Politics for People

  Politics for People

_ by Thuria Tayza

It’s time now to start serious discussions on “Politics for People”.

There are at least three reasons for doing so.

1. People’s sufferings on the ground;

  • near starvation,
  • child malnutrition,
  • high maternal
  • & child mortality rates,
  • short general life expectancy,
  • hyper prevalence of infectious diseases,
  • lack of good healthcare,
  • lack of clean water supply,
  • lack of electrivity,
  • lack of credible education,
  • lack of employment,
  • lack of reliable income,
  • lack of internet access,
  • lack of media freedom,
  • lack of labour rights,
  • child soldiers,
  • human trafficking,
  • forced prostitution,
  • drug trade,
  • environmental destructions………

these are all real , not just political propaganda.

2. When junta approved their constitution by hook or by crook or by spooks; to carry on the fight to next stage, pro-democracy political activists inside the country will need to take part in 2010 elections; then they will need a credible leparty political platform which is relevant to time and circumstances of the day.

“Politics for People” will be a very noble and respectable political platform.

3. When the military install a puppet civilian government after 2010; to go on fighting against that puppet civilian government, we’ll need a good political weapon. “Politics for People” will be an effective weapon because under the new puppet civilian government people of Burma will go on suffering all the same.

So we need to start brain-storming on how to help the real people under real-life sufferings in Burma: _

A. How can political activists help the real people _

  • e.g., like Ko Htin Kyaw and group who voiced people’s concerns for the worsening poverty;
  • like the efforts by Phyu Phyu Thin and group to provide assistance to HIV patients highlighting the lack of adequate and humane care for patients with infectious diseases in Burma

B. How political leaders can help the real people _

e.g., like the 88 generation student leaders who came out onto streets to protest hyper inflations after 5 fold fuel price hikes, which eventually snowballed into massive Saffron Revolution last year

C. How activists on border areas can help the real people _

e.g., like Dr Cynthia Maung who has been for so many years providing health care to all refugees and migrants there;

like AEIOU program giving tertiary education to refugee youths there

D. How ethic forces can help their own people _

  • like Free Burma Rangers providing healthcare and other essential assistance to IDPs;
  • like Shan Women Action Network releiving sufferings of ethnic refugee women

E. How journalists inside and outside the country can help the real people _

e.g., like many a faceless civilian journalists and bloggers during Saffron revolution who risked their lives and tried to record the sufferings of people and spread the word to the outside world.

F. How exile pliticians can help the real people _

  • e.g., by talking more about people’s real suffering on the ground in Burma,
  • but spending less time on writing money-making project proposals for themselves

G. How international community can help the real people of Burma _

e.g., by persuading or pressuring military junta to cooperate better with United Nations for direct poverty relief efforts for real people on the ground

H. How ASEAN countries can help the real people of Burma _

 e.g, by persuding Burmese authorities to gradually relax their

  • super tight control and very harsh censorship on
  • media,
  • press,
  • public meetings,
  • entertainment
  • and stage performences,
  • internet
  • and telecommunications, etc.,

in essence to allow freedom at least up to ASEAN standard, if not to perfect western standards.

I. How future new puppet civilian government can help the real people _

  • e.g., by being less corrupt
  • and more transparent
  • and accountable,
  • and paying more heed to public opinions

 

Tibet – support the Dalai Lama

Tibet – support the Dalai Lama

By Feraya Nangmone

Hi,

I just signed an urgent petition calling on the Chinese government to respect human rights in Tibet and engage in meaningful dialogue with the Dalai Lama. This is really important, and I thought you might want to take action:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/tibet_end_the_violence/98.php/?cl_tf_sign=1

After nearly 50 years of Chinese rule, the Tibetans are sending out a global cry for change. But violence is spreading across Tibet and neighbouring regions, and the Chinese regime is right now considering a choice between increasing brutality or dialogue, that could determine the future of Tibet and China.

We can affect this historic choice. China does care about its international reputation. Its economy is totally dependent on “Made in China” exports that we all buy, and it is keen to make the Olympics in Beijing this summer a celebration of a new China that is a respected world power.

President Hu needs to hear that ‘Brand China’ and the Olympics can succeed only if he makes the right choice. But it will take an avalanche of global people power to get his attention. Click below to join me and sign a petition to President Hu calling for restraint in Tibet and dialogue with the Dalai Lama — and tell absolutely everyone you can right away. The petition is organized by Avaaz, and they are urgently aiming to reach 1 million signatures to deliver directly to Chinese officials:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/tibet_end_the_violence/98.php/?cl_tf_sign=1

Thank you so much for your help!

Life beyond Referendum

Life beyond Referendum

_ by Thuria Tayza (He sent this e-mail to me)

The referendum is coming. Regardless of political opposition’s denunciation of it as a sham, a sham referendum for a pro-military constitution drafted by a convention of much compliant delegates hand-picked by the military; and despite United Nations’ request to the junta to formulate a more inclusive and more transparent process, the de facto military rulers of Burma are going ahead with their planned referendum where existing and newly crafted laws threaten any body who dares to speak anything against it will face long prison sentences, which in Burma usually comes with an automatic bonus of tortures and ill-treatments. The military junta has rejected United Nations’ proposal to send UN monitors for the referendum. Notwithstanding the plan to hold constitutional referendum in May, majority of people in Burma haven’t seen the draft constitution; actually they don’t even know yet when exactly the referendum will be. Electoral registers are not yet complete, virtually non existent in many remote places of Burma where at least half of the country is either covered by jungles or on difficult terrains of steep hills and tall mountains. In spite of all these it is quite certain, at least for the junta, that the result of the referendum will be a “Yes”, that is even if people actually vote “No” in an overwhelming majority. The referendum is just a formality for the junta to enable them to announce that Burma has been given a new constitution, whether people like it or loathe it. That’s why junta has already declared that general elections will be held in 2010 under the new constitution which is yet to be approved by referendum!

Even though people loathe it and international community denounce it, the new constitution is going to be a very useful tool for the junta. After brutally killing dozens of Buddhist monks in a peaceful demonstration for better living conditions and improved human rights in Burma last year, the military junta came under immense pressure from United Nations and wide ranging sanctions from all self-respecting democratic governments around the world. Even junta’s main sponsor, communist Chinese government, felt embarrassed by Burmese Generals’ blatant breach of human rights. And there is a personal need for Senior General Than Shwe, the supreme leader of junta, who is alleged to be suffering from severe hypertension, diabetes and some intestinal tumours, to get a safe way out before he dies to leave a secure future for his family and a powerful legacy for his loyal followers in the military. A new civilian government, controlled by the military from behind the scene, under the new constitution will give Gen. Than Shwe a chance to claim that he has given a disciplined democracy to Burma. He has already time and again emphasized that Burma’s democracy will be in Burmese style, not American style. And junta’s big brothers China and Russia, and neighbouring countries like India and Thailand who want to get natural gas at a cheap price from Burmese generals will endorse junta’s claims of achieving disciplined democracy in Burma. So, although every self-respecting politician in the democratic hemisphere knows that Burmese people have been given a very bad deal for a fake democracy by their military government, the establishing of a so called disciplined democracy will buy Burmese generals some credibility in other hemisphere influenced by China, Russia and India.

