Gambari diplomatically hiding his failure

 Gambari diplomatically hiding his failure

Note: The heading is my own idea. But the following newspaper’s facts and idea are not contrary to my heading. 

From what he has said and from what the military junta expressed to him during his third visit, United Nations Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari is unlikely to have achieved anything toward national reconciliation and democracy in military run Burma.

The Nation, Published on March 13, 2008

Gambari finished his latest visit to the troubled country on Monday, making a brief stopover in Singapore – but without meeting any officials of the current Asean chair, or the media. The reaction after the visit was different from his usual routine following his previous trips. For Burma affairs, nothing is top secret for the UN representative, unless he has nothing to say or nothing has been achieved.

Gambari met many people during his stay in Burma from last Thursday to Monday, including opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whom he met twice this time, on Sunday and Monday. However, the details of their discussion are not yet known. Previously, Gambari rushed to tell the media whenever he got a statement from Aung San Suu Kyi that she was ready to talk with the junta over political reconciliation. The UN envoy then shuttled around the globe to tell the same thing to world leaders whom he expected to help him bring about a dialogue between Burma and those in Bangkok, Beijing and New Delhi.

This time Gambari got a very tough assignment from his boss, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, to achieve a substantive dialogue between the junta and the opposition. Actually the authorities in the Burmese capital, Napyidaw were originally scheduled to welcome Gambari in April, but the secretary-general made a request to have his special envoy visit early.

Gambari was allowed in, with permission for an extended stay, but the visit lasted only five days, as many of his requests for meetings were rejected.

Prior to Gambari’s visit, UN chief Ban sent a letter in February to the paramount Burmese leader, Than Shwe requesting a five-point cooperation deal to help his special envoy achieve his mission. The junta later decided to dump all UN requests and even burnt them in public, allowing only the government mouthpiece, the New Light of Myanmar, to publicise the substance of the meeting between the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) spokesman Kyaw Hsan and Gambari over the weekend. Kyaw Hsan told Gambari that the Burmese government would arrange for UN visitors at any time as proposed, but the establishment of a special office in Rangoon for Gambari was unnecessary since the UN already had many representatives in the country through whom Gambari could work.

The second point, which Gambari championed before his visit, was to have inclusive participation in Burmese politics. But this was also dismissed by the junta. Kyaw Hsan said the new Burmese constitution had already been drafted and would not be amended any further. The draft bars those who are married to foreigners from participating in politics. More precisely, it prevents Aung San Suu Kyi from having any hope of being elected as the next Burmese leader.

“It was Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy who decided not to participate in the constitution drafting. There cannot be any more ‘all-inclusiveness’ in this process,” Kyaw Hsan told Gambari.

On the third point, Ban asked to have a credible, timeframe and all-inclusive discussion between the junta and Aung San Suu Kyi, including support by the UN.

Kyaw Hsan simply replied that the National Convention – the constitution drafting body – is the most credible and all-inclusive political discussion forum.

Now, discussions between the Minister for Information and Aung San Suu Kyi are under way in accordance with UN wishes. Than Shwe even could meet the opposition leader if Suu Kyi agrees to drop her demands for the continuance and extension of international sanctions against the junta. But as long as Aung San Suu Kyi maintains this stance, the dialogue cannot be productive, Kyaw Hsan said.

On the demands for the release of political prisoners, the junta simply said that it has no political prisoners, but that those who are serving jail terms or are under other restrictions, including Aung San Suu Kyi, have violated the laws.

The final UN point, a request to have an inclusive National Economic Forum for addressing economic and social affairs, and a cooperative mechanism for humanitarian assistance, was simply rejected as being “useless”, Kyaw San said.

“If Your Excellency helps to lift economic sanctions, allow aid into the country, and approve loans, it might be more effective than the Economic Forum you propose. Giving assistance for poverty reduction while imposing sanctions will never produce the right solution,” he said.

Kyaw Hsan also pointed out to Gambari that democracy developed in accordance with different contexts in different countries. He compared his constitution-making process with neighbouring Thailand.

