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. 

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STOP HATRED, STOP TRYING TO DIVIDE; FOR A LONG LASTING PEACE, PROGRESS, AND PROSPERITY

 

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Deafening silence from Malaysia regarding Myanmar Cyclone?

Deafening silence from Malaysia regarding Myanmar Cyclone?

 

First of all I wish to apologize if I am wrong.

 

If Malaysian Government had already sent the condolence note to Myanmar, I am sorry for writing this.

 

If Malaysian Government, GLCs (government Linked companies), NST, TV3, NTV7, RTM and NGOs (esp. government affiliated) had already started a campaign to help Myanmar, please accept my  apology for wrongly writing this posting.

 

If you all haven’t done anything, it is shame on you.

 

We don’t want a cent from you Kaisu Malaysia!

 

 

We know that we are not Orang Puteh (Whiteman) , no Arab blood and have no Malay-Indonesian blood. We are ALWAYS discriminated in your country.

 

Never mind if you do not wish to recognize the undocumented workers/migrants and asylum seekers.

 

During the great disaster in Myanmar, I hope if Malaysian government could do the followings to help us without spending a cent.

 

Please announce amnesty on all the Myanmar/Burmese undocumented workers/migrants and asylum seekers including those already in the detention camp. (At least if they could work and earn, they could help their families, relatives and friends.)

 

You could put a time limit for example six months to one year.

It is shameful that you are heartless to continue arresting and some of your agents are harassing them daily.

 

Dr San Oo Aung

 

17 Myanmar Illegal Immigrants Held In Kelantan

BERNAMA, RANTAU PANJANG, May 6 (Bernama) — The Anti- Smuggling Unit (UPP) Tuesday arrested 17 Myanmar nationals without valid travel documents in Kampung Kempas, Machang, as they were being smuggled into the country by a syndicate.

Kelantan UPP commander Mazlan Che Hamid said the Myanmar nationals, aged between 16 and 30 years, had been turned over to the Immigration authorities.

He said the van driver, a Malaysian, stopped the vehicle by the roadside and fled after realising that it was being tailed by UPP personnel at 4.30 am.

The UPP personnel had followed the van from Kampung Kedap here, some 40 km from Machang, he said.

— BERNAMA

Help, not crush, Myanmar Military (to reform)

Help, not crush, Myanmar Military

(to reform)

Malaysiakini news by Soon Li Tsin

Dear Malaysiakini, reporter and Malaysiakini readers, please may all of you kindly allow me to dream as if this event is about Burma, Burmese researcher writing a book on Myanmar Military e.t.c.. I have dreamt about having an interview with DSAI and wrote more than half a dozen of articles on that subject. Please, kindly allow me to continue to dream on . . .

Modified and edited the news, “Author: Help, not crush, Umno” by Soon Li Tsin in the Malaysiakini .

I have edited and adapted to the Myanmar context from the original news article. I hope that Soon Li Tsin and Malaysiakini could understand and forgive us for this. They should even be proud that they could contribute a very good article for the fellow Myanmar/Burmese citizens.

Author and academician Dr Ooi Kee Beng said Myanmar Military should be assisted (to reform) and not crushed in its attempt to reform itself.

Launching his book entitled ‘Lost in Transition: Myanmar under Military Dictatorship’ yesterday, Ooi (photo) expressed concern over the future of Myanmar Military which may resort to fascism.

“Myanmar Military is like (Taiwan’s) Kuomintang (KMT) and other parties in the region who were responsible for independence and a lot of these parties had to reform itself like the KMT – a once dictatorial party is a totally a new party today with the same name.

“It is not given that if Myanmar Military reforms itself, it would reform like how KMT did – meaning liberalize and play the democratic game. Fascism is always close at hand.

“We don’t want that to be encouraged. We should work to not crush Myanmar Military but help it along in its reforming process,” he told the audience.

The book is a compilation of articles written by Ooi – who is a fellow at the Institute of South East Asian studies in Singapore – on SPDC Myanmar Military Junta’s governance in the last twenty years.

It is a follow up to his 2006 book, ‘Era of Transition: Myanmar After General Ne Win’ which analysed Myanmar Military and tests faced by SPDC Junta Senior General Than Shwe after taking over his predecessors General Ne Win and General Saw Maung.

Asked to explain the message in his new book, he said: “It was what I felt when I put the book together at the end of last year, that something very important was lost.

“There was hope that Myanmar could develop itself in a proper manner and we were actually already on the slippery slope and we did not see any force that could stop it,” he described.

Two main challenges

During the panel discussion, Centre for Public Initiatives Director Dr Lim Teck Ghee highlighted two main challenges for Sr General Than Shwe in light of the recent Safron Revolution and the alleged internal feud currently taking place in Myanmar Military.

“One that is most crucial is that he has to battle and isolate the extremists elements within Myanmar Military and its many faceless supporters in the Kyant Phut, Swan Arrshin, ex-Military associations, the civil service and the Myanmar community.

“These are elements that are paved with revenge – launched in a campaign that is sometimes quiet and sometimes quite loud – racial-baiting and incitement,” he explained.

“(The) second challenge is to move firmly and quickly on building a good working relationship with the NLD, Ethnic Minorities, Religious Minorities and together in taking on the scourge of corruption,” he added.

The former World Bank economist noted that Myanmar Military Generals should declare their assets, introduce policy reforms and a merit-based system in order to change the country’s economic performance.

“In theory these they should lead the way to an economic revitalization for Myanmar. The Military and ex-military (U Paine) hold more than 60 per cent of the gross national product (GNP). Investors all over the world place importance on transparency, accountability and efficiency, once they could form an Interim Government with the Daw Aung San Suu Kyi led opposition.” he said.

However he warned that the Myanmar Military can derail the true democratization by using military and its affiliated associations’ machinery, state funding and the civil service to play the “revenge, obstructionist or spoilers game”.

“I’m worried. So far the Myanmar Military has used it’s military apparatus and resources and are bent on punishing the opposition as we’ve seen from the 8888 Revolution, Depayin Massacre and Saffron Revolution to the arresting of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi led NLD leaders, Ethnic Minority leaders, 88 Generation Student leaders, monks and unarmed protesting civilians” he said.

Meanwhile, Ong said he would deliberate on setting up the fair and square, truly democratic election system despite calls from the opposition to boycott it.

Lim was joined by Malaysiakini’s editor-in-chief Steven Gan and Ooi during the panel discussion.

The book launch was officiated by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and was attended by about 8888 people.

Selfishness leads to search and hit the softspots

 Selfishness leads to search and hit the softspots

“Think of national interests”, Suaram told by

unjust leader from the Justice Party

On the protest voiced by Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) on the Selangor-levy plan, he said local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) like Suaram must place priority on national interests and not champion universal human rights and attack the state government for looking after its residents in their own homeland.

