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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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

YES or NO? The CHOISE is yours, Myanmar voters

 YES or NO?

The CHOISE is yours, Myanmar voters

 

Malaysiakini, The power of choice Yoga Nesadurai

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

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

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

 

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

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

To make a choice, we need options.

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

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

Evaluating options

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

It requires courage and commitment to act on your choice.

 

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

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

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

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

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

Making great choices

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

My comments and advice to all the Burmese 

 

Yes the choice is yours_

There is a saying in Burmese that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Asia Votes for Change

Asia Votes for Change

 

Posted by Raja Petra   

By RUCHIR SHARMA, WALL STREET JOURNAL
Nowhere was this in greater display than in Malaysia’s parliamentary elections. The strong showing of the opposition in the polls stunned Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi and the vote was widely interpreted as a sign of voter disaffection with his United Malays National Organization party, which has dominated Malaysian politics since 1969.

For a region that isn’t exactly a hotbed of democracy, it’s rather remarkable that these days from Kuala Lumpur to Taipei the cocktail conversation seems to revolve only around political change. Prodded by a growing realization that the world is passing them by, voters in many of East Asia’s laggard economies are either throwing out the incumbents or engaging in protest votes against their governments.

Outside of China, economic growth in East Asia over the past few years has barely averaged 5%. That is well below the global emerging market average of 6.5% and a distant cry from the 8% to 9% expansion that was commonplace in many of these countries before the Asian financial crisis in 1997-98. Domestic demand in much of the region has since been rather moribund.

Voters are now demanding change in these countries by backing the more likely pro-growth candidates, as was the case in Taiwan last week with Ma Ying-jeou’s thumping victory and in South Korea last December with the election of Lee Myung-bak. In a similar vein, voters in Thailand and Malaysia are turning back to leaders they associate with better economic times — Thaksin Shinawatra and Anwar Ibrahim.

The trend of anti-incumbency in the region is in stark contrast to the pro-incumbency wave running through the rest of the emerging-market universe. Popularity ratings of governments from Brazil to Turkey are at record highs on the back of booming growth and inflation rates that are well below historical averages.

All of this marks a major role reversal from the previous boom in emerging markets that ended in the mid-’90s. The superstars then were the tigers of East Asia. In development economics classrooms, countries such as Thailand and Malaysia were called paragons: Their high savings rates, industrious work forces and competent management of macroeconomic policy were cited as the signposts of Asia’s dynamism and savvy. In contrast, Eastern Europe was in economic chaos and Latin American economies symbolized decadence. Now the scenario has flipped. The stars of the current emerging market bull run are countries in Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, many of which are registering robust growth rates that were once commonplace in East Asia.

[Asia Votes for Change]

Following the East Asian financial crisis, countries in much of the region focused on fortifying themselves against any external shock by building up massive foreign exchange reserves and running large current account surpluses. But in doing so, they seem to have forgotten what it takes to be growth stars. Excluding China and India, there has been little new investment in the region since 1997-98. Now there is a growing sense among voters that their governments need to redirect efforts toward jumpstarting the investment cycle and economic growth by ushering in a new set of reforms.

Mr. Ma’s success in Taiwan reflects the continued shift in local sentiment towards the more business-friendly Kuomintang Party — a trend that was first apparent in the January 2008 parliamentary elections, when the KMT won nearly three-fourths of all the seats. The Taiwanese have been increasingly coming around to the view that stronger ties with China offer the island nation the best hope of changing its lackluster growth profile. The message from the ballot box is that voters prefer more pragmatic policies and deeper commercial ties with China rather than the previous ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s confrontationist stance.

In South Korea, the new president needs to get on quickly with implementing his reformist agenda as the Koreans are in no mood to even allow him a honeymoon period. Voter impatience with a sluggish economy is captured in the latest opinion polls, which already show a sharp fall in Mr. Lee’s popularity ratings amid rising doubts over his ability to deliver on the ambitious economic program that was the centerpiece of his campaign. Mr. Lee had claimed that he would usher in policies that would raise Korea’s growth rate to 6% to 7% from the 4% average of the past few years.

