To rebuild our beloved Burma on Moral High Grounds

To rebuild our beloved Burma

on Moral High Grounds

 

Lowliness is young ambition’s ladder,

Whereto the climber upward turns his face;

But when he once attains the up most round,

He then unto the ladder turns his back,

Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees

By which he did ascend.

Shakespeare’s – Julius Caesar II.i.22.

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Success put us in the higher position. Once at the top_ in Burmese ‘Auk che loot thee’_ we forgot our origin and became very proud and arrogant.

‘Pwint Kaung’ Fish paste and Fish Sauce factory was nationalized. After many years General Ne Win wanted to give back the deteriorating factory to the owner and called the owner, U Pwint Kaung three times. But U Pwint Kaung refused to go back and accept his old factory. When General Ne Win rang up and asked, he replied, “Bogyoke, I could repair the ruined machines but could not changed back the ruined workers”.

General Htun Kyi was removed from the post of the Minister of Trade for corruption but was never tried in open court or punished because of fear of exposing the involvement of the colleagues in the cabinet. He was famously or rather notoriously quoted while still as a Minister:

 “Money can buy any thing you want. If you offer the US ten Dollar note, a hand will come out even from the graveyard to accept it. US hundred Dollar note may attract the whole body to come out to reach it.” When he was removed from office and investigated by the Military Intelligence he shouted at them to go and look at Daw Kyaing Kyaing’s Kyat 200 million worth of diamond earrings which he had given as bribes. So no one dare to continue with the investigations.

Daw Kyaing Kyaing is famous or notorious for her extreme greediness in bribe-taking. Once General Maung Aye was traveling in a helicopter and saw a very long convoy of teak timber lorries. He was angry and ordered his subordinates to take action on those illegal loggers as they were responsible for the deforestation of the hills and making them look like bald-heads. He fell silent when replied that those are Daw Kyaing Kyaing’s peoples and properties.

If we use the concept or philosophy of General Htun Kyi as input into a barometer to gauge the level of corruption in Myanmar Military Rulers the result will be frightening. The corruption of Generals and Government servants spread up to abroad. Myanmar Embassies’ staffs up to the Ambassadors and their family members would go around the Burmese Business communities and use to demand buying for them the latest most expensive hand phones, laptop computers etc… Government Procedure Code 4 or in Burmese ‘Poke ma lay, meaning, Pay hma loke,” that is ‘start work (service) only when bribed’, is widely practiced in the whole Myanmar and had even spread to Myanmar Embassies abroad. It is widely believed that this corruption leads to the burning of the Myanmar Embassy in KL.

Unemployment, insufficient income or low earning power, inflation and scarcity of goods lead to: _

Mushrooming of black-marketers everywhere including smuggling across all the borders and transport to the whole country.

Sprouting of new business of selling and buying of rations, permits and goods obtained by these rights. Even the Military authorities up to the Generals and Cabinet Ministers are practicing this. The army drivers sell their petrol, and wives of ministers use to sell sugars, condensed milk tins, soaps, cosmetics, electrical, building materials like cement and zinc coated corrugated iron sheets etc.

Military authorities and their cronies get nationalized apartments and sold off later. Some of them acquired the government land or the land government had acquired by various methods from the ordinary people. They acquired the building materials, sold part of it which can not only cover the cost of building material but the labour expenses also. Later the finished buildings were sold off with exuberant prices. This circle goes on and including the various levels of Military authorities. They built buildings in every town they were posted and also in their home town with the excuse of settling later after retirement.

Corruption became rampant. All three generations of Military governments’ machinery is plagued with corruption.

There appears a special class of “Sitt, Taung Sar” a homophone in Myanmar. Sounds like the Mayor or ruler of Sittang. But the real meaning Sitt is- inspection, investigation or audit. Taung means ask or demand for bribes. Sar is taking or accepting bribery. (But the corrupt authorities failed to realize that actually that Sit Taung Sar really rhymes with Tha Daung Saar or beggars. As all the people have to work or deal with black markets and smuggling bribery became ticket of survival. Because income is not enough the corruption became essential for many government servants and Military authorities.

Drug smugglers, prostitutes and gamblers are not accepted by the public in general but their easy money some times covered up for most of misdeeds until they are exposed.

Emigration permanently or temporarily also became new phenomena.

Working as sailors or legal and illegal migrant workers in foreign country is also one of the best solutions for the people and country. They bring back hard currency and essential as well as luxury goods.

It is also a blessing in disguise for all the Myanmar people. It forced and changed Burmese into a hard working people. People are working double jobs. In the evening and nights they are taking part time or second job in addition to their regular daytime jobs.

So it is up to the person’s character, moral values and upbringings, whether he is spoilt and degenerated or improved, polished and progressed in this trying hard time.

Corruption is a general concept describing any organized, interdependent system in which part of the system is either not performing duties it was originally intended to, or performing them in an improper way, to the detriment of the system’s original purpose. 

Specific types of corruption include:

1.         Political corruption, corruption of a political system through bribery, intimidation, extortion, vote buying, destabilization, or influence peddling

2.         Police corruption

3.         Corporate crime

4.         People’s corruption

In broad terms, political corruption is the misuse of public (governmental) power for illegitimate, usually secret, private advantage.

All forms of government are susceptible to political corruption. Forms of corruption vary, but the most common are patronage, bribery, extortion, influence peddling, fraud, embezzlement, and nepotism. While corruption often facilitates criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and criminal prostitution, it is not restricted to these organized crime activities, and it does not always support or shield other crimes.

What constitutes illegal corruption differs depending on the country or jurisdiction. Certain political funding practices that are legal in one place may be illegal in another. In some countries, police and prosecutors have broad discretion over who to arrest and charge, and the line between discretion and corruption can be difficult to draw, as in racial profiling. In countries with strong interest group politics, practices that could easily constitute corruption elsewhere are sometimes sanctified as official group preferences.

Alexander the Great was retorted by a pirate that because he had a small boat only that he was called a thief and pirate, but as Alexander had a navy so was called an emperor.

Yes! This is an unfair world at that time. He who kills an ordinary person is the murderer and must be punished. But he who killed a king become the ruler and ascends the throne.

There was a very popular joke in Burma (Myanmar). We all know that Singapore Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yu was General Ne Win’s best friend.

Mr Lee told Ne Win, “I would be able to turn Burma in to a ‘Singapore’ if you allow me to rule Burma just for only three years”.

Ne Win retorted immediately,” I also could turn Singapore in to ‘Burma’ just in only three months, if you give me a chance.”

That satire spread like a wild fire among all Burmese citizens without the help of any media.

Sure, Ne Win can! He and Myanmar Military Generals would be able to ruin and rob Singapore, till it bankrupt in a very short period.

He already had turned the once wealthy Burma into one of poorest country in the world. Actually Burma before Ne Win was the second most developed and wealthy country in Asia after Japan. Now she is among the least developed countries in the whole world.

If the country or a company or a person is bankrupt we could safe within five years but if the people of a country bankrupt morally, we could not safe and correct back in fifty years that is about one generation.

Successive Myanmar Military Governments not only robbed and ruin the country’s wealth physically but also corrupted and destroyed the peoples’ moral values in to a shambles, shabbiness and shame.

Myanmar Military Governments repeatedly brainwashed the people, by using all his government machinery and propaganda warfare techniques that he had to take over powers because of the historical needs, to save the country from the destructive hands of democracy leaders leading into division as multiple small states.

SLORC and SPDC Generals just echoed the same theme and claimed that they have no choice but to save the country from disintegration in the hand of evil forces. Namely the foreign agents, communists, Ethnic Minorities and rebels were named just to drum up the support making use of the patriotism and nationalistic spirits of the ordinary innocent naive people.

The worst of all, Ne Win planted the corrupted ideology or seed of the ‘Right to rule’ in the mind of the Burma Army. Successive Myanmar Military rulers not only believed and accepted it as a rule but made it in to a doctrine and determined to put it in their new constitution. They conveniently forgotten that the might is neither always right nor supreme but the knowledge or the brain rules the world.

They forgot that the military is the servant and is just like the security guard of the country and the people but not the masters, as they believed. People paid from their various taxes to the Army to protect them from the internal and external enemies, but never appointed the Army Generals to be their masters. The last free and fair General Election clearly proved this. The whole world knows this but the Myanmar Generals had given lame excuses just to hold on the power against the will of the people.