“Now, the Thai people have approved and started to practice a new constitution for Thailand. But none of the candidates of the People Power Party and the opposition Democrat Party had the right to participate in the [drafting] process. To make it clearer, in Iraq, Shi’ite militants who oppose the US, and Sunni militants who have links with al-Qaeda had no right to participate in the process of drafting a constitution. Similarly, in Afghanistan, the Taleban had no right to draft the constitution. We haven’t heard any objection to these events by those persons and organisations who are objecting to us. But with the drafting of the constitution in our country, many are criticising us and pointing out that certain persons are not among the representatives in the process. It is not reasonable,” he said.

Gambari has no argument, as the UN has nothing to bargain with. He simply said he would convey the message to his boss, whom he would meet in Senegal this week.

Supalak Ganjanakhundee

The Nation

Read United Nations Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari ‘s report here.

Persistence and patience

don’t pay in Burma

The Nation: Regional neighbours need to exert more pressure on the junta to achieve political reconciliation

When dealing with the Burmese junta, concerned parties, especially the UN and its special envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, must be prepared for long and often futile negotiations and continual setbacks. Since 1988, those who have engaged Burma have had their faces slapped by the generals. Indeed, Gambari was snubbed again by the junta just a week ago. This has increasingly become the typical pattern of engagement with Burma. If anything, there is also a realisation that the junta is calling the shots and nothing can progress without its agreement. This is the saddest development since last September, when violence broke out on the streets of Rangoon and other cities. The whole world witnessed more atrocities committed by Burmese troops, who gunned down monks and other peaceful protestors. The international community led by the Western countries suddenly became more vociferous. The UN Security Council managed to talk a lot but there was no solution to the situation. Since then, Gambari has visited Burma three times but without any substantial progress being made. The junta leaders know the game plan very well. They know how to manipulate both Gambari and the good offices of the UN.

Recently, the junta surprised the world with its announcement that there would be a national referendum on the new constitution in May, followed by a general election in 2010. But the electoral law bars any possible participation by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. With such a “roadmap”, the junta’s supporters have extra ammunition to further bolster the regime. Already, China and Asean have expressed support for this roadmap. Thailand is the most enthusiastic. Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej went out of his way last week to accommodate the regime, without knowing the full implications for Thailand.

Without Thai support, the political reconciliation process in Burma will continue to stall – and thus work in favour of the junta. During the Surayud government, relations between the two countries were frozen. There were no new activities in the political or economic fields. However, with the formation of a new Thai government, the friendship has returned to normal. Severed economic links have been restored and Thailand is again willing to play second fiddle to Burma. With such an attitude, Thailand’s role in the Burmese crisis is turning into a travesty. Samak praised the regime after his visit to Rangoon. His comments revealed Thailand’s naivete and its leader’s foul mouth. Foreign Minister Noppadon Patama was no better. He said the situation in Burma is an internal matter and that Thailand does not support sanctions.

Apparently, the UN is the only hope. But the treatment of Gambari during his last visit was unwarranted. While the UN is still the best hope to help end the impasse, it lacks teeth. One of the problems is that UNSC members are not acting together. Both Russia and China support the Burmese junta. Their positive contributions to the six-party peace talks have yet to be seen. The UNSC must now bridge the gap and come together with a unified view that the Burmese situation is a threat to regional peace and security. 

It is interesting to note that all Thai leaders, including former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and the current premier, are willing to make trade-offs with the Burmese generals. Given the current stalemate, there should be new initiatives to bolster the UN position. Within Asean, countries like Indonesia and Vietnam could do more. At one time, Indonesia under Suharto was considered an ideal model by the Burmese regime. But democratisation since 1998 has made Indonesia less attractive to the generals. Vietnam’s engagement with the West, and its successful economic development in the past two decades, has attracted the junta’s attention. Together with the UN, these countries could make a new impression on the junta. During the height of the Cambodian conflict in the 1980s, Indonesia helped break the deadlock, which subsequently led to the Paris peace talks. Maybe with a right combination of actors exerting pressure, things could move ahead in Burma.  

The Nation

Don’t waste time and money, Just order the new Constitution and continue ruling Myanmar forever

  Don’t waste time and money

Just order the new Constitution

and continue ruling Myanmar forever

Myanmar Military announced the dates for the referendum and election after the conclusion of the drafting guidelines for a new constitution.

