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Referendum and election results should become international historical documents sealed as an instrument of bond, contract, deal, agreement, treaty or conveyance.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


Swarm Behavior and Starling Theory

  Swarm Behavior

Starling Theory

Excerpts from National Geographic

A single ant or bee isn’t smart, but their colonies are. The study of swarm intelligence is providing insights that can help humans manage complex systems.

Harmonious Flight

The ability of animal groups-such as this flock of starlings-to shift shape as one, even when they have no leader, reflects the genius of collective behavior-something scientists are now tapping to solve human problems.

Social and political groups have already adopted crude swarm tactics.

During mass protests eight years ago in Seattle, anti-globalization activists used mobile communications devices to spread news quickly about police movements, turning an otherwise unruly crowd into a “smart mob” that was able to disperse and re-form like a school of fish.

The biggest changes may be on the Internet. Consider the way Google uses group smarts to find what you’re looking for. When you type in a search query, Google surveys billions of Web pages on its index servers to identify the most relevant ones. It then ranks them by the number of pages that link to them, counting links as votes (the most popular sites get weighted votes, since they’re more likely to be reliable). The pages that receive the most votes are listed first in the search results. In this way, Google says, it “uses the collective intelligence of the Web to determine a page’s importance.”

Wikipedia, a free collaborative encyclopedia, has also proved to be a big success, with millions of articles in more than 200 languages about everything under the sun, each of which can be contributed by anyone or edited by anyone. “It’s now possible for huge numbers of people to think together in ways we never imagined a few decades ago,” says Thomas Malone of MIT’s new Center for Collective Intelligence. “No single person knows everything that’s needed to deal with problems we face as a society, such as health care or climate change, but collectively we know far more than we’ve been able to tap so far.”

Such thoughts underline an important truth about collective intelligence:

Crowds tend to be wise only if individual members act responsibly and make their own decisions.

  • A group won’t be smart if its members_
    • imitate one another,
    • slavishly follow fads,
    • or wait for someone to tell them what to do.
  • When a group is being intelligent,
    • whether it’s made up of ants
    • or attorneys,
    • it relies on its members to do their own part.
  • For those of us who sometimes wonder_
    • if it’s really worth recycling that extra bottle to lighten our impact on the planet,
    • the bottom line is that our actions matter,
    • even if we don’t see how.

Think about a honeybee as she walks around inside the hive.

  • If a cold wind hits the hive, she’ll shiver to generate heat and, in the process, help to warm the nearby brood.
  • She has no idea that hundreds of workers in other parts of the hive are doing the same thing at the same time to the benefit of the next generation.

    “A honeybee never sees the big picture any more than you or I do,” says Thomas Seeley, the bee expert.

  • “None of us knows what society as a whole needs,
    • but we look around and say, oh,
    • they need someone to volunteer at school,
    • or mow the church lawn,
    • or help in a political campaign.”

I used to think ants knew what they were doing. The ones marching across my kitchen counter looked so confident, I just figured they had a plan, knew where they were going and what needed to be done. How else could ants organize highways, build elaborate nests, stage epic raids, and do all the other things ants do?

Turns out I was wrong.

  • Ants aren’t clever little engineers,
  • architects,
  • or warriors after all-at least not as individuals.
  • When it comes to deciding what to do next, most ants don’t have a clue.

“If you watch an ant try to accomplish something, you’ll be impressed by how inept it is,” says Deborah M. Gordon, a biologist at Stanford University.

How do we explain, then, the success of Earth’s 12,000 or so known ant species? They must have learned something in 140 million years.

“Ants aren’t smart,” Gordon says. “Ant colonies are.” A colony can solve problems unthinkable for individual ants, such as_

  • finding the shortest path to the best food source,
  • allocating workers to different tasks,
  • or defending a territory from neighbors.

As individuals, ants might be tiny dummies,

but as colonies

  • they respond quickly
  • and effectively to their environment.
  • They do it with something called swarm intelligence.

Where this intelligence comes from raises a fundamental question in nature:

How do the simple actions of individuals add up to the complex behavior of a group?