It is obvious that the security guards of a bank have no legal right at all to claim that the Directors and Managers of the bank are incompetent and they, the security guards, have the right to take over and run the bank to ‘save’ it. This is much more serious than criminal breach of trust and abuse of force. It is worse than a simple robbery but a great treachery. Myanmar Military Leaders are doing exactly like these security guards of the bank. The world’s largest and most powerful armies are kept under the control of the civilian Defense Ministers’ command. Even in the communist parties and in the various rebel groups around the world including those in Burma, the political faction keeps the right to command. The Military faction has to obey the orders.

Even in the domain of the wars and battles which is the main task and work for the armies, the Great Generals have no right at all to declare and start a war, or stop the war. Traditionally Political Leaders of the country have to decide these and the Generals have to obey the command, although they may be consulted for their advice and information.

General Ne Win took over the power in March of 1962. Military coups were quite popular in those days of early sixties in Asia, Africa and in Latin America. Now it is out of fashion and most of them reverted back to the civilian rule.

And the concept of Socialism and Communism was also very popular in those countries then because they had a bitter taste of colonialism and equate their western colonial masters with Capitalism and Democracy.

Nowadays only, most of the world realized the ugly side of Socialism and Communism especially because of their associated Authoritarian, Autocratic, Totalitarian and often Tyrant Governments. While the ordinary people have to sacrifice endlessly for the sake of the country, the leaders would enjoy not only all the best in the country but by even importing all the luxuries or went around for luxury tours to those ‘Imperialist, corrupted western Democracies’.

The most important thing is that they fail to deliver their promises of Paradise on Earth. Ordinary people become poorer and there is no sign of any improvement whatsoever after all their sacrifices for the country and party. The worse of all is the fact that those rulers amassed enormous amount of wealth and are enjoying their self-made ‘Paradise’ at the expense of the people. The mother of worse for the Burmese people is the fact that the Myanmar Military rulers have no shame at all but very corrupt and amass all the wealth of the country, not like other pure Socialist or Communist leaders. Country’s political systems were just vehicles or excuses used as a cover up operation or smoke-shield for the continued rule of the army only.

Political leaders and the governments are like the control center and the brain of the country. Military is like the limbs of the body. They have the muscular power, skeletal hard ware and some rudimentary reflexes. The limbs could not take over the place of the brain just because they have the power. They could not justify their act by claiming that they are supporting and defending brain and the whole body. There will be chaos. Myanmar Military is just doing this by giving the same lame excuses.

Like the limbs’ rudimentary reflexes, the Myanmar Military Generals also have a limited education. General Ne Win had not pass the Inter A. (GCE A) And General Saw Maung was rumored to have studied up to Primary School Education, i.e. fourth standard only.

According to the Myanmar Military ‘Socialists’, educated class or intellectuals are undecided, ignorant and corrupted class not to be trusted in their ‘Socialist’ revolution or in the Military.

Actually the Military dictators knew that they could not fool the educated class easily. The intelligent class always uses their heads (brains) and use to question and analyze each and every order. The dictators and especially Military leaders never like that attitude. Subordinates must always obey the command given to them. They have no right to think whether it is right or wrong, just or not.

Command is command. All must obey. Intellectuals have no place under Military rulers. If they do not want to keep their mouth shut, they must be put into detention or leave the country to avoid the dangerous consequences.

In civilized countries the scholar is always placed above the ‘man of war’ believing that “Nations which trusted the gun perished by it earlier”.

But in Myanmar under the Military rulers the opposite of the above rule is always correct. For Myanmar Military, power comes out from the barrel of the gun only. The might is always right for them.

And all the politicians are regarded as untouchables, low class taboo. General Ne Win in earlier days always equates them with the “corrupted, degenerated Parliamentarians” but later he introduced a “rubber stamp” Parliament to support and endorse his rule. And the army and ex-army men monopolized the politics and became Royal politicians.

Myanmar Military governments openly practice Nepotism, Cronyism and never decide on meritocracy alone.

Myanmar Military government is never transparent and is never free from corruption in all the dealings.

There is no check and balance, ACA (Anti Corruption Agency) or any organizations dealing with corruption must be independent from the administrative branch of Government. Newspapers, TVs and all the media must be free and independent to probe and do investigative reports. But those are turned into eunuchs and sycophants by Myanmar Military.

NGOs and other right groups must also not free to express their views nor even allow doing their works freely. All of them and various reporters have no free access to the government and the big companies connected them. These should be allowed 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.

There is no separation of powers in the SPDC Military 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.

Governments must accept that they were elected by the people to serve the people. When people give their votes, they are not choosing the masters to whom they are going to serve as obedient slaves. The people are just choosing a servant organization to serve the people. But most of the politicians act as absolute Monarchs or Kings, once they were elected.

Dictators use to claim that people must thank them for the successful guidance of the country to progress and for the government’s use of various budget money for various projects e.g. development, social, welfare and scholarships etc. But they conveniently forgot that people have voted them and even provided with salaries and all the parks they are enjoying and the money or budget they use is not from their own pockets but the peoples’ money in the form of various taxes and revenues.

When these dictators accuse the people of biting the hand who feed, it clearly shows that they even have developed an illusion or delusion of who feeds who and even has a gall to degrade and equate the people with dogs.

There must be enough check and balance as stated above if our opposition groups got power.

And there must be a strict rule to limit the length and terms of the head of the government, for example two terms of five year each. If not, each and every top leader would definitely overstay and slowly becomes a dictator by misusing all his powers to quell and silenced all the dissents. This is just a human nature and greed only. If there is no time or term limits, overstaying of the leaders of their shelf-life is not their fault but our fault of not making the important rules and regulations.

Sometimes he may even think that his mission to build, protect and contribute for the beloved country is not yet completed even after staying in power for few dozens of years. And there is a usual delusion among those leaders that they are indispensable and the country could not exist without their leadership. They sometimes sincerely but erroneously believe that they have to stay on and on for the historical needs of the country.

Even the democratically elected leaders will slowly transform into dictators in time.

Long serving leaders slowly become megalomaniacs and think that the country is there because of them. They equate themselves with the country and even have illusions that there is no one except him who is qualified to rule the country. They even believe that the sky will collapse and the country would be ruined and the chaos would set in if they were not there.

Most of those long-standing regimes try to point out some fellow long survivors to justify their overstaying. Continuity and stable government became their slogan and propaganda for the political battle to stay on in power.

According to them, their stable long serving government only could guarantee peace, bring in foreign investment, ensure continuous development and progress. They use to threaten the people with the possible political and racial riots, if they were replaced.

And many of them will slowly introduce nepotism, bringing in their own children and relatives in to the line of succession. Even if they were not to take over the power immediately, they are carefully groomed to step in later after the immediate successor, who have to warm the seat for the heir apparent.

By using the proxies, e.g. the names of other family members, the children and especially in-laws, they will accumulate wealth by hook or by crook.

Nepotism is rampant and always favours the cronies of Myanmar Army and ex- Army only. No transparency in all the government dealings and corruption have even damaged the whole population nation wide, starting from all the peons and officers of each and every government and local administrative and cooperative or semi government offices up to the Cabinet Ministers. They all will neglect the people and refuse to even entertain if not bribed. Nothing can be done without greasing their palms.

Even the peons will ignore your simple request for the basic information, the guards would not let you in, the application forms will not move from one table to another, or worst of all lost if there is no bribery.

Even in the hospitals, doors will be closed, hospital attendants refuse to push the wheel chair or trolley, no one will look after or nurse the patient. Medical officers ignore the patients if there are no presents or bribes. The consultants skipped the beds and see his own private patients. (The patients they had seen in their private clinics or the relatives have gone to send presents to their houses.) The patients were advised to send their specimens to the private labs for various investigations. Although they are in the government hospital and had paid to the various persons in that ward if they need operation their relatives have to go and see the Anesthetic at home. And they have to buy the stitches, plaster, gauze and etc. from the Operation Theater Staff. If not, no one will assist the patient in the operation. He had to engage a private nurse. Biopsy must be sent to the hospital Pathologist’s Private lab.

If you want to see an officer or a Minister, first of all you have to pay the PA then to the wife or children of the Ministers and Military leaders. You have to engage with the brokers specialized in the various fields and various ministries. And if there is a transfer of the relevant officer or the changing of Ministers, you have to start a new bid. If there is any ceremony, birthday, wedding etc. interested parties have to give expensive presents, jewelry, cars, gold bars and few thousands to millions of bank notes preferably the US dollars. To get the various contracts and permits, there are even generally agreed percentages to pay to various parties involved. Foreign investors need to pay up to millions of US dollars. If Ministers wives go for shopping to Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or etc. the related foreign investors have to follow them and need to settle the bills.