In Thailand, a rather remarkable turn of events has taken place in recent months. The Bangkok elite has now reconciled itself to let former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s men run the government after forcing Mr. Thaksin himself out of office nearly two years ago. Hopes are running high that the current administration will execute an economic plan similar to Mr. Thaksin’s policies during the first two years of his term starting in 2001, when there were massive increases in government spending to improve the country’s infrastructure.

The urgency among policymakers to boost Thailand’s flagging growth is evident by the fact that the military leaders had little choice but to accept Mr. Thaksin’s de facto return to power as they had little credibility left with the populace after making a hash of managing the economy in 2006-07. This changed attitude of the authorities in the region defines a new era: the growing acknowledgment of the popular will of the people.

Nowhere was this in greater display than in Malaysia’s parliamentary elections. The strong showing of the opposition in the polls stunned Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi and the vote was widely interpreted as a sign of voter disaffection with his United Malays National Organization party, which has dominated Malaysian politics since 1969. Following the unexpected result, there were fears that the government would not tolerate a smooth handover of power in the states where the opposition won and that it may even allow racial tensions to flare to get a firmer grip on its traditional vote bank of ethnic Malays. There was also much talk of how Mr. Abdullah’s predecessor, Mahatir Mohammed, would have dealt with the electoral setback: if he was in power, he would put the main opposition leader, Mr. Anwar, behind bars again.

Instead, the transition to a more multi-polar Malaysian polity has so far been remarkably seamless and Mr. Abdullah has quickly moved to channel his energies to revitalizing the government with a cabinet makeover as a first step. Issues long considered too sensitive to broach, such as Malaysia’s affirmative action policy, are on the table, with Mr. Anwar calling for a comprehensive review. Many economists blame the New Economic Policy of 1971, which grants special rights to only ethnic Malays, as the main factor that has undermined Malaysia’s competitiveness in today’s globalized world.

Of course, in politics there is always a huge gap between promises and action. Many of the East Asian countries also face long-term structural problems, from the poor quality of human capital to their export-oriented, manufacturing-centric economic model that has outlived its time, particularly with the rise of the larger economies of China and India. Malaysia, for example, hasn’t fully capitalized on strong global growth despite exports exceeding the size of its economy, as it continues to mainly manufacture electronic goods that are now increasingly produced in lower-cost countries, such as China and Vietnam. Meanwhile, the larger and more advanced economies of Korea and Taiwan have been unable to shift to a service sector-oriented model that would have allowed them to grow at a faster rate.

Some of these factors are hard for politicians to fix in the short term and may keep a lid on the growth prospects of the region’s laggard economies for time to come. However, at the margin it has to be good news that voters in these countries are using the democratic system to at least force the political class to step up to the economic challenge.

Mr. Sharma is head of emerging markets at Morgan Stanley Investment Management.

Leadership quality of the Myanmar Military Generals

 Leadership quality of  the Myanmar Military Generals

KJ John | Apr 1, 08

Modified and edited the original letter, Leadership for the times” by KJ John in the Malaysiakini .

I have edited and adapted to the Myanmar context from the original article. I hope that KJ John  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.

True leadership is_

  • the art of setting new directions
  • and then creating the environment for that vision to become possible; not just plausible.
  • Nurturing the right climate for ideas and ideals to flourish

It is just as important as the new directions set.

Follower-ship consequently is_

  • the discipline of acknowledging visionary leadership
  • and the requisite obedience to new and shared directions.

Together they make up what is called_

  • a purpose-inspired life of leadership
  • and follower-ship.

Peter Vaill, my doctoral chairperson, calls this ‘Managing as a Performing Art’ (also the title of a book).