As it is, the political opposition inside Burma and in exile know the fate awaiting them beyond the referendum. But, as terribly weak they are, as dreadfully disunited they are, and as woefully disorganized they are, the political opposition have no ways and means, i.e. no political institution or influence, to stop the referendum, or even to disrupt it. Since all brave and bold activists have been put behind bars during the Saffron Revolution last year, only a few elderly politicians are remaining outside jail, and they are these days just acting as care takers of the apparently exhausted main opposition party, looking forward with their weary eyes to a day in the dim future when the party will be revived by some miracle.

Some exile activists are suggesting boycotting the referendum. Perhaps, they may be able to persuade people in Burma not to vote in the referendum. The low turn out at the referendum may discredit it; but as the latest referendum law does not mention the minimum level of turn out for its validity, low turn out will not stop junta from declaring victory. On the other hand, it’s a certainty that junta will force its soldiers, soldiers’ families and civil servants to cast a “Yes” vote. And, junta lackey militant Kyant-phut and Swan-arr-shin organizations will mobilize their members to intimidate people to go to voting stations and vote “Yes”. Eventually, junta will just count what ever “Yes” votes they can garner and declare that more than 99.99% has voted Yes!

So, alternatively, some suggest making a “No” campaign, to urge people to go and vote No. There’s no question about people’s loathing of corrupt military rulers, and in all possibilities people will take “No” vote as their natural revenge on the brutal military junta. So “No” vote is the natural outcome for the referendum, provided it be genuinely free and fair with real secret voting system. “No” vote will teach a tough lesson to the military and seriously damage their ambition for a perpetual dominance in Burma’s politics. That’s why the all powerful military will not allow “No” campaign to win. Even now, to dishearten “No” campaigners, military is spreading rumours that if “No” campaign wins, another national convention will be convened again which will take another fifteen years like the previous one, effectively giving the military another fifteen years at least to go on ruling as transitional de facto government.

No one knows exactly how the military will respond to a victory of “No” vote. But, nonetheless, people will just have to vote “No” to a constitution which gives 25% of seats in both houses of parliament to military officers hand-picked by their commander-in-chief, which allows military to operate as a totally independent institution with no control what so ever by civilian government on it, which allows military to take over power virtually at any time they like, which allows only three presidential candidates with one of then to be hand-picked by the military. Only fools and soldiers will vote “Yes” to such a constitution; “No” vote is the only choice for people, and “No” campaign is a must for all political activists.

But, as no one knows if the military will really hold a free and fair referendum, as no one knows how military will respond to a “No” victory, and as nothing is certain in Burma where a bunch of unreasonable military generals have absolute control over everything, “No” campaign alone will not be enough solution for Burma’s problems. And, politicians and activists who want to carry on the torch of their political aspirations into long distant future, however bleak it might be, need to start preparing now for all eventualities beyond 2008 May referendum.

Here, it’d not be very impolite to point out an important reason of the chronic failure of Burma’s pro-democracy movement, that is the very re-active nature of many a movement leaders who lack pro-active plans but like to issue one ineffectual statement after another only in a sluggish response to those cunning political moves by street-wise military generals extending and strengthening their powers. Usually, whenever Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is under house-arrest, her deputies just wait for her return, acting only as quiescent care-takers in the mean time. But the problem is she has been under house-arrest most of the time during the last two decades. So, it’s not surprising that she seems to become quite frustrated with the current situation of apparent lack of life in her party. And she, during her last meeting earlier this year with her party elders, pointed out to them the need to carry on the fight with or without her inspiration, and to be able to make decisions with or without her guidance, especially at this critical moment for the future of the country.

So, while making “No” campaign, activists should also start thinking about the next steps to take when military junta declare, in a believe-it-or-not manner, that their constitution has been approved by referendum.

When the new constitution come into effect, by hook or by crook, there will open up three main options to continue the fight against military oppressors _

  1. To take the new constitution as the symbol of total defeat and failure of current non-violent struggle, and launch an all out armed revolution.
  2. To continue the non-violent struggle but in a more active manner, taking direct actions frequently, mobilizing Saffron Revolution style people power uprisings as frequently as possible, trying to destabilize any future puppet civilian government under military control.
  3. To play along with the new constitution and take part in elections and attempt to fight any future puppet civilian government from inside, or from inside the parliament
    Actually, all these three components can be used in a harmoniously synchronized combination. But to accomplish such a massive political effort and organization, pro-democracy parties will need new generations of more daring and more active leaders.

In reality, number two and number three options are more practically feasible than the first, as armed revolution nowadays seem to become totally obsolete. Since “nine eleven” no government around the world would provide assistance to an armed revolution in Burma, however much sympathetic they are to Burma’s struggle for democracy. And all those successful coloured democratic uprisings (velvet one in Georgia, orange one in Ukraine, etc) in recent history are based on non-armed movements. Even the terrorist Hamas has finally come to power in Gaza Strip through political elections. Likewise, today’s major armed ethnic resistance groups in Burma, if they understand changing trends in the world, will in near future need to form political wings like Sin Fein of IRA, to take part in elections and to make two-pronged efforts (non-armed political offensives as well as armed self defence against any attempted genocide) ultimately towards self-determination and autonomy in their homelands.

If the pro-democracy movement, especially the movement’s main political party the National League for Democracy NLD, is to survive and thrive beyond 2008, and beyond 2010, the party must try to build political muscle. Of course, military junta and its security apparatuses and its future successor puppet civilian government will all try their best to contain and crush NLD party. But if there’s a will, there will be a way. There had been many instances in the past where activists successfully organized strong movements despite intense scrutiny and tight control by security forces; e.g. , under difficult situations students organized and mobilized protests in 1987, 1988, 1996, and student leaders initiated white shirt movement and open heart campaigns of 2006 and anti-inflation demonstrations of 2007 despite the junta stamping down on them. And with the new constitution and new elections in 2010, it will become inevitable for military junta to allow some room for political activities inside the country. So NLD must try to regroup and rebuild itself, and must try to establish a well organized political institution inside the country, mostly above ground but also some under ground elements as required; and there must be a long line up, a virtually endless supply, of new generation leaders who will take over and carry on the fight whenever their senior colleagues are arrested or eliminated by the military.

Most important above all else will be to bring together people power; to re-align the movement as one for the people, and by the people, instead of a movement by a small group of politicians for transfer of power to their party.

