ASEAN LEADERS ARE BARKING AT THE WRONG TREE WITH THE WRONG CAUSE AND WRONG OBJECTIVE

ASEAN LEADERS ARE BARKING AT THE WRONG TREE 

WITH THE WRONG CAUSE AND WRONG OBJECTIVE

 

ASEAN leaders are complaining about the convenient way to solve the Rohingya problem.

But for the Rohingyas or Burmese Muslims or Christian Chins/Karens/Kachins and Buddhist Mons/Shans/Burmese etc AND the NLDS  and political opponents and armed rebel groups_

Whether the SPDC would accept them back is not their main concern. What is the consequences after repatriation is their only problem.

Jailed? Tortured? Is the main concern for all but ‘Village arrest’ (for Rohingyas only) is the problem.

No democracy, no Human Rights, no political life, no respect for the Rights of religious minorities and Ethnic minorities is their main concern.

But the lack of development, economic problems back home are the most important fact for all of them.

There is no clear cut line to DEFINE OR CATEGORIZE THEM INTO POLITICAL OR ECONOMIC MIGRANTS. 

Continue reading

YES or NO? The CHOISE is yours, Myanmar voters

 YES or NO?

The CHOISE is yours, Myanmar voters

 

Malaysiakini, The power of choice Yoga Nesadurai

There are many management theories in the market place to help organisations and individuals improve. I would like to introduce a fundamental theory that is very powerful and easy to apply but often overlooked. I am talking about ‘choice’.

Webster defines choice as, ‘a selection, an alternative, the right or power to choose’.

It comes down to a very simple step – to act or not to act on the choice.

 

It represents a verb, an action, thereby giving the chooser the power to choose from a selection or if just two, an alternative.

What it ultimately points to is that the power is with you.

To make a choice, we need options.

There are times when we have no options and therefore the choice is automatic.

But in most cases we do have options available to us and I want to work through the deduction process here.

Evaluating options

Now that we have deduced options, what does evaluating our options involve? :

It requires courage and commitment to act on your choice.

 

This is the ‘locking in’ step in the ‘power of choice’ process.

This is where courage comes in. No matter what the response, I still hold on to my original intent or choice – the courage to stand by my offering and the commitment to follow through with action.

Information or an event is the stimulus that makes us take action. There are various stimuli that present themselves everyday to us. Between the stimulus and our response, lies choice!.

Attitude is our ‘way of being’ or ‘steady state’. Generally, we are all aware of our general attitude towards people and situations. Sometimes due to circumstances, like having a bad day, our attitude could vary from its natural ‘steady state’.

Where information is the stimulus that helps us derive our options, attitude is the component that helps us make the choice from our options. Attitude is therefore an important ingredient in the choices we make. It has a huge impact in making our choice and its consequences.

Making great choices

We have all made unwise choices at some point in our lives.

 

  1. It is sometimes inevitable,
  2. sometimes intentional,
  3. sometimes regrettable
  4. and sometimes transformational.

Inevitable choices are where the alternative is not a viable option. This is a case where an organisation needs to downsize, assuming all other avenues have been explored. In this instance the best thing one can do is to carry this out in the most humane manner with honesty and integrity.

Intentional choices are where you know that the alternative option is the wisest option, yet you intentionally choose the opposite option. In organisations, this is when we may bypass a certain process or person intentionally for various reasons. Or where we circumvent a certain procedure because we have the power and privilege to do so. Corruption is a classic example of the latter

Regrettable choices are where at the point of making the choice you are ‘aware’ of what the wisest choice is, however your steady state or way of being at that moment stops you from acting on it. These are usually choices made when emotions are running high, where you regret your choice as soon as have you made it or regret the choice as the words have left your mouth.

How many of us have been in this situation in the workplace and personal life? The power is still in the chooser’s hands to undo the wrong and recover the situation.

Transformational choices are what we should all be aspiring to achieve. In this instance, we take control and are accountable for making great choices. Accountability means taking responsibility for the choices made.

Even if you have made an unwise choice, you are in control to remedy it or to deal with the consequences. It is a big responsibility to be accountable, but one with many rewards when executed.

Learning to make transformational choices gives us the power to be extraordinary, therefore directly impacting you as an individual and the organisation that you represent.

Choice is an active process. It is the difference between a customer continuing to do business with your organisation versus taking their business elsewhere. Use it wisely.

 

YOGA NESADURAI is founder of O & C Advisory, which focuses on choice as a basis for leadership and organisational development and executive coaching.

 

 

My comments and advice to all the Burmese 

 

Yes the choice is yours_

There is a saying in Burmese that:

  1. If you made a wrong choice in trade (wrong choice of cargo) trip you would lose one trip or one time only.
  2. If you made a wrong choice in choosing the husband, you would lose your whole life. (Because usually Burmese practice monogamy and rarely divorce and have another marriage.)
  3. But I wish to seriously remind all of you by adding another phrase_

If you all vote wrongly in the coming referendum, the future history of our country would be gone to dogs.

Sorry for using the harsh words, proverbial jokes and defamatory jibes applied to the dogs. It may be an insult to the dog-world, who are known to love and loyal to its owners.

But Myanmar Military or Tatmadaw do not love its owner Burmese people and is not loyal to its owner, Myanmar Citizens or Pyi Thu in Burmese. Although the dog would be willing to sacrifice its life for the master Myanmar Tatmadaw is always willing to sacrifice its masters for its selfish greed of power.

Be careful, think twice before voting. This is not just an election, which consequence would for one term of government only.

This is the referendum to rubber-stamp the continuous dominance of military dictatorship in Burma/Myanmar forever…

Daw Suu, 88 Generation Students, NLD, Ethnic Minorities and opposition leaders of all the religions and races had sacrificed a lot: in the jail, tortured, some away from home and country and many had sacrificed their lives.

  •  What are you waiting for?
  • What are you scared of?
  • Are you not willing to make a minor sacrifice for your country, your race, your religion, your family, your relatives and for your future by taking a small risk of voting NO?
  • Don’t be intimidated by threats of the SPDC affiliated thugs.
  • You have shown your courage in 8888 revolution and Saffron Revolution.
  • This courage to vote is nothing when compare to the above revolutions.
  • If all the people or most of the people vote NO, what could they do?
  • Nothing at all!
  • They cannot arrest, torture or shoot and kill million of voters.
  • Just say NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! by voting NO in the coming referendum.

May you kindly allow me to refer back YOGA NESADURAI’s advice.

Please courageously make a Transformational choice by voting NO to transform our country from poor military dictatorship to truely progressive democracy.

Transformational choices are what we should all be aspiring to achieve. In this instance, we take control and are accountable for making great choices. Accountability means taking responsibility for the choices made.

Even if you have made an unwise choice, you are in control to remedy it or to deal with the consequences. It is a big responsibility to be accountable, but one with many rewards when executed.

Learning to make transformational choices gives us the power to be extraordinary, therefore directly impacting you as an individual and the organisation that you represent.

Choice is an active process. It is the difference between a customer continuing to do business with your organisation versus taking their business elsewhere. Use it wisely.

 

 

 

 

Chinese; Are they too clever, selfish or cowards?

    Chinese avoid confrontation with authorities.

Are they too clever, selfish or cowards?

Burmese Chinese and Malaysian Chinese are the behaving the same way.

Before reading about Malaysian Chinese in the_THE CHINESE, THEIR HOUSES HAVE NO WINDOWS by a Malaysian banker, please  taste back some Burmese Chinese stories/comments.From Irrawady, By Shah Paung November 12, 2007

The junta’s top leader, Snr Gen Than Shwe, is known to despise Muslims and Chinese people who live in Burma. However, most Chinese in Burma are business people and were not directly involved in the September uprising. In Mandalay, home to thousands of Chinese immigrants, most doors remained closed during the protests, a sign that the ethnic Chinese were not in support of the demonstrators. The Muslim minority, on the other hand, played an active part in the pro-democracy demonstrations, just as they have throughout the country’s troubled recent history.

“We cannot say that the demonstrations were not related to Muslims just because they were led by Buddhist monks,” Pan Cha concludes. “We were all born and live in Burma and should not discriminate among each other. We must work together toward democracy.”

Ko Moe Thee Zone’s announcement regarding SPDC crony businessmen

Now, we see the Muslims and Indians participating in the monks led peoples protesting. However, the Chinese seem to be curiously missing – in shape or form – within the context of the current protests.