We are mentioning the corrupt practices of the present government and government servants so that we could avoid those kinds of corruptions if we form a new government.

Myanmar Military rulers are reported to have organized and have even donated a lot nowadays. I hereby wish to remind all of you to please remember the teachings of our Lord Buddha. Don’t degrade your good-selves into the role of organizer, contractor or carpenters who have no chance of staying inside the pagodas and temples you built. Please do not just contempt been a gardener or farmer but enjoy the fruits yourselves.

Please enjoy the fruits of Dahma and practice what Lord Buddha taught us.

Redemption is never late.

There is a well-known saying in the Army,” (We)Do not want to know about the hole in the water bottle. We want water only.”

In the army you don’t want excuses. You want results only. That means: the order must be fulfilled without any excuse.

Please stop the excuses and give us democracy with the respect of the rights of the minorities, as promised by your predecessor General Saw Maung.

According to the Transparency International’s 2005 Corruption Perceptions Index, Myanmar is in the second last group position only because the corruptions of the politicians add up a lot on other countries. Actually 90% of politicians in most of Asia/Africa are corrupted. But most of the politicians in Burma/Myanmar are in opposition, no power; many of them in jail or outside the country, the marks of corruption of Politicians are almost nil and lost the honour of the last place in corruption Perceptions Index. If not Myanmar could get the last place and even could score 0.001. (10 =highly clean and 0 =highly corrupt, so 0.001 is very close to highly corrupt).

  “Today’s survey shows that people believe corruption is deeply embedded in their countries,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International.

“When a poor young mother believes that her government places its own interests above her child’s, or that securing services like that child’s basic health care requires a hand under the table, her hope for the future is dampened. But embedded corruption can be rooted out when people join together to change the system that facilitates it.”

The Barometer indicates that corruption’s impact on personal and family life is most dramatic on poor households. In addition, citizens in low income countries tend to pay a significantly larger percentage of their income in bribes than in higher income countries.

 “Like a bad disease, corruption is often predictable, preventable and curable,” stated David Nussbaum, Chief Executive of Transparency International.

“The Global Corruption Barometer offers a harsh diagnosis, but effective treatment is at hand. Legal changes such as anti-corruption codes and conventions are being put in place. Companies are introducing anti-corruption programmes. The world is turning against the corrupt.”

Bribery is usually a hidden or tacit transaction. An illegal payment may be understood to be required in order to obtain a free service, or to speed up delivery of a required approval, such as a business permit or license, or to resolve a problem, even when a bribe is not explicitly demanded.

 “An unspoken request for payment is no less corrupt than an open demand for a bribe, especially if refusing to pay means that you may not get the medicine you need to survive,” said Huguette Labelle.

SPDC Generals could not be able to clear away the accumulated mass of rubbish of its own doing: corruption, mismanagement, and the deteriorating condition of the people’s, physical health, moral corruptions, psychological sufferings, religious intolerances, economical destruction, low GDP, low earning power, rising cost of living and legal mess. Burma as the country is financially poor economically ruined and Burmese people are physically and mentally weak nowadays. We need strong mental strength and willpower, mobilizing all the people of Burma and of course with the help of the whole world.

So if we really are patriotic, love Burma/Myanmar and wish the country to prosper, peaceful and progress, we must recruit the help of all the Burmese people residing inside and abroad, opposition parties, all the ethnic minority groups and different race and religious groups to reeducate our citizens about the good moral values.

We certainly could correctly read rampant corruption among many of us and has summed up quite accurately that many of us ignore the good moral values. We are able to deduct that even if we obtain our second independence in the not too distant future our country’s future is not very bright.

As politics is not a science but an art, very fluid and could change any time. We cannot read and predict the politics using arithmetical calculations or what we experience at present only. And surely the 8888 saga should have taught us that by now that a small spark could surprisingly trigger big political changes in a short time. Yes, in politics, expect the unexpected. Even 24 hours is a very long time in politics.

We the Reformists fight for equality, justice, transparency, good governance, an end to corruption, but all such ideals have to build on high moral grounds. If we just build our future progressive Shwe Bama country on the easy sand or shaky moral ground we are sure doomed to collapse in a very near future. We should rebuild our future paradise on the solid rock of moral ground. We were to follow and face the nature’s rules of “being in reality”, it means that we have to accept the reality of Burmese politics and we have to give a little leeway for some imperfection but could not compromise on morality.

Many Burmese “political geniuses” in opposition are prone to promote their own party only and downgrade other parties. See how “wise” and “realistic” they are when comes to Burmese Politics? We have to see the forest not the trees. And now in this globalize world, we have to see even various kind of jungles and numerous trees and not just only our way and our own party ways to see the true equation in Burmese politics.

There is a saying that if a frog is placed in a pot of boiling water, it would immediately jump out to avoid death. Conversely however, if the frog is placed in cool and pleasant water and slowly heated, it would swim merrily in the increasingly warm water until it is too late to escape and is eventually cooked. But scientifically speaking, the above metaphor may be factually wrong. But the wisdom contained within it is however not. Corrupt Burmese citizens may one day awake to experience a very different melting pot, one like 1950’s. We got democracy but almost all of us are morally corrupted and we could face a lot of problems and turmoil endlessly.

Myanmar SPDC Military Generals believe that their incompetence can be covered up through an exhibition of power. Basically, there is a lack of good leadership and this has much to do with the fear culture currently prevalent within the military administration. No one dares to take a stand on his belief or for the truth. If the head of the Military Junta is rotten then what more can you expect from the subordinates?

Late PM of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto told his daughter, Benarzir Bhutto (who also later became the PM and suffer the same faith, deposed by the Military):

“Don’t be an idiot (to believe the Army Generals), armies do not take over power to relinquish it. Nor do the Generals commit high treason (Coup against the legitimate governments) to hold election and restore democratic constitutions.”

True! General Zia of Pakistan promised in July 1977 that elections would be held within three months. But he repeatedly gives excuses and postponed it for eleven years until he died in a plane crash. So we should wait for another person from Myanmar, who is doing the same thing to follow the same faith.

At the present corrupted life goes on within the Myanmar civil service without check and balance or even without a guilty consciousness. But then you must know how to lie. SPDC is hopeless. Their lie of seven steps of the road to democracy is exposed and the whole world knows that they are deceiving.

There is no central umbrella leadership in the various opposition groups so everyone seems to be doing what they like. If possible we should try to unite ourselves first.  But now anyone who dares to complain about the true situation of corruption and some of the problems in the opposition will find the entire group making his life miserable by accusing as SPDC agents or spies. If someone from within the same party has done a criticism, then he has to worry of the ‘Pushed into a Gauge’ that could even destroy his life or his peace. See what happened to ABSDF Upper Burma, hundreds of students were arrested without a substantial proof and about half of them were executed unfairly without even given them the chance to defend themselves or even showing any proof. (Relevant students’ relatives had complaint to the UN, US, UK and Japanese Embassies) Up to now, no one from ABSDF is trying to clear the air yet and future student activists would think twice before joining the rebels at the border. The truth with Politics is about the attainment of power. It is plain and simple. I would call ‘telling your version of the truth’, is very much part and parcel of the political game. A good politician, must master the art of even twisting the truth, or spin doctoring i.e. giving the people your version of the truth and we can call it a propaganda warfare or counter offensive. Because politics is about perception. It is how people perceive you that counts and not only what you really are.

As Benjamin Franklin wrote in his ‘Poor Richard’s Almanack’ in 1759:

“A little neglect may breed mischief … for want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse, the rider was lost.” Here the mischief is not little!

We could not even neglect or brush aside one of the above facts as minor and not important but must consider in detail each and every facts.

So I hereby wish to request our politicians to stop playing dirty politics. We all should try to become true freedom fighters but not the opposition politicians to earn back the rewards after the revolution or to collect the money that is really meant for the opposition activities . If all of us really love our country to become a progressive wealthy secular democratic Federal Union we need to nurture good moral values.

Not only do we need to educate our citizens about the good moral values but we must also practice what we preached. And I remember one of my professors’ good advice, “Teaching is the best way to learn”. Seems awkward? In order to teach someone or a class, the teacher or lecturer has to read a lot, must understand the subject thoroughly and must be equipped with the up to date latest information. Even I my self managed to learn a lot just to be able to write this article.

Wake up all Burmese/Myanmar citizens. We need renaissance of the religions we professed to. We need strong Moral and Religious Values to cleanse ourselves. We do not need the religions to fight each other. We need religions to purify ourselves. Even if we no more have a shame or self-consciousness or guilty feelings we all should afraid of Buddha, Jesus or Allah (according to our beliefs). Religions should be used to pull us out of that corruption whirl. If not even if we get our second independence our country’s future would not be brighter.  