Recently, there has been poverty relief efforts and rice distribution by Amyotheryei U Win Naing and group. And, there was Ko Htin Kyaw and group who voiced people’s concerns for the worsening poverty, lack of credible social welfare and lack of electricity supply, etc. And, there was an effort by Phyu Phyu Thin and group to provide assistance to HIV patients. And there were attempts by Su Su Nway and group to protect the rights of people used as forced labourers by the military. And there even is a group led by actor Kyaw Thu providing free funeral arrangements for poor families. And there are many a faceless civilian journalists and bloggers from inside Burma who try to record the sufferings of people and spread the word to the outside world. And there are numerous groups which are providing healthcare, education, food, shelter and other helps to refugees, migrants and displaced people along Thai-Burma border.

But sadly, we haven’t seen anything significant done, or said, by current caretaker leaders of the movement, and the elected people’s representatives inside and outside the country, for the relief of poverty and sufferings of the people.

Since 1990, all policy platforms of current caretaker leaders of the movement and the elected people’s representatives inside and outside the country have steadfastly been based on 1990 election results; all statements issued, all request and proposals made to the junta, all petitions and open letters written to United Nations, all policy initiatives laid down, and all political strategies designed have consistently been centred around 1990 election results and the need to get power transferred according to 1990 election results.

But the truth is, after nearly two whole decades, under very terrible real-life situations on the ground, the long suffering and now virtually starving people are no longer interested in election results of twenty years ago. And, the younger newer generation activists of today were either born after 1990 elections or were in a very tender young childhood at the time of the election. So, although they care very much about nowadays’ terrible poverty suffered by their fellow country men under a corrupt military junta, they do not care that much about an election result some two decades ago which the military junta refused to recognize.

And remember that the massive Saffron Revolution of 2007 was not at all about politics or political parties or political elections. The people in 2007 were already absolutely poor and on the brink of starvation which was dramatically worsened by junta’s five-fold increase in fuel prices. Angry people led by their student leaders came out onto streets and marched and made protests which were supported by Buddhist monks, which led to brutal beatings by soldiers on the monks, which in turn angered the mass of Buddhist monks and devotees in majority Buddhist country Burma, eventually leading to the explosion of the Saffron Revolution. So it is very clear that Saffron Revolution exploded solely and spontaneously out of people’s poverties and miseries, nothing to do with politicians or political parties.

Since before 1990, and until now, people of Burma have been trying to get rid of an unwanted military rule. But there is a delicate and gradual change in underlying reason to get rid of the military rule. In 1990s people were angry with the military junta because they felt that, by refusing to recognize 1990 election results, the military had cheated people of their legitimate choice of government. But in 2007 and now, people are angry with the military junta because military generals’ corruptions, brutalities and incompetence has caused so much and so terrible sufferings to the people.

So, if the pro-democracy movement is to survive and thrive beyond 2008 and 2010, there are two imminent and immediate requirements to fulfil.

The first is to reinvigorate the movement by getting more energetic new generation leaders who can get along and go along with people better, and are bold enough to initiate, organize and lead people power movements as required to take direct political action against military aggressors.

Nowadays’ younger generation of grass-root junior activists are looking for new generation leaders, like the 8888 generation students, who understand the people and are understood in return by the people, who sympathize with the people and are sympathized by the people, who speak out for the people and are spoken very highly of by the people, who stood up for the people and are rallied around by the people.

And the second requirement is to realign the movement with the people by speaking up about people’s sufferings, representing people’s interests, trying to help people in every possible way, fighting for the people, fighting to get power for the people but not fighting to get power for a party.

Usually, in democratic systems politicians whose policies best reflect people’s most pressing concerns have the best chance to get elected. Bill Clinton on economy platform during economic recessions of the beginnings of 1990s. Second Bush winning second term with a tough warrior stance on national security platform during an era of terrorist phobia.

As people in Burma are suffering quite a lot, there are a lot of things which Burmese politicians can speak out for their people. First of all there is very high inflation and low income, coupled with high un-employment and low morale. Many people are starving, and millions of children are malnourished. Child mortality rate is very high. With very meagre and poor quality health-care, maternal mortality rate is also high; and general population’s life expectancy is also very low. Nasty infectious diseases like HIV, TB, etc are very prevalent. Education system is very chaotic. Starving and un-educated children are sold into sex-slavery or used as under-age under-paid labourers. Jobless women also fall into prostitution in neighbouring countries. Military frequently uses people as unpaid forced labourers. Military also uses child soldiers. Military can confiscate people’s houses, land and any thing they want at any time and any where they like without giving any compensation. Judges, juries and the whole judicial system runs on bribery. The entire government bureaucratic system from top to bottom is rife with corruptions. And there is no media freedom, and all phones and emails and internet access are tightly controlled and monitored by security forces. If we go on and on (I¡Ä(B.. there will be an endless list of people’s sufferings. There is quite a lot for politicians to speak out on behalf of the people; they only need to have a will to do so. If politicians really love their country, as they usually tend to claim, they must think more about helping the people rather than about getting power for themselves. In a democratic system politicians really need to serve the people.

And, by the way, a few words about Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; there is a very strong possibility that the people’s long drawn-out struggle for human rights in Burma may outlive their leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. There is a very essential need to keep the freedom struggle and revolutionary spirit alive as long as necessary, until Burma become fully democratic with genuine and complete human rights, which may take up to twenty years or fifty years or even a century if all these democratic reforms and human rights improvements are to develop so very gradually against generations upon generations of hard-line dogmatic aggressive military generals who want to maintain their dominance in Burma’s politics. The need is real, and may be even urgent, to make sure that the struggle will not die down or fizzle out when, in an eventuality, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is no longer there to inspire it and lead it.

And concerning exile politicians; although they cannot serve the people directly, must try to make a difference in Burma’s politics by repeatedly telling the international community time and again about the non-inclusive nature of the constitution drafting convention, the un-democratic nature of the new constitution, the lack of transparency in the referendum, so the illegitimacy of coming elections in 2010, and also the puppet nature of the future civilian government which the military is trying to install under their control.

And for the United Nations and the international community; if they really want to help Burma, they must first try to understand the true nature of Burma’s current problems, and need to see clearly that Burma’s problem is not a power struggle between a political party and a military junta, but is about the suffering, poverty and misery of the people under a corrupt and incompetent military junta. So if international community want to give a genuine help to people of Burma, they must try to help relieve sufferings of the people, and also get more freedom for the people if possible. Before UN envoy Mr Gambari’s latest visit to Burma, when he sent five written requests to the junta, one of the requests was about co-operations between UN and Burmese junta to make a joint effort for poverty relief for the poor people of Burma. But it was rudely rejected by the military junta. But Mr Gambari should not be disappointed by the junta’s total indifference towards people’s sufferings, but keep up his good work and try again, and again, to provide direct help to the people.

And the future civilian government after 2010 elections (even though it most probably will be a puppet one); it should try its best to reduce hostilities among all political factions in Burma, and try to build trust, try to be flexible, and try to work well with all politicians and parties in the parliament; should even try to form a broad-based big-tent government if possible.