Are they against the current protests or in support of the protests? Or simply indifferent to any of this since they already have a stronghold over Burma’s economy and anything that takes attention away from them would be positive?

Either way, the bigger question here is not a question of why aren’t the Chinese involved in these protest rather when will the Chinese get involved. The bottom line is why do the minorities, specifically the Chinese and the so called Indians or Muslims, continue to feel disenfranchised?

For Malaysiakini readers :

THE CHINESE, THEIR HOUSES HAVE NO WINDOWS

Saturday, March 29, 2008 at 8:06 PM Posted by jatt

THE CHINESE, THEIR HOUSES HAVE NO WINDOWS

This is a story from a banker (name witheld).*

I looked out the window.
And I saw.

Thousands and thousands of Malays in the Bersih Rally. They were fighting their own kind for a cause they believed in. And they risk being ostracized by their Muslim brothers. And they risk much.

I looked out the window.
And I saw.

Thousands and thousands of Indians holding the picture of Gandhi in the streets. All were teargassed and many beaten with batons. At Batu Caves , they were locked in, pumped with tear gas and sprayed with chemical water. 80 are awaiting trial. 31 are charged for attempted murder of a policeman that attacked them. All their leaders are under ISA. The one that got away fled the country.

I looked out the window.
And I saw.

Thousands and thousands of Chinese closing their doors. Minding their own business. Watching the soap operas. Playing mahjong. Going to the gym. Planning for holidays. Eating bah kuet teh. Enrolling their children in private schools. Going for line dancing. Changing to a bigger car. Perming their hair brown. Going to the movies. Shopping.

The Chinese. They don’t look out the window.
Their houses. Have no windows.
______________________

It is because of 3 generations of ‘keeping quiet’ that we are in a political quagmire of sorts today.

My story may not be the same for others, but it is no doubt a story of 3 generations of political oblivion -a saga of unremitting circumstances that has ‘trained’ us to look the other way – to economic wealth, education and religion. Politics because a ‘dirty word’ in our home; as a Chinese we should disengage ourselves completely from this ‘unproductive’ activity.

This is my story.

My grandfather took a ship to join the gold rush in

San Francisco
around the turn of the last century. Halfway on a Chinese junk, he got sea-sick, so he jumped ship at Singapore .. Traveling up the hinterland, he focused on survival. Hungry from famine in Southern China , he vowed never to be hungry again. Politics was the last thing on his mind. Keeping his belly filled was his only priority. It was an obsession that dictated everything he did.

My father worked for the British. One day, forced by the Japanese to do ‘national service’, he was selected to look after food supplies. The family was starving during the war, so he stole rice under his care and hid them in sweet potatoes when he cooked rice. Our neighbors always thought we were eating sweet potatoes we grew on the fringes of the jungle, when in actual fact, we always had rice.

(As a matter of fact, it is more nutritious to eat sweet potatoes than rice….sweet potatoes, the red variety, has carotenes-vitamin A precursors-other nutrients & fibre. Polished rice has mainly carbohydrate.)

My grandmother sews clothes for the women day and night to survive and got paid in Japanese currency.. When the war was over, these Japanese notes – which were unnumbered – became valueless. The family again struggled to bring food on the table. It was a litany of hunger and fear in our house.

When it came to my generation, my father thought education was the passport to economic freedom for us. He refused for us to be a contractor like him and forced us to study. In university, he forbade me to get involved in politics. He went as far as to refuse me to study law so that I would not get involved in politics. I was forced to study a course I did not like because he wanted me to be a banker.

Needless to say, I made the same mistake when it came to my children. I told them also the ‘passport to heaven’ was also to study. But I refused to dictate what they should study but instead asked them to study what they liked. I ensured they got the best education. I also reminded everyone that they do not talk about politics on the dinner table.

My story is not uncommon; such is the struggle and saga common to thousands of Malaysian homes.

We are cajoled by our parents to look at bread-and butter issues. We are told that politics are not for us. We are told that our ‘houses have no windows’, so mind your own business and close the door. We are told that if this country is not good enough, you must get a good education and emigrate.

The Chinese? We are told this is not our home. We have no home. We are the Jews of the East. When trouble starts, we ought to look the other way. If it gets worse, we emigrate. Money talks. So long we have money, some country will take us.

100 years of ignorance. Is it blissful? No. *It is tragic*.

Credit : Taken from http://groups.google.co.uk/group/sangkancil posted by Mei Joon Quek

Labels: ,

1 comments:

  gnh

March 30, 2008 5:47 AM

While I agree with the writer that the political activism is not the strong point of the Chinese here, you will note that the election this year showed it is at an embryonic stage at least. We may not be waving placards and throwing rocks in the streets, but the act of voting for the Opposition does constitute political activism on a personal level. And the results are no less astounding.

There are reasons for this state of affairs. Two and an half millenia of Confucian teaching have taught us that us to value social harmony and eschew disorder. In our circumstances, the fires of May 13 have seared into our collective memory that sometimes political victories come at a high cost. So for 40 years, we have learned to get along; we get used to some political power and in return we were granted the right to pursue economic goals. And at every GE since that fateful date, we have marked our ballot papers against the sign of the Dacing, an almost Pavlovian act rather than one of reasoned judgment. And invariably, prior to each GE, we are our fears are stoked by the firebrands in UMNO Youth.

The election this year is a sea change. There are many factors that came into play. But from a personal point of view, the sight of our Minister of Education waving the keris was the straw that broke the came’s back. If the minister could elicit that response from me, the most placid and politically apathetic of people, then I suppose the vast majority of Chinese here would have felt mortally insulted. It made voting Opposition that much easier, something Anwar capitalised on and encouraged.

So while most of us of the older generation will retreat into out comfort zones after doing our duties as citizens, the younger generation will build upon what was achieved. In time, we hope to see them speaking out against injustice as Malaysians and not as members of a racial group. I look forward with optimism.

Please read my contribution in the Wikipedia enclyclopedia to know the basic spyche of Burmese Chinese which shaped the present mindset of Chinese in Myanmar.

In 1962, Ne Win led a coup d’état and declared himself head of state. Although a kabya himself, he banned Chinese-language education, and created other measures to compel the Chinese to leave. Ne Win’s government stoked up racial animosity and ethnic conflicts against the Chinese, who were terrorized by Burmese citizens, the most violent riots taking place at the time of the Cultural Revolution in China.[1] When Ne Win implemented the “Burmese Way to Socialism“, a plan to nationalize all industries, the livelihoods of many entrepreneurial Chinese were destroyed and some 100,000 Chinese left the country.[1] All schools were nationalized, including Chinese-language schools. Beginning in 1967 and continuing throughout the 1970s, anti-Chinese riots continued to flare up and many believed they were covertly supported by the government.[2] Many Burmese Chinese left the country during Ne Win’s rule, largely because of a failing economy and widespread discrimination.

The first government-sponsored racial riots to take place in Burma was in 1967, during General Ne Win‘s rule. In the riots, the general populace went on a killing spree because of sedition and instigation against the Chinese by various government departments. The massacre lasted for about five consecutive days, during which thousands of Chinese died or were left dying in the streets of Rangoon. Some of the Chinese were thrown alive from the second and third floors of buildings in downtown Rangoon. The dead and wounded Chinese were hauled up unceremoniously and dumped onto army trucks and taken to ‘htauk kyan’ incinerators and the ‘carcasses’ were sent up in smoke. That showed the true bestial and cruel side of the character of the ruling Burma Military Junta. The only “crime” the Chinese committed was the wearing of Chairman Mao‘s badges on their shirts.[3][4][5]

Latha Secondary School was torched by the henchmen of General Ne Win’s government, where school girls were burnt alive. Chinese shops were looted and set on fire. Public attention was successfully diverted by Ne Win from the uncontrollable inflation, scarcity of consumer items and rising prices of rice.

References_

  1. ^ a b c d e Martin Smith (1991). Burma – Insurgency and the Politics of Ethnicity. London,New Jersey: Zed Books, 153-154,225-226,98,39. 
  2. ^ Steinberg, David L. (2002). Burma: The State of Myanmar. Georgetown University Press. ISBN 0-87840-893-2. 
  3. ^ Various Goernment Newspapers in Burma.
  4. ^ Asia Week, Far Eastern Economic Review.
  5. ^ Bertil Litner Bangkok Post Thailand

The Golden days of the Great Shan Empire VII

The Golden days of the

Great Shan Empire VII

Detention of Ethnic Shan and other opposition Leaders

Read detail in Irrawaddy, “Detained Ethnic Leaders Denied Outside Medical Aid” By Shah Paung on January 8, 2008

Detained ethnic Shan leaders are being denied medical treatment from outside for serious health problems, according to the Shan National League for Democracy.