  • How do hundreds of honeybees make a critical decision about their hive if many of them disagree?
  •  What enables a school of herring to coordinate its movements so precisely it can change direction in a flash, like a single, silvery organism?

The collective abilities of such animals-

  • none of which grasps the big picture,
  • but each of which contributes to the group’s success-
  • seem miraculous even to the biologists who know them best. Yet during the past few decades, researchers have come up with intriguing insights.

One key to an ant colony, for example, is that_

  • No one’s in charge.
  • No generals command ant warriors.
  • No managers boss ant workers.
  • The queen plays no role except to lay eggs.
  • Even with half a million ants, a colony functions just fine with no management at all-at least none that we would recognize.

It relies instead upon countless interactions between individual ants, each of which is following simple rules of thumb. Scientists describe such a system as self-organizing.

Consider the problem of job allocation. In the Arizona desert where Deborah Gordon studies red harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex barbatus), a colony calculates each morning how many workers to send out foraging for food.

  • The number can change, depending on conditions.
  • Have foragers recently discovered a bonanza of tasty seeds?
  • More ants may be needed to haul the bounty home.
  •  Was the nest damaged by a storm last night?
  • Additional maintenance workers may be held back to make repairs.
  • An ant might be a nest worker one day, a trash collector the next.

But how does a colony make such adjustments if no one’s in charge? Gordon has a theory.

Ants communicate by touch and smell. When one ant bumps into another, it sniffs with its antennae to find out if the other belongs to the same nest and where it has been working. (Ants that work outside the nest smell different from those that stay inside.) Before they leave the nest each day, foragers normally wait for early morning patrollers to return. As patrollers enter the nest, they touch antennae briefly with foragers.

“When a forager has contact with a patroller, it’s a stimulus for the forager to go out,” Gordon says. “But the forager needs several contacts

WHEN IT COMES TO SWARM intelligence, ants aren’t the only insects with something useful to teach us. On a small, breezy island off the southern coast of Maine, Thomas Seeley, a biologist at Cornell University, has been looking into the uncanny ability of honeybees to make good decisions.

  • With as many as 50,000 workers in a single hive,
  • honeybees have evolved ways to work through individual differences of opinion to do what’s best for the colony.

If only people could be as effective in_

  • boardrooms,
  • church committees,
  • and town meetings,
  • Seeley says, we could avoid problems making decisions in our own lives.

The bees’ rules for decision-making-

  • seek a diversity of options,
  • encourage a free competition among ideas,
  • and use an effective mechanism to narrow choices-
  • so impressed Seeley that he now uses them at Cornell as chairman of his department.

“I’ve applied what I’ve learned from the bees to run faculty meetings,” he says. To avoid going into a meeting with his mind made up, hearing only what he wants to hear, and pressuring people to conform, Seeley asks his group to identify all the possibilities, kick their ideas around for a while, then vote by secret ballot. “It’s exactly what the swarm bees do, which gives a group time to let the best ideas emerge and win. People are usually quite amenable to that.”

In fact, almost any group that follows the bees’ rules will make itself smarter, says James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds. “The analogy is really quite powerful. The bees are predicting which nest site will be best, and humans can do the same thing, even in the face of exceptionally complex decisions.” Investors in the stock market, scientists on a research project, even kids at a county fair guessing the number of beans in a jar can be smart groups, he says, if their members are diverse, independent minded, and use a mechanism such as voting, auctioning, or averaging to reach a collective decision.

THERE’S A SMALL PARK near the White House in Washington, D.C., where I like to watch flocks of pigeons swirl over the traffic and trees. Sooner or later, the birds come to rest on ledges of buildings surrounding the park. Then something disrupts them, and they’re off again in synchronized flight.

The birds don’t have a leader.

No pigeon is telling the others what to do.

Instead, they’re each paying close attention to the pigeons next to them, each bird following simple rules as they wheel across the sky. These rules add up to another kind of swarm intelligence-one that has less to do with making decisions than with precisely coordinating movement.