One last word, for the generals, about sanctions_ generals need to understand that sanctions are the fruits of their own wrong doings. As long as military dominance is persisting in Burma, so also will the sanctions be on the businesses of military generals, their families and cronies. Sanctions nowadays are a default response mechanism of international community to any authoritarian regime. So if they really want lifting of sanctions, Burmese generals need to show that they deserve it by making solid credible, even if gradual, reforms in the right direction.

(The author got the M.B.,B.S. Medical Degree from Burma but is not practising in UK. He  is now a post graduate Law student in London; and general secretary of the UK-based exile branch of Burma’s National League for Democracy)

Dear John Letter to the Dear Nan letters and Burma Digest

 Dear John Letter to the Dear Nan letters and Burma Digest

Dear Nan @ Burma Digest, 

We  first met and fall in love in April 2006, National Day of Burma and Shan National day. You even proudly published my first letter.

Since then, I started and continue to write my compassionate letters to you, followed by more than  300 letters. I thought that our union and love would last forever. Alas, it sadly last roughly two years only. I was quite stupid not to take the numerous comments criticizing my eleventh letter because I wrote about the history of Burmese Muslims. So I sadly stopped my series of love letters or compassionate letters to my estranged wife Nan, who represents the Shan State. Although I am a practicing Muslim, I took the place of a Buddhist Burmese and tried to stop the separation of the Shan State. 

I know that our different faith would tear us apart one day but never expect it to be too soon.

I tried to translate some of these letters about you into Burmese on our first anniversary that fell on 2007. This year on the second anniversary, I have done a great research, spend a lot of time and wrote 8 letters about you, SHANS. I think no one had done for the Shans like this in SHAN/BURMESE HISTORY.

But once there is no more love, hatred even blinded you and you dare to even blame me for those 8 Shan letters as unnecessary venturing into past. If you care enough, I have tried to write on all of your given topics or themes that you had requested in two years. Your words are my command Nan (Burma Digest). But all is finished now. (Even to call them theme was my idea given to you Nan.)

Although they said that “Rome could not be built in one day” but now I understand that it could be destroyed in one night.

But may be because of my daring revealing to be a mixed blooded Muslim, I know, your parents, relatives and and friends had pressured you, so you decided to write a quite rude “Dear John” letter to me.

We have known each other for not a very long time, but this poem describes our short lastest relationship.

We may have known each other for just a short time, but it feels like we’ve been together forever. But that’s water under the bridge now.

Goog bye Burma Digest or Shans or Nan.

With regards

Your ex-husband

 

Dr San Oo Aung

 

The following was my letters theme heading. 

Valentine Present with Love

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Please read the concept of MM daughter of Tun Dr M.
  1. I have no interest in joining any political party.
  2. I just have this thing against political parties;
  3. they all have a tendency to be a bit like organised religions_
    • where dissent is not tolerated
    • and dissenters condemned to hell.
                  
  4. If anyone agrees with me, that is welcomed but purely coincidental. If anyone doesn’t, well, that’s normal and to be expected. I only wish people had less problems with me disagreeing with them, than I have with them disagreeing with me. :-)
      Marina Mahathir     

    NOTE:
    Although I wrote this letter as if I was writing to my wife, I am just referring to the Shan State at first. These letters are purely political and it comes out from my heart which love the UNION OF BURMA AND SHAN STATE.
    But in this particular letter I am writing to Burma Digest and its Chief Editor. I even do not meant the Nan that represents Shan. I will never say good bye to my Shan State.
    And I never, never  had meant or aim to write to any one else through these letters.
    Sorry, if I have offended my own wife with this,  “Dear John Letter.”
    GOD KNOWS THE TRUTH!
    SOA

Future leaders of Burma should earn our trust

 Future leaders of Burma

should earn our trust

How could we trust future opposition leaders if they even refuse to listen or read the atrocities unfairly committed on the Burmese Muslim Minorities.

I am not blamming them or any other Burmans or Monks or Journalists but at least they should listen to us, and to give us promise to treat equally as the fellow Burmese citizens.

They need to convince us that they will practice secular government and all the decisions to choose, appoint, promote, select, transfer, award scholarships etc  would be strictly bases on meritocracy.

No compromise between

right and evil

Thomas Cranmer | Feb 28, 08 2:53pm

Politics is an arena in which personal convictions and public service intermingle like no other; a home of great power and yet a place where decisions require consensus and approval on many levels. Within a country composed of many religions, and bearing in mind the common root of convictions and beliefs, I feel it valuable to refresh our predominantly secular view of politics and politicians to include a religious point of reference. With your permission I would like to share my own personal viewpoint founded upon Christianity, in the hope it might at least provoke some thought about the political demands placed upon all of us by our respective religions.

As a Christian, I know that I am by no means isolated amongst members of the world’s major religions in being required to apply the guidelines and rules of my religion throughout my live without exception. The forthcoming election is certainly an occasion during which this requirement can be exercised, for insomuch as a Christian believes one candidate would do more good than another in the eyes of the Lord, it is incumbent upon the Christian to vote for that candidate.

Thus far, I am sure all seems quite agreeable. However, danger lurks in the naive application of such a principle; the promises made by a candidate before election frequently fail to reach fulfillment. Oftentimes the candidate lacks the experience, resolve or ability to bring about the changes promised. In yet other cases, the newly elected politician feels free to ignore promises which were made and begins to views them as merely a means by which to win votes.

How then should the Christian decide, given that promises cannot be taken at face value? A useful measure of the worth of a man is by the deeds he performs; as the Bible teaches, a good man will not bear bad fruits, nor a bad man bear good fruits. When one considers a candidate, a Christian should care to judge him based upon his past performance as well as what he promises for the future. If the fruits of his past are bad, why should one think that the fruits he will bear in the future will be good?

Yet still, this is not enough to judge a politician, for in the complex world of politics, a man’s will is not always entirely his own. There are frequently loyalties to political parties, other people or communities which will influence him if he is elected. It is true to say that a man cannot serve two masters; that is to say that he will serve God in his work, or he will serve his other master; he can never serve both entirely but will pay lip service to one and obey the other. Christians learn that to serve the weakest amongst us is to serve God himself, making true service of the most disadvantaged amongst mankind no conflict of interest with serving God. So, one should measure candidates against that yardstick and ascertain whether they strive to help everyone who is hungry, needy, ill or otherwise helpless and without the slightest regard to the creed, race, background, or nationality of those people, for these are signs of true service of God.

Needless to say, a Christian should count against a candidate any form of inequity, corruption, repression or works which enrich the wealthy above enriching the poor – for whether these are silently accepted or vocally supported they are a powerful indication that the politician seeks not to serve God but the evils of greed, thirst for power or base racist and nationalist depravities. Every good man fit for public office fights against these things at every step of the way, whatever the consequences may be for self, family, party or nation, for there can be no compromise between what is right and what is evil. Should no candidate match up to these very basic and most essential of requirements, then a Christian does well to pray for and hasten the finding of new candidates from amongst the most upright and God-fearing members of society.