9883-khun-htun-oo.gif

SNLD chairman Hkun Htun Oo

SNLD spokesman Sai Lek told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that prison authorities had rejected or ignored requests by the families of SNLD chairman Hkun Htun Oo and SNLD member Sai Hla Aung for medical attention from outside.

Hkun Htun Oo suffers from_

  1. prostate problems,
  2. diabetes,
  3. heart disease
  4. and high blood pressure.

Sai Hla Aung has_

  1. a hyperthyroid condition,
  2. diabetes
  3. and heart disease.

They were arrested in February 2005, together with_

  1. SNLD General-Secretary Sai Nyunt Lwin,
  2. Shan State Peace Council President Maj-Gen Sao Hso Ten
  3. and Shan politician Shwe Ohn, who was later released.

They were arrested days before a resumed session of the National Convention opposed by Shan leaders.

  • Hkun Htun Oo was sentenced to 92 years imprisonment and is detained in Putao prison, Kachin State.
  • Sai Nyunt Lwin received a 75 year sentence and is in Kalay prison, Sagaing Division.
  • Sao Hso Ten was sentenced to a total of 106 years imprisonment and is in Hkamti prison, Sagaing Division.
  • Sai Hla Aung received a sentence of 75 years and is in Kyauk Pyu prison, Arakan State.
  • Meanwhile, arrests of National League for Democracy members continue. NLD spokesman Nyan Win said five members of the NLD youth wing had been arrested between Burma Independence Day on January 4 and January 6. No reason has yet been given for the arrests.
  • According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), based in neighboring Thailand, there are more than 1,400 political prisoners in Burma.

SPDC Junta and Myanmar Tatmadaw failed to understand that patriotism is not the sole property of the Myanmar Tatmadaw and its Generals alone.

Each and every citizen_

  • regardless of his race,
  • religion,
  • social status
  • or political alignment,

has the right and is duty-bound to show his sense of patriotism to the country he loves in his own way.

Tatmadaw failed to acknowledge that the opposition parties like NLD, SNLD etc are equally patriotic, if not more so than SPDC leaders.

Many opposition leaders, to name a few_

  1. U Gambari lead real Buddhist monks,
  2. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi led NLD leaders like U Tin Oo,
  3. U Hkun Htun Oo led SNLD Shan leaders,
  4. Min Ko Naing lead 88 Student leaders, like Ko Ko Gyi etc,
  5. Burmese Muslims such as, Daw Win Mya Mya (NLD Mandalay, Panthay) and Ko Mya Aye (88 Student leader)

Are unlike those in the SPDC and Tatmadaw,

  • have given up much of their comforts in life,
  • endured so much pain and humiliation
  • and even have been detained
  • and tortured
  • under the illegal, undemocratic, unjust, draconian laws of the SPDC.

SPDC Junta should answer my question even if their brain is slightly larger than a bird’s brain.

If sacrificing the major part of one’s life for the nation is not patriotism, what is it then?

It is extremely distressing that the ruling Myanmar Generals and Tatmadaw want to cling onto power instead of being an instrument for the peace, progress, prosperity, unity of Myanmar and power house to start an inertia of change to democracy.

Not only the different Races and religions have become the cause of disunity, hate, violence and turmoil but the Myanmar Generals and Tatmadaw show the world that they are even willing to assault, arrest, torture and kill their own monks to stop the momentum of people’s peaceful struggle to initiate the changes to democracy.

So what’s left now to think about the safety or guarantee of other minority races and religious groups’ fate, life and property ?

We all now witnessed that Myanmar Tatmadaw is even willing to sacrifice and annihilate any one or any obstacle on their way to the road to their permanent dominance of Myanmar. 

But the whole world looks quite cool, slow and looks like willing to patiently waiting forever for the SPDC promised, “Rice presenting on the moon-plate”

SPDC Generals should stop playing the politics of fear and intimidation on the unarmed Myanmar civilians. They should not politicise or use the national security as an excuse because it would be the most unpatriotic act, amounting to treachery.

We have journeyed together, sharing a common brotherhood for 60 years and we have attained wisdom and maturity to effect change that would create an environment where all of the Burmese/Myanmar citizens can have our voices heard, rights respected and continue to live together without fear or suspicion of each other.

We should not allow selfish Military Generals to sow the seeds of disunity, suspicion, hate and jealousy that will only be detrimental to us in this multi-racial and multi-religious nation of Burma/Myanmar.

As Barrack Obama, the US presidential candidate, said after his first defeat in the primaries:

‘Change is hard. Change is always met by resistance from the status quo. The real gamble is to have the same old folks doing the same old things over and over and over again and somehow expect a different result’.

We cannot and should not expect a better outcome from the same old Tatmadaw system over and over again. They will try to keep all the issues and dialogue in the back burner.

In order to create a just government for all of the Burmese/ Myanmars, we must strive to effect a change.

We have no much time to wait for the evolution, until or unless, UN and Mr Gambari could forced the snail paced present (almost effectively stalled) dialogue on the rocket louncher to install on to the fast track.

To bring about that change may not be that easy, it may be a monumental task, but there must be a beginning for all good things to happen.

Why shouldn’t it be now?

Is the saying, “Time and Tide wait for no man” irrelevant to the inhumane, noncivilized uniformed Tatnadaw?

Why did UN and the whole world allow the Junta to procrastinate when all of us already know that what the SPDC want was TIME only.

SPDC stupidly thought that time could heal the bleeding hearts of the people seeing their beloved revered monks beaten, arrested and killed.

It is now in our hands to make that change.

Do we have the will and courage to do so?

Except for the USA and EU leaders,

  • are ASEAN leaders,
  • OIC leaders,
  • Common Wealth leaders,
  • Non Allied movement leaders
  • and UN member countries’ leaders

all became cowards? Eunuchs with any B–ls? Greedy Crooks?

Or are they all willing to close their eyes, as the Burmese saying, “Myauk Thar_ Sar Chin Yin_Myaul Myet Nher_Ma Kyi Ne’.” meaning. “if you want to eat the flesh of the monkey, avoid looking at the face of the monkey.”

So carry on world leaders, just close your eyes to avoid seeing us beatened, tortured, arrested and killed by the Than Shwe Junta.

Please continue to enjoy the following article I republished from Irrawaddy.

Pro-Democracy Political Prisoners in Poor Health Condition
By Shah Paung
January 16, 2008

At least four detained political prisoners in Burmese prisons are in poor health and need medical attention, according to their family members.

The four political prisoners are Hla Myo Naung and Kyaw Soe of the 88 Generation Students group, who are both in Insein Prison in Rangoon; Win Maw, a pro-democracy activist, also in Insein Prison; and Myint Oo, a committee member of the Magwe Division of the National League for Democracy, who is in Mandalay Prison.

Hla Myo Naung has eye problems and is nearly blind in both eyes, according to a family member. He has had eye problems since October 2007, and was arrested while he was enroute to a Rangoon clinic to have an operation on the left side of one eye.

After he was arrested, authorities performed an operation on one of his eyes, but it was not successful and an eye nerve was damaged.

Family members of both Win Maw and Kyaw Soe said they received medical treatment in prison after they were tortured by the authorities in an interrogation center.

However, Win Maw has now contracted pneumonia. Kyaw Soe suffers from fainting spells. Both men were victims of water torture, according to sources.

A family member of Win Maw said they have not been allowed to visit him for nearly three weeks.

Myint Oo, who also suffers from pneumonia, began receiving medical treatment in a Mandalay prison hospital three days ago, according to family members.

Tate Naing, the secretary of the exiled-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), said that since August 2007, the military government has arrested more than 7,000 people, including pro-democracy activists.  Prisoners are not allowed to receive outside medical treatment.

88 Generation Students leaders Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi also have health problems, say their family members. They were arrested by authorities in August 2007.

According to the AAPP, there are more than 1,850 political prisoners in Burmese prisons.