The regime’s new constitution is to be voted in a referendum, elections would follows.

  • The SPDC is avoiding the dialogue with Daw Suu led NLD by using lame excuses, one sided demands and preconditions.
  • The SPDC is not interested for a National reconciliation process.
  • SPDC is actually not initiating any meaningful democratization process.
  • They just started a sham, fake democracy to use as a smokescreen to continue its dominance.

Dear SPDC Sr General Than Shwe, why do you all want waste a lot of time and money on this useless or worthless papers?

  • Do you think that Myanmar/Burmese people would accept them?
  • Do you think that USA and EU led Western democratic governments would accept them?
  • Do you think that the people around the world would accept them?
  • Do you think that Daw Suu led NLD would accept them?
  • Do you think that all the monks would accept them?
  • Do you think that all the students would accept them?
  • Do you think that the Burmese opposition would accept them?
  • Do you think that all the Ethnic Minorities would accept them?
  • Do you think that all the Religious Minorities would accept them?
  • Do you think that all the ceased fire groups would accept them?
  • Do you think that all the rebel-groups would accept them?

We don’t think so.

All the right thinking persons could give the same RIGHT answer, which is NO!

If the Sr General thinks RIGHT, we are sure there is something WRONG with your mind.

RIGHT! I mean that it is WRONG for you to even dream that your referendum result and the new election results would be accepted by anyone on earth except your cronies and sycophant.

(Sycophant = servile self-seeker who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people. One who flatters another excessively: adulator, courtier, flatterer, toady. Informal apple-polisher.)

  • Why do you want to waste the country’s budget money?
  • Why do you want to waste your ‘precious time’?
  • Just do it!
  • Just announce it!
  • Just declare your order!
  • Just declare, announce, decree or order the new constitution yourself and hope to rule Burma forever.
  • Like the end of every fairytale, your Myanmar Tatmadaw just continues to rule Myanmar forever!

But be careful, in every fairytale_

THE GOOD ALWAYS TRIUMPH OVER THE BAD!

In every fairytale the jailed beautiful, good, kind just princess (read Daw Aung San Suu Kyi) would be freed and always regain the rightful throne.

In every fairytale the wicked, powerful, cruel, greedy villain (read SPDC Junta Sr General) would be dethroned and punished.

This theme repeats itself numerous times_

  • not only in the fairytales
  • but in the Buddhist Jattakas,
  • 550 reincarnated lives of Buddha,
  • Tora,
  • Bible,
  • Scriptures of various religions,
  • Koran,
  • Hindu Vedas
  • and even in Socialist/communists modern stories.

The virtue always prevails.

The evil would ultimately vanish.

Don’t try to fool yourself and the world. Even if your referendum got 100% approval vote, all the citizens, the whole world including the UN would just give the verdict that it was because of the intimidation, duress, vote rigging e.t.c.

 

Factors that influenced the evolution of Burma Part V

Factors that influenced

the evolution of Burma Part V

Mon

Early History of Burma_

Humans lived in the region that is now Burma as early as 11,000 years ago, but the first identifiable civilisation is that of the Pyu although both Burman and Mon tradition claim that the fabled Suvarnabhumi mentioned in ancient Pali and Sanskrit texts was a Mon kingdom centred on Thaton in present day Mon state.

The 6th century Mon kingdom of Dvaravati in the lower Chao Phraya valley in present day Thailand extended its frontiers to the Tenasserim Yoma (mountains).

With subjugation by the Khmer Empire from Angkor in the 11th century the Mon shifted further west deeper into present day Burma. Oral tradition suggests that they had contact with Buddhism via seafaring as early as the 3rd century BC and had received an envoy of monks from Ashoka in the 2nd century BC.

The Mons adopted Indian culture together with Theravada Buddhism and are thought to have founded kingdoms in Lower Burma including Thaton in the 6th or 7th century and Bago (Pegu) in 825 with the kingdom of Raman’n’adesa (or Ramanna which is believed to be Thaton) referenced by Arab geographers in 844–8.

The lack of archaeological evidence for this may in part be due to the focus of excavation work predominantly being in Upper Burma.