Yes, do not champion universal human rights but just look at your party’s name.

Do you stupidly still think that  your party is established for justice to DSAI alone? BUT not for the UNIVERSAL JUSTICE?

Dear DSAI and Datin Seri Dr Wan Aziza, please give an intensive course on Democracy, Human Rights, Justice, Rule of Law, UN Human Right Decleration on this shortsighted person.

If not this MB is morbidly suffering from Myopic astigmatism, a condition in which his eye is affected with myopia (Shortsightedness) in one meridian only: that is on foreigners.

He will later start an anti-Foreigner campaigns_

Now he said foreigners took the work of locals and buy the houses.

Soon he will propose to shut down the Kelang Port to stop exporting goods and petroleum so that Malaysian citizens could enjoy the surplus, unsold, exports. Sure, commodity prices would go down because of unsold, un-exported goods.

Soon he would stop all foreign tourists from entering Selangor to reduce traffic congestion and to give more hotel rooms available to local tourists. Hotel room rates would go down up to the level affordable to all the Malaysian citizens.

Soon he would stop all foreign direct investment to give more opportunity to the locals.

Selfish politicians like him would never think globally.

Selfish politicians usually use national interests as a smokeshield to disguise their cruel deeds.

Selfish and weak politicians always try to exploit or hit the soft spots. Khalid dare not exploit on Malaysian old pendatangs so he is looking the blood of fresh pendatangs.

(Sorry Malaysian Chinese and Malaysian Indians for using this insulting words. I myself was labled like that in my own country and here we all are treated unfairly and unjustly as 10th. Grade foreigners amongst fresh pendatangs)

Selfish politicians always use the (Ultra) Nationalistic sentiments to incite or exploit against Foreigners.

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim should be controlled by DSAI and Datin Seri Dr Wan Aziza.

Justice Party (I hope Justice for all and not for selected races and citizens only) leader, new Chief Minister Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said foreign workers living and working in Selangor enjoyed all the state’s infrastructure, like good schools, health facilities and roads and the state was just calling for them contribute something in return.

I sensed a déjà vu phenomena while reading Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s words_

Former PM Tun Mahathier had also reported to utter these words as a lame excuse when he imposed increased medical fees for the foreigners.

  • Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim  is ignorant that legal foreign workers’ children are not allowed at all in any government schools!
  • Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim  is ignorant that the government had built 3000 schools only for the illegal immigrants from Indonesia. (According to NST front page news and photograph of a school)

Even PR holders are denied the good faculties in Public or Government Universities nowadays.

  • Local students are subsidized using part of our levies and income-taxes.
  • Even in the expensive private universities, locals are supported using the foreigners’ levies and income-taxes.
  • Adding salt to that do you know that we need to pay  more then locals? And one idiot is asking to charge more on foreigners in the local universities. Is this the Justice?

Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim should open his eyes and fight for that injustices and then I am sure the foreign workers would be willing to pay even hundred times more than he proposed.

He is ignorant that Government health facilities always charge THREE TIMES first clast fees to the foreigners while keeping them in the Third Class.

  • He should fight to charge same rate as locals at hospitals if he wish to charge again in his state.
  • He came from Justice party: after charging those levies (when the locals earning the same salary are usually exempted from paying income-tax because of low earning.)
  • Afterall those foreign workers are working for your country, your countrymen’s companies that your citizens owned at least 30% and for your citizens. Where is “Justice” if the workers your citizens employed are forced to pay extra charges or sometimes denied medical treatment?

Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim  should be banned from claiming that he is from Justice Party if he continue to deny justice for all.

Using state Roads?

  • Foreigners also pay income-tax or levies.

  • Even if they use the taxis or busses, they paid the fees that is inclusive of all the Road Tax, Import Duty, Sales Tax, AP Fees, Tool fees etc.
  • If the Foreigners buy cars are they exempted from above?

So don’t give lame excuses Tun and Tan Seri, this is your country and State. If you want to discriminate on poor foreign workers, just do whatever you like. But don’t give those lame silly excuses. Just Hit the Soft Spots!” It is safer than exploiting the same citizens.

By the way, your “zero tolerance on squatters” is also targetting the poor. 

Please read the following news_

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim in the Star Online news 

BANTING: Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) should take a more national approach to foreign worker issues and not attack the state government, says Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

Khalid said the state government’s proposal to collect RM9 monthly from all migrant workers in the state was aimed at setting up a fund to help provide re-training for local unemployed youths so they could land better jobs.

He said foreign workers living and working in Selangor enjoyed all the state’s infrastructure, like good schools, health facilities and roads and the state was just calling for them contribute something in return.

Well done: Khalid, you have darken your party and opposition.

“Suaram feels that bringing in foreign workers is one of the solutions to human rights problems but they should understand we have to help our own people, too.

“This is a democracy, so we can open up and discuss the matter,” he told reporters after officiating at the closing ceremony of the training for local authorities’ enforcement officers at the Selangor Enforcement Training Centre (Pulapes) in Jugra here yesterday.

On Monday, Suaram executive director Yap Swee Seng hit out at the state government’s proposal, calling it unjust as foreign workers received low wages and were often exploited by employers or recruitment agencies with non-payment, unjust deduction of salary, long working hours and unfair dismissals.

He added that migrant workers were barely surviving and probably in debt after paying exorbitant fees to come to work in Malaysia.

Khalid meanwhile said the RM4,000 in levy and agency charges migrant workers paid was too large a sum, and the state planned to call on the Federal Government to reduce the amount.

He also proposed that a centralised information system be set up to keep an accurate record of foreign workers in the state.

“I was among the people involved in the corporatisation of the system for foreign workers and I can show ways to keep tabs on even the illegal workers,” he said.

Khalid also said the Federal Government should not cast aside suggestions just because they came from opposition parties and should accept the good

“We want to show the federal government how to keep records on illegal workers (Have you use illegals in your old palmoil company?) by having the state levy. I will set up a centralised information system to keep correct records on those who come and work in the state,” he said.

Abdul Khalid said the RM3,000 to RM4,000 charged by migrant worker agencies was high and that for the Selangor government this was not reasonable.

(Then you have heart to extort extra RM 9.00, that will definitely pass onto the poor workers.)

(Have your old company pay the levies for your workers.  Afterall Tun said that levies were meant to made the employers expensive to hire foreigners but Tun and all of you close your eyes and look other way round when the poor foreign workers have to pay those money.)

If you are man enough demand part of the levies to be paid to state governments from the immigration or MOF.

He said millions of ringgit were paid by foreign workers to recruiting agencies that brought them to the country and the Malaysian government collected a levy but eventually the agents concerned did not know where the workers were and this “flood of foreign workers” created problems for society.

Although migrant workers, especially the illegal ones, were eventually repatriated by the government, the problem did not seem to end as they returned to the country and the ones who benefited were the travel agents and migrant workers recruitment agencies, Abdul Khalid said.
 