 

Burma’s Saffron Revolution leader, Revered Monk, Sayadaw (abbot) U Gambira

Burma‘s Saffron Revolution leader

Revered Monk, Sayadaw (abbot)

U Gambira

Dr San Oo Aung 

gb-super.png

Sayadaw (abbot) U Gambira,  is a prominent Buddhist clergy, who took a leading role in the August and September peoples’ protest in Burma.

In August 2007, SPDC announces the sudden increase in fuel prices. That cause a devastating effect of Burmese people as especially the food and basic necessities prices increased along with the massive inflation but there was no increase in consumer earning power not only for the poor but even for the average ordinary citizens.

Mass peaceful protests nationwide started on 21 September 2007. At first it was led by Buddhist monks. U Gambira, 27 year old monk was the leader organizing, instigating and leading all the monks. Only after a few days only ordinary people dare to support and took part and went down into the streets, protesting against the government, calling for a reduction in commodity prices, release of political prisoners and national reconciliation.

Beginning on 21 September 2007, the numbers of demonstrators increased considerably, with estimated numbers ranging from 10,000 to 100,000. Demonstrations on this scale have not been seen since the nationwide protests in 1988, which were violently suppressed by the authorities with the killing of approximately 3,000 peaceful demonstrators.  

Bae Thu Thay Thay_ Nga Tae Mar_Pyee Yaw.

That is sheer selfishness, self-interest, self-centeredness or egocentricity. We could call in a modern term, MYOB meaning “MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS” or to ‘take care of our own self first’ policy. This has been the priority culture that practices by almost all of us, nowadays. Yes this provides a great advantage to the ruling Myanmar Military government when things related to Myanmar’s affairs.

This MYOB have deeply imbedded in our thinking process daily and putting chills of fear up into our spines coupled with the prospects of rewards if we just keep quiet or nod our heads or could reap the best rewards if we could support, praise and also greased the palms of various level of military authorities.

The monks of Burma are not prepared to kill for anything or anyone nor even a tinniest of a creature. But U Gambira had managed to successfully lead them to come out on to the roads ready to sacrifice for the benefit of their people. The simple gesture of the unarmed praying monks taking to the streets and standing their ground before the bayonets and tanks of the military junta sends out a clear message to the SPDC regime that while they have the guns and tanks it is the monks and the people who now command the moral high ground.

Although I was quite young, I still remember the images of the Buddhist monks who set themselves on fire in the about fifty years ago in Saigon, now renamed Ho Chin Minh city. The monks were protesting against the corrupt Vietnamese regime of that time. 

Later only I learnt that The South Vietnamese government troops had opened fire to disperse students and monks, who were banned from carrying Buddhist flags on Wesak Day. The Buddhist leadership quickly organized a protest that led to several monks burning themselves to death. 

I felt the déjà vu feeling when I saw the Burmese monks’ protests.

History always repeats itself but sometimes strangely in reverse condition. That South Vietnamese government was supported by USA and against the communists. Now the SPDC is the illegitimate children of communist/socialist General Ne Win and supported by communist China again. (China is becoming a Nga Pwa Gyi in both situations.) That Vietnamese government who shot monks was eventually toppled. We hope the same happens in Myanmar soon.  

Myanmar Tatmadaw should realize that it has lost all the remaining credibility, even if they have a few, not only in the eyes of its own people but more crucially for the world as well.

And by taking the stand that they have and keeping to it, Sayadaw U Gambira and our revered monks have shown the world that religion can also be a living dynamic force in the politics and is not a pariah faith to be locked in the sacred precinct of temples, churches, pagodas and churches. The only important fact is that the religion must be used with care and not to divide the people, races and religious followers but for the benefit of the country and humanity.

In Buddhism, Sanghas or Monks are revered in the same rank as Lord Buddha and Dharma, teachings or rules and regulations or Laws of Buddhism taught by Buddha. In Burmese, “Pha Yar_Ta Yar_Sangha” are held in the highest regard amongst the Burmese Buddhists. No one dare to insult Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, except SPDC and its thugs.

After Gautama Buddha’s Parinirvana, Sanghas maintain and preserve the teachings of the Buddha, as the guardians of Buddhism. All the Buddhists in Burma regarded Sanghas as the sons of Buddha who carry on the torch of enlightenment and march forward, continue to propagate and disseminate the Buddha’s teachings.

The protest began on Aug 19 after the government raised fuel prices. Initially, the protest involved only civilians but the impact changed dramatically when the monks took to the streets. 

Sept 26 was a sad day for Burma, when the Myanmar Tatmadaw opened fire on unarmed civilian protestors and Buddhist monks. Soldiers and police fired tear gas, clubbed protesters and arrested hundreds of monks in an attempt to quash the uprising.

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Hundreds of deaths were reported, but the SPDC tried its best to cover-up and destroy the evidences. They did not hesitate to use force even against those unarmed Buddhist monks peacefully charting prayers. Even the very old and young monks were kicked and beaten by the ruthless soldiers and shoved them onto trucks.

Doors of their monasteries were broken; things were ransacked and taken away. Few thousands of monks were arrested. There are reports creeping out across the iron sieve reporting that many of them have been tortured and killed or died because of the wounds inflicted during the arrest and torture. Some monks go into hiding, some flee abroad, some are dead, but the fate of many more remains unknown.

Buddhist monks are greatly revered for their exceptionally humble, harmless and peaceful way of life. If the military rulers can act so ruthlessly against such defenseless spiritually inclined monks, it is frightening to imagine what more they are capable of doing to others less spiritual.Now the junta is openly hunting for four monks who it says are the ringleaders of the biggest uprising against the government in 20 years.

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“Many monks are still hiding, at the homes of people, or on the top floors of apartment buildings,” one escaped monk, who gave his name as Vida, told reporters in northern Thailand. “It is dangerous for anyone who goes out. We are worried about our friends, especially those who have been arrested or have disappeared.”

”We saw that the military is very brutal, and we think a lot of people must have been tortured or killed. We plead with the international community to support us in any way you can.”

U Gambira, the leader of the All Burma Monks Alliance, managed to speak by phone from an undisclosed location in Myanmar to a public meeting at the Asia Society in New York.

He told of daily arrests at monasteries. He told that there were many soldiers surrounding the Buddhist monasteries and also in the streets. 

Have our hopes and prayers for the rapid democratic change in Burma is totally crushed to a hopeless situation?

Have the pro-democracy protesters been defeated totally and there is no more hope left for all of us?

When a government resorts to bullets and clubs to suppress peaceful demonstrators, you know they have lost all moral authority and it is just a matter of time before the regime is dumped into the ash heap of history.

Anil Netto

The Burmese people have taken all that batons, bullets, cruelty and hard labour can give. But it is the Burmese junta that has lost all moral credibility – a long time ago. And thus, it is just a matter of time before these ruthless generals are unceremoniously booted out – with or without Asean’s help.

You see, it is no longer a worldly struggle but also a spiritual battle. That explains why the monks have been at the forefront of the struggle, the same way that priests and nuns led the People Power revolution in the Philippines that ousted the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

In the evening of 25 September 2007, the authorities began a crackdown on the protesters, introducing a 60-day 9pm-5am curfew and issuing public warnings of legal action against protesters.  Arrests of reportedly at least 700 people have followed in the former capital Yangon, the second-biggest city, Mandalay, and elsewhere.  Among those arrested in Yangon were monks, members of parliament from the main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), other NLD members and other public figures.  

Websites and internets blogs carrying information and photographs of the demonstrations were blocked; internet lines were cut. Telephone lines and mobile phone signals to prominent activists and dissidents were also cut.  

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U Gambira, as a leader of the All-Burma Monks’ Alliance had spearheaded the nationwide protests. He became a fugitive following the deadly Sept. 26-27 crackdown on protesters nationwide.

SPDC had arrested the family members of U Gambira, and shamelessly declared that they will not release them until U Gambira has been detained.  At first, U Gambira could successfully avoid the government authorities but had to giveup to safe his family as SPDC had cowardly arrested his family as a ransom.

  1. Ko Aung Kyaw Kyaw, the younger brother of U Gambira and secretary of the National League for Democracy in Pauk Township, Magwe division, was arrested in Rangoon.
  2. Another brother, Ko Win Zaw, a HIV/AIDS patient, was also arrested in their hometown of Pauk.
  3.  U Gambira’s mother and sister were also arrested by the township police in Meikhtila in Mandalay division. 
  4. U Min Lwin, his father and another sister had to be on the run.   The military intelligence officer who arrested U Gambira’s family members shamelessly told them they would not be released until U Gambira is detained.