The first recorded kingdom that can undisputedly be attributed to the Mon people was Dvaravati, which prospered until around 1000 AD when their capital was sacked by the Khmer Empire and most of the inhabitants fled west to present-day Burma and eventually founded new kingdoms. These, too, eventually came under pressure from new ethnic groups arriving from the north.Mon kingdoms ruled large sections of Burma from the 9th to the 11th, the 13th to the 16th, and again in the 18th centuries.

About the same period, southward-migrating Burmans took over lands in central Myanmar once dominated by Pyu city-states and the Tai started trickling into South-East Asia.

The Burman ( Bamar ) established the kingdom of Bagan. In 1057, Bagan defeated the Mon kingdom, capturing the Mon capital of Thaton and carrying off 30,000 Mon captives to Bagan.After the fall of Bagan to the invading Mongols in 1287, the Mon, under Wareru an ethnic Tai, regained their independence and captured Martaban and Bago, thus virtually controlling their previously held territory.

Mon kingdoms

A main body of ethnic Shan / Tai migration came in the 13th century after the fall of the Kingdom of Dali to the Mongol Empire and filled the void left by the fall of the Bagan kingdom in northern Burma forming a loose coalition of city-states.

These successive waves of Bamar and Tai groups slowly eroded the Mon kingdoms, and the next 200 years witnessed incessant warfare between the Mon and the Burmese, but the Mon managed to retain their independence until 1539. The last independent Mon kingdom fell to the Burmese when Alaungpaya razed Bago in 1757. Many of the Mon were killed, while others fled to Thailand.Hanthawaddy (or Hanthawady; in Thai หงสาวดี Hongsawadi) is a place in Burma.

Hongsawatoi ( Bago/Pegu/ Handawaddy )

Hongsawatoi, Capital city of old Mon kingdom. It was destroyed by Burman King, U Aungzeya or Aloungpaya in 1757. Hongsawatoi ( Mon language pronounce) (Pali Hamsavati) Bago is about 50 miles from Rangoon.

According to legend, two Mon princess from Thaton founded Bago in 573 AD. It was written in the chronicles that eight years after enlightenment, Lord Buddha along with his disciples went air-borne around Southeast Asian countries.

The earliest mention of this city in history is by the Arab geographer Ibn Khudadhbin around 850 AD. At the time, the Mon capital had shifted to Thaton. The area came under rule of the Burmese from Bagan in 1056.

After the collapse of Bagan to the Mongols in 1287, the Mon regained their independence.

From 1369-1539, Hanthawaddy was the capital of the Mon Kingdom of Ramanadesa, which covered all of what is now lower Burma. The area came under Burman control again in 1539, when it was annexed by King Tabinshweti to his Kingdom of Taungoo. The kings of Taungoo made Bago their royal capital from 1539-1599 and again in 1613-1634, and used it as a base for repeated invasions of Siam.  

See also_

  1. Basic factors that influenced the evolution of Burma Part I
  2. Factors that influenced the evolution of Burma Part II
  3. Factors that influenced the evolution of Burma Part III
  4. Factors that influenced the evolution of Burma Part IV
  5. Factors that influenced the evolution of Burma Part V
  6. Factors that influenced the evolution of Burma Part VI
  7. Factors that influenced the evolution of Burma Part VII
  8. The Golden days of the Great Mon Empire I
  9. Renascences of the Golden days of the Great Shan Empire
  10. The Golden days of the Great Shan Empire II
  11. The Golden days of the Great Shan Empire III
  12. The Golden days of the Great Shan Empire IV
  13. The Golden days of the Great Shan Empire V
  14. The Golden days of the Great Shan Empire VI
  15. The Golden days of the Great Shan Empire VII

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 

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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.

ugb-4.jpg 

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.

‘Pumpkin positive’ Tatmadaw and SPDC Generals

  ‘Pumpkin positive’

Tatmadaw and SPDC Generals

While reading the AFP news from Paris, I unexpectedly visualized that our beloved SPDC generals  are suffering almost all the diseases mentioned.

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) reported that Dr Paul Keeley, a consultant in the department of palliative medicine at Glasgow Royal Infirmary in Scotland wrote to the weekly BMJ to report a sample of new words that British doctors use among themselves.