Frankly, both models are only partially relevant under current conditions of rapid, turbulent change; when small ripples become tidal waves of change being washed in, and without any human ability to control them.

Allow me to give ‘my three sen’ worth of advice to Myanmar Military SPDC leadership on differing styles of organisational leadership models that appear to be practiced.  

Unfortunately, within Myanmar Military Generals, the current models of leadership and managing are what I have in the past referred to as ‘cat or dog loyalty models of blind obedience’.

As the Burmese saying goes_

Yae Boo Pauk Tar_ Ma Low Chin Boo.

Yae Par Dar Bae_Low Chin Dae.

Yes! In the Military_

  • the leaders never accept the excuses.
  • Orders must be obeyed and fulfilled.
  • Rank and file must be willing to sacrifice their lives on the line of duty.
  • Soldiers must be like robots.
  • If the owner/handler/player click the button, whether right or wrong button, the robort must obey like a character in the video-game.
  • No reasoning nor analysis of correctness or morality or religious views of the nature of job or consequences of the order and results need to be considered.
  • Order is order.
  • Do or die in the battle field or face the consequences of punishments or court-martialed.

Because more than 70 percent of the electorate are living in urban areas, the  governance of Myanmar would be decided on modern and urban issues. That is enough reason for a predictable and fundamental change in scenario and landscape of today’s Myanmar politics.

The information age contributed to a fundamental and radical change in people’s expectations and perceptions. Urban voters were concurrently informed, misinformed and dis-informed. But, it appears like no one from the military government either heard or really understood this.  

Today, all of that is water under the bridge in urbanised Myanmar towns. These are so-called developed states in urbanisation terms. The arrogance and abuse of power in most states and local military authorities would ensure the outcome of the coming referendum.

Models of leadership

With this as the context, allow me to reflect on the two most prevalent models of leadership visible within all organisations, whether in the corporate or political world or civil society or in the military dictator governments.  

The one demands what I call ‘the cat loyalty syndrome’.

A syndrome is almost like a theological conviction about a truth that the beholder believes in and expects from the rest of the world.

The cat loyalty model demands the symbolic and implicit obedience and loyalty of a cat to the house.

This model of leadership demands that the person is loyal to the home or the institution that one belongs to, and claims full cat-like commitment to it.  

  • Most cats are in fact comfortable in the house
  • even after the owners move out.
  • They simply can carry on with life even with the new owners.
  • To the cat, that house is its home
  • and there is little or no loyalty to the master or owner of the house.
  • Owners can come and go.

This appears to be the prevalent model of leadership in SPDC leaders, demanding absolute obedience to the Tatmadaw and its current leader. Questions over their morality and ethics are a secondary matter.

The ‘dog model of loyalty’ puts a premium on loyalty explicitly to the master, but not so much to the house or organisation. But the more important question is: who is the real master? If one served long with General Ne Win or Senior General than Shwe, then one must always be almost loyal to them, in spite of differing circumstances or different worldviews one holds.

It is a lifetime personal loyalty to the person and relationship, and not so much to the authority or the position of the person. The result is almost blind loyalty to all instructions of the master and almost zero public disagreement with that person. Any disagreement must be handled in the privacy of the relationship.

Maybe Senior General than Shwe, as a strong military-type, also expects this kind of blind loyalty from all the generals.

Under conditions of turbulence, old-style captains cannot expect blind obedience. Truth is what will help all to move forward. Under whitewater conditions of extreme turbulence, what we need is a newer model of leadership, not that of a calm captain of an ocean-going vessel.

Vaill would argue that all leadership today is currently operating under whitewater conditions. Because of the Internet and the convergence of new technologies, leadership models must change to reflect new realities. He might ask, for instance: What is the real meaning of leadership under whitewater rafting conditions?

Message for Senior General than Shwe:

Robert Greenleaf’s ‘servant leadership model’, which emulates the ‘work with me and not for me’ motto should actually be the right one to replace Than Shwe’s ‘Listen to me, obey my orders’ military doctrine. There were many good speeches and slogans but things were done wrongly on the ground.  