By demonstrating the power of self-organizing models to mimic swarm behavior, Reynolds was also blazing the trail for robotics engineers. A team of robots that could coordinate its actions like a flock of birds could offer significant advantages over a solitary robot. Spread out over a large area, a group could function as a powerful mobile sensor net, gathering information about what’s out there. If the group encountered something unexpected, it could adjust and respond quickly, even if the robots in the group weren’t very sophisticated, just as ants are able to come up with various options by trial and error. If one member of the group were to break down, others could take its place. And, most important, control of the group could be decentralized, not dependent on a leader.

“In biology, if you look at groups with large numbers, there are very few examples where you have a central agent,” says Vijay Kumar, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. “Everything is very distributed: They don’t all talk to each other. They act on local information. And they’re all anonymous. I don’t care who moves the chair, as long as somebody moves the chair. To go from one robot to multiple robots, you need all three of those ideas.”

The bees’ rules for decision-making-seek a diversity of options, encourage a free competition among ideas, and use an effective mechanism to narrow choices-so impressed Seeley that he now uses them at Cornell as chairman of his department.

“I’ve applied what I’ve learned from the bees to run faculty meetings,” he says.

  • To avoid going into a meeting with his mind made up,
  • hearing only what he wants to hear,
  • and pressuring people to conform,
  • Seeley asks his group to identify all the possibilities,
  • kick their ideas around for a while,
  • then vote by secret ballot.
  • “It’s exactly what the swarm bees do, which gives a group time to let the best ideas emerge and win. People are usually quite amenable to that.”

In fact, almost any group that follows the bees’ rules will make itself smarter, says James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds. “The analogy is really quite powerful. The bees are predicting which nest site will be best, and humans can do the same thing, even in the face of exceptionally complex decisions.” Investors in the stock market, scientists on a research project, even kids at a county fair guessing the number of beans in a jar can be smart groups, he says, if their members are diverse, independent minded, and use a mechanism such as voting, auctioning, or averaging to reach a collective decision.
no more than ten seconds apart before it will go out.”

That’s how swarm intelligence works:

simple creatures following simple rules,

  • each one acting on local information.
  • No ant sees the big picture.
  • No ant tells any other ant what to do.

Some ant species may go about this with more sophistication than others. (Temnothorax albipennis, for example, can rate the quality of a potential nest site using multiple criteria.) But the bottom line, says Iain Couzin, a biologist at Oxford and Princeton Universities, is that no leadership is required. “Even complex behavior may be coordinated by relatively simple interactions,” he says.

Inspired by the elegance of this idea, Marco Dorigo, a computer scientist at the Université Libre in Brussels, used his knowledge of ant behavior in 1991 to create mathematical procedures for solving particularly complex human problems, such as routing trucks, scheduling airlines, or guiding military robots.

“As soon as the wolf got within a certain distance of the caribou, the herd’s alertness just skyrocketed,” Karsten says. “Now there was no movement.

  • Every animal just stopped, completely vigilant and watching.”
  • A hundred yards (90 meters) closer, and the wolf crossed another threshold.

“The nearest caribou turned and ran, and that response moved like a wave through the entire herd until they were all running. Reaction times shifted into another realm. Animals closest to the wolf at the back end of the herd looked like a blanket unraveling and tattering, which, from the wolf’s perspective, must have been extremely confusing.”

The wolf chased one caribou after another, losing ground with each change of target. In the end, the herd escaped over the ridge, and the wolf was left panting and gulping snow.

For each caribou, the stakes couldn’t have been higher, yet the herd’s evasive maneuvers displayed not panic but precision. (Imagine the chaos if a hungry wolf were released into a crowd of people.)

Every caribou knew_

  • when it was time to run
  • and in which direction to go,
  • even if it didn’t know exactly why.
  • No leader was responsible for coordinating the rest of the herd.
  • Instead each animal was following simple rules evolved over thousands of years of wolf attacks.

That’s the wonderful appeal of swarm intelligence.

Whether we’re talking about_

  • ants,
  • bees,
  • pigeons,
  • or caribou,

the ingredients of smart group behavior-

  • decentralized control,
  • response to local cues,
  • simple rules of thumb-
  • add up to a shrewd strategy to cope with complexity.

Rambo, “Live for nothing. Die for something.”


“Live for nothing.

Die for something.”