BO AUNG DIN 

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Comments

U Myo Nyunt, Myanmar Studies, Perth, Western Australia, said _

Dear  Bo Aung Din,

                                Emanating from your heart, the inner mind— mind mind,  Burma (Myanmar) freedom can be achieved through the “people’s will”– the people of  Burma.
Those who have once propagated  “the end of history”  and “the clash of civilizations” have now shifted their messages of perpetual domination through “new imperialism and capitalism” by their  political  agenda to combat and  wipe out  “terrorism”.

There is no end to  history, it unfolds.

The present “crisis”  in  Burma, is  the reflection of the  “value wars”  of the  twenty first century.

Back to the path— the  Noble Path. Burma (Myanmar)  peoples  life and  destiny is in our  own hands and in practicing the Buddha Dharma.  Perhaps as   Buddhists— we can accept  the existing reality in  our  country- Nation, and have faith in the  last words of The Buddha—  “strive on”. Dalai Lama in our  midst now has  also pointed out with other words :

 “all living beings form a spontaneous idea of self “

Myanmar (Burma), as a  “space” where we as Burmese democrats can  contribute to  life (human security) and peace (  even handed justice) rather than assist others attempt to Burma’s destruction and dissolution.

Towards Peace, Security  and Justice in  Myanmar (Burma)

Conla Fru said _

Good article! Successive military regime created/creates this environment of highly-corrupted society. If one gets a job, the first question his/her friend or relatives ask is “in what department?” just to know if he/she can make a lot of money from this post. The whole society is suffering from this pandemic corruption disease.

Dream Interview VII, Rule by Law (of the Jungle)

Dream Interview VII

Rule by Law (of the Jungle)

BURMA DIGEST: Good evening Datuk Sri. Kindly allow me to continue with our dream interview. May you kindly explain us about the concepts of Rule by Law.

H. E. Mr Anwar Ibrahim…The SPDC Junta is seen to be worse than using that Rule by Law. They are seen as not even using the proper Law to suppress the unarmed peaceful demonstrators and the whole country.

Let’s start with the concept of the Mobocracy where_

i. Political control by a mob.

ii. Using the mass of “common people” as the source of political control.

You could see this trend becoming popular nowadays because the dictators around the world became modern, they are more concern about their image among their people and in front of the political spectators around the world.

We noticed the use of SPDC affiliated civilian thugs USDA, Swan Arrshin together with Military Intelligent Provocateurs or instigators disguised as civilian demonstrators in the Monks led peaceful protests in Burma.

BURMA DIGEST:How do you see the “Laws” of the SPDC?

In contrast to the democracy where the ultimate power of the government is in the hands of the people, where did the SPDC’s power based?

Answer…After all for the Military Dictators like SPDC, “the power came out from the barrel of the guns.” Any thing came out from their mouth became the order or Law of the day to be obeyed by all the civilians and the Tatmadaw.

The SPDC Generals don’t want any excuses, job done or report of mission accomplished only accepted.

The Military Personals are only taught strictly to just obey the orders. No questions nor excuses or reasoning are allowed to scrutinize the order whether it is right or wrong, just or unjust, appropriate or not etc.

Military people are trained to fight, assault, kill and obey the order given by their superiors only.

They should not be the masters or leaders of the country, giving the orders to the people. The politicians who are chosen by the people are qualified to lead and give orders not only to the people but even on to the whole military.

BURMA DIGEST:In Myanmar, the military rulers are above the Law. The double standards in the implementation of law are ever present under dictator Myanmar Military rulers. Any comments?

Answer…There is one privileged law for the ruling elite like SPDC Generals, staying even above all their own laws and another unfair cruel suppressive law for the rest especially for the opposition.

All the ordinary citizens are coerced into submission, cowardice and obedience by the Rule by the Law. Their Military Laws or Martial Laws are also could be regarded as the Laws of the Jungle.

Under the SPDC there are another few sets of Laws:

  1. For the ceased fire rebels

  2. For their cronies and families

  3. For the rich who could grease the local and central Military authorities

  4. For the opposition

  5. For the Ethnic Minorities

  6. For the Religious Minorities, especially for the Rohingyas etc.

To be called a democratic country;

  1. we must enact just and fair laws for all the citizens of Burma/Myanmar.

  2. In addition, no one must be above the law: whether he is from Military, a General, Senior General, King, President, Prime Minister, Cabinet Minister, opposition leaders or opposition party members, mixed blooded relatively new citizens or Ethnic Minority.

  3. We all need the progressive, longsighted Governments that always avoid or refrain from interfering in the way of their citizens’ ability to make a living and progress will always end up ruling over the wealthiest countries.

BURMA DIGEST: Could you kindly analyze the so called “Laws” of SPDC?

Answer…In the SPDC’s Rule by Law_

  1. there is almost no pre-written just and fair law.

  2. Even if there are Laws, they never respect nor protect the rights of each and every citizen.

  3. No one is above the law except the military rulers, cronies and families

  4. and they are more than ever ready to prosecute or persecute any opponents

  5. by using their unjust laws.

Myanmar Military dictators rule by law_

  • not because the law is higher than theirself

  • but because it is convenient to do so

  • to protect their total and permanent dominance.

BURMA DIGEST: What about using the Emergency or Security Laws to lockup the opposition?

Answer…In Rule by Law, the governments like SPDC use laws as the most convenient way to govern or subdue the people.

For example, Emergency Acts section 5 of Myanmar or Internal Security Acts or Terrorism Prevention Acts and all the “Laws” in many countries that could lock-up the opposition leaders and members conveniently without needing to formally charge in the conventional criminal courts, are cruel and inhumane.

The opposition leaders are_

  • conveniently denied their rights of self defense

  • in a proper court of Justice

  • but sometimes arrested without hearing

  • or are forced to appear in a Kangaroo courts

  • to face the trumpeted charges

  • in front of subservient eunuch Judges

  • without the help of legal representation

  • or presence of their defense lawyers.

And most of the dictators use the unfair, restrictive laws such as Printing Press acts, and various restrictive acts, rules and regulations to control the every citizen’s daly life.

Question: Let’s go back to the Rule of Law to see the differences between them.

Answer…Rule of Law is opposed by authoritarian and totalitarian states like Myanmar SPDC Junta.

But even many of the authoritarian and totalitarian states accepted and partially practice the rule of law because some of these laws ultimately enhance the power of the dictators disguising as for the security of the “state” and the “nation”.

They used the bogyman, neo-colonists, communists, foreigners, internal traitors.

They used the excuses of peace and stability of the country, security of the country, for the sake of economic progress, scarring away the foreign investors and tourists etc. asking all the people to stay united behind them, (read: not infront of them, opposing or confronting the great leader and not to support the opposing person or party.) and continue to support them.

So it is more convenient for those governments to adopt the principle of rule by law rather than rule of law.

But for the SPDC Military Junta rulers and law are synonymous —

  • Sr General is the ruler

  • and his words are LAW.

So the laws of the SPDC are simply their will or desire or orders for the citizens to obey without any questions.

The new LAWS, acts, Rules and regulations are ordered on and off according to their whims and fancies.

In the SPDC Military Junta_

  • the government possesses the inherent authority to act purely on its own volition

  • and without being subject to any checks or limitations.

Rule by law can be both ad hoc as the Orders or Laws from the SPDC according to their whims and fancy (which is genuine despotism) or principled.

Principled rule by law theory shares with rule of law theory the arguments that a stable, generally recognized law is needed in order to maintain generality, impersonality, and effectiveness of government.

Thus principled rule by law theory allows for what Fuller has called “the internal morality of law” to the extent that this is prudentially justifiable as conducive to the ends of government.

The SPDC Junta Rule by Law, because the Myanmar Military government uses law as the most convenient way to govern or subdue its own people.

Question: What is the basic flaw of SPDC Laws?

Answer…The basic flaw or the mother of all the problems with the Laws of the SPDC and successive military governments in Burma is that_

  • it is run by military,

  • and they are almost uneducated,

  • inexperienced,

  • no training nor experience in management,

  • no training nor any experience in the Judiciary and Law

  • no training nor any experience in the economy

  • they have no common sense

  • they are megalomeniacs

  • intoxicated in power

  • corrupted

  • greedy

  • no proper moral and religious education

  • and are flawed in character.