  • Myanmar Military should work with the people.
  • Myanmar Military should work with all the opposition groups.
  • Myanmar Military should work with the NLD including their present leaders including Daw aung San Suu Kyi.
  • Myanmar Military should work with all the Ethnic Minority groups.
  • Myanmar Military should work with all the Religious Minority groups.

Senior General, you need their cooperation, their advise, their blessings to face the whole world. Their experience can tell you the truth about what is happening on the ground.

  • You need to work with them and not ask them to work for you.
  • You need to work with them  and no need to lock them up in the jails.
  • You need to work with them  and no need to lock them up in in their houses as house arrests.
  • You need to work with them  and no need to be afraid to talk to them.
  • You need to work with them  and no need to be afraid to start a dialogue with them, discuss and negotiate with them.
  • You need to work with them  and start a  national reconciliatory process which could eventually protect you, other SPDC generals, families, friends and cronies.

They will not and cannot do this as if you refuse to allow them or rufuse to listen to them or you recognize and respect them as the valuable personalities in their own rights. And they have as much if not more experience to provide leadership under whitewater conditions.

The ‘servant leadership model’ requires one to become chairperson of the board but not try to lead like an Old Captain. The person does not table papers but listens to ideas and steers the discussion towards a consensus decision.

Peter Drucker calls this ‘wise leadership’.

My three sen worth of suggestions for Sr General Than Shwe:

  • Let the people ask any question they choose and encourage open dialogue.
  • Do not protect anyone, let each carry their own weight or sack them if need be.
  • Ask all your generals to sincerely work with you and not for you.

You must start out right with good intentions, by making everyone  in SPDC to declare their assets publicly.

The people will judge you in the coming referendum and election by what you do and not just what you say.

Integrity means both –

  • doing what you say
  • and then preaching only what you have already practiced.

Let me end with a quote from John F Kennedy, who in his first speech as US president said: “Ask not what the country can do for you but ask what you can do for the country.”  

Myanmar Tatmadaw should review both the cat and dog loyalty models, and try to distinguish how every public servant and military official can serve first the public and national interest (defined as the interest of all the people of Myanmar, not just any one group regardless of how we carve the cake).

 

March 27 Myanmar Military day message

  March 27 Myanmar Military day message

Modified and edited the original letter, Arrogance? Never again”, by Tanya  in the Malaysiakini .

I have edited and adapted to the Myanmar context from the original article. I hope that Tanya 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.

The absolute power of the successive ruling Tatmadaw Junta Generals corrupted them absolutely and their hubris led to their downfall.

The military dictators ravaged Myanmar/Burma for over 46 years, taking away our right to free speech, instilling fear, corrupting the country to the core, and depriving us of the wealth of this country by allowing it as largesse for his cronies. The ruling top senior general’s arrogance filtered down to the `little Napoleon generals’ who outdid him in his arrogance in implementing his will.

One of the greatest crime of the Sr General Than Shwe was the crime of ‘commission by omission’. He also let his greedy family enrich themselves at the country’s expense. However, I still do think he is a cut above the diabolical council of Tatmadaw’s crooks.

Cronies sat down and wagged their tails, happy that they got the crumbs from the table.

Dear Senior General, with all the wealth that you have now, and after all these years of your so-called “service to your people and country”, did you manage to buy peace of mind and dignity in your old age?

General Ne Win was the kind of shameless and under-handed leader we have had for over twenty years. He and his band of brigand cabinet ministers rode roughshod over the people, especially the non-Burmese, very often with barely concealed contempt for them, and most often with open contempt. His was the legacy that was continued during the days of the Than Shwe.