By Michael Winfrey,


LONDON(Reuters) – Not satisfied with slugging it out with  Myanmar’s military government on celluloid in his latest “Rambo” film, Sylvester Stallone wants to go there and confront the junta face to face over human rights.

Our Rambo 5 Scoop Confirmed

Stallone, who said he was gearing up to make a fifth and final installment in the blood-and-guts series, told Reuters that media reports of his film becoming a bootleg hit in the country formerly known as Burma, and an inspiration to dissidents, was a pinnacle in his movie career.

“These incredibly brave people have found, kind of a voice, in a very odd way, in American cinema … They’ve actually used some of the film’s quotes as rallying points,” Stallone, 61, said in a telephone interview.

“That, to me, is the one of the proudest moments I’ve ever had in film.”

Residents in Yangon told Reuters this week that police had given strict orders to DVD hawkers to not stock the movie – named simply “Rambo.” Locals said fans had “gone crazy” over lines in the hero’s brusque dialogue such as: “Live for nothing. Die for something.”

In the film, Vietnam War veteran John Rambo – best known for mowing down enemies with an M60 machine gun in the 1980’s – comes out of retirement in Thailand to save a group of Christian missionaries from a sadistic Myanmar army major.

Stallone said that, rather than make a film about Iraq or Darfur, he focused on a lesser-known crisis before Myanmar suddenly grabbed the spotlight in September when the military junta crushed a pro-democracy campaign led by Buddhist monks.

Officials put the death toll from the crackdown at 15, but diplomats and aid groups say it is much higher and some media have reported hundreds – or thousands – were killed.

“People finally got the idea of how brutal these people are,” said Stallone.


Stallone’s movie specifically focuses on the Karen tribe of eastern Myanmar. UK-based Christian Aid says the Karen and other groups have suffered half a million cases of forced relocation and thousands more have been imprisoned, tortured or killed.

Many ethnic rebel groups have fought Burmese governments for more autonomy since independence from Britain in 1948. Stallone said he was in communication with some, and several former freedom fighters acted in the movie.

And he hopes the film can provoke a confrontation.

“I’m only hoping that the Burmese military, because they take such incredible offence to this, would call it lies and scurrilous propaganda. Why don’t you invite me over?” he said.

“Let me take a tour of your country without someone pointing a gun at my head and we’ll show you where all the bodies are buried… Or let’s go debate in Washington in front of a congressional hearing… But I doubt that’s going to happen.”

“Rambo” opened last month second in north American box office returns to the ancient Greek warrior spoof “Meet the Spartans,” making $18.2 million in its first week.

Stallone said he was happy with what he described as “the bloodiest, R film (for) a generation” and hoped to make another.

“It will depend on the success of this one, but right now I think I’m gearing one up. It will be quite different,” he said.

“We’ll do something a little darker and a little more unexpected.”


Myanmar junta takes aim at

latest Rambo movie

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Police in Myanmar have given DVD hawkers strict orders not to stock the new Rambo movie, which features the Vietnam War veteran taking on the former Burma’s ruling military junta, a Yangon resident told Reuters on Friday.

Despite the prohibition, pirated copies of the movie are widely available on the streets of the former capital, where it is fast becoming a talking point among a population eager to shake off 45 years of military rule.

“People are going crazy with the quote ‘Live for nothing, die for something’,” one resident said, referring to the tagline of the fourth Rambo installment, which opened in the United States this week.

Even though it received lukewarm reviews, it is likely to be a sure-fire hit with opponents of the junta, with some even hoping it could spur a change of regime in the impoverished southeast Asian nation.

“This movie could fuel the sentiment of Myanmar people to invite American troops to help save them from the junta,” one Yangon resident told Reuters by e-mail.

In the movie, John Rambo, played by Hollywood superstar Sylvester Stallone, comes out of retirement in Bangkok to save a group of Christian missionaries taken captive by troops in the jungles of eastern Myanmar.

As with previous Rambo films, it is short on plot and long on blood and guts — although viewers appear to think it is all relative.

“Rambo acted very cruelly, but his cruelty is nothing compared to that of the military junta,” a Myanmar student in Thailand, who did not wish to be named, told Reuters.