The military personals are not virtue machines. Even the best of us as human beings are vulnerable to the call of the low:

  1. to greed,

  2. conceit,

  3. insensitivity,

  4. ruthlessness,

  5. the desire to show_

  • we’re in control,

  • in charge,
  • in command.

So the all powerful Myanmar military generals became megalomaniacs and autocrats”

So the problem with SPDC military government is that it is_

  • run by military

  • and not, saints

  • nor angels

  • nor technocrats

  • nor experts.

And they do much mischief. They inevitably produce a great deal of injustice, corruption and heartlessness.

Question: Is that the standard behaviour of all the powerful governments? What should we do?

Answer…The military leaders or generals in the SPDC government often get carried away with their unlimited, unchecked power and authorities.

And they don’t always even mean to. The SPDC government is like a steamroller; the force of forward motion carries them along.

There is inevitably unaccountability, and in time, often indifference about what the steamroller rolls over. Moreover, no one is looking out and being protective of what the steamroller is rolling over–

    • traditions,

    • shared beliefs,

    • individual rights,

    • old assumptions,

    • oppositions,

    • ethnic minorities,

    • religious minorities

    • and even Buddhist Monks are being rolled over today.

This is essentially, why people of Burma don’t like the SPDC government.

“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, and it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.

George Washington.

That government is best which governs the least.

Thomas Jefferson

Question: Could we Burmese expect the Rule of Law in the future Military promised democracy?

Answer… I don’t think so.

The Rule of Law is not practiced under the present political leadership of Sr General Than Shwe, and that we are a far cry from the day when we can even call our country a guided or disciplined democracy which SPDC is promising.

For those die-hards_

  • who are hoping against reality that

  • Myanmar Tatmadaw will bring us the much yearned for reforms,

  • and who still insist that SPDC must be given more time to fulfill its pledges,

the present ruthless crushing of the peaceful demonstrations of the monks episode is the proof that they are wrong.

I wonder why there is no international court of laws where citizens could conveniently or easily file a case against their corrupt governments like Myanmar SPDC?

Isn’t there anything anyone can do about it?

Why ASEAN, EU, UN and the rest of the worlds’ leaders could just close one eye on SPDC generals,

  • regarding or giving a lame excuse this as an internal affairs of a country

  • which they should not interfere

  • and morally corrupted greedy governments shamelessly continue trade and exploiting with the half opened remaining eye.

  • And worse of all most of them failed to help the ordinary Burmese citizens inside and outside Burma.

I could sadly see the Burmese people’s role as only performing the duty of rubber-stamping the SPDC Constitution for the permanent dominance of Military.

So the future role of nonmilitary ordinary Burmese Citizens are sure to be degraded to just confirming or approving the showcase of sham elections not unlike the elections under communists and dictators.

The SPDC is going to stream-rolled the so-called seven steps to democracy with their tanks on all the citizens and seems to be ready to sacrifice by even flattening the monks.

BURMA DIGEST: I could hear the voice of Azan for morning prayers Datuk Sri. We really thank you for giving the whole night for our dream interview.

Please kindly send my regards and heart felt thanks to the following persons_

Your Mrs, Justice Party Chief, YB Datin Sri Wan Aziza Wan Ismail for the kind (real) interview and very kind support of our Burmese opposition especially the supports on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Your Justice party Deputy Chief, Encik Azmin Ali and wife, for helping our family on numerous occasions.

Encik Ahmad Azam Abdul Rahman, Chairman of the Global Peace Malaysia, for the (real) interview and numerous request to Datuk Sri, on our behalf.

DYMM (HRH) Raja Petra Raja Kamaruddin for the Free Anwar Campaign (he was my hero because he had done a lot for Datuk Sri, which I even could not or even dare not dream.)

National Laurate, Datuk Syed Ahmad Bin Jamal and wife Datin for the numerous request to Datuk Sri, on our behalf.

Your lawyer, Aasil Ahmad Anwar Ibrahim & Associates for the kind reply but short of approval.

Ms Elizabeth Wong for sending the Press Statements of President of Keadilan to me.

Kindly allow me to apologize again for writing this VIRTUAL DREAM INTERVIEWS as FICTION without prior consent from Datuk Sri and lawyers.

H. E. Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim… Hmm… I have to think over and talk to my lawyers what to do with your dreams. Any way, we have no much time because your dream is so long, I even hear the sound of calling for the morning prayers, let’s go to the mosque together, for the morning prayers.

So both of us went to the National Mosque, all the people including the Imam of the mosque requested DSAI to lead the morning prayers.

TQ very much DSAI to include in the prayers for Burma, all the citizens of Burma including Burmese Muslims, Rohingyas, Ethnic Minorities and refugees. My tears flow down when you remember to include the safety, health and release of Daw Suu and other political prisoners of Myanmar.

Yes, you are 100% right Datuk Sri, we have no choise, no power except for the prayers for Burma.

 

Dream Interview VI, Rule of Law

Dream Interview VI

Rule of Law

BURMA DIGEST: Could you kindly highlight about the free and independent Media?

His Excellency Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim…The media must be free and independent from government or other sources.

  1. Journalists and the media must be allowed to present a diversity of political views.

  2. SPDC must accept that the media contributes positively to democracy.

  3. Journalists must have an adequate access to public information.  

Question…In Myanmar, the military rulers are above the Law. Any comment?

Answer… The double standards in the implementation of law is ever present under dictatorships like Military ruled countries. It is less likely in true democracy.

One for the ruling elite like SPDC Generals, staying above all their own laws and another for the rest especially for the opposition leaders like NLD Daw Suu and all the opposition members up to their fall outs like exMIs including ex PM Khin Nyunt.

All the ordinary citizens are coerced into submission, cowardice and obedience by the Rule by the Law of Jungle or Military Laws or Martial Laws. 

Question… Could you explain the difference between the Rule of Law and Rule by Law? 

Answer… In every democracy Rule of Law is the most important fact for all the citizens.

  1. The judicial system must effectively protect human rights and democratic principles.

  2. Constitutional and legal arrangements must guarantee the democratic process in practice.    

  3. All military, police, and security forces must be subject to civilian control.    

  4. To be called a democratic country; we must enact just and fair laws for all the citizens of Burma/Myanmar.    

  5. In addition, no one must be above the law: whether he is from Military, a General, Senior General, King, President, Prime Minister, Cabinet Minister, opposition leaders or opposition party members, mixed blooded relatively new citizens or Ethnic Minority.    

  6. We could see that the progressive, longsighted Governments that always avoid or refrain from interfering  in the way of their citizens’ ability to make a living and progress will always end up rulining over the wealthiest countries.  

  7. You need to change  Myanmar/Burma to become: 

  •  
    • a more Law abiding place where just and fair Laws rule all the citizens, b.     
    • where no one is persecuted in the Kangroo or corrupt courts. c.      
    • We need to rebuild a country where “respect for human rights” are practiced and d.     
    • there is equal treatment of all the citizens” .

  8.  SPDC need to “stop the unfair permanent dominence of  Militart doctrine’, and “release the political prisoners”.

  9.  Myanmar SPDC Junta failed to realize that these minor domestic embarrassments or harassments they are committing on not only on the oppositions but also on all the  citizens of Myanmar are seen by the world as a serious crimes against humanity and actually it would surely lead to  their down fall.  

Question… Dear Datuk Sri, could you kindly explain again the differences between the Rule of Law and Rule by Law so that we could get the clearer picture?

Answer…  We need to have a clear distinction between rule of law and rule by law.     

  1. Rule of law is an intrinsically moral notion. There is a pre-written just and fair law that respects and protects the rights of each and every citizen. No one is above the law and no one should be prosecuted or persecuted by using unjust laws. 

  2. Rule by law is very different. Someone rules by law not because the law is higher than oneself but because it is convenient to do so and inconvenient not to do so.  

  3. In rule of law, the law is something the government serves.

  4. In rule by law, the government uses law as the most convenient way to govern or subdue the people. 

  5. The two chief arguments for rule by law rather than rule of law are exactly the same ones that are always used against natural law theory

    • disagreement and uncertainty in moral judgments

    • the claim that rule of law is seminal anarchy.

  6. The chief arguments against rule by law and for rule of law are exactly the same ones that are always used against the opponents of natural law theory:   

    • the question of how one can have authority without any moral basis; 

    • the claim that rule by law is seminal despotism. serious equivocation given that they tend in entirely different directions. 

Question… Datuk Sri, what are the basic principles of the Rule of Law?

Answer…  The “rule of law” embodies the basic principles of: 

  1. equal treatment of all people before the law,      

  2. fairness,     

  3. both constitutional and actual guarantees of basic human rights.      

