virtue of your office and by popular acclaim, that Myanmar Tatmadaw has become subservient to you. SPDC is being held together, not because the members share your ideas on politics, but through a system of patronage and disguised coercion based on your miliitary Government rather than party authority. 

A feeling of power normally grips those who wield patronage, a feeling that they can mould and shape Ludu and opinions any way they please. The leaders of SPDC, the senior partners of the Military Government, have succumbed to this disease and, believing that they no longer need to heed the opinions of their people, they disregard them at every turn. 

Arbitrary Laws have been hurriedly passed according to your whims and fancy without prior consultation with the expert lawers or respective interested NGOs and other representatives of the people. Tax innovations have been made and discarded with complete disregard for the disrupting effect on the public. In the main, SPDC and Tatmadaw meetings are regarded as a pleasant formality which afford members an opportunity to be heard and quoted, but which have absolutely no effect on the course of the military Government. The meetings are a concession to a superfluous ‘military democratic’ practice, all must obey your order without any excuses. So your generals and ministers failed projects are reported to you with false figures indicating fake sucess. This strength is also used to WRITE the NEW the constitution. The manner, the frequency, and the trivial reasons for framing and altering the constitution have reduced this supreme law of the nation to a useless scrap of paper.

Your Ministers and the Cabinet are vested with this decision-making authority. It is obvious that only the most capable and experienced should be made Ministers and be in the Cabinet. But Myanmar Tatmadawand SPDC have chosen to treat membership of the Cabinet as a reward for loyalty to you, army chiefs and acceptability to the Senior General’s wife. Once appointed, no amount of dereliction of duty could affect the position of a Minister. On the other hand, even if the Minister performs well, failure to remain on good terms with the Senior General means removal from the Ministry.

Your SPDC military Government of mediocre people is bereft of ideas, is unable to understand the limits of their authority, and is generally unable to rule. All the while, however, your Government is busy on devices to perpetuate itself. These devices are so transparent and so lacking in subtlety that they achieve just the opposite effect.

May I remind you, military rule has brought power and wealth to the new Myanmar elite like U Tay Za and others. Politics is found to be the panacea. It provides a shortcut to everything. It makes possible the attainment of positions of immense power. These cronies are in a position to acquire riches. 

At first, this might seem grossly unfair. These few cronies and families and friends of the generals – for they are still only a very few – have waxed riches not because of themselves, but because of the policy of a SPDC Government supported by a huge majority of poor Ludu. It would seem that the efforts of the poor Ludu have gone to enrich a select few of their own people. The poor Myanmar citizens themselves have not gained one iota. With the existence of the few rich cronies, at least the poor Myanmar citizens can say that their fate is not entirely to serve the rich cronies and friends of the generals. From their point of view of racial ego, and this ego is still strong, the unseemly existence of Myanmar tycoons is essential.

The various races in Myanmar are differentiated not merely by ethnic origin, but also by many other characteristics. These characteristics are important. How these characteristics develop is another matter, but when races compete in a given field, these characteristics play an extremely important role. The Jews, for example are not merely hook-nosed, but understand money instinctively.

The possession of these characteristics means little until different races come into contact with each other. Jewish stinginess and financial wizardry gained them the commercial control of Europe and provoked an anti-Semitism, which waxed and waned throughout Europe through the ages. 

The first thing that comes to mind is that the vast majority of generals are feudalistic and wish to remain so. 

To take on an adversary when it seems to be beyond one’s capacity is courageous. To calculate and assess one’s chances first is to exhibit cowardice. Time and again this inability or unwillingness to measure the odds against them has led to defeat and disaster for the SPDC generals. The courageous or brave Myanmar Tatmadaw is usually foolhardy, and because he is likely to do things without thinking of the consequences, the average citizen treats the military man with fear and respect. The ordinary man knows that it is not worthwhile to incur his displeasure and that it is safer to let him have his own way. The ordinary man therefore represents the other extreme when principle is easily set aside for the sake of safety. 

Even your disciplined democracy can be beneficial if it facilitates real changes to civilian rule. The military ‘kings’ of today can, therefore, institute change if they themselves are willing to change. Such a change would spread rapidly. If the indications are that there should be a change in the value system and ethical code, then the military leaders can lead the way with the certainty that they will be followed by the masses. In the military , if the leaders fail, then there is little hope for the masses of soldiers and ordinary citizens.”

I could not understand why the whole military appratus is scared of a frial single lady, DAW AUNG SAN SUU KYI. She is willing to negotiate but you all are so scared and tried to lock her out of Myanmar politics forever.

Thanking You

Yours humbly


Tun Dr M

(I hereby apologize Tun for using Tun’s letter without permission. But in other way, this imitation proved that we regarded Tun in high place and look up all the time.)

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