Like other detained political dissidents they were at very high risk of torture and other forms of ill-treatment.

The following is a statement recorded by RFA:

“My situation is not good. I have slept without shelter for two nights. I am not very well now. My security is pretty bad,” he said, speaking from an undisclosed location.

“Now these fellows are trying to butcher me. Now if you are done talking, as soon as you hang up, I have to move somewhere…”

“The important thing for overseas Sanghas [monks] is to carry out the Burmese cause continuously, with unity. At the moment, as you know, we cannot do anything inside Burma. We have been assaulted very badly. A few got away, a few left. I am still trying to get away but I haven’t succeeded.”

He read the following message to_

  1. U.N. Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari,
  2. U.S. President George Bush,
  3. and to the world:

“Mr. (Ibrahim) Gambari… I wish to say,

  • please do something effective and practical for Burma.
  • Measures such as economic sanctions and arms embargo will take time (years) to achieve a political solution. What is most important is for today, for tomorrow.  
  • Please tell Mr. Gambari that I am very grateful for his active participation in Burmese affairs. I have a tremendous respect for him.
  • But please tell him to implement the most effective practical measures in Burma.
  • Please try.
  • Please send U.N. representatives to Burma to carry out various ways and means to get political results now. For today.”

To Buddhists all over the world and activists and supporters of Burmese movement_

  • please help to liberate the Burmese people from this disastrous and wicked system.
  • To the six billion people of the world, to those who are sympathetic to the suffering of the Burmese people, please help us to be free from this evil system.
  • Many people are being killed, imprisoned, tortured, and sent to forced labor camps.
  • I hereby sincerely ask theinternational community to do something to stop these atrocities.
  • My chances of survival are very slim now. But I have not given up, and I will try my best.”Killings, torture, labor camp

I would like to make an appeal to President Bush:

  • Please take pride as a President who has worked hard for Burma to achieve something before his term expires.”
  • “I might not have very long to live.
  • I, Gambira, speaking by phone with you right now, have a very slim chance of survival.
  • Please try your best to relieve our suffering.
  • It will be worse in future when they [the junta] have laid down their roadmap so they can remain in power forever—it will be a blueprint to oppress us systematically.
  • Once they establish their constitution, the Burmese people will suffer for generation after generation.”
  • Reports came out of the arrest of the U Gambira on 4 November. His brother Aung Kyaw Kyaw and father Min Lwin were also arrested in October. Their current whereabouts are not known.
  • U Gambira is believed to have been charged with treason for his role in leading the demonstrations, which carries a sentence of life imprisonment or the death penalty.
  • Other members of his family were arrested as “hostages” in an attempt to force him out of hiding.
  • U Gambira was arrested the same day his article appeared on the Washington Post on November 4, the source said.
  • The source, who talked to the clergy over telephone, said,
  • “He [U Gambira] responded saying that he had been arrested and is now under detention. Then, the line was disconnected.”
  • While how his arrest came about is difficult to confirm, some activists in exile believe it is related to his article, saying it might have given the junta clues to where he was hiding.
  • He was arrested on 4 November in Singaing.  U Gambira is 27 years old and is also a spokesperson for the People’s Movement Leader Committee.
  • U Gambira was arrested from a hiding place in Kyaukse, central Burma, in early November.

According to the news published on Dec 5, 2007 by DVB:

The father of U Gambira, U Min Lwin, who was detained along with his son a month ago, has now been released, according to a family member. Min Lwin and U Gambira were arrested by officers from the police information force and other government officials in Sintgaing Township, Mandalay division, together with a third man named Ko Mondine.

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  • U Gambira, was held at Insein prison since his arrest, while his father was detained at New Mandalay prison.
  • After being held for one month, Min Lwin was released at around 11pm on 3 December. Ko Mondine and two other men from Mandalay division, Pyone Cho from Ma Hlaing Township, and Khin Maung Soe From Htone Bo Township, were released at the same time.  
  • Ko Mondine, Pyone Cho and Khin Maung Soe had been arrested for delivering money to U Gambira.
  • Min Lwin said he did not want to talk about his prison experiences in detail.
  • “I’m very happy that I can meet my family again,” he said.  He said that he would now seek justice for his sons U Gambira and Aung Kyaw Kyaw, who was arrested in Rangoon on 17 October. Both of them remained in detention.
  • Aung Kyaw Kyaw is the younger brother of U Gambira
  • and secretary of the National League for Democracy in Pauk Township, Magwe division. According to the following reports in Irrawaddy,
  • His mother told The Irrawaddy that authorities told U Gambira’s family that he is charged with treason for his leading role in the September mass demonstrations.

U Gambira was born in the town of Pauk in central Burma. He has three brothers and one sister. 

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“I am very worried,” said his mother.

  • “I am so sad for my son and my husband.
  • They might be tortured during interrogation.
  • But I am proud of him [U Gambira].
  • Since his childhood, my son has been active in helping other people.”
  • The monk’s father, Min Lwin, is believed to be in Burma’s infamous Insein Prison, said U Gambira’s mother.
  • U Gambira’s brother, Kyaw Kyaw, was also arrested in October as an exchange while the monk was in hiding.
  • But his brother has not been freed since the monk’s capture.
  • His mother and three other family members were also detained and interrogated before he was arrested.

Detaining of the fugitive political activists’ family members by the SPDC authorities calling for an exchange with the fugitive activist is regarded by the Human rights organizations as a form of criminal inhumane act of illegally “taking hostages”.

The Saffron revolution is not over yet.

  • The SPDC regime’s use of mass arrests, murder, torture and imprisonment
  • has failed to extinguish our desire for the freedom that was stolen from us so many years ago. We have taken their best punch.
  • As the famous saying, “Shwe Ba Ah Sa Nar Myee.” This is just a temporary set-back.
  • There is another Burmese saying_Htow Myi’ Sin_Nauk Ta Hlan_Sohe Thee.
  • The GOOD will always TRIUMPH over the EVIL.
  • Kindly allow me to repeat clearly and firmly again, “our uprising is not over yet!”
  • The SPDC military Junta may control the streets and monasteries,
  • but they will never be able to control the hearts and minds or determination of the Burmese people.

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Now it is the generals who must fear the consequences of their actions.

We adhere to nonviolence, but our spine is made of steel.

There is no turning back.

There is another Burmese saying, Ngoke Mi_Thae Taing. Tet Naing_Phar Yoke.

It matters little if my life or the lives of colleagues, comrades should be sacrificed on this journey as long as our beloved holy, revered monks are leading us.

After all, Sayardaw U Gambari had selflessly sacrificed for all of us.

Our comrade brothers, sisters, children will fill our sandals, and more will join and follow till the Saffron Revolution revolution succeed and dumped the Myanmar Tatmadaw to where they belong, barracks, as the servants and security guards of the Burmese People.

Ah Yae Daw Pone Aung Ya Myi.

Free Sayardaw U Gambari !

FREE DAW AUNG SAN SUU KYI!

FREE BURMA!

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Acknowledgement

Many data obtained from_

               

Say Young Sone Anyein, video 1 to 6

Say Young Sone Anyein,

video 1 to 6

You Tube Video source through Niknayman’s blog ( thank you Ko Niknayman for the videos)

We like to praise the courage of the Comedians after watching the Jokes of the Anyein performance , which is usually combined with the traditional dance with the jokes.

 

However the Jokes made by the famous comedians, Godzilla, King Kong,and the others make all of us laughing at the same times feel deep sorrow as we all know that these comedians were crying in their heart while making the Jokes to express the feeling for the 50 millions Burmese, who’s mouths were sealed by the Military Junta.

For the non Burmese readers I am unable to translate their jokes as they smartly and bravely used the Myanmar Language, Culture and tradition with current situation of Burma in indirect words. Myanmar Language is difficult to translate in its true essence as meaning may change with different intonation.

Following is my favourite quote regarding humor and the fight for democracy which was originally from Irrawaddy On-line.

Sit Mone

VCD Political Comedy

Draws Laughter in Rangoon

By Shah Paung
December 21, 2007
The generals who run Burma don’t like it when the joke’s on them, but political satire and humor are alive in military-ruled Burma.