See this great Malaysiakini news,

  1. Permas: New MB’s statements ‘chilling’ by Soon Li Tsin 

The community residents’ association of Selangor and Federal Territory (Permas) is disappointed with Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim’s decision to continue with the ‘zero squatters’ policy.   

Opposition leader Wan Azizah unveils bold agenda

The nation’s first female parliamentary opposition leader, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, today unveiled an ambitious agenda to boost economic growth and fight corruption.

Access to equal opportunities

Strengthening race relations

Withdraw Monthly Fee

on Migrant Workers

Wednesday, 26 March 2008 
Suaram is deeply disturbed with the plan of the Selangor state government to collect RM10 monthly fee from all migrant workers in the state of Selangor. The new policy was announced by the Chief Minister of the newly formed Selangor state government, Khalid Ibrahim recently during a press interview with Chinese press.

According to the Chief Minister, the money collected will be used for the purpose of setting up a re-training fund for unemployed youths. It aims to equip them with more skills and in a long run reduce the reliance on migrant workers. 

The migrant workers community is

  • one of the most exploited
  • and most marginalized groups in the society.
  • They work in conditions described as 3-Ds – dirty, demeaning and dangerous,
  • and theirs are jobs which the locals shun off.
  • They receive low wages
  • and are often exploited by employers
  • or recruitment agencies for non-payment,
  • unjust deduction of salary,
  • long working hours,
  • unfair dismissal etc.

By taxing the migrant workers

  • who are barely surviving
  • and probably in debt in order to pay the exorbitant fees to come to work in Malaysia ,
  • an extra heavy burden is added on the migrant workers and their families.

And to use the money collected from the migrant workers to re-train local unemployed youth and eventually replace the migrant workers, is scandalous, to say the least.

Even if the monthly fee is to be paid by the employer and not the migrant workers, we are concerned that eventually this fee will be deducted from the migrant worker’s wages one way or another.

The new policy reflects how unsensitized Malaysian political parties,

  • be they in the opposition

  • or the government,

are to the plight of migrant workers.

The Parti Rakyat Keadilan (PKR) has espoused the principle of justice and won a huge victory with the pledge to the people to fight against the widening income gap between the “have” and the “have-nots”.

Certainly, taxing the poor migrant workers to assist local unemployed youth, do not measure up to the principle and spirit of justice.

Suaram calls on Chief Minister Khalid Ibrahim to immediately withdraw this unjust policy. We also urge the Chief Minister to consult civil society organizations who are working on migrant workers issues before making any policy decisions in the future.

Yap Swee Seng
Executive Director

 

 

Still hoping for a . . .National Reconciliation

  Still hoping for a . . .

National Reconciliation

 _ By Dr. San Oo Aung

Myanmar Military defiantly, stubbornly and unilaterally announced another two important steps on its “road map” to “democracy” by giving the dates line for the referendum and election after the conclusion of the 14 years of world record marathon sham talks just on drafting guidelines for a new constitution.

Under the regime’s “road map” to “democracy”, the new constitution is to be voted in a referendum, elections would follows exclusively on their military’s terms and conditions. They are doing what they like without considering the unacceptence of their road map by the Burmese Citizens and International Community. Their deed could be described in Burmese,

“Nga Myin Ngar Saing _Sagaing Yauk Yauk.

Nga Hlae Ngar Htoe_Bago Yauk Yauk.”

The International Community and all the Burmese people regarded the SPDC Military as an Illegitimate Government because_

  1. Military coup in 1962 had illegally toppled the legitimate democratic civilian U Nu’s government.
  2. Military coup in 1988 had illegally grasped the power from the people’s power movement.
  3. Palace coup on 23 April 1992, toppling General Saw Maung, who promised to withdraw the Burmese Military to the barracks, was illegal.
  4. Using the procrastinations and excuses to continue to stay in power despite of promising the road map to democracy and transferring the power to the democratic civilian government.
  5. Violent crack down on peaceful demonstrators and monks was illegal.
  6. In spite of repeated promises to the people of Myanmar, UN, ASEAN etc, avoiding the dialogue to start a National reconciliation and initiate the democratization process reveal the true colours of the SPDC.

To legalize themselves they need to walk their empty talk with a proper legal process. They must understand that just showing a deed or an agreement is not good enough but it is important to show that this document could withstand the fire of legal baptism is more important.

Referendum and election results should become international historical documents sealed as an instrument of bond, contract, deal, agreement, treaty or conveyance. These legal documents would grant the bearer Myanmar Military a right or privilege, only if they meet a number of International and local legal conditions.

It must be agreed and signed by the two or more parties, in this scenario, between the new ruler, civilian disguised military and the entire population of Myanmar, including all the oppositions, ethnic minorities and religious minorities. It must be visibly or transparently done  on their own will but not under duress, intimidation or threat.

If any party could show the threat or duress, the documents would be rendered null and void.

The robber could not get the legal possession after getting the document signed by putting the victim under the gun point or putting the knife on the neck.

Even the court would reject the statement given to the police if the criminal could prove that his statement to police was given under duress.

There must be credible witnesses during the signing of the deed.

So SPDC should stop intimidating the people with the present announcement of the new ILLEGAL LAW, prohibiting discussion, publishing or criticizing the process. People must be given freedom of speech and the chance of active participation in the framming of the constitution.

All the pooling stations must be manned by the committee formed from all the strata of people including opposition parties and UN authorities and International Watch dogs including the International NGOs must be invited and allowed unhindered free access.

There must be transpiracy in every step of the deed. Justice must be seen clearly to be done. If not the document they get would be a worthless paper like a “Nat Oh_Kwe” in Burmese. Not useful or worth worshipping as the guiding star of our future Burma and legally worthless but because we could not even use those illegal documents to wipe off to clean us like a toilet paper.

I hereby wish to dig into the roots of many ills in the Myanmar Tatmadaw Generals’ sphere of thinking, action and expectation. We hope that the Military leaders could see the truth and have enough wisdom to get out of the political quagmire in our beloved country.

Up to now, Myanmar Military Junta’s stubborn pride still stands in the way of common sense and dignity. There should be subtleness in attempts to promote Military domination. There is today a blatant insistence that Military rights supersede those of others, and everything and everyone must bow down to the Myanmar Tatmadaw.

Their arrogant stand of “Don’t you dare challenge the Tatmadaw” prevails in Myanmar Political scenario nowadays. They ignore the meaningful dialogue, and they even don’t have a desire to start a reconciliatory move for power transfer to civilian rule, or even never wish to share the power with the opposition. They just try to buy time by fooling the whole population of Myanmar and the world. SPDC had played the deceit and sham diplomacy by announcing the charade road map to democracy.