(Reporting by Bangkok newsroom; Writing by Ed Cropley; Editing by Michael Battye)

 Our Rambo 5 Scoop Confirmed

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By Josh Tyler: 2008-01-28 13:59:36

Nearly 3 months ago we were the first site to break the story that Stallone and the Weinstein company might already be in the process of cobbling together a fifth Rambo movie. We told you about it right here. Now, after the release of the fourth film our story is being confirmed elsewhere. It’s good to be right… every once in awhile. Hey, we’ll take what we can get.rambo1_.jpg

 The confirmation of our scoop comes from Deadline Hollywood Daily, where Nikki Finke has been on the phone with Harvey Weinstein, who tells her for the next sequel they plan to bring Rambo back to the United States. When asked if Stallone is getting too old for this shit, Harv said “I like the idea of an older guy kicking ass. Maybe it’s because I’m older, too.” Plus all those steroids he’s taking keep Sly pretty young.

He probably also likes the idea of making money. There hasn’t exactly been a lot of it for him since he and his brother ditched their positions at Disney owned Miramax and started The Weinstein Company. Box office success has mostly eluded TWC so far. Rambo’s second place, $18.2 million take this past weekend is one of the best openings for any of their movies, and the Weinsteins expect it to do even better overseas.

RELATED: rambo, sequel, sylvester stallone, harvey weinstein, the weinstein company

Sylvester Stallone Interview, RAMBO
John Rambo Posted By: Sheila Roberts / Source
Filed Under : action , sequel , interviewrambo2_.jpg

MoviesOnline caught up with Sylvester Stallone at the Los Angeles press day for “Rambo,” which he wrote, directed and stars in based on characters created by David Morrell. Filmed on location in and around Chiang Mai, Thailand, “Rambo” also stars Julie Benz (“Dexter,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Paul Schulze (“The Sopranos”), Matthew Marsden (“Resident Evil: Extinction,” “Black Hawk Down”), Graham McTavish (HBO’s “Rome”), Rey Gallegos (“American Wedding”), Tim Kang (“Third Watch”), Jake LaBotz (“Ghost World”), Maung Maung Khin and Ken Howard.

Twenty years after the last film in the series, John Rambo (Stallone) has retreated to northern Thailand, where he’s running a longboat on the Salween River. On the nearby Thai-Burma (Myanmar) border, the world’s longest-running civil war, the Burmese-Karen conflict, rages into its 60th year. Rambo lives a solitary, simple life in the mountains and jungles fishing and catching poisonous snakes to sell. He has long ago given up fighting, even as medics, mercenaries, rebels and peace workers pass by on their way to the war-torn region. All that changes when a group of human rights missionaries ask Rambo to guide them up the Salween so they can deliver food and medical supplies to the Karen tribe. Weeks after the journey, Rambo learns that the same missionaries are being held captive by the Burmese military, outside diplomatic reach. Accompanied by a group of Church-hired mercenaries, he agrees to go up the river again, feeling a responsibility to rescue the captives despite his reluctance for violence and conflict.rambo3_.jpg

Despite nineteen years having transpired since the last Rambo installment, Stallone and producers Avi Lerner, Kevin King and John Thompson were confident that audiences would still connect with Rambo’s personal fortitude. “Rambo harkens back to that mythic one man who has been chosen to do a job that he really doesn’t want to do, but he’s been born to do it,” Stallone explains. “He imparts a sense of virtue that’s immediate. Bad and evil should be punished and the weak should be protected. It harkens back to the stories we all grew up with, the mythology of good and evil.”

“I thought the Burmese setting would be ideal because it’s a story that’s not just about Rambo. It’s actually happening. It’s true,” continues Stallone. “From the time I heard about it and began researching it, I thought, ‘If I could just combine the two – raising awareness of the Karen-Burmese civil war and giving the audience a good adventure story – that would be perfect.’”

Sly is a fabulous guy and we really appreciated his time. Here’s what he had to tell us about his new film and his upcoming projects:


STALLONE: I know. Please stop. I know we share a birthday but no… You’re leaving me open. I could just slam that hunk. Let’s see. What rhymes with Rambo? Dumbo? No. We have nothing to do with that, believe me. No.