I call on all Myanmar/Burmese citizens from today to never, never, ever again tolerate the kind of arrogance we have been subjected to all these years at the hands of these fellows who have been mistakenly thinking they are our lords and masters. From today we will reclaim our birthright, which includes the right to liberty, freedom of expression and equality before the law. And we will remind the despicable autocrats that they have been put in their positions to serve and deliver, as our servants. They will listen when we speak our minds.

Tatmadaw Yebaws or military rank and file have been made pawns in the game played by these heartless; morally bankrupt generals, solely for the purpose of enriching and empowering themselves.

I am saying this from the bottom of my heart: if the Tatmadaw wants to be a strong and respected force that counts on the global stage, if they want their progeny to be a generation of winners, then they don’t need such generals. All they need is to believe in themselves, claim their pride and dignity, and compete on a level playing field with the civilians. I sincerely believe they can do this. Just go for it.

Most crucial at this juncture is that the delicate balance of racial and religious harmony is maintained. Without that everything else will be futile.

The Myanmar Tatmadaw will go all out to turn the Bamas against the other races. They must never succeed in this. Let us not be deceived by the Tatmadaw generals’ lies and start to distrust each other. If we work for the common good, we can ensure that all of us, will prosper. Isn’t that what we all want?

I would like to exhort all Tatmadaw rank and files not to let these evil generals poison your minds against the other minority races and minority religious persons.

If we let those generals win at their game we will all become abject losers. Above all, let us all have generous hearts. Let us not believe in the adage ‘beggar thy neighbour’. On the contrary let us believe in ‘prosper thy neighbour’. Together we will prevail.

Note: Rank and file (Idiom) =

  • Followers,
  • the general membership.

This expression comes from the military, where_

  • a rank denotes soldiers standing side by side in a row,
  • and file refers to soldiers standing behind one another.

The first recorded figurative use of this term was in 1860. 

e.g. This new senator really appeals to the rank and file in the labor unions.

 

Life beyond Referendum

Life beyond Referendum

_ by Thuria Tayza (He sent this e-mail to me)

The referendum is coming. Regardless of political opposition’s denunciation of it as a sham, a sham referendum for a pro-military constitution drafted by a convention of much compliant delegates hand-picked by the military; and despite United Nations’ request to the junta to formulate a more inclusive and more transparent process, the de facto military rulers of Burma are going ahead with their planned referendum where existing and newly crafted laws threaten any body who dares to speak anything against it will face long prison sentences, which in Burma usually comes with an automatic bonus of tortures and ill-treatments. The military junta has rejected United Nations’ proposal to send UN monitors for the referendum. Notwithstanding the plan to hold constitutional referendum in May, majority of people in Burma haven’t seen the draft constitution; actually they don’t even know yet when exactly the referendum will be. Electoral registers are not yet complete, virtually non existent in many remote places of Burma where at least half of the country is either covered by jungles or on difficult terrains of steep hills and tall mountains. In spite of all these it is quite certain, at least for the junta, that the result of the referendum will be a “Yes”, that is even if people actually vote “No” in an overwhelming majority. The referendum is just a formality for the junta to enable them to announce that Burma has been given a new constitution, whether people like it or loathe it. That’s why junta has already declared that general elections will be held in 2010 under the new constitution which is yet to be approved by referendum!

Even though people loathe it and international community denounce it, the new constitution is going to be a very useful tool for the junta. After brutally killing dozens of Buddhist monks in a peaceful demonstration for better living conditions and improved human rights in Burma last year, the military junta came under immense pressure from United Nations and wide ranging sanctions from all self-respecting democratic governments around the world. Even junta’s main sponsor, communist Chinese government, felt embarrassed by Burmese Generals’ blatant breach of human rights. And there is a personal need for Senior General Than Shwe, the supreme leader of junta, who is alleged to be suffering from severe hypertension, diabetes and some intestinal tumours, to get a safe way out before he dies to leave a secure future for his family and a powerful legacy for his loyal followers in the military. A new civilian government, controlled by the military from behind the scene, under the new constitution will give Gen. Than Shwe a chance to claim that he has given a disciplined democracy to Burma. He has already time and again emphasized that Burma’s democracy will be in Burmese style, not American style. And junta’s big brothers China and Russia, and neighbouring countries like India and Thailand who want to get natural gas at a cheap price from Burmese generals will endorse junta’s claims of achieving disciplined democracy in Burma. So, although every self-respecting politician in the democratic hemisphere knows that Burmese people have been given a very bad deal for a fake democracy by their military government, the establishing of a so called disciplined democracy will buy Burmese generals some credibility in other hemisphere influenced by China, Russia and India.