We are against the Myanmar Military Domination but not against the Myanmar Military Personals. We do not keep the hatred of our enemy in our hearts but must try to forgive them. The best and sweetest revenge is forgiveness.

We must try to forgive and forget. With the forgiveness we may even be able to change our enemies into our best friends. There is a saying that even if we have a thousand friends, it is not enough. However, even if we have one enemy, it is too much.

We must cultivate mutual trust and understanding among all the people of Myanmar/Burma, on both side of the political divide, irrespective of race or religion. We need to promote mutual tolerence and mutual  reciprocal respect and loving kindness amongst of all of us.

Let us not provoke each other. Let us promote mutual understanding, mutual love and mutual respect for each other. Mutual trust is important. We must try to understand our enemies or the SPDC Junta. We must be considerate. We must reduce confrontations and promote dialogues aimed for common good. Mutual confidence and trust will break down our unnecessary shields of suspicion and hatred. But this must be a mutual process. Now the Daw Suu led opposition and the peoples’ act of turning of our cheeks earned a barage of  “Dreaded, notorious, Kempeitai Fascist  Japanese  Military Police style” to and fro repeated slaps on both of our cheeks.

Myanmar Military Junta must understand that the present world is not the ancient Pagan era of the person who kills the king could become a king. This is not the Kong Baung dynasty period to massacre all the rival royalties to be able to ascend the throne.

This new advanced civilized democracy era is the time for all the people to stay united and to be able to rule their country together peacefully. Nowadays we have the holistic view and no one could be excluded or unfairly denied his or her rights. 

Democracy is the Government of the People for the People. And in the modern civilized world we could work together for the benefits of all. Both of the two partners, or all the partners if more than two, could benefit from the combined efforts.  

No need to make our business partner or trading partner or our customer or our client or the others to loss or rob so that we could win or profit. Why should we fight for the bigger share of a small cake if we could combined and struggle together and bake a much bigger cake and enjoy the bigger shares or larger pieces of cakes. 

With the globalization no need to rob from the neighbours, “Rich thy neighbours” is a catch phrase nowadays.

So if SPDC Generals are really patriotic, love Burma / Myanmar and wish the country to prosper, peaceful and progress, they must recruit the help of all the Burmese people, opposition parties, all the ethnic minority groups and different race and religious groups to work together for the common benefit and mutual progress.

Although SPDC Junta has to share the power, you could avoid the total loss of power if the people really revolt against all of you. By sharing power and working together with NLD lead opposition you and all the people could aim for a Win-Win solution, not only able to dodge the western democracies senctions but could even get the helping hand to rebuild our beloved country.

There is greatness in giving. We could see the shame in grabbing with greed and most of us hate that kind of persons who are selfish and arrogant. Today’s Tatmadaw just doing this. Myanmar Military, ex-military and its appointed and associated local authorities and organizations keep on an endless asking for more and more donation or “Set Kyar” in Burmese. His never ending grabbing and soliciting for donations shown that they are in some kind of bondage to greediness, wanting, longing for everything, and they could not let go of anything they see means that that actually present Myanmar Tatmadaw leaders are virtual slaves to this material world and was bankrupt spiritually.

Even if you think you all are not selfish but are sacrificing for the country, and could prove it, Tatmadaw leaders must understand that in politics the perception is more important then the truth. Nowadays the international leaders, the whole world and all the people of Myanmar are seeing you as criminals. After killing the Japanese Photographer and violently silencing the monks led people’s peaceful protests the whole world look at the Myanmar soldiers as killers. Rambo movie highlighted or portrayed all of you in that black colour. It is time to clean that image by starting with the, “CLEANING OF THE SLATE” in Burmese meaning starting the reconceliation process.

The present incident or our uprising is just one of the Tribulations. It means a state of pain or anguish that tests one’s resiliency and character or something that is hard to bear physically or emotionally. Tribulation is a period of time where all the oppositions will experience countrywide persecution and we all would be definitely purified and strengthened by it.

Tribulation will not hurt you, unless it does – what alas! It too often does – unless it hardens you and makes you sour and narrow and skeptical. – Edwin Hubbel Chapin (1814-1880)

We understand and accept that a secure, nonviolent outlet policy for the generals and a peaceful transitional government should be aimed. This could prevent Burma avoid the fate of
Iraq and Yugoslav.

We hope that SPDC supremo Sr General Than Shwe could understand that the key to freedom of wanting any more is not a hand reaching out to grasp but a hand outstretched to give. There is no free lunch in this world and even if we grasped or looted anything by force in this world, there may definitely be a pay back time later in the Sansara or in the life hereafter.

Dear Myanmar Tatmadaw Generals and especially Senior General Than Shwe, now the whole Myanmar is in your hands. You could easily crush the NLD, Daw Suu or any other individual or organizations. But that ultimate control of power could not last forever.

If you could show your kind heart and generosity to all the citizens of Myanmar by sharing your power with Daw Suu and opposition, you would be remembered as a Hero in history of Burma or Myanmar as you used to call.

But the SPDC Generals must understand and accept the truth that although they think they could crush our uprising ruthlessly, the present condition  is the calmness physically like the calm of the deep sea before a coming storm. But you could not crush our spirit as we had shown our courage, sacrificing our lives and limbs repeatedly, although we are facing the well equipped SPDC full force of military with our bare hands.

SPDC should understand that we will never take down our fighting peacock flag even if we all need to sacrifice our lives and leave the democracy boat empty. We are just following the guidance of our beloved Bo Gyoke Aung San who wrote, “My head is bleeding but I will never surrender.”

Dear SPDC Generals, let us really start a meaningful dialogue for the National Reconciliation and start a new face of reconstructing our beloved country by working together democratically without excluding or endangering any party and without trying to monopolized by one party or one group.

Dialogue is not the meeting where the big powerful conqueror dictates the terms and conditions for the looser to agree and put in officially as a peace treaty or more appropriately should call a serender terms. At the present you all are shamefully doing what you want and even never meet face to face with Daw Suu led opposition. Why are you Generals scare to  talk, discuss or negotiate with a lady?

Dialogue is defined as the intention to seek mutual understanding and mutual accommodation on an issue or situation through inquiry and learning leading that can lead to consensus in decision-making.

SPDC Generals must clearly show the people of Myanmar, the world starting from UN, ASEAN up to the whole International community, their commitments to promote National Reconciliation and political integration to create “the Myanmar country for all”, by starting to talk, discuss and negotiate with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi led oppositions, including NLD, Ethnic Minorities and religious minorities together with UN authorities as coordinators.

All the citizens of Myanmar must feel the inclusiveness in the ongoing march on the road map to democracy. Then only our country would be stable, safe and seems to have justice for all the citizens but not merely for the military.

The continued value of such engagement “can only be       demonstrated by tangible steps forward on central issues such as human rights, democratic reform and national reconciliation.”