STALLONE: You know, careers have peaks and valleys and you harken back to the things that you’re sort of known for. I mean, every actor would like to say that they’re Daniel Day Lewis and that they have this incredible pallet, but quite often you’re known for certain things. I said to myself, ‘Boy, if I could end my career on something, I’d like to finish up the loose ends on Rambo because the last one in Afghanistan didn’t work and the last Rocky didn’t work. So I wanted to focus on these two and as fate would have it the world has gone through a transition in the past twenty years where maybe ten years ago this wouldn’t have even been acceptable, but right now with this inundation of violence, the constant bombardment of it on CNN everyday, I think there’s a kind of frustration building up and it needs a release. So that’s why. It was just time, good timing.


STALLONE: I love it. It reminds me of Eugene O’Neill’s father in ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’. He played it for 33 years. I’m like, ‘I get that.’ [Laughs]


STALLONE: Oh, you caught that.


STALLONE: No, no. We actually tried using that ending. It was at one screening only in Las Vegas and it didn’t go over very well. They had to literally go back and rebuild the entire set. I begged. I said, ‘Don’t do this again.’ Anyway, they did it. But I thought in the dream sequence, and I don’t know if it’s coming across or not, but accept who you are, accept who you are, this is who you are. This is it. Finally Rambo does. I kill for myself. I don’t kill for my country. It’s just like, ‘Stop using this excuse that I’m a hero. I’m not. I’ve just got this penchant for violence inside of me that has to come out.’ While he was in the dream it was like, ‘Put me out of my misery.’ If he could’ve done it all over, he wishes that Trautman did shoot him because he cannot come to terms with the fact that he’s a killer. Flat out.


STALLONE: He goes down to see his father who, by the way, is a full blooded Indian. I decided not to shoot it because I thought it would end up being a double epilogue, but you realize where he came from. He came from a society that was absolutely archaic compared to the modern man. So it’s as though he was going to go back into the world where he existed [in the first place.] It’s a primitive existence, a hard existence. It’s not surrounded by people. It’s surrounded by horses and nature, whatever. That’s where he belongs. When he’s confronted with people and society, the rage and that indignity start to build up. What it is, is that he defends people that can’t defend themselves. It isn’t like he goes out and looks for trouble, but he embraces it. That’s why when the missionaries came up he was so conflicted. ‘You’re not going to change anything, but I’ll take you there.’ It’s like the warrior needs to war.


STALLONE: You mean back to the house? Yeah, that was by far the last scene. That was the last shot. I thought that he goes down and looks up the road and his journey was over. In other words it’s like an odyssey, like, for lack of a better term Ulysses who went through all these different trials and tribulations and in the end everybody sort of thinks, ‘Can I ever go back and have one more chance at trying to relive my life even though there’s not much of it left?’ So to me it’s a kind of happy ending. It’s a little smirk.


STALLONE: Absolutely. But it was also very tentative for me, like, ‘Do I do this?’ There’s an excitement about going back to see your father, but you also haven’t seen him in 30 years and it’s kind of like what I do every time I go home at night. [Laughs] Am I going to be welcomed or not? No, I’m just kidding.




STALLONE: I have a very, very bizarre idea. It’s probably so absurd, but it’s got to formulate a little bit. If I told you I was going to do one about a sixty one year old boxer, you’d go, ‘Yup!’ But if you find the right formula almost anything is feasible. It’s just coming in there and making the audience go, ‘Okay, that’s possible. That is feasible.’ It’s weird. I mean, Space Cowboys. Hello? But it worked.


STALLONE: The legacy? Who’s legacy? Mine? Oh, God. It’s ying and yang. I think that some of the upcoming actors will look at me as this archaic, kind of like prehistoric creature that belonged to a certain bygone genre that no longer exists because now we’ve become much more scientific, less personal. Most of my peers were very physical. Arnold [Schwarzenegger] and Bruce [Willis] – they were just more hands on. I think that a lot of actors today are hands off and they’re more intellectual. So I think that it’ll be like what it’s like when you go back to the Natural Museum of History and you’re looking at a Pterodactyl.


STALLONE: I always talk to Arnold about it. I’m like, ‘When are you going to get over this job? Let’s go back to having some fun!’ Every weekend I ask him.