A popular VCD depicting a traditional anyein performance is now selling like hot cakes in Burma. An anyein is like a variety show with comedians, singing and dancing.

The performance took place at Myaw Zin Gyun near Rangoon’s lake Kan Daw Gyi on November 24.

Well-known comedians including Godzilla, King Kong and Kyaw Htoo and four comedians known as “Thee Lay Thee” performed live in spite of a warning from authorities.

Before going on stage, Godzilla was asked to sign a document saying he would not make political jokes.

The comedian troupe is known as “Say Young Sone” (The Colorful).

The comedians quickly ignored the authorities and began cracking jokes about the military and the September uprising, drawing laughter and cheers from the audience.

The comedians targeted the September uprising, the regime’s municipal policy, the junta-backed Union Solidarity Development Association, religion and UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari.  

A VCD of the performance is now widely available in Rangoon despite a ban imposed by the government.
 
One youth in Rangoon said that since last week the VCD has been on sale on the streets. He said he bought 10 copies to share with his friends.

One of the most popular bits is when two comedians portray UN Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari and Minister of Information Brig-Gen Kyaw Hsan, who is dubbed as “Comical Ali.”

Kyaw Hsan begins touching the legs of Gambari—the duo then gradually begin to touch mouths, eyes, ears and heads.

Gambari finally says he knows what Kyaw Hsan’s up to.

“This man does not know about “Myanmar!” [Burma],” says Kyaw Hsan.

Finally, the two stand up and can not touch each other any more.

“Your dollars are falling out!” says Kyaw Hsan, pointing to the floor. 

Gambari quickly bends over and picks up a US dollar. Kyaw Hsan kicks Gambari in the rear, shouting “This is Myanmar!”

Recently, the UN special envoy’s budget of more than $800,000 was approved for 2008 to work toward national reconciliation. The Nigerian diplomat has a Burmese nickname, “kyauk yu pyan,” which means “one who takes gems and then leaves.”

The performance also touched on Bagan Airline, which is  owned by Burmese business tycoon Tay Za.

Snr-Gen Than Shwe was satirized as a man who acted like a king and who treated his “servants” (comedians) like slaves. The servants finally punished the king by beating him. 

The Norway-based Democratic Voice of Burma began broadcasting the VCD performance on its satellite television network on Thursday.

Ko Mya Aye, Burmese Muslim 88 Students Group Leader

Ko Mya Aye

Burmese Muslim  

(88 Students Group Leader)

“So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannise will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.”


– Voltaire

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Surely there must be a “How-to-Govern” manual somewhere that says:

‘Thou Shalt Not Martyr Thy Opponents

Unless Thou Really Is Not Interested in

Winning the Hearts and Minds of Thy People’.

Marina Mahathir

 People’s views on Ko Mya Aye 

In BURMA DIGEST year-end poll for “Politician of the Year 2006 Burma”, new leader of 8888 generation pro-democracy student activists in Burma Ko Mya Aye was deservedly overwhelmingly elected as the Politician of the year.Here below is some interesting quotes from remarkable remarks made by our readers on Ko Mya Aye. 

¨       SPDC fears 88 generation student leaders most and they can succeed in bringing Burma to democracy.

¨       88 generation student leaders led a wide campaign for a signature petition to release all political prisoners. That campaign was a very amazing success after the 8888 People Uprising in 1988. In spite of the SPDC junta’s lawless authority to its own people, they did it very strategically, leading a possible path to democracy now and forever.

¨       He is more organized and gives truthful message to the people of Burma where Burmese people didn’t know how to show their democracy movement peacefully.

¨       I am very exciting of their works for people.  Now, many students from inside who are studying at different university joined hands with 88 GSG and are working together for democracy movements and to free political prisoners. I liked his speeches with media……

¨       Ko Mya Aye and 88 GSG (inside Burma; people from inside supported them and join with them as their voice of truth.

¨       The most interesting political group 2006 for Burma is Ko Mya Aye and 8888 Generation Students Group.

¨       They, 8888 generation students, are leading towards democracy movement in Burma and stimulate and try to develop human …..Their have perseverance, tolerance…

¨       During the 8888 uprising they had successfully lead the people’s uprising causing the downfall of three successive governments of General Ne Win, Sein Lwin and Dr Maung Maung.

¨       When you look through the events this year- petition and white expression campaigns that he and his group organized inside Burma showed full commitment and bravery of them, more importantly their moves inspired all pro-democracy activists and people of Burma.

¨       He took over all the responsibilities after Min Ko Naing, Pyone Cho, MinZaYa, Htay Kywel and Ko Ko Gyi were arrested. I like his speeches in Media; it made us wake up to involve in Freeing up Burma.

¨       He is a good leader of us after Min Ko Naing.  We support him.¨       Greatest generation of Burma after independent heroes

¨       We are new generations, they are model for us.

¨       I support him.  I like his speeches with media; it encourages people to fight for truth and against unlawful military rule.

¨       The student activists have been sacrificing their lives endlessly. They are national heroes.

¨       they show their desire for democracy without fear and people from inside were very interested of their work for democracy movements

¨       I like his speeches which are very exciting for our people.  He is the one who voice out for people through media without fearing of SPDC.

¨       His speeches make me keen to involve for democracy movements and I really support him and his friends

¨       He suffers the same as people suffer.

¨       He never gives up fighting for truth.  I like his speeches.

¨       I like his personalities, he did things right and he encourages people to express the truth.

¨       We need a leader like Ko Mya Aye after Min-Ko-Naing was arrested

¨       I am surprised by his courage and we need him for the future of Burma.

¨       He is the second “Min-Ko-Naing”

¨       He who speaks out for our people.  He is the one who respects his “Ye baw Ye bat” inside Burma.

¨       We like him because of his work for people.

¨       He courageously express his view of truth and he encourages people not to fear of expressing truth

¨       He is a Hero after Min-Ko-Naing.  

¨       He is a good leader and fighter for truth.

¨       I could not work for my country people like him.  I admired him.  I am strongly vote him for the most interesting political personality 2006 for our country.

¨       I would like to vote for him. Although I don’t know him in person, I listened his speeches in media.  It made me very excited and felt like suffering same as him. 

 (Reported by Dr. Tayza)

Also See in Burmese_

Copied and pasted below

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Junta pins democracy activists to the wall

Ko Dee
Mizzima News
 

April 6, 2007 – Pro democracy activists in Burma are slowly and steadily being pushed to the wall by the military junta which has stepped up restrictions and suppression both in economic and social terms, political dissidents in Rangoon said.

The 88 generation students, a group of pro-democracy activists, in a statement yesterday said, the junta, which grabbed power in 1988, after brutally suppressing student and civil protestors, despite their promise to install a democratic government, has continually suppressed political dissidence.

“In reality, however, those who are trying to restore democracy are marginalized from others as political activists, and have consequently become victims of oppression against the free practice of their economic and social rights,” the statement said.

The 88 generation students issued the statement following the junta’s order to shut-down a business venture run by the family of a former political prisoner and a second-rung leader of the 88 generation student – Ko Mya Aye.

On March 30, the municipal authorities in Rangoon ordered the closure of the Rangoon-Mandalay Thamadi Carrier Service headed by Maung Maung Aung, a younger brother of Mya Aye.

A letter from the municipality directed the office to be closed and informed the authorities to cancel the license to operate or action would be taken.While no reasons were given as to why the order was passed, activists viewed it as an attempt by the junta to muffle the voices of dissidence.Nyan Win, the spokesperson of Burma’s main political opposition party – National League for Democracy, said, “I agree with what the students said in the statement. It is not only the students who are targeted but also other political activists. Doctors have had their license withheld, and business ventures are being close-down.”

BBC Report about Ko Mya Aye

Speaking to the BBC, 88 Generation student leader Ko Mya Aye – one of the petition’s organisers – said they were seeking a peaceful political transformation in Burma and encouraging the people to participate.

 We will continue with peaceful and legal means to help achieve national reconciliation in Burma

 Ko Mya Aye

“We will continue with peaceful and legal means to help achieve national reconciliation in Burma”, says Ko Mya Aye who is one of the leading members of 88 Generation Students group.

The campaign began on October 2 and concluded on October 23.

 

RFA REPORT ABOUT KO MYA AYE

Mya Aye, a student leader during the 1988 uprising, said in an interview from Burma that the three men, with whom he had been meeting regularly, hadn’t committed any crimes and were in fact being treated well in detention.