UN Under-Secretary-General has emphasized  the importance of transparency and the need to open up the political process to all the country’s people, and need to have meetings with representatives from various ethnic and other groups taking part in the Democratization Process.

Mr. Gambari stressed the need for a more inclusive and transparent political process in Myanmar, one in which all of Myanmar’s people can find their voices, including those groups not represented at the Convention. He met with Government ministers for talks in which he emphasized the need for progress, including the release of political prisoners. He also stressed for the need for concrete results in areas of concern to the international community. These include: the need to make the road map political process more transparent and inclusive, the immediate release of political prisoners.

This process must be based on the promotion and protection of the human rights for all the citizens,

There must be non-discrimination between military personals and civilians.

Myanmar Tatmadaw must show tolerance and must respect for diversity and different in opinions. They should not slam the door of constructive criticism or different views and advice equality of opportunity, solidarity, security, and participation of all people, including disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and persons.

Efforts to facilitate people’s full participation, and foster mutual understanding and accommodation through participatory dialogue, are ever more needed now to build a safe, stable and just society for all, and achieve sustainable development and peace.

In order to get a Win-Win solution deal in the Dialogue between the SPDC and Daw Suu led opposition, the Negotiations must be aimed in finding a fair compromise.

We need to sacrifice some of our selfishness, have a Chetana for our country’s future and all must make sure not to insult or dent the ego of the other side. We must not only think what we want selfishly. We need to consider from our opponents’ side and the present reality or socio-political condition of our country and the outside world.

Effective negotiation helps us to resolve situations like this where what we want is, FULL DEMOCRACY and it conflicts with what SPDC and Myanmar Tatmadaw wants, “NOT A DEMOCRACY BUT the MILITARY’S TOTAL DOMINENCE FOREVER”. The aim of win-win negotiation is to find a solution that is acceptable to both parties, and leaves both parties feeling that they’ve won, in some way, after the event.

We hereby wish to stress the need to turn a new page in the relationship between the Myanmar SPDC Generals and Burmese opposition groups. We also need to maintain constructive dialogue in addressing the many challenges facing our country and to improve Myanmar’s relationship with the international community. SPDC should allow the more inclusive and credible political process, so that all political parities, their leaders, and ethnic nationalities could be represented and the restrictions on them must be lifted. And Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all the other political leaders should be released immediately and allow to participate in the discussion, formulating and contesting in all of the Myanmar’s Democratization Process.

Now, if SPDC military regime keeps on refusing all proposals for national reconciliation in Burma, what else is left? Do we all want to stay under the boot of SPDC forever? If the people voted NO, would the Tatmadaw withdraw from the political scene and go back to the barracks?

According to the Nobel laureate eeconomist, John Nash, most of the politicians played along the line of this classic ‘game theory’. The best GAME Strategy for Burma/Myanmar is for all of the people, political parties, ethnic minorities and religious groups to be united and negotiate with the present Military leaders to start a sincere national reconciliation process which will open up the way forward to the development of our country for the good of our future generations. 

I heard the Sai Hti Sai?Sai Kham Leik’s song:

 “A Chain Shi Thay Dae

Nauk Sone Loe_Nhote Ma Set Khin Mhar

Pyan Sin sarr Par Ohn . . .”

Yes we still got the time to review and change. Before saying goodbye to all the people of Burma/Myanmar, dear Sr General Than Shwe led Junta, kindly reconsider your move for the another two steps of your fake democracy to pave the way for total and permanent dominance of military. It wold definitely backfire and lead to a civil war.

We all are still hoping for a . . .

National Reconciliation

 

Don’t cry for me grandpa, Minister Mentor

Don’t cry for me grandpa, Minister Mentor

  

There is a Burmese saying_

Kyaw poo dar_khan naing thee

Naar poo dar_ma khan naing”.

  • Most of the peaple could bear the heat on the back of the body (prefer to work hard even under the sun)
  • but could not stand the (heat/ pressure) in the ears (read: brain / stress / undue pressure from the boss).

Some of us could prefer to work hard but could not stand the mental torture, pressure, or stress.

Yes! Even our Prophet (PBUH) had taught us_

If you do not want to donate to a beggar, use polite words to apologize.

But never insult the beggar even after you donated a large some of money.

Getting / money or not is far less important than getting an insult.

Money goes into the pocket only but the insult goes deep into our hearts.

So feeding the human’s mental ego is sometimes more important than just feeding the mouths.

Successive Burmese Governments used to discriminate us as foreigners, migrants, mixed blooded persons, Kalas (Migrant Indians/Indians), Kala Dein (Indian descendent)  and “Mi Ma Sit_Pha Ma Sit”. (The words meaning Bastards used by the the Burmese Chinese General Ne Win on Burmese Muslims. I think he never look at his own BASTARD FACE in the mirror!)

Most of us emigrated (migrated out) and left Myanmar not because of economic reason. As the professionals we could earn enough to stay in upper-middle strata in Myanmar and could earn some respect not only from the non-Muslims but from the Monks and even from the Military authorities. We just hate the unfair general discrimination on our race and religion. (As all the Military leaders are corrupt, we could even do anything in Myanmar after paying bribes. If the payment is good enough we could even get their daughter’s hands.)

Once the governments could fulfill (actually all the government leaders wrongly thought like that! They think they had done favours on their on citizens but actually the people are the masters of the governments. Although the governments’ policy and guidance  are important, it is the people who really works hard to achieve every thing for the country. And the give the salaries, of cause from their tax money, to those political leaders.) the physical and psycological needs of its citizens_

Food, shelter, clothing, employment is important but should understand that they also should take care of their social, mental and psycological needs.

SINGAPORE GOVERNMENT FAILS BECAUSE OF THAT FAILURE>

Just read the following article.

Don’t cry for me grandpa Lee,

Goodbye and thank you

Excerpts from article by SEAH CHIANG NEE.  Singapore’s emigration rate, one of the highest in the world on a per capita basis, is a blow to the government.

YEARS of strong economic growth have failed to stem Singapore’s skilled youths from leaving for a better life abroad, with the number topping 1,000 a year. 

This works out to 4%-5%, or three in 10, of the highly educated population, a severe brain drain for a small, young nation, according to Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. 

Such high-end emigration is usually associated with less better-off countries where living conditions are poor. Here the opposite is the case. 

The future doesn’t look better, either, despite Lee holding out promises of “a golden period” in the next five to 10 years. 

The emigration rate, one of the highest in the world on a per capita basis, is a blow to the government, particularly to Lee, who takes pride in building up this once poor squatter colony into a glittering global city. 

They are people who abandoned their citizenship for a foreign one, mostly in Australia, the United States and Canada. 

The emigrants, mostly professionals, don’t leave Singapore out of poverty but to seek a better, less pressurised life.  

Lee recently said the brain drain is touching close to this family. 