In terms of style, the first time I directed a film was Paradise Alley which was very stylized and I didn’t really know what I was doing, but it was kind of more of a flow. I thought that this one would kind of be like the character – jerky, erratic, unsteady, always, always moving. It always blows my mind when you see a jungle film and then you see dolly shots. I go, ‘Wait a second. There’s nothing smooth in the jungle.’ You trip. I mean I can’t walk 5 feet without tripping over a vine so I thought the camera should be that way. Also because of economics we didn’t have time to put the camera on anything that resembled a dolly. But it worked out fine and I enjoyed it. It was quick and running and gunning and just throwing it over there and picking it up. I think with that kind of thing you miss a lot of shots, but you also get a lot of energy. You do.


STALLONE: In the last battle I had 9. Normally it would be 3, but I find that with 3 you start to overlap so 2 would be the best. Three is sort of getting clumsy unless you’re going for inanimate objects with the third camera. Like, ‘Okay, there’s a shoelace and an empty bottle.’ Somehow you work that in which we never did. It’s that kind of thing.


STALLONE: I was dependent on the audience not knowing anything about Burma even though two months ago we now learned about the genocides of the monks. So I just wanted to bring them up to date and there’s nothing more impressionable than when you actually see real newsreel footage that shows you’re not just doing a film that’s a fantasy. It’s for real. It’s like showing Vietnam and then you actually go into the film. So I thought that it would add a little bit of gravitas to it and just bring you up to speed. It was going to be more elaborate with a voice over, but I thought, ‘Okay, just keep it at that.’ And then the second scene is the race in the rice paddy which is just saturated in color and then bang, we’re into the beginning of the film.


STALLONE: Not one of the most. The most. I worked very hard for this. [Laughter] I’m only kidding.


STALLONE: They were conflicted, but you’re dealing with a real subject. As we’re speaking right now, people are dying and being tortured in the most brutal fashion you could ever even imagine and this film will show that. If we’re going to do anything that actually uses this medium [for something] besides entertaining, it is to perhaps save a few lives and bring an awareness to this. Please don’t water it down. Yes. Babies are being decimated. Women are being raped. There’s piracy. All that happens all the time. I say, ‘Just let it flow.’ People can turn away. They have this option, but don’t just cut away from it and go for that PG-13 situation which I had nothing against. I like Bruce’s last PG-13. I thought that it was very, very good, but this is a different kind of movie. This has to walk that thin line. It really does. It was almost an experiment about how far you can push entertainment, but also stay true to the bloodshed that’s going down as we speak. There is no more brutal regime on the planet. This has been going on for 60 years. So that’s what it was.


STALLONE: It is. But again, when you’re hit flat out, and I don’t know if you’ve seen it on YouTube, but the people who have some footage from Iraq – when you’re hit with a fifty caliber, you are literally emulsified. It’s not like a little bullet hole – ‘Ouch, it hurt.’ You’re gone. I wanted to, again, show that when people go to see situations of great violence, it’s horrifying. They’re not slightly wounded and like, ‘Oh, yeah. I have a little designer cut.’ I wanted to show how brutal it is. So the CGI was necessary because we couldn’t even put that much explosive on people.


STALLONE: To this extent. In ‘Rocky,’ to fill up the top row [of people] in the audience, I had to use some CGI, but yeah, this is the first time. I don’t like it, but jeez, how do you put holes through people? [Laughs] Or separate them in half? [Laughs] They won’t sit still for that.


STALLONE: The last one? Oh, my God. When I showed that to the producer, he shrieked. This is like an Israeli commando. I said, ‘That’s what it is. This guy deserves it.’ Even though he doesn’t say a word, you understand he is beyond – a pedophile, this, that, horror – I mean just everything. You need, and I really believe this, emotional payback. If you do not give the audience some sort of emotional payback in a film like this, you know what it’ll be? It’ll be considered an artistic triumph and a box office bomb.


STALLONE: Yeah, we did. We had this fellow there following us the whole time, chasing the snakes and dealing with these cobras. They get loose on the boat and then you’d have fun with them. There’s just odd, odd stuff. We got caught in these monsoons and we had a leading lady trying to pull moss out of her eyes and mouth. So that’s going to be a very interesting DVD because we had someone there probably sixty days which is a lot of footage.