Of particular importance to a Christian is that he must ensure that the candidate who gains his vote is one who will not stand in the way of God’s will. Importantly, this means choosing a candidate who supports freedom of religion, a freedom which allows Christians to be uninhibited in their obedience to the Word of God. One might check whether a candidate fully supports the right of Christians to spread the Good News to people of all races, religions and nations, and to serve God through every part of their lives. To me as a Christian, any politician who condones or leaves unopposed a limitation upon the teaching of Christianity and laws restricting forms of Christian public worship is in direct opposition to the expressed will of God.

As a Christian, I pray that the new government will have upright and God-fearing members sufficient that the will of God will be furthered throughout their term of parliament, and that God’s guidance and blessing will upon those in authority, throughout this nation and in all nations.

Communalism is a phenomenon hitherto unknown to Burma.

Burmans are known abroad as hospitable people and as such, they are friendly to foreigners, especially to Indians to whose country Burma owes her cultural heritage.

Racial hatred against Indians was a thing unheard of in Burma prior to 1930. Indians had even taken part in the movement for political independence. The Burmans on their part, also had demonstrated their solidarity with the Indian struggle for freedom. Dhobama Asi-Ayone, a nationalist organisation with socialist tendencies, the vanguard of the anti-imperialist struggle in Burma, have made various attempts to bring the two communities together. Dhobama Asi-Ayone has widened its scope by including the Indian masses. In all the workers’ struggles under the leadership of Dhobama Asi-Ayone, the Indian workers are fighting side by side with their Burmese comrades. Imperialism could  not tolerate the growing solidarity of the Indians and the Burmans.

Reference: Race Riots in Burma by Than Tun”

Anti Indian and anti Muslim sentiments

started during British rule

Anti Indian sentiments started after the First World War during the British rule.

Reference: Moshe Yegar, Muslims of Burma, page 32

In Burma there were half million Muslims in 1921. More than half of Indians were Indian Muslims.

Reference: Moshe Yegar, Muslims of Burma, page 29 paragraph 1 and foot note 1. Page 31 line 1, 2, 11

Although Myanmar Muslims are different from the Indian Muslims and Indian Myanmar Muslims, Burmese Buddhists put them together even mixed with Hindu Indians, and called them Kala.

Reference: Maurice Collis, Trials in Burma

”’The root of this hatred was”’

#Difference in religion.
#Basic anti foreigner feelings.
#Low standard of living of the recent migrants.
#Recent migrants willingness to do, Dirty, Difficult and Dangerous jobs.
#Indians bought the Burmese lands especially Chittiers.
#Indians had already filled up and monopolized the government services when the Burmese were later ready for those jobs.
#Professional competition.
#World economic recession of 1930 aggravated the competition for the reduced economic pie.

Reference:

  1. Maurice Collis, Trials in Burma
  2. Moshe Yegar, Muslims of Burma, page 111, paragraph 4, line 8 to 15. Page 27, paragraph 4, line 5,6,7. Page 31 paragraph 2. Page 32 paragraph 4

 Anti Muslim riots in 1938

There was another anti Muslim riots in 1938, while still under British rule. The real basic hidden agenda was aimed at British Government but the Burmese dare not show this openly. The growing Nationalistic sentiments fanned by the local media disguised as anti Muslim to avoid the early detection and notice followed by the full blown force of mighty British Government machinery.Throughout the Burmese struggles against British rule, all the political issues, movements, meetings, demonstrations, riots, rebellions and even the revolutions were instigated, inspired, influenced and led by newspapers.

Reference:

  1. Democratic Voice of Burma, Media conference (July 19-20, Oslo) Burmese Media: Past, present and future by U Thaung (Mirror/Kyae Mon news paper Retired Chief Editor
  2. Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar,Page 32 paragraph 4.Page 36,  paragraph 1, line 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15

Burma for Burmese Campaign

Burmese started the Burma for Burmese only Campaign. Then marched to the Muslim (Surti) Bazar.

Reference:

 Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar,Page 36, paragraph 3.

While the Indian Police broke the violent demonstration, three monks were hurt. Burmese Newspapers use the pictures of Indian police attacking the Buddhist monks to further incite the spread of riots.

Reference:

 Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar,Page 36, paragraph 4. Page 37, line 1,2

Muslim properties: shops, houses and mosques were looted, destroyed and burnt to ashes. They assaulted and even massacred the Muslims. It spreads to all over Burma and recorded that 113 mosques were damaged.

Reference:

 Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar,Page 37, paragraph 2.

British Official White Paper

This paragraph’s basic facts are taken from Maurice Collis’ Trials in Burma. He was the judge in Rangoon, eye witnessed the riots and wrote his book based on the British Official White Paper given by, The Simon Commission. (The Royal Statutory Commission, appointed according to the Law of the Government of India 1919, The Montague-Chelmsford Law.)

Reference:

 Maurice Collis, Trials in Burma

The Inquiry Committee by  British

On 22.9.38. British Governor set up the Inquiry Committee.

Reference:

 Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar,Page 38, line 1

They found out that the real cause was the discontent in the government regarding the deterioration in sociopolitical and economic conditions of Burmans.

Reference:

 Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar,Page 38, paragraph 2

The book was used as an inciting factor by the irresponsible Burmese newspapers.

Reference:

 Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar,Page 38, paragraph 2, line 12,13,14

They use the anti Muslim propaganda as a disguise to cover up for the political struggle to gain independence.So the Buddhist used the Muslims as a scapegoat, for the first time, to fight against the British.

The Simon Commission (The Royal Statutory Commission, appointed according to the Law of the Government of India1919, The Montague-Chelmsford Law) to inquire the effects of Dyarchy system of ruling Burma, had recommended that special places be assigned to the Myanmar Muslims in the Legislative Council.

It recommended that_

  1. full rights of citizenship should be guaranteed to all the minorities:
  2. the right of free worship,
  3. the right to follow their own customs,
  4. the right to own property
  5. and to receive a share of the public revenues
  6. for the maintenance of their own educational and charitable institutions.
  7. It recommended Home Rule
  • or independent government separate from India
  • or the status of dominion.

But the British Government refused to accept all those recommended except the separation, at the round table committee on India held in London in 1930.

Muslims under General Ne Win

When General Ne Win swept to power on a wave of nationalism in 1962, the status of Muslims changed for the worse. Muslims were expelled from the army and were rapidly marginalized.
The generic racist slur of “kala” (black) used against perceived “foreigners” has especially negative connotations when referring to Burmese Muslims.

The dictatorial government, which operates a pervasive internal security apparatus, generally infiltrates or monitors the meetings and activities of virtually all organizations, including religious organizations.

Accusations of “terrorism” are made against Muslim organizations such as the All Burma Muslim Union

Many Muslims have joined armed resistance groups who are fighting for greater freedoms in Myanmar.