Lee’s grandson, the elder son of Prime Minister Hsien Loong, who is studying in the United States, has indicated that he may not return.  

Over the years, the children of several Cabinet ministers have also made Britain or the US their home.  

Lee, aged 84, has often spoken on the issue with emotions, once tearing when referring to the losses.  

However, he has offered no reasons for the exodus beyond economic opportunities, although the government more or less knows what they are.  

Singaporeans who have or are planning to emigrate are given a host of 10 questions and asked to tick the three most important ones. They include the following: –  

> High costs of living 

> Singapore is too regulated and stifling 

> Better career and prospects overseas 

> Prefer a more relaxed lifestyle 

> Uncertain future of Singapore. 

Some liberal Singaporeans believe Lee himself, with his authoritarian leadership and unpopular policies, is largely to blame.  

Singapore’s best-known writer Catherine Lim calls it a climate of fear that stops citizens from speaking out against the government.

Globalisation, which offers opportunities in many countries like never before, is a big reason for the outflow.  

Many countries, including populous China, are making a special effort to attract foreign talent. 

Others who leave were worried about the future of their children living in a small island, and look for security and comfort of a larger country. 

The exodus is more than made up – at least in numbers – by a larger intake of professionals from China and India. 

“The trouble is many of the Chinese then use us as a stepping stone to go to America, where the grass is greener, Lee said. 

Some feel the large presence of foreigners, and the perks they enjoy over locals in military exemption as well as in scholarships, are themselves strong push factors.  

They see the foreigners as a threat to jobs and space, undermining salaries and loosening the nation’s cohesion. 

“I just feel very sad to see the Singapore of today with so many talented, passionate Singaporeans moving out and being replaced by many foreigners,” said one blogger. “I feel sorry for the future.” (Me too, for Myanmar.)

Lee recently made a passionate appeal to youths to think hard about their country. He said they had received education and opportunities provided by Singaporeans who had worked hard for it. 

“Can you in good conscience say, ‘Goodbye! Thank you very much?’ Can you leave with a clear conscience? I cannot,” he said.  

But many Burmese just need to say this even although they could not get the same kind of welcome from their host countries. Some need to work illegally, some as refugees and many professionals have to do the manual works. So you Singaporeans are luckier than us. Just leave the old grandpa enjoy his own great authority on new comers, or new immigrants.

 

 

Valueless, illegitimate, Killer Than Shwe’s SPDC Junta

   Valueless illegitimate

Killer Than Shwe’s SPDC Junta

Most of the western countries had progressed from the struggles for biological needs of food, shelter and security to the psychological needs for higher social values e.g. Human Rights and Individual Freedoms.

“ASIAN VALUES” defenders had given lame excuses that certain values and liberties must be compromised for the sake of Economy and development so that most of the citizens are housed, clothed and fed.

They wrongly claimed that social and political stability for the whole country is more important than individual Human Rights and liberties.

Even US and some developed countries are in reverse gear by saying that sacrifices in certain individual freedoms must be made for the safety of the country and to fight terrorism.

In Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and other ASEAN countries, there are substantial economic growth and they should start to recognize, respect and appreciate the Human Rights of all their citizens. They should give more lactitute to the individual freedom, justice and equality of their citizens. These are the Universal Values but the ASEAN Governments just labelled and smoke-screened them as “Western Values” just to scared off their citizens’ desires to adopt them.

And some of them resurrect the colonial masters as bogyman to silence the dissidents. They also use the threat of Communists, danger of assimilating into another race and religion to arouse the ultra nationalist spirit. They would not think twice to create the racial or religious conflicts or riots so that they could continue to strengthen their grip of power.

 According to “Western Values”:

  • The fight is no longer over who gets what economically
  • and who dominates who culturally;
  • but over the value systems for rights of the individual; beyond race, creed, colour, origin and religion.

But when we look at Sr General Than Shwe’s SPDC Junta_

  • they are valueless according to “Western Values”
  • or Universal Values.
  • They even do not have “ASIAN VALUES” as they could not fulfil the biological needs of food, shelter and security for all the citizens of Myanmar.
  • They have NO BUDDHIST VALUE, although they are Buddhists. They rob the country from the people and NLD. They are killing, jailing and torturing innocent people and committing rape etc. against the Buddha’s teaching.
  • The SPDC Generals even do not have the MILITARY VALUE according to the
    • International Standard
    • or even the TATMADAW VALUE according to General Aung San’s standard.
  • SPDC Generals also could be labelled as people with no FAMILY VALUES because_
    • Senior General Than Shwe’s children are becoming second illegal wives
    • and Daw Kyaing Kyaing’s marriage to Lu Min although both of them are legally still married to their spouses.
  • So even if we gauge the SPDC Generals with_
    • the pirate’s concept (I would explain below)
    • and Pagan era customs , (I would explain below)
    • nowadays SPDC Government has no value and is an ILLEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT.

     The Alexandria The Great was retorted by the pirate that_

  • was labelled a pirate because he only had a small ship,
  • but as The Alexandria The Great was called the King because he got a fleet of ship and plunder the world.

During the ancient time those KING KILLERS who killed the king became king. Now the world had changed and the Myanmar Citizens, International Governments and UN usually do not regarded those KILLERS like Killer Than Shwe.

Sr General Than Shwe’s successful silencing of the recent uprising by the arrest, torture and killing of the peaceful demonstrators, monks and Japanese Journalist could not legalize his ILLEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT.

San Oo Aung, Dr. 

Comments

May Ng said _

Dear Dr. San Oo Aung, I loved your SPDC’s ill political value article in the previous issue. Thanks for writing, to you and to all the Burma Digest family.

A challenge to the PM of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

A challenge to the PM

of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

What a shame _ OIC, Dubai and UAE

for ignoring the majority

downtrodden world Muslims  

 

His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai : “I like a challenge. When there is no challenge I feel sad,”

Shaikh Mohammad meets a German intellectual. He said interacting with literary personalities was more important to him than meeting politicians. He hoped cross-cultural cooperation would eliminate geographical demarcations.

Note: His Highness PM of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoummay have done_

  • a lot for his people,
  • many for the Arabs (Palestinians and Iraq),
  • quite a lot for the western allies
  • but I think he had done very little for the majority downtrodden world Muslims who are living in non OIC countries
  • and almost nothing for the Muslims in Burma/Myanmar.
  • What a shame!

Please read the propaganda from Gulf News 9 February 2008 Many leaders promise, we deliver

His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, won over a distinguished German audience on Thursday when he said: “Many leaders promise, we deliver.”