  4. A predictable legal system with fair,  transparent, and effective judicial institutions is essential to the protection of citizens against the arbitrary use of state authority and Lawless acts of both organizations and individuals.  

Question…Do you see any common weakness in new democratic countries?

Answer…  In many states with weak or newly-emerging democratic traditions:     

  1. existing laws are not fair

  2. or are not fairly applied,     

  3. judicial independence is compromised,      

  4. individual and minority rights are not truly guaranteed, and     

  5. institutions have not yet developed the capacity to administer existing laws.

Above weak legal institutions endanger democratic reform and sustainable development in developing countries.

Question…What are the consequences of the lack of Rule of Law ?

Answer…  Without the rule of law_     

  1. the executive and legislative branches of government operate without checks and balances, 2.     
  2. free and fair elections are not possible, and 3.     
  3. civil society cannot flourish.    

  4. Civil and commercial codes that respect private property and contracts are key ingredients for the development of market-based economies.

 Question…How could we improve those new democracies?

Answer…  Legal systems must be improved under three inter-connected priority areas: 

  1. supporting legal reform,  

  2. improving the administration of justice, and

  3. increasing citizens’ access to justice.

Question…What shoul we do to safeguard against arbitrary governance.

Answer…  The principle of the rule of law is that_

 The governmental authority is legitimately exercised :

  1. only in accordance with written,
  2. publicly disclosed laws
  3. adopted and enforced in accordance with established procedure.

This principle is intended to be used as a safeguard against arbitrary governance.

On 16 November 2006, Lord Bingham of Cornhill said, in relation to the rule of law:

“The core of the existing principle is, I suggest, that all persons and authorities within the state, whether public or private, should be bound by and entitled to the benefit of laws publicly and prospectively promulgated and publicly administered in the courts.”

Hallmarks of adherence to the rule of law commonly include a clear separation of powers, legal certainty, the principle of legitimate expectation and equality of all before the law.

Samuel Rutherford was one of the first modern authors to give the principle theoretical foundations in Lex, Rex (1644), and later Montesquieu in The Spirit of the Laws (1748).

In Commonwealth law, the most famous exposition of the concept of rule of law was laid down by Albert Venn Dicey in his Law of the Constitution.

 “The rule of law is a political principle the classic exposition of which is in Dicey Law of the Constitution.

He identified three principles which together establish the rule of law:

  1. the absolute supremacy or predominance of regular law as opposed to the influence of arbitrary power; 

  2. equality before the law or i.  the equal subjection of all classes to ii.  the ordinary law of the land administered by the ordinary courts; and
  3. the law of the constitution is a consequence of the rights of individuals   as defined and enforced by the courts.”    

1001 Malaysia Nights – DSAI interview Part V

1001 Malaysian Nights

(DSAI interview Part V)

 

His Excellency Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim… 1001 Malaysian Nights? What? I only agreed in your dreams, to day dream my dream interview. What do you mean? What is your Game Plan or Dream Plan?

It would be not nice if you derail into other topics rather than Burmese Politics as you had given promise, not in your dreams only, but to my lawyer, my friends, sent to my web site and me. What’s up? Your Dream Interview here in Malaysia is going to the extent of 1001 Arabian Nights?

BURMA DIGEST: I am dreaming only. Although I could day dream any time, the dreams are actually basically or originally associated with nights and sleeps.

Chuang Tzu once said, “Once I dreamed I was a butterfly, and now I no longer know whether I am Chuang Tzu, who dreamed I was a butterfly, or whether I am a butterfly dreaming that I am Chuang Tzu.”

DSAI… (Many Malaysians affectionately referred Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim as DSAI.) Oh! you are going to copy the strategy of the 1001 Arabian Nights’ initial story framer Scheherazade, new bride of the Persian king, Shahryar.

That king, Shahryar would marry a new virgin, and every day he would send yesterday’s wife to be beheaded. This was done in anger, having found out that his first wife had betrayed him. He had killed three thousand such women by the time he was introduced to Scheherazade, the vizier’s daughter. Starting from the first night of their marriage, Scheherazade tells the king a tale, but does not end it. The king is thus forced to keep her alive in order to hear the conclusion.

The new queen, Scheherazade, supposed to be executed in the next morning, used cliffhangers so that the king’s curiosity about the sequel would buy her another day of life. At the end the king had to give his wife a pardon.

But I had noticed that our dream interviews sequel is quite boring and no cliffhangers to attract the readers.

BURMA DIGEST: No wonder Datuk Sri, people praise you for the wide General Knowledge. Yes, I am just trying to copy her skills of manipulating her day dreams (should rather be called night dreams because she told her stories at nights) or well planned excellent strategic or dream stories that successfully could save her life. For me, I am just trying to save our country, Burma’s political life with my meager pen and inadequate skills and knowledge.

DSAI…So, what do you want? Don’t just praise me too much just to get a chance of a real interview.

BURMA DIGEST: This is good enough for me, Datuk Sri. I am satisfied with this virtual chat. Alhamdulillah. I am just thinking aloud about my plans, aims or daydreams coming true.

DSAI…Be careful! Sometimes you may think in the dreams that you were really in the real world, experiencing all alife. Sometimes the real world is like a dream, not predictable.

BURMA DIGEST: I heard the people commenting about Datuk Sri’s dream and accepted that their views about how to achieve that goal is correct. Sorry Datuk Sri, I should not touch this sensitive subject as I had already promised you that we should discuss about Burmese politics only.

DSAI…I understand that you are scared to start this topic as you are just a foreigner. I think you are just going to repeat what almost all the people I met in the real world are telling. Go on, OK, I am ready to listen. By the way, are you going to suggest me to try to pull the two biggest and popular opposition parties on to my stage? Yes, if I could successfully made those two opposing Islamic and Secular Democratic Chinese party to sit together on my political platform, Insyaallah, we could be able to made a régime change here.

BURMA DIGEST: Please don’t take it an insult. For us, Burmese citizens, Malaysia is million of times better than our own home, not only in the socio-economic conditions but politically also. Even some of the undocumented migrant workers and unrecognized refugees said that staying here illegally is even safer and peaceful than back home in Myanmar under SPDC Military Government. And the seven steps to . . .

DSAI…Are you going to say it is like “Winter dreams of unfinished painting”, a great song and movie of Win Oo. I think he is the P. Ramlee of Burma, but never received the proper recognition he deserved because of his political affiliation.

SPDC Military Government’s promised Seven Steps to the “Disciplined Democracy” is like General Ne Win promised “Socialist Paradise on Earth”.

SPDC Military Government is only hoodwinking the whole world with their “Mirage Paradise” and their seven steps road map is just leading the Burmese citizens to the “Misery Mire Labyrinth”.

Now your Ethnic brothers who are searching for the “True Democracy” are in the “Mid Winter dreams” and your Union of Federal Democratic Burma dream is like the “unfinished painting.”

I highly suspect that the SPDC Junta will never try to finish their “Fake road map to Democracy” painting.

BURMA DIGEST: Bravo! Datuk Sri. I never expect you to know all these…

DSAI…Very easy, if you know the secret. If there is a will there is a way. After my supper, before going to sleep last night and talking you in the dream, not in my dream but yours, I went through your weblog. And I read your article No 101, “Winter dreams of unfinished painting!”

BURMA DIGEST: Thank You Datuk Sri, see you in the next dream.

DSAI…TQ, good bye.

My day dream of speaking with former Deputy Prime Minister Part III

My day dream of speaking with

former Deputy Prime Minister

Part III

 

 

BURMA DIGEST: Dear Datuk Sri, thank Your Honour for allowing to interview you in my dreams. But today I am awake and thinking about the coming Human Rights Day. Please may Your Honour kindly allow me to day dream to day, as if we are discussing about the above topics.

His Excellency Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim… That’s all right as long as I am portrayed as the person well known for. As International Human Rights day is celebrated annually across the world on 10th December, it is quiet appropriate and I have no objection for your proposal.

BURMA DIGEST: Dear Datuk Sri, we will be much obliged if you could kindly explain us about this day and the present Human Rights violations of the Myanmar Military Government.

Answer… As you know, this date of 10th December was chosen to honour the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On 10 December 2007, Human Rights Day, the Secretary-General and High Commissioner for Human Rights will launch a year-long celebration of the 60th anniversary of this day.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour had rightly stated that_

Today, poverty prevails as the gravest human rights challenge in the world.

  • Combating poverty,

  • deprivation

  • and exclusion

_is not a matter of charity,

_and it does not depend on how rich a country is.