Bertil Lintner predicted the 1988 Anti-Muslim riot
 
Being familiar with the above usual maneuver, adopted by the Burma Military Government, Bertil Lintner, famous Sweden journalist expert on Burma, was certain that the economic failure and political dissent would be covered up by inciting anti-Muslim racial riots. The premonitions and predictions he made made since 17th. of April 1988 in the Bangkok Post, really come true within a couple of months’ time.

Reference: 17th. of April 1988 in the Bangkok Post

Myanmar Government agents managed successfully to incite the anti-Muslim riots in Taung Gyi and Prome, the native town of Ne Win.  Hundreds of Muslims were killed especially in Prome. Properties of Muslims were looted or were put to the torch. Houses, shops, mosques, Muslim religious schools and even the Muslim orphanage were destroyed in those areas. The Military Intelligence chief Brigadier General Tin Oo surreptitiously launched an anti-Muslim campaign in Min Doan and Kyone Doe but that attempt, fizzled out and failed to create widespread community riots in the country. After that some of the Muslim victims fled to the east near Burma Thailand border and formed a group of Muslim freedom fighters who vowed to fight against the central Burmese Government.

Reference: Bertil Lintner, famous Sweden journalist expert on Burma, 17th. of April 1988 in the Bangkok Post

Anti-Muslim Riots in Mandalay (1997)

The racial tension in March 1997 between Buddhists and Muslims and the attack on Muslim properties was ”’apparently masterminded by the ruling regime in Burma”’. The bronze Buddha statue in the Maha Myatmuni pagoda, originally from the Arakan, brought to Mandalay by King Bodawpaya in 1784 AD was renovated by the authorities. The Mahamyat Muni statue was broken open, leaving a gaping hole in the statue, and it was generally presumed that the regime was searching for the Padamya Myetshin, a legendary ruby that ensures victory in war to those who possess it.

Reference: Houtman, Gustaaf. Mental Culture in Burmese Crisis Politics: Chapter 5 Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa Monograph Series No. 33. Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, 1999, 400 pp. ISBN 4-87297-748-3</

On 16 March 1997 beginning at about 3:30 p.m. a mob of about 1,000/1,500 Buddhist monks and others shouted anti-Muslim slogans without provocation of any kind on the part of the Muslims.  They targeted the mosques first for attack, followed by Muslim shop-houses and transportation vehicles in the vicinity of mosques, damaging, destroying, looting, and trampling, burning the religious books, committing acts of sacrilege.  The area where the acts of damage, destruction, and lootings committed in Kaingdan, Mandalay.

Reference: IMAGES ASIA: REPORT ON THE SITUATION FOR MUSLIMS IN BURMA.

On May 1997 the unrest in Mandalay allegedly began after reports of an attempted rape of a girl by Muslim men. At least three people have been killed and around 100 monks arrested.

Reference: Chronology for Rohingya (Arakanese) in Burma

 Anti-Muslim Riots in Taungoo(2001)

In 2001,”Myo Pyauk Hmar Soe Kyauk Hla Tai ” (or) The Fear of Losing One’s Race and many other anti-Muslim pamphlets were widely distributed by monks. Distribution of the pamphlets was also facilitated by the ”’Union of Solidarity and Development Association (USDA)”’. The ”’USDA”’ is the civilian support wing of the military regime.

Reference:Myanmar’s Muslim sideshow, by Cem Ozturk. Asia Times online, Oct 21, 2003. Paragraph 22

Many Muslims feel that this exacerbated the anti-Muslim feelings that had been provoked by the destruction in Bamiyan, Afghanistan.

Reference: Crackdown on Burmse Muslims, July 2002.

The above anti-Buddhist actions of the Taliban in Afghanistan the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan was used as a pretext to commit violence against Muslims in Myanmar by Buddhist mobs. Human Rights Watch reports that there was mounting tension between the Buddhist and Muslim communities in Taungoo for weeks before it erupted into violence in the middle of May 2001.

Buddhist monks demanded that the Hantha Mosque in Taungoo be destroyed in “retaliation” for the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan.

Mobs of Buddhists, led by monks, vandalized Muslim-owned businesses and property and attacked and killed Muslims in Muslim communities.

Reference: Myanmar’s Muslim sideshow, by Cem Ozturk. Asia Times online, Oct 21, 2003.

Buddhist monks demanded that the ancient Hantha Mosque in Taungoo be destroyed in retaliation for the destruction in Bamiyan.

Reference: Crackdon on Burmese Muslims, Human Right Watch Briefing Paper 

On May, 18, however, Han Tha mosque and Taungoo Railway station mosque were razed to ground by bulldozers owned by the SPDC junta..

Reference: Crackdon on Burmese Muslims, Human Right Watch Briefing Paper

On May, 15, 2001, anti-Muslim riots  broke out in Taungoo, Pegu division, resulting in the deaths of about 200 Muslims, in the destruction of 11 mosques and setting ablaze of over 400 houses.

On May, 15, the first day of the anti-Muslim uprisings, about 20 Muslims who were praying in the Han Tha mosque were killed and some were beaten to death by the pro-junta forces.

On May, 17, 2001,  Lt. General Win Myint, Secretary No.3 of the SPDC and deputy Home and Religious minister arrived and curfew was imposed there in Taungoo. All communication lines were disconnected.

Reference: Burma Net News:July 16,2001

The mosques in Taungoo remained closed as of May 2002. Muslims have been forced to worship in their homes. Local Muslim leaders complain that they are still harassed.  After the violence, many local Muslims moved away from Taungoo to other nearby towns and as far away as Yangon. After two days of violence the military stepped in and the violence immediately ended.

Reference: Crackdown on Burmese Muslims,
Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper

There also were reports that local government authorities alerted Muslim elders in advance of the attacks and warned them not to retaliate to avoid escalating the violence. While the details of how the attacks began and who carried them out were unclear by year’s end, the violence significantly heightened tensions between the Buddhist and Muslim communities.

Reference: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices  ,
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 4, 2002

Burmese Muslims requested the future leaders including the opposition leaders to grant the following Basic Human Rights

Burmese Muslims requested

the future leaders of Burma

including the opposition leaders

to grant the following Basic Human Rights

The following basic Human Rights should be granted to all the citizens including all the Muslims of Burma/Myanmar:

  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!