Delivering a speech during a felicitation at the Free University of Berlin where he was honoured with a gold medal for his support and promotion of cultural exchanges between peoples of the two countries, Shaikh Mohammed received several rounds of applause from the gathering as he provided an insight into the UAE’s work culture and ethics.
The audience listened in rapt attention as Shaikh Mohammed, speaking in English, explained his philosophy of economics and how the UAE is today one of the world’s fastest developing nations. Shaikh Mohammed, on the second day of his two-day state visit to Germany, was received at the Free Berlin University by former German Chancellor and Chairman of the Arab-German Friendship Association Gerhard Schroeder, Chancellor of the University and staff.

“I like a challenge. When there is no challenge I feel sad,” he said explaining how the UAE managed to overcome hurdles and build up the infrastructure that is now the focus of world attention. Many people, he said, were sceptical when initial plans of what the UAE wanted to build and do were known. But later these people realised the wise economic decisions of the country.

Regarding democratic values in Arab society, Shaikh Mohammed told the audience that the “majlis” has been a central point in decision-making since times immemorial. He said this in the context of modern democracy. All decisions that affect society, he added, were taken after due consultations. “We have democracy embodied in our Majlis [council] where the Ruler meets people face to face. We have our own democracy, a free nation and people that are free to say what they want … Just as you cannot convince me to wear your suits in the UAE, I cannot convince you to wear my dishdasha in Berlin.”

But what drew resounding praise from the gathering was when Shaikh Mohammed informed the audience about the UAE’s multicultured set-up where more nationalities live under one roof than in any other country.

He said: “In the UAE all nationalities live in peace. And if the UAE can do it then why not other countries.” “Dubai and the UAE are models of human co-existence, so why can’t the world follow suit?”

Shaikh Mohammed told the audience about the challenges which began early with his ancestors from Baniyas tribe, facing tough challenges, while looking for water to quench their thirst, and for grazing to their cattle. “It was a great challenge due to severity of the desert and lack of the natural resources,” Shaikh Mohammed said.

Elaborating on the challenges faced by the UAE after its inception and its subsequent growth and prosperity, Shaikh Mohammad said: “We built a modern and peaceful society in the middle of the desert, with giant projects of international status …

But, he said, those challenges were met. In this context he particularly mentioned Jebel Ali port, the biggest in the region, Emirates airline, development nationwide and construction of cities whether locally or worldwide with UAE talent and management. With these words – received with a standing ovation – His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, ended his two-day official visit to Germany.

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.

ugb-2.jpg

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_

               

To rebuild our beloved Burma on Moral High Grounds

To rebuild our beloved Burma

on Moral High Grounds

 

Lowliness is young ambition’s ladder,

Whereto the climber upward turns his face;

But when he once attains the up most round,

He then unto the ladder turns his back,

Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees

By which he did ascend.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emigration permanently or temporarily also became new phenomena.

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

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

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

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

Specific types of corruption include:

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

2.         Police corruption

3.         Corporate crime

4.         People’s corruption

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NGOs and other right groups must also not free to express their views nor even allow doing their works freely. All of them and various reporters have no free access to the government and the big companies connected them. These should be allowed as long as there is no real danger of espionage or national security. There is a danger of over protection and trying to hide under the name of national security to avoid exposure of the corruption.

There is no separation of powers in the SPDC Military Government. Administrative power of the head of the government should not let to be able to influence the Judiciary, Attorney General’s office and Legislative assembly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Redemption is never late.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BO AUNG DIN 

………………………………………………

Comments

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

Dear  Bo Aung Din,

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

There is no end to  history, it unfolds.

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

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

 “all living beings form a spontaneous idea of self “

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

Towards Peace, Security  and Justice in  Myanmar (Burma)

Conla Fru said _

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

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.

Thailand treated the Burmese Muslims refugees better than all the other Muslim governments

A Seat at the Table

By Edward Blair and Aung Zaw

Mae Sot, Thailand
January 17, 2006

In addition to greater international attention on their plight in exile, Thailand’s growing community of Burmese Muslims wants a voice in the political future of their country.

In October 2005 report documenting the Burmese junta’s steady assault on its Muslim minority, titled

“Myanmar’s [Burma’s] Muslims: Oppressed of the Oppressed,”

draws the following conclusion:

  1. “Caught between non-recognition as victims of religious hatred

  2. and violence by those countries who have brought sanction against Myanmar,

  3. and ignored by supposed co-religionist governments who have gone so far as to support the junta, even with arms,

  4. the Muslims of Myanmar hold the unenviable position of being oppressed even in some cases by the oppressed.”

Released by the UK-based Islamic Human Rights Commission, the report focuses primarily on the Muslim Rohingyas of Arakan State, who have fled oppression in the hundreds of thousands across the country’s western border with Bangladesh.

Junta aggression in Karen and Mon states, however, has also produced significant Muslim refugee populations, as whole communities have fled across the Thai-Burma border to Mae Sot.

Rahima bi, a 69-year-old mother of 11, was among them. Originally from Kyeikmayaw Township in Burma’s Mon State, Rahimabi fled Burma with her children in 1984, after the Burmese army attacked the Karen National Union-controlled village of Wandakian. Led by local Muslim leader Haji Yusof, Rahimabi and the rest of the village’s Muslim community resettled in Mae Sot.

Saw Hla, 96, fled Burma after the 1988 democracy uprising, in which two of her sons were arrested on charges of robbery and arson. The eldest later died in a prison labor camp. Saw Hla came of age in the waning years of British colonial rule in Burma and recalled that life at that time for Burmese Muslims was good.

She witnessed the long succession of regimes in Burma: the Japanese occupation during World War II, the fledgling independence government of the Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League, Gen Ne Win’s regime, and finally the country’s current crop of military despots.

“This government is the worst,” said Saw Hla. “We were abandoned and betrayed.” She now lives in an area of Mae Sot known as the Bangladeshi Barracks, one of several predominantly Muslim neighborhoods. Her remaining sons work as city garbage collectors.

The Bangladeshi Barracks, a warren of narrow alleyways lined by dilapidated house fronts, circumnavigates the Bangalawalay Mosque, one of three mosques in Mae Sot. The Barracks derives its name from a wealthy Bangladeshi businessman, who bequeathed the land to the mosque to provide housing for Burmese Muslim immigrants.

Life in the Barracks and its environs revolves around the activities of the mosque. The men attend to their daily prayers-women are forbidden to enter the mosques and must make their devotions at home-and children study at the mosque school, a poorly funded affair that survives principally on rent collected from residents of the Barracks.

According to Adisak Asmimana, a local Thai Muslim and a former election commissioner for Tak Province,

  • some 30,000 Burmese Muslims live in border refugee camps.

  • About 8,000 live in Mae La camp just outside Mae Sot.

  • Restrictions on mobility and employment, among other things, make the refugee camps an unwelcome option for many in Mae Sot’s Muslim community.

Hasan, a 24-year-old migrant worker, lives in a crowded apartment complex adjacent to the Bangladeshi Barracks with his wife and newborn daughter. “I did not want to live in the camp,” he said. “I have many friends there, but I would rather work so I can support my family.”