“We talk solely about the paths to national reconciliation-how to bring it about how to rebuild our country. We didn’t commit any crimes,” Mya Aye said.

Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, and Htay Kywe were being held separately and “well looked after,” Mya Aye said, citing well-placed sources.

said in an interview from Burma that the three men, with whom he had been meeting regularly, hadn’t committed any crimes and were in fact being treated well in detention.

“We talk solely about the paths to national reconciliation-how to bring it about how to rebuild our country. We didn’t commit any crimes,” Mya Aye said.

Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, and Htay Kywe were being held separately and “well looked after,” Mya Aye said, citing well-placed sources.

Call for reconciliation

“When they were under detention, they were called in a number of times and asked about their views and convictions—I think that’s what is happening now,” he said. “We are closely monitoring the situation and will contact the authorities as necessary.”

“We believe only in national reconciliation. We don’t want to hurt anyone or favor anyone. The basic principles we hold are that any solution should be based on the results of the 1990 general election, on dialogue, democracy, and human rights,” he said.

“Our spirit is our only defense, and if they come to detain us we will just have to face it.”

Our spirit is our only defense, and if they come to detain us we will just have to face it.

Mya Aye, student leader in 1988 uprising

In Washington, the U.S. State Department said it was “deeply troubled” by the reported detentions and called on the ruling junta, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), to release them immediately and unconditionally.

“Our spirit is our only defense, and if they come to detain us we will just have to face it.”

Our spirit is our only defense, and if they come to detain us we will just have to face it.

Mya Aye, student leader in 1988 uprising

Original reporting by RFA’s Burmese service. Additional reporting by Richard Finney. Produced in English by Luisetta Mudie and Sarah Jackson-Han

 

DVB Report_

88 students call for agreement on reforms

 

Reporting by Aye Naing

June 28, 2007 (DVB)—The 88 Generation Students today called on the Burmese government and opposition actors to cooperate with each other over political reforms and to engage in genuine dialogue.

In a statement, the student group said that the National League for Democracy, the winners of the 1990 election, the State Peace and Development Council and ethnic minority leaders needed to work together on Burma’s new constitution.

“A friendly political society where all the issues of disagreements and suspicions can be raised, discussed, compromised and made clear in independence and in honesty is essential,” the 88 Generation Students statement said.

“We, the 88 Generation Students, would like to urge the Tatmadaw government to create such a political society and that the National League for Democracy and all the ethnic parties to put effort into making this good political society possible.”

Former student leader Ko Mya Aye said the holding of the final session of the constitution-drafting National Convention next month provided the government, the opposition and ethnic minority groups with an opportunity to cooperate.

He also said that the 88 Generation Students group believed that as the final session of the National Convention will focus on the amendment procedures and revisions of the current constitutional draft it dialogue was now essential.

“We hope a good situation comes out of it . . . This constitution will look significantly better if the National League for Democracy, whose representatives have won a lot of seats in the 1990 elections, and all the ethnic representatives had a chance to participate in creating it,” Ko Mya Aye said.

 “Dialogue is essential if this is to happen . . . People should not ignore this . . . If we do, our country will go under this dark cloud of extreme chaos. We cannot let this happen. Dialogue should be initiated whenever and wherever possible,” he said.

FRONT LINE Human Rights defenders 

On 22 August 2007, a rare public protest over a sharp rise in fuel prices led to a wave arrests by the Burmese junta. Those arrested included the senior leadership of the 88 Generation Students group as well as members of other student and civil advocacy groups.Hundreds of demonstrators had taken to the streets to express their anger at the surprise increase in fuel prices. Natural gas prices have risen 500% and petrol and diesel prices have almost doubled, according to the Guardian. The rise has hit poor labourers particularly hard, swallowing up to half of their daily income.

The 88 Generation Students group is an organisation synonymous with the long struggle for democracy in military-ruled Burma and take their name from a 1988 student-led uprising crushed by the military. In a rare announcement in all state-run newspapers, the junta said that the dissidents were arrested for undermining the peace and security of the state, according to The Epoch Times.

Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Ko Mya Aye, Ko Pyone Cho, Ko Jimmy and Ko Yin Htun were among those from the 88 Generation Student group arrested.On 21 August 2007, 14 student leader of the 88 Student Generation of Democracy were arrested.

The 14 members are Paw U Tun (also known as Min Ko Naing), Ko Ko Gyi, Pyone Cho (also known as Htay Win Aung), Min Zeyar, Ko Mya Aye, Ko Jimmy (Kyaw Min Yu), Zeya, Ant Bwe Kyaw, Kyaw Kyaw Htwe (Marki), Panneik Tun, Zaw Zaw Min, Thet Zaw, Nyan Lin Tun, Ko Yin Htun,They were arrested by security officials and members of the state backed Union Solidarity Development Association (USDA).

Front Line previously wrote to the Burmese Government on 27 August 2007 expressing concern about the arrest and detention of Paw U Tun, Ko Ko Gyi, Pyone Cho, and Min Zeyar.All 14 human rights defenders were arrested by police officials on the eve of a major protest in Yangon on 22 August 2007.

No warrants were produced for the arrests and according to an article published in the state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar they will be charged under Law 5/96, which provides for up to 20 years in prison, for their involvement in “acts undermining the efforts to successfully carry out peaceful transfer of state power and facilitate the proceedings of the National Convention.” Following the arrests, members of the security forces allegedly searched the homes of the afore-mentioned individuals and confiscated documents and compact discs. Reports claim that they were detained at Kyaikkasan Detention Centre before being transferred to the notorious Insein prison outside Yangon where they may be at risk of torture, including beatings and electric shocks.

88-Generation Student leaders including Ko Mya Aye won the Politicians of the year 2006 for Burma, awarded by Burma Digest.

During the 8888 uprising they had successfully lead the people’s uprising causing the downfall of three successive governments of General Ne Win, Sein Lwin and Dr Maung Maung.

1.       The whole world know that the 88 Generation Students have been relentlessly calling peacefully for the non-violent ways of resistance.

2.       They are advocating for national reconciliation and

3.       even claimed openly that they could forgive and forget every thing even the imprisonment and injustices done on them.

4.       Their only fault is they are asking for a peaceful dialogue and pressing for the democracy, human rights and individual freedom.

Politician of the Year 2006 Burma

Who is Politician of the Year 2006 Burma?

The politician of the year is a person who has led the people in the most significant and most important political movement during the year.

The most significant and most important political movement during this year is the White-coloured people power movement signifying people’s innocent and peaceful desire to get freedom, democracy and human-rights. And it was led by new generation student leaders.

So now thousands of readers of BURMA DIGEST have overwhelmingly voted new generation student leader Ko Mya Aye as The Politician of the Year 2006 Burma!

Final Voting Results

(validated at two decimal points)

* Only one vote from one IP address is counted.

¨     Ko Mya Aye 21.52%

¨     Daw Aung San Suu Kyi  18.83% 

¨     8888 students 9.97%         

¨     Ko Min Ko Naing 9.07%

¨  Nurul Islam  3.73%

¨ Dr. Cynthia Maung  3.69%

¨     Snr. Gen. Than Shwe  3.16%

¨     Sao Yawd Serk  3.12%

¨   U Aye Thar Aung  2.79%

¨  Dr. Nay Win Maung  2.59%

¨     Su Su New  2.27%

¨     U Maung Sein  2.21%

¨     U Win Tin  1.83%

¨     U Maung Maung (NCUB)  1.80%

¨     Nan Charm Tong  1.78%

¨     Ko Jimmy  1.75%

¨     Karen National Union & Saw Bo Mya 1.55%

¨     U Myint Aye (Human-rights Defender) 1.45%

¨  John Bolton  1.35%

¨  Nan Ohn Hla (NLD)  0.25%

¨  Daw Nan Khin Hla Myint (NLD)  0.15%

¨     Ludu U Sein Win  1.10%

¨ Ko Thet Win Aung  0.98%

¨  Ko Ko Gyi  0.85%

¨  Dr. Thaung Htun  0.75%

¨     Ko Aung Din  0.65%

¨     Ko Htay Kywe  0.54%

¨     Ko Min Zeya  0.46%

¨  Zoya Phan  0.35%

¨ Ma Phyu Phyu Thein (HIV NGO)  0.23%

¨  Ko Tun Tun (political activist)  0.17%

¨  Gen. Maung Aye 0.05%   

Multiple votes from a single IP address are discarded. One IP address, one vote only.