We all must recognize and implement:

  1. (i) The Status, Rights, protection, participation and representation of all the Ethnic Minorities.
  2. (ii) The Status, Rights, protection, participation and representation of all the Minority Religious groups.
  3. (iii) The Status, Rights and protection of the poor and downtrodden.
  4. (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.
  5. (v) Majority got the right to rule. But they must respect, protect and guarantee the Minorities’ rights.
  6. (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.
  7. (vii) Majority must ‘sacrifice’ their absolute power by reserving some places and positions thus giving the Minorities the chance of participation and representation.
  8. (viii) Workers rights and adequate protection. Rights of forming unions, strikes, compensation, recreation, various benefits, pension and etc.
  9. (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 –

  1. (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.
  2. (b) Rural development, Urbanization, squatter relocation and settlements.
  3. (c) Basic infrastructure facilities, water, electricity, highways, telephone, multimedia facilities, railways, seaports and etc. 

not to forget the most important basic issue of :

  1. (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.
  2. (ii) We also wish to request that the minorities must have a say in the governance or at least the laws and rulings that are related or affected them.
  3. (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.

 “Counting the ballots is better than cracking the skulls”.

We need the folowing undertaking by the future governments of Burma/Myanmar_:

  1. 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. 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. 3. Newspapers, TVs and all the media must be free and independent to probe and do investigative reports.
  4. 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. 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.

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

  1. Freedom of speech.
  2. Freedom of association.
  3. True, full democracy.
  4. Separation of Powers between Government, Judiciary, Police & Military.
  5. Independent, competitive non-government media, free from government censorship or editorial restrictions.
  6. Full freedom of religious-thought, belief, expression & practice, including abolition of Government controls of religious affairs.
  7. The right of self-determination.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. Religious & Political organisations must be permitted.

if I go into details of other Human Rights such as:

  1. (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.
  2. (ii) Women’s Rights,
  3. (iii) Children’s various Rights,
  4. (iv) Senior citizens’ Rights, Handicapped Persons’ Rights, and various victims of diseases, HIV patients, Ca patients etc Rights.
  5. (v) Workers Rights; Workers Unions’ Rights, Foreign Workers’ (legal and illegal) Rights etc
  6. (vi) Foreigners’ Rights; Foreign temporary Residences Rights, visitors, tourists, Foreign Investors and Asylum or refugee seekers’ Rights etc
  7. (vii) Diplomatic Rights, Inventors’ Rights, Artists’ Rights, Patent Rights etc. etc…

Look Burmese Democrats, are UK Politicians really secular?

Look Burmese Democrats!

are UK Politicians really secular?

Burmese opposition used not very secular UK Politicians to shutup Burmese Muslim grieviences. Burmese opposition activists and journalists pointed at the so called democratic SECULAR UK government and politicians but they failed to see or are blinded that although British  Politicians claimed to be secular,  they used this LAME EXCUSE to shutout other religious practices except Christian and Judism.  

In the democracy index, analysed in The Economist’s annual publication, The World in 2007 that grades 167 countries out of 192 independent states according to their degree of democracy. Among the “Full democracies” Britain is 23rd. Not impressive at all!

Do you know what my favourit hero, young Saya Daw U Ottama’s (named Mg Paw Tun) advise to his brother (Tun Kyaw Aung) ,

“Young brother, in any exam you have to aim for the first position.”

And he threw away his second prize medal for the fifth Std. awarded by British District Chief, into the Kaladan river. So no need to look up at how UK treat its non Christian citizens according to U Ottama’s wise advice. No need to copy them!

Christian British have the upper hand so they pretend to put religion out of politics jut to maintain the Status pro! Look how they treat the British Muslims with contempt. Britain’s democracy on religion is just a shit you all Burmese Democrats wish to copy for Buddhist Burma?

We want full democracy; respecting the Human Rights of all the citizens irrespective of race, religion or creed. And the Individual freedom in the corruption free Myanmar. May be I am day dreaming a Utopia.

Secular = 

(A)adj.

  1. Worldly rather than spiritual.
  2. Not specifically relating to religion or to a religious body: secular music.
  3. Relating to or advocating secularism.
  4. Not bound by monastic restrictions, especially not belonging to a religious order. Used of the clergy.

 (B) Noun.

  1. Religious skepticism or indifference.
  2. The view that religious considerations should be excluded from civil affairs or public education.

Secularism was the word adopted by George Jacob Holyoake in the early 1850s to describe a system of morals and social action shaped exclusively by this-worldly considerations, irrespective of religious beliefs. The word was derived from the secular education movement for the complete separation of religious teaching from other forms of education.
 

But we could see the hypocrisy when  they could print or publish Islam bashing articles in their web pages and newspapers.

Hypocrisy = Noun, pl. -sies.

  1. The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.
  2. An act or instance of such falseness.

[Middle English ipocrisie, from Old French, from Late Latin hypocrisis, play-acting, pretense, from Greek hupokrisis, from hupokrīnesthai, to play a part, pretend : hupo-, hypo- + krīnesthai, to explain, middle voice of krīnein, to decide, judge.]

 

br-par-cr-2.png

Anti Heathrow expansion protesters hang banners from

Parliament building in London, Britain, 27 February 2008. …
 

br-par-cr.png

bishop.jpgDr. Geoffrey Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the most senior figure in the Church of England, has faced a barrage of criticism since making the remarks, first in a BBC interview and then in a speech at the Royal Courts of Justice, that the adoption of Sharia law in Britain seemed “unavoidable”.

According to Lambeth Palace, the archbishop “sought carefully to explore the limits of a unitary and secular legal system in the presence of an increasingly plural (including religiously plural) society and to see how such a unitary system might be able to accommodate religious claims”. His lecture was “well-researched” and involved consultation with legal experts, especially people with knowledge and experience of Jewish and Islamic legal systems.

sharia councils in some places already exist informally. “It might be better to formalise them under British law, to make sure they do correspond to British law. But there are real practical difficulties.”

Stephen Lowe, the Bishop of Hulme, condemned the “kneejerk” response to the remarks as a “shame on our nation”.He told Radio 4’s The World at One: “We have probably one of the greatest and the brightest archbishops of Canterbury we have had for many a long day. The way he has been ridiculed, lampooned and treated by some people and indeed some of the media … is quite disgraceful.”

Tariq Ramadan, professor of Islamic studies at Oxford University, who was quoted at length by Williams, said: “These kinds of statements just feed the fears of fellow citizens and I really think we, as Muslims, need to … abide by the common law. And within these latitudes there are possibilities for us to be faithful to Islamic principles.”

With his plea for recognition of the Muslim legal system in Britain, the archbishop of Canterbury has outraged his people. The comments delighted some Muslims, but outraged many others in Britain.

The Sun tabloid labeled him a “a dangerous threat to our nation,” and the Daily Express wrote that he had capitulated to Muslim extremists. The tabloids used words such as “outcry” and “rage” to describe the public reaction and called for him to resign.

The archbishop, leader of the world’s 80 million Anglicans, had suggested that Shariah, the Islamic legal code, should be introduced in Great Britain — at least parts of it. He said that religious judges should be allowed to make rulings on some civil matters and that British courts should recognize those decisions — in cases dealing with marriage, divorce or disputes, for example.

“The prime minister believes British law should apply in this country, based on British values,” the spokesperson for Prime Minister Gordon Brown coolly commented. Culture Secretary Andy Burnham labeled it “a recipe for disaster.”