STALLONE: The toughest part, I think for sure the night rescue because we had 28 days of nights. It’s 2 hours to get there and because of the rain it was driving up a lot of the snakes and the centipedes which you just have no idea. It looks like a hotdog with legs and it is brutal. So we had a real problem with that.


STALLONE: Yeah. Snake on the leg. That was me. We couldn’t afford CGI snakes and so the best thing we could do was go, ‘Oh, there’s a King Cobra. Great. Thanks.’ For real. And then we’d use scotch tape to try and keep him there, but I didn’t realize that they go like this. [Shows how a snake slithers] They’re not like alligators where you can hold them. Oh my God. So we have a lot of that on the DVD. It’ll be fun.


STALLONE: Oh, God. It had to be that last battle scene because Rambo doesn’t actually engage physically. He’s up there and the fact that worked was rewarding. Also, casting Julie Benz was to me very important. That was a hard part to cast, real hard, because most women don’t want to do it.


STALLONE: There are three possibilities. Death Wish. With the Writers Guild Strike, I don’t know. It may be The Mechanic.


Q: I HEARD you might be doing a project tentatively called “Notorious.”

STALLONE: Notorious? No. Sounds sexy. I wouldn’t mind. [Laughs] There’s one called Lion’s Game and there’s two novels. Lion’s Game is a Nelson DeMille book. That’s in the works but I’m dying to do some good old horror.

Q: So there’s no idea floating around for a movie with you, Bruce and Arnold?

STALLONE: [Laughs] I think Bruce is a possibility.

“Rambo” opens in theaters on January 25th.


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The Lady of Burma

Tornatore to Make English-Speaking Debut with The Lady, about Burma’s Nobel Peace Winner January 15, 2008–Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore plans to make his first English-language movie about the Burmese democracy peronality and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.Tornatore will develop the script for “The Lady” with Japanese producer Naofumi Okamoto for a production to begin later this year. Okamoto is producing the project alongside Avi Arad and Steven Paul and Benedict Carver of L.A.—based Crystal Sky Pictures.Okamoto is one of few foreigners to have met with Suu Kyi since her arrest 17 years ago by Burma’s military junta. After securing her permission to develop a movie based on her life, he asked Tornatore to direct because of the latter’s affinity for female characters.Suu Kyi is the leader of the pro-democracy movement in Burma and an advocate of nonviolent resistance. The daughter of the general who negotiated Burmese independence from Britain after WWII, she was educated at Oxford University and married an English scholar before returning to her homeland in 1988. Her party won elections in 1990, but she was prevented from taking power by the country’s ruling junta.

She has spent much of the past 17 years under house arrest and was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1991. When her husband was diagnosed with cancer in 1997, the Burmese government denied him entry visa to visit his wife. Suu Kyi was told she could leave to see him, but only on condition that she never return. She chose to stay in Burma and never saw her husband again before his death in 1999. She remains separated from her two sons, who live in England.

For Arad, best known for movies based on Marvel Comics superheroes such as Spider-Man and X-Men, the project is a departure, though he plans “The Lady” to be a movie with broadest audience appeal.

“The Lady” will span the time from Suu Kyi’s return to Burma in 1988, when she was 43, to the present day. The movie will be in English, the language in which Suu Kyi was educated and which she speaks at home. No cast is yet attached.

Congratulations RAMBO!For your success in Burma

Congratulations RAMBO!

For your success in Burma

I hereby honour you with your best conversations, that always stay in my mind.

Mousa: This is Afghanistan.

  • Alexander the Great try to conquer this country.
  • Then Genghis Khan,
  • then the British.
  • Now Russia.

But Afghan people fight hard, they never be defeated.

Ancient enemy make prayer about these people.

You wish to hear? Rambo: Um-hum. Mousa: Very good.

It says,

‘May God deliver us from_

  • the venom of the cobra,
  • teeth of the tiger,
  • and the vengeance of the Afghan.’

Understand what this means?

Rambo: That you guys don’t take any shit?