They include:

Disco biscuits: The clubbers’ drug ecstasy. As in: ‘The man in cubicle three looks like he’s taken one too many disco biscuits.’

May be the readers could name the children of the SPDC Generals who are known as drug addicts.

For example, General Ne Win’s son with his first wife was notorious for drugs and gambling.

Hasselhoff: Term for any patient who shows up in the emergency room with an injury for which there is a bizarre explanation. Source: Baywatch actor David Hasselhoff, who hit his head on a chandelier while shaving. The broken glass severed four tendons and and an artery in his right arm.

I am sure late S3 General Tin Oo’s helicopter crashed wounds could be quite appropriate for this terminology, Hasselhoff.

Agnostication: A substitute for prognostication. Term used to describe the usually vain attempt to answer the question: ‘How long have I got, doc?’

May be the Senile General, sorry Sr General need to ask this question to his doctor.

Blamestorming: Apportioning of blame after the wrong leg or kidney is removed or some other particularly egregious foul-up happens.

This Blamestorming is the most important thing the SPDC Generals will need to do at the ICC.

404 moment: The point in a doctor’s ward round when medical records cannot be located. Comes from World Wide Web error message, ‘404 – document not found’.

Could explain the H.E. Professor Sergio Pinheiro’s condition in his latest Myanmar visit. A lot of 404 moments in investigating the dead demonstrators, MIA missing in action monks, illegally arrested persons’ where about etc.

Testiculation: Description of a gesture typically used by hospital consultant ‘when holding forth on subject on which he or she has little knowledge’. Gesture is of an upturned hand with outstretched fingers pointed upwards, clutching an invisible pair of testicles.

This Testiculation gesture is the Curious gesture typically received by Mr Pinheiro during the brief hurriedly done investigations of the relevant local authorities, police, hospital authorities and Ye Way Crematorium administrative officers.

Other slang used by doctors, according to past letters to the BMJ, included UBI (for ‘Unexplained Beer Injury’). We should reserve this term for Sr General Maung Aye.

PAFO (‘Pissed And Fell Over’) may describe the moribund status of General Khin Nyunt.

Code Brown, or a faecal incontinence emergency. According to earlier rumors, Than Shwe was supposed to be in this condition but because of the twist of fate, Daw Kyaing Kyaing is reported to be the real patient.

CTD means ‘Circling The Drain’, I hope our readers could rightly diagnose which general is in the state of CTD.

GPO signifies ‘Good for Parts Only’. I hope Daw Kyaing Kyaing is not in that condition. Ne Win, Tin Oo and Soe Win are even no more in  this state.

‘Rule of Five’ means that if more than five of the patient’s orifices are obscured by tubing, he has no chance. We all hope and pray that all top five SPDC Generals would deteriorate into this state soon for the numerous SINS they are committing on all the Burmese citizens, including the monks.

A patient who is ‘giving the O-sign’ is very sick, lying with his mouth open. This is followed by the ‘Q-sign’ – when the tongue hangs out of the mouth – when the patient becomes terminal.

The whole SPDC Junta is now ‘giving the O-sign’ and rapidly deteriorating into the ‘Q-sign’.

As for genetic quirks or inbreeding, FLK means ‘Funny Looking Kid’ and NFN signifies ‘Normal For Norfolk’, a rural English county. I curiously have seen the ‘Funny Looking Kid’ picture of the son of the biggest crony of the FIRST FAMILY of Myanmar.

General practitioners may use LOBNH (‘Lights On But Nobody Home’) or the impressively bogus Oligoneuronal to mean someone who is thick.

LOBNH (‘Lights On But Nobody Home’) in the VVIP’s residences in Naypyidaw, because they used to stay in Yangon or May Myo or Pyin Oo Lwin. Mr Gambari found out that Sr General was quite THICK and the impressively bogus Oligoneuronal.

But they also have a somewhat poetic option: ‘Pumpkin positive’, referring to the idea that the person’s brain is so tiny that a penlight shone into his mouth will make his empty head gleam like a Halloween pumpkin. –

We need to conclude with this last terminology, ‘Pumpkin positive’ could describe to all the SPDC Junta Generals and each and every General in the Myanmar Tatmadaw.

 

 

 

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.