He carries a UNHCR refugee registration card and has waited for nearly 3 years to be resettled in a third country. He visits the local office every month to check the status of his application. “I hope to go to the United States.”

That hope is common enough among Burmese Muslims, particularly with young people, some of whom have lived most or all of their lives on Thai soil. Though they speak Burmese, they have no memory of life in Burma.

Thailand has struggled for years-with varying degrees of success-to accommodate the steady stream of Burmese refugees across its western border. As with other ethnic minorities, Burmese Muslims have received a mixed reception.

Ekachai Nitibhumikun, a Thai Muslim lawyer in Mae Sot and an Executive Committee member of Masjit noor-ul-Islam mosque, suggested that Thai Muslims are of two minds about their Burmese co-religionists.

  • “There are two groups of Thai Muslims,” he said.

  • “One sees the Burmese as a burden.

  • The other views them as Muslim brothers who need protection and assistance.”

  • Thai Muslims have made_

  • substantial contributions to the Burmese community.

  • They built the school at Bangalawalay Mosque.

  • According to Adisak, Thai education department officials have also consulted with Burmese Muslim schools about curricula.

Ekachai added that_

  • the Thai government has provided some funding to Burmese mosques for vocational training.

  • In general, however, Burmese Muslims must rely on their own meager resources, or non-governmental support.

Thein Htun, 64, was a sergeant-major in the Burmese army’s Light Infantry Division 28, before fleeing Hlaing Bwe in Karen State for Mae Sot in 1992-he was accused of friendly connections with Karen rebel forces. Seven years later,

  • he opened a small school for the children of migrant workers.

  • Of the 98 students there, 87 are Muslims.

According to Thein Htun,

  • Thai education officials often visit the school to examine the curriculum,

  • but it receives no assistance from the Thai government

  • or from local Thai Muslims.

  • It survives principally on support from a local Catholic missionary.

“The school charges no tuition and costs 12,000 baht (US $300) per month to operate,” said Thein Htun. “When funds are available, teachers receive a small salary.”

The curriculum blends traditional subjects with

  • religious education.

  • Students receive religious instruction in morning and afternoon sessions,

  • including Arabic

  • and moral lessons drawn from the life of the prophet Mohammad.

  • In between, they study English, Thai, Burmese, math, science and geography.

“We do what we can for the students, but few will have the opportunity to study beyond what they receive here,” said Thein Htun.

Prospects for the children of Burmese Muslims

  • fortunate enough to hold “pink” ID cards,

  • issued more than a decade ago by the Thai government, are better.

  • They enjoy the full benefits of Thai citizenship,

  • including access to Thai schools.

For the majority of Mae Sot’s Burmese Muslims, however-living, as most of them do, outside the refugee camp system and forced to fend for themselves as migrant workers, short-term laborers and in some cases small business owners-support from the Thai government, as well as the city’s numerous non-governmental organizations, does not exist. Mosques are the principal source of aid and serve as cultural, as much as religious, hubs of the community.

They also provide a point of contact to resolve disputes that arise between Thai and Burmese communities. According to Thai lawyer Ekachai, few serious problems arise. Some instances of revenge beatings for personal offences have occurred within the two communities, but such cases are few.

A principal concern for both communities is the lure of the drug trade. The lack of employment and educational opportunities for Muslim youth make them easy targets for drug gangs, according to Adisak.

Haji Abdool Wadoose, a Burmese Imam, said that mosques in Mae Sot have initiated a weekly program to teach young Burmese Muslims how to better integrate into Thai society, with an emphasis on avoiding any participation, as users or dealers, in the town’s drug trade. “There have been problems in the past with drugs among our young people,” he said. “We have succeeded in resolving these issues, but we are always concerned about protecting our youth.”

The ambiguous position of Burmese Muslims in Thailand has been further complicated in recent years by the government’s delicate relationship with its own Muslim communities. As the IHRC report notes: “Thailand…has a long history of persecuting its Muslim minorities and 2004 saw the massacre in police detention of 84 in Southern Thailand.” That event helped to revive a deadly insurgency movement in which nearly 2,000 people have been killed since January 2004.

The ongoing unrest in southern Thailand has affected the Muslim community in Mae Sot.

The city’s rapidly growing Muslim population (Thai and Burmese) has drawn the attention of government authorities concerned that the insurgency could spread. According to several local clerics,

  • Thai military intelligence agents make frequent visits

  • to monitor activity in the mosques

  • and interview local Muslims

  • about possible connections to militant groups operating elsewhere in the country.

By all accounts, Burmese Muslims in Mae Sot have no connection to militant Muslim factions in Thailand or elsewhere. By virtue of their refugee status in Thailand, they are even cut off from their religious peers in other Muslim countries-something that the All Burma Muslim Union hopes to change.

Based in Mae Sot, the ABMU has attempted since its creation in 1980 to provide_

  • political leadership for Burmese Muslims in exile.

  • A member of the Democratic Alliance of Burma

  • and the National Council of the Union of Burma,

  • the ABMU also maintains a company of troops that has served with soldiers of the Karen National Liberation Army in Karen State’s Brigade 4 district since 1983.

“The ABMU is fighting for a_

  • democratic Burma

  • and a federal union, like other national races,” said Hamid, secretary-general of the group.

  • “We have a duty to be involved in the affairs of Burma, and the first duty is to bring down the military dictatorship.”

The organization’s influence to date, however, has been slight. Its soldiers in Karen State number only about 100 and they have seen little military action beyond light skirmishes since 1995.

“Recruitment is hard,” said Chartade, a former captain in the ABMU’s KNU Muslim contingent and a resident of the Bangladeshi Barracks. “Our young people are more interested in finding work in the larger cities like Bangkok instead of fighting in the jungle.”

In concert with its armed opposition to Burma’s military regime, the ABMU has also made efforts to bring the plight of Burmese Muslims to the attention of the international community.

The group issued a joint statement with the All Burma Young Monks’ Union in May 1997, urging Asean to reconsider their decision to admit Burma that year. “To accept SLORC [Burma’s then ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council] into your association will further frustrate the efforts of the Burmese people to build a free and prosperous country,” the statement concluded.

According to the secretary-general, the ABMU’s goals are much the same as other ethnic opposition groups.

“We want to play a role in a future federal union in Burma to represent the interests of Burmese Muslims,” said Hamid. “We are not extremists. We simply want equal protection under the law.”

The desire for_

  • equal protection-at home

  • and in exile-seems to be the order of the day for Mae Sot’s Burmese Muslim community.

  • Like the majority of refugees, they wait for the opportunity to return to a free Burma.

  • Meanwhile, they do what they can to provide for their families,

  • practice their religion without constraints

  • and hope that greater attention is given to what the IHRC calls “the oppressed of the oppressed.”