By tackling poverty as a matter of human rights obligation, the world will have a better chance of abolishing this scourge in our lifetime…

Poverty eradication is an achievable goal.

Question… Could you kindly elaborate the Respect of Human rights and Individual Freedom?

Answer… First of all let us look at the Human Rights issue.

  1. All human beings are born with inalienable rights.

  2. These human rights empower people to pursue lives of dignity.

  3. No government can bestow them but all governments should protect them.

Second important fact is Individual Freedom.

Freedom, built on a foundation of_

  1. justice,

  2. tolerance,

  3. dignity, and

  4. respect –

_regardless of :

        • ethnicity,

        • religion,

        • political association, or

        • social standing –

SPDC Generals must understand that dictatorships like their Military Junta have always deny and ignore the human rights and individual freedom.

However, if they wish to claim that they are walking down the road to democracy, they need to review their wrong record and start practicing the respect of the human rights and allow more individual freedom for all the Myanmar Citizens.

  1. Freedom of ideas.

  2. Free societies create a “marketplace of ideas” where people exchange their views on any number of issues.

  3. All the citizens should have the right to vote or stand as candidate in forming government.

  4. There must be laws to protect human rights and individual freedom and the justice systems must enforce them equally among the population.

  5. All the citizens must enjoy the Freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention, and torture.

  6. For each and every citizen, opposition party members or leaders, an ethnic minority, or even if one is a common criminal, there must be a basic human right.

  7. There must be a professional police force that respects the rights of all the citizens of Myanmar, enforcing the Rule of law.

  8. Myanmar/Burma’s ethnic minorities should be free to use their language, maintain their traditions and cultures.

  9. Governments should recognize the rights of minorities while respecting the will of the majority.

  10. All the Myanmar/Burmese citizens should have the equal opportunity to work, earn a living, support their families, government job appointments and promotions.

  11. All the Myanmar/Burmese citizens should have the equal opportunity in education, training, further studies and in getting scholarships or stipend awards.

  12. All the children must get special protection. They should receive at least an elementary education, proper nutrition, and healthcare.

  13. All the women’s rights should be protected, stop gender discrimination in all the laws, rules and regulations. Women’s health especially during maternity must be taken care of.

  14. All the future governments must be transparent, corruption free and must remains accountable to the people.

Question…Burma’s ethnic minorities are always fearful of total dominance of Burman Tatmadaw . Your view please.

Answer… In a democratic country:

A. Citizens are not governed by the majority of the people but by the rule of law.

B. Constitutional Republics are_ a deliberate attempt to diminish the threat of mobocracy i.e. Political control by a mob. The mass of common people as the source of political control.

C. Protecting minority groups from the tyranny of the majority by placing checks on the power of the majority of the population.

D. The power of the majority of the people is checked by

a. limiting that power to electing representatives

b.who govern within limits of overarching constitutional law

E. rather than the popular vote having legislative power itself.

F. Morever, the power of elected representatives is also checked by prohibitions against any single individual having:

a. legislative,

b. judicial, and

c. executive powers

G. so that basic constitutional law is extremely difficult to change.

H. John Adams defined a constitutional republic as_

“a government of laws, and not of men.”

I. The United States Constitution writers were notably aware of the danger of majority rule in oppressing freedom and liberty of the individual.

J. The framers carefully created the institutions within the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

K. They kept what they believed were the best elements of majority rule. But with protections for individual liberty, seperation of powers and a layered federal structure.

Be careful “democracy must not be a dictatorship of the majority”.

Question…Could you kindly explain us about the importance of the Respect of Human rights and Individual Freedom.

Answer… In all True Democracies, the Respect of Human rights and Individual Freedom is an essential and most important ingredient.

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations, after adopting and proclaiming the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration.

It was clearly stated, “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions…”

But the SPDC Government had arrested and jailed the Myanmar citizens who dare to take these copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from the UN office to distribute to the public. What a shame! Actually UNSC should punish SPDC for this crime.

SPDC Junta must allow all the Burmese/Myanmar citizens to pursue these fundamental rights. Actually SPDC must understand and accept that they must acknowledge and respect every human being’s rights and freedom whether they are:

  1. citizens

  2. tourists

  3. diplomats

  4. foreign journalists

  5. foreigners staying as permanent residents in Myanmar with FRC certificates

  6. legal and illegal migrants in Myanmar

  7. mixed blooded recent migrant citizens

  8. non-Military ordinary citizens

  9. armed rebels

  10. opposition members and leaders

  11. political prisoners

  12. other prisoners etc.

Human Rights and individual freedom covers all the aspects of humans_

  1. Social

  2. Political

  3. Economic

  4. Culture

  5. Religion

  6. Health

  7. Welfare

  8. freedom of expression, speech and assembly or even demonstration

  9. freedom of press

  10. Workers and farmers’ rights must be protected.
  11. Homeless people, retrenched people, the poor, handicapped must be taken care of.

Question…Thank you for explaining us the importance of Human Rights and Individual Freedoms. However, they seem to be just the ideals in concepts only but many governments around the world are blatantly ignoring these fundamentals of democracy.

Answer… Yes it is sadly true.

Allow me to quote Mary Robinson, Human Right Rapporter.

“… today’s human rights violations are the causes of tomorrow’s conflicts.”

UN ex-SG Kofi Annan had also said_”It was never the people who complained of the universality of human rights, nor did the people consider human rights as a Western or Northern imposition. It was often their leaders who did so.”

1. “There are no ‘white’ or ‘coloured’ signs on the foxholes or graveyards of battle.” Message to Congress 19th June 1963.

2. “We are confronted primarily with a moral issue… whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated.” Referring to race riots in Alabama in a radio broadcast 11th June 1963.

Martin Luther King Jr:

1. “Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice; say that I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.” Comment 4th February 1968.

2. “I want to be the white man’s brother, not his brother-in-law.” New York Journal 10th September 1962.

3. “The best way to solve any problem is to remove its cause.” Stride Towards Freedom 1964.

4. “We are out to defeat injustice and not white persons who may be unjust.”

Stride Toward Freedom 1964 Harry S. Truman: “Every segment of our population, and every individual, has a right to expect from his government a fair deal.” Speech to Congress 6th September 1945.

Question…Out going UNSG Mr. Annan’s in his farewell speech was disappointed with the deteriorating condition of Respect of Human Rights around the world.

Answer… Yes, Mr. Annan called for greater efforts to protect human rights worldwide in a speech marking the International Human Rights Day.

Annan acknowledged that the UN has often failed to live up to its own responsibility in the area, and expressed disappointment that his hope of establishing_

  • human rights as a “third pillar” of the institution,
  • complementing peace
  • and security,

has not materialized as he would have liked.

  1. Sixty years after the liberation of the Nazi death camps,

  2. and 30 years after the Cambodian killing fields,

the promise of ‘never again’ is ringing hollow in Burma or Myanmar.”

Annan also challenged the international community to follow anti-terrorism strategies that did not violate human rights and to help countries install mechanisms that protect human rights domestically.

Question…Tan Sri Razali Ismail and Mr Gambari were the only two persons allowed to see Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. They admired her. Do you have any thing to comment about her?

Answer… I liked her idea of loving kindness even on her jailers, SPDC Generals.

  1. She is brave and I liked her idea of “Freedom from fear.”

  2. Last of all, she had asked the world to help her by the call of, “Please Use Your Liberty to Promote Ours”

  3. While preparing for this interview, I searched and read about Burma. Your NLD and especially Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is like the Burmese traditional toy, Pyit Taing Htaung or Tumbling Kelly or billycan.

    • SPDC could throw her anywhere into the jail or put under the house arrest, she would never surrender.

    • SPDC wanted the NLD and Daw Suu to be their puppets rubber stamping their Convention. But she refused to be pulled up like the Puppets. Of course the strings are pulled by SPDC Generals.

Question… Datuk Seri, if United Nations Security Council appointed you with special powers to negotiate for the National Reconciliation and Democratization, are you willing to help us?

Answer…Yes, but the following conditions must be fulfilled. It must be a United Nations Security Council’s powerful and strong mandate.Both Myanmar Military Government and all the opposition parties must agree to my appointment.UNSC must give me a very strong mandate, backup with the rewards and punishment to be able to push for a negotiated agreement. So that I could push all the parties concerned to get a rapid pace and progress in negotiating for an agreement and be able to force all sides to accept my reasonable negotiations and decisions. In addition, there must be dangling carrot and stick from the UNSC so that all the parties would comply with the negotiated agreement we achieved.

BURMA DIGEST: Thank you very much Datuk Sri for giving an interview. May Allah bless you with good health and progressive political future.