Shariah is a touchy subject in the debate about the role of Islam. And to the horror of the British public, opinion polls taken of the country’s Muslim residents show that up to 40 percent want the right to apply Islamic justice in their areas of residence.

A system of “Shariah councils” has long existed in Britain where Muslims can go to seek rulings on marital issues and other disputes. Although these rulings are not binding in any way under British law, many Muslim families still observe and adhere to them.

While Williams has since been backed by other senior bishops, the media’s reaction has been poisonous, drawing lurid headlines accusing him of everything from cowardice to tacit support for Islamic terror. Some editorialists have called for him to resign, but the Church of England said Sunday he would not do so.

The REAL IDIOT John O’ Sullivan wrote in New York Post on Thursday, February 14, 2008

Now, there’s space in British law for private arbitration, as Rowan Williams said. Businesses sometimes build it into contracts; Jewish courts have long handled disputes that both parties voluntarily submit to them for resolution. (SHIT, JEW LAWS ARE OK in SECULAR UK but Muslims are not allowed to practice according to their own Laws!)

I heard on the BBC that British legal system is based on BIBLE (is this secular?) and could not accept the Islamic Laws.

 After all these racist Britishs were the ones who already had the experience of Islamic Religious laws as Customary Laws in their Muslim Colonies, to name a few even Burma, India, Malaysia etc.. Now only all the UK government and Law makers are acting fool, dumb or idiotic of their historical experiences.

Medical bodies investigate and punish breaches of professional ethics.

The IDIOT John O’ Sullivan insulted the Bishop.

Alas, in the course of persuading both sides not to push their disputes to the point of breaking up Anglicanism, Rowan Williams as primate (first bishop among equals), has repeatedly turned the other cheek – and repeatedly got slapped by both sides. More, he has shown a genius for putting his foot in it with ill-judged public statements – for instance, that terrorists “can have serious moral goals” or that Western market transactions might be “acts of aggression” against the world’s poor – that then require several rounds of further explanation.

One Sharia “court” in a London suburb, Leyton, has reportedly more than 7,000 divorces.

If UK is truely secular, could you explain the following_

Mohamed Abdel Moneim Fayed, widely known as Mohamed Al Fayed,  an Egyptian businessman and billionaire. He is the owner of Harrods department store in Knightsbridge, the English Premiership football team Fulham Football Club and other business interests. His fifth child, Dodi from Al Fayed’s first marriage was killed with Diana, Princess of Wales and Henri Paul, the driver of the car and employee of the Fayed-owned Hôtel Ritz Paris, during the infamous car crash in Paris, 1997.

He arrived in Britain in 1974 .

In 1979, Al Fayed bought the Hôtel Ritz Paris, and restored it to its former glory for which he was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour (Legion d’Honneur) by the then President of France, Francois Mitterand.

 In 1985, he and his brother Ali Al-Fayed bought House of Fraser, a group that included the famous London store Harrods, for £615m. 

For years, Al Fayed unsuccessfully sought British citizenship, despite having four British children and paying millions in taxes; also donating vast sums to charities including Great Ormond Street Hospital. Both Labour and Conservative Home Secretaries repeatedly rejected his applications on the grounds that he was not of good character. He took the matter to court, but failed.

When we heard the news of our Burmese Buddhists and Christians easily getting PR and Citizenships, we wonder whether Al Fayed was denied citizenship just because of his faith, ISLAM.

Al Fayed’s eldest son, Dodi had a close relationship with Diana, Princess of Wales. Both were killed in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997. Al Fayed has since made repeated allegations that the deaths were not accidental but rather the result of a wide-ranging conspiracy involving Prince Philip and MI6. We need to consider whether his accusations were possible or not as we could not get any prove from any side. But there is no smoke without fire. If Dodi were a Christian, who knows the fairytale could end with they live happily together… 

And just look at the Anglo-Burmans in GREAT SACULAR England_

Margaret Thatcher introduced a new laws for British citizenship  in the year 1982. Where although the grandfather was three quarters English and his teenager child is still classified Anglo-Burman whereas the father, whose ID goes back to before the new law was introduced, was not.

It is of course absurd and patently unjust but I dare say that although it effects Burmese British all of you just keep quiet!. It’s as if the Burmese military regime had taken its cue from Margaret Thatcher’s new laws for British citizenship introduced in the same year 1982.

The new citizenship effecting on Burmese

and favour the EU (READ:ALL CHRISTIANS)

jacqui_smith.jpg(Non EU) Foreigners living in Britain will be expected to go through a new expanded citizenship process or leave the country, under new plans outlined by ministers today.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she wanted to end the situation where foreign nationals “languish in limbo” by living here but not adapting to the British way of life.

Even the ultra-wealthy – (Ha Ha like Al Fayed) who can currently avoid some of the conditions imposed on less well-off immigrants – will be expected to apply for British nationality or permanent residence.

“You will not be able to languish in limbo. Once your period of temporary residence comes to an end you will need to apply for the next stage or leave.”

Winning citizenship will take at least six years from the point someone arrives in the UK, a year longer than at present because of a new stage of “probationary citizenship”.

The probation period will last 12 months if the foreigner takes part in community activities such as volunteering, charity fund-raising, running a sports team or playgroup, or working as a school governor.

Migrants who do not take part in community work will have to wait longer – the existing five years plus a minimum of three years’ probation.

This type of community work may even be made compulsory, said a Green Paper published today.

The rules will not apply to Europeans –

including those from the eastern European countries

which recently joined the EU.

But Ms Smith also announced a new review of access to welfare payments, such as child benefit, by people from other European Economic Area countries.

Ms Smith went on: “I don’t think it is a good thing to have people who are permanently living here but have not taken that step towards permanent citizenship.”

Full access to benefits – such as jobseeker’s allowance and income support – will no longer be granted after a person has been in the UK for five years.

Applicants will instead have to wait until they have completed their probationary period.

New conditions will be introduced on winning British citizenship, such as an emphasis on being law-abiding. (For EU members no need  to be a LAW -ABIDING  person?)

If human rights laws prevented someone with a criminal record from being removed from Britain, they would have to serve five years’ probationary citizenship, it added.

Minor offenders could have to serve three years’ probationary citizenship, and extra time could also be imposed on applicants who had been convicted of violent, drug or sex offences.

Parents whose children commit crime could be barred from citizenship or permanent residence in the UK, the document suggested.

“If people won’t play by the rules in this country their journey to citizenship should be halted or slowed down,” said Ms Smith.

A new fund financed by a surcharge on immigration applications will be set up to give cash to areas of the country which experience problems due to immigration – such as over-subscribed schools.

The fund is expected to raise tens of millions of pounds a year.

A draft Bill based on today’s proposals is due this summer with full legislation expected in November.

Changes will apply to new arrivals after the new laws are passed, and not to foreigners already living in the UK, so reforms are only likely to affect migrants arriving from 2010.