Although I was in the Editorial team I voted for the whole team of 88-Generation Student leaders and never had the access or had  influence the results. Please see the following article which I wrote as a vote.

                          My article in Burma Digest_ 

There is precedence to giving out an award to an organization for the award initially or usually meant for a person e.g. Noble Peace Prizes and Times magazine’s “man of the year” awarded to organizations.

Therefore, I hereby wish to nominate 88-Generation Student leaders for the Politicians of the year 2006 for Burma. During the 8888 uprising the had successfully lead the people’s uprising causing the downfall of three successive governments of General Ne Win, Sein Lwin and Dr Maung Maung.

Paw Oo Tun was a 3rd year zoology student in Rangoon University in 1988. He was a prominent leader in the 8888 people’s uprising. His nom de plume is Min Ko Naing or in English Conqueror of King! 1988 Student uprising started with the death of 2 RIT or Rangoon Institute of Technology students Ko Phone Maw and Ko Soe Naing on 13 March 1988.

In a 1988 speech, the fiery student leader said: “If we want to enjoy the same rights as people in other countries, we have to be disciplined, united and brave enough to stand up to the dictators,” according to Amnesty.

Min Ko Naing was arrested on 23 March 1989, sentenced to 20 years in December 1991, which was later commuted to 10 years. He was not released after completing his sentence in 1999. Moe The Zun, Ko Ko Gyi, Jimmy, Min Zayar, Pyone Cho and Htay Kywe are prominent leaders of 88-Generation Students group. Min Ko Naing was freed in Nov 2004. Immediately after his release, he had two interviews with the BBC and the RFA or Radio Free Asia.

Ko Min Ko Naing was only free for 11 months after a 16 year term in the Akyab prison; Ko Ko Gyi was released in March 2005 after nearly 14 years imprisonment.The SPDC Junta rearrested the 88 Generation Student leaders Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi and Htay Kywe on September 27 and Min Zayar and Pyone Cho on September 30, 2006. The arresting law enforcement persons told the student leaders and their family members that the top generals wanted to see them for discussions.

  1. In many civilized countries that practice Rule of Just Laws, the arresting authorities must tell the person why they were arrested, the reason for their arrest, under which Section of the Law and may need to show the arrest warrant.

  2. If any thing wrong or even if the warrant is technically defective they could be released with the Habeas corpus application at the respective court of law. Actually,

  3. Human Rights and individual freedom covers all the aspects of humans_

  4. All the citizens must enjoy the Freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention, and torture like this re-arrest of the 88 Generation Student leaders.

  5. All individuals are “innocent until proven otherwise”

At the press conference, the SPDC falsely accused that they had detained the student leaders for questioning related to terrorist attacks and for the financial aid received from the foreign embassies. SPDC claimed that they have to arrest in order to prevent internal unrest and instability The embassies had denied the accusation of given any financial support and the whole world knew that the 88 Generation Students are not terrorists at all. If SPDC could not prove their ridiculous accusations, their international credibility and dignity would go down the drain further more.

1.       The whole world know that the 88 Generation Students have been relentlessly calling peacefully for the non-violent ways of resistance.

2.       They are advocating for national reconciliation and

3.       even claimed openly that they could forgive and forget every thing even the imprisonment and injustices done on them.

4.       Their only fault is they are asking for a peaceful dialogue and pressing for the democracy, human rights and individual freedom.

Min Ko Naing and his colleagues were slowly reactivating Burmese People for a political awareness and taking the leader role from the senile and inactive NLD leaders. Although they had suffered a lot in the jails for a long time, they are not scared and started their political activities again. They organized the 18th anniversary of the 1988 uprising in August this year where few thousands of people dare to attend. They requested the military leaders to start a dialogue with the opposition and ethnic leaders instead of continuing the National Convention.

The top leaders were arrested on 27th June 2006 on the 18th anniversary of the founding of the National League for Democracy.

On the 02nd October the remaining 88 Generation Students group started

  • the first-ever-public- campaign against the SPDC

  • and gathered signatures for a petition calling for the release of political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

More than half a million people sign the petition although they were harassed by SPDC Kyant Phuts and their thugs. The signatures were later presented to the UN.

Later they organized

  • “White Expression”

  • requesting the people to wear white clothes to protest the SPDC. It was continued until the 44th birthday of Ko Min Ko Naing on 18 October.

On the 29th October, they started a third campaign,

  • called “Multi Religious Prayer Campaign,”

  • and requested the people to wear white clothing and hold candlelight vigils and prayers in temples, churches and mosques.

Ko Mya Aye & Ko Jimmy, the remaining ones of the 88 Generation leaders told the BBC Burmese fearlessly_

“Burmese people have to stay away from politics, because the government has kept them out. They are always looking for a way to participate in politics, so that is why we are trying to involve them.”

So the 88 Generation Student Group and Leaders are the prime movers and shakers of Burma Politics in 2006.

Campaigners and relatives said among those arrested were Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Ko Mya Aye, Ko Yin Htun and Ko Jimmy, leaders of a 1988 democracy movement that was crushed by the regime.

Min Ko Naing, whose name means “Conqueror of Kings” and who was released last year after 15 years in jail, is probably the best-known activist after Aung San Suu Kyi. She remains under house arrest, having spent nearly 17 years imprisoned.

“Military intelligence and government intelligence seized their houses and searched their houses,” another dissident, Htay Kywe, who escaped, said from neighbouring Thailand.Despite the arrests, reports from Burma said campaigners again took to the streets yesterday to protest against the government’s recent increase in fuel prices. 

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Niemoller said:

“In Germany they (the Nazis) came first for the Communists

and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

“Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up for me”.

Martin Niemoller, in his masterpiece, “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich – A history of Nazi Germany” (New York, Touchstone, 1990; first published in 1959)

I believe that Ko Mya Aye is a better Muslim than most of us who prays five times a day etc. (I don’t mean to say that he doesnot pray) as there is more to Islam than mere rituals. Islam is not just about rituals. Islam is also about values. And one of the most important values of Islam that Ko Mya Aye had practically shown all of us is to_

  1. ‘propagating good and
  2. forbidding evil’.

     

‘propagating good and forbidding evil’ _

  1. is not optional.
  2. It is compulsory.
  3. Islam makes it mandatory that we oppose evil.

We are asked to oppose evil with our hands.

Our Prophet (pbuh) has been asked by God:

“I have been ordered to dispense justice between you.”

“Whenever you judge between people, you should judge with (a sense of) justice” (4:58).

The Prophet has said:

“If any one of you comes across an evil,

he should try to stop it with his hand (using force),

if he is not in a position to stop it with his hand

then he should try to stop it by means of his tongue

(meaning he should speak against it).

If he is not even able to use his tongue

then he should at least condemn it in his heart.

This is the weakest degree of faith”

(Muslim).

  1. “Co-operate with one another for virtue and heedfulness

  2. and do not co-operate with one another

  3. for the purpose of vice and aggression” (5:2).

This means that_

  1. who perpetrates deeds of vice and aggression,

  2. even if he is our closest relation or neighbour,

  3. does not have the right to win our support

  4. and help in the name of race, country, language or nationality.

I believe that Ko Mya Aye is a better Muslim than most of us who prays five times a day etc. because Rituals are not values. Rituals are merely a demonstration that you have values. It is pointless performing rituals if you lack values. Rituals are not important if you lack faith or values. Rituals are the end result of the values you hold.

Our prayers are between God and us. Whether we perform them or not is between God and us. It does not concern anyone else. The same goes for all other rituals as well.  

But if we do not stand up for justice and fight against evil, oppression, persecution, etc., then it is no longer between God and us.

  1. God can forgive us for not praying. (I don’t mean to say that we should not pray)
  2. God can forgive us for the sins of not performing Haj, fasting etc.. (I don’t mean to say that we should not perform Haj, fasting etc.. ) I just wish to emphasize that doing good for the society, our country, Burma/Myanmar is MORE IMPORTANT DUTY FOR ALL OF US, BURMESE MUSLIMS.
  3. But God will never forgive you for your sins against society.

By not opposing evil we have not sinned against God.

We have sinned against  millions of fellow-Muslims and other humans. And you will have to seek forgiveness from all of them. God can’t forgive you. Burmese Muslims and other Burmese Citizens will have to do that.