His Excellency Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim…Thank you.

Dreamer of the day

Dreamer of the day  

 

All men dream, but not equally.

Those who dream by night,

in the dusty recess of their minds,

wake in the day to find that it was vanity. 

But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,

for they may act their dreams with the open eyes,

to make it possible. 

TE Lawrence 

I am a daydreamer because dreams give me hope and I always think, plan, prepare and try my best to achieve my dreams. I used to dream about the future of the Secular Federal Democratic Union of Burma after the second Independence.  We all gained a lot of bitter experiences through the successive failures of U Nu, Ne Win, Saw Maung and Than Shwe led governments.  U Nu’s democracy failed because of_

  1. Lack of unity.

  2. Lack of Sacularism.

  3. Lack of practice of true Federalism.

  4. Corruption.

  5. Lack of transparency.

 Ne Win’s Socialism failed because_

  1. Dictatorship.

  2. Lack of Democracy.

  3. Nationalization of economy.

  4. State controlled centrally planned rigid economic policy.

  5. Closed door policy.

  6. Lack of unity.

  7. Lack of practice of  Federalism.

  8. Corruption.

  9. Lack of transparency.

  1. Lack of Human Rights.

  2. Lack of Individual Freedom.

  3. Lack of religious freedom and creating of racial riots.

  4. Leftist policies i.e. socialist planning.

 SLORC and SPDC Military governments failed because_

1.       Dictatorship.

2.       Lack of Democracy.

3.       Lack of unity.

4.       Lack of practice of Federalism.

5.       Corruption.

6.       Lack of transparency.

7.       Lack of Human Rights.

8.       Lack of Individual Freedom.

9.       Lack of religious freedom and creating of racial riots.

10.   Ethnic Cleansing activities.

11.   Suppressing and persecuting of Ethnic Minorities.

12.   Suppressing and persecuting of Minority religions.  As we already knew the utterly failed results, cannot turn the wheels of history back and repeat the same mistakes but we have to use the different ways such as the right wing totally free market economies, unity under federalism, real democracy, respect of human rights of all the citizens, guarantee of individual freedom, transparent corruption free government, and rule of law in our future Burma. We all need to respect each other and look beyond the shallowness of skin color. We need to consider the Political Right to include those forms of liberalism that emphasize the free market. And how much liberty is good for the individual?

How much government do we need?

Everyone should be free to do as they choose, so long as they don’t infringe upon the equal freedom of others.

Libertarianism is the view that each person has the right to live his life in any way he chooses so long as he respects the equal rights of others. Libertarians defend each person’s right to life, liberty, and property-rights that people have naturally.

All human relationships should be voluntary; the only actions that should be forbidden by law are those that involve the initiation of force against those who have not themselves used force-actions like murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, and fraud.We must create a society based on the belief that human happiness is intimately connected with personal freedom and responsibility.

The twin pillars of the system we create must limit on the power of the central government and protection of individual rights. . . .Human happiness requires freedom and that freedom requires limited government.

The correct word for the above view of the world is liberal. “Liberal” is the simplest Anglicization of the Latin liber, and freedom is what classical liberalism is all about.

In the United States the unmodified term liberal now refers to the politics of an expansive government and the welfare state.

Libertarianism is a vision of how people should be able to live their lives-as individuals, striving to realize the best they have within them; together, cooperating for the common good without compulsion. It is a vision of how people may endow their lives with meaning-living according to their deepest beliefs and taking responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

The libertarian, or “classical liberal,” perspective is that individual well-being, prosperity, and social harmony are fostered by “as much liberty as possible” and “as little government as necessary.”

lib-er-tar-i-an, n. A person who advocates liberty, esp. with regard to thought or conduct…. advocating liberty or conforming to principles of liberty.

One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state.Liberals favor government action to promote equality, whereas conservatives favor government action to promote order.

Libertarians favor freedom and oppose government action to promote either equality or order.

Libertarianism, political philosophy emphasizing the rights of the individual. The doctrine of libertarianism stresses the right to self-ownership and, by extension, the right to private ownership of material resources and property.

Advocates oppose any form of taxation and favor a laissez-faire economic system.

Laissez-faire or laisser-faire, is a French phrase meaning “let do”.

From the French diction first used by the 18th century physiocrats as an injunction against government interference with trade, it became used as a synonym for strict free market economics. It is generally understood to be a doctrine that maintains that private initiative and production are best allowed to roam free, opposing economic interventionism and taxation by the state beyond that which is perceived to be necessary to maintain peace, security, and property rights.

It is not the job of the state to intervene in the economy in an attempt to reduce inequality, poverty or protect worker’s rights. Laissez-faire also embodies free trade, namely that a state should not use protectionist measures, such as tariffs, in order to curtail trade through national frontiers.

The term laissez-faire is often used interchangeably with the term free market. Some use the term laissez-faire to refer to “let do, let pass” attitude for matters outside of economics.

The laissez-faire means that the neoclassical school of economic thought holds a pure or economically liberal market view: that the free market is best left to its own devices, and that it will dispense with inefficiencies in a more deliberate and quick manner than any legislating body could. The basic idea is that less government interference in private economic decisions such as pricing, production, consumption, and distribution of goods and services makes for a better (more efficient) economy.

The free market would guide people to act in the public interest by following their own self-interest, since the only way to make money would be through voluntary exchange, and thus the only way to get the people’s money was to give the people what they want. One appeals to their self interest, and pays them for their labour.

Most modern industrialized nations today are not representative of laissez-faire principles or policies, as they usually involve significant amounts of government intervention in the economy.

This intervention includes_

  • minimum wages,
  • corporate welfare,
  • anti-trust regulation,
  • nationalized industries,
  • government linked companies,
  • welfare programmes

among other ways of government intervention as a way to provide a safety net for_

  • those without the capacity to find work
  • or work because of disability,

 subsidy programs_

  •  for businesses
  • and agricultural products,

and economic trade barriers in the form of_

  •  protective tariffs –
  • quotas on imports –
  •  or internal regulation favoring domestic industry,
  • and other forms of government favoritism.

Some contemporary political positions, such as the position known in the US as Libertarianism , are very hard to characterize in left-right terms.

These libertarians are socially liberal, but reject the leftist advocacy of government regulation of business, or the protectionism of the right. Arguably, their politics are the most similar to those of the “the libertarian, or ‘classical liberal,’ perspective is that individual well-being, prosperity, and social harmony are fostered by ‘as much liberty as possible’ and ‘as little government as necessary.’

The central difference between left and right is that the left prioritises social equality, while the right prioritises individual responsibility and the maintenance of natural and inherent inequalities between people.

The most notable distinction of the right is in economic policy. The right advanced capitalism. The right advocate laissez-faire capitalism, tending toward little government intervention in the economy other than to control the money supply and little taxation except to support military and police functions.

More recently as new social issues arise, right wing views have been concerned with keeping “traditional” values (often religious values) and the preservation of individual and corporate rights through constraints on government power.

A more obscure strand of right wing thought, often associated with the original right wing from the times of monarchy, supports the preservation of wealth and power in the hands that have traditionally held them, social stability, and national solidarity and ambition.The values and policy concerns of the right vary in different countries and eras. Also, individual right wing politicians and thinkers often have individual priorities. 

The Nolan Chart is a political diagram popularized by the David Nolan. He created it to illustrate the claim that libertarianism stands for both economic freedom and personal freedom.

Its two axes are: one from individualism to totalitarianism, the other from capitalism to collectivism.

Its corners are capitalist individualism, anarchism, state communism and fascism.

Differing from the traditional left/right distinction and other political taxonomies, the Nolan Chart in its original form has two dimensions, with a horizontal x-axis labeled “economic freedom” and a vertical y-axis labeled “personal freedom”.

It resembles a square divided into four quadrants, with each sample in the population assigned to one of the quadrants.  The underlying principle of the Political Compass is that political views may be better measured along two separate and independent axes.

The Economic (Left-Right) axis measures one’s opinion of how the economy should be run:

“The Left” is defined as the view that the economy should be run by a cooperative collective agency (which can mean the state, but can also mean a network of communes),

while “the Right” is defined as the view that the economy should be left to the devices of competing individuals and organisations.

The other axis (Authoritarian-Libertarian) measures one’s political opinions in a “Social” sense, regarding a view of the appropriate amount of “personal freedom

I am a daydreamer because dreams give me hope and I always think, plan, prepare and try my best to achieve my dreams. Above is my daydream about the future of the Secular Federal Democratic Union of Burma after the second Independence.