As it is, the political opposition inside Burma and in exile know the fate awaiting them beyond the referendum. But, as terribly weak they are, as dreadfully disunited they are, and as woefully disorganized they are, the political opposition have no ways and means, i.e. no political institution or influence, to stop the referendum, or even to disrupt it. Since all brave and bold activists have been put behind bars during the Saffron Revolution last year, only a few elderly politicians are remaining outside jail, and they are these days just acting as care takers of the apparently exhausted main opposition party, looking forward with their weary eyes to a day in the dim future when the party will be revived by some miracle.

Some exile activists are suggesting boycotting the referendum. Perhaps, they may be able to persuade people in Burma not to vote in the referendum. The low turn out at the referendum may discredit it; but as the latest referendum law does not mention the minimum level of turn out for its validity, low turn out will not stop junta from declaring victory. On the other hand, it’s a certainty that junta will force its soldiers, soldiers’ families and civil servants to cast a “Yes” vote. And, junta lackey militant Kyant-phut and Swan-arr-shin organizations will mobilize their members to intimidate people to go to voting stations and vote “Yes”. Eventually, junta will just count what ever “Yes” votes they can garner and declare that more than 99.99% has voted Yes!

So, alternatively, some suggest making a “No” campaign, to urge people to go and vote No. There’s no question about people’s loathing of corrupt military rulers, and in all possibilities people will take “No” vote as their natural revenge on the brutal military junta. So “No” vote is the natural outcome for the referendum, provided it be genuinely free and fair with real secret voting system. “No” vote will teach a tough lesson to the military and seriously damage their ambition for a perpetual dominance in Burma’s politics. That’s why the all powerful military will not allow “No” campaign to win. Even now, to dishearten “No” campaigners, military is spreading rumours that if “No” campaign wins, another national convention will be convened again which will take another fifteen years like the previous one, effectively giving the military another fifteen years at least to go on ruling as transitional de facto government.

No one knows exactly how the military will respond to a victory of “No” vote. But, nonetheless, people will just have to vote “No” to a constitution which gives 25% of seats in both houses of parliament to military officers hand-picked by their commander-in-chief, which allows military to operate as a totally independent institution with no control what so ever by civilian government on it, which allows military to take over power virtually at any time they like, which allows only three presidential candidates with one of then to be hand-picked by the military. Only fools and soldiers will vote “Yes” to such a constitution; “No” vote is the only choice for people, and “No” campaign is a must for all political activists.

But, as no one knows if the military will really hold a free and fair referendum, as no one knows how military will respond to a “No” victory, and as nothing is certain in Burma where a bunch of unreasonable military generals have absolute control over everything, “No” campaign alone will not be enough solution for Burma’s problems. And, politicians and activists who want to carry on the torch of their political aspirations into long distant future, however bleak it might be, need to start preparing now for all eventualities beyond 2008 May referendum.

Here, it’d not be very impolite to point out an important reason of the chronic failure of Burma’s pro-democracy movement, that is the very re-active nature of many a movement leaders who lack pro-active plans but like to issue one ineffectual statement after another only in a sluggish response to those cunning political moves by street-wise military generals extending and strengthening their powers. Usually, whenever Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is under house-arrest, her deputies just wait for her return, acting only as quiescent care-takers in the mean time. But the problem is she has been under house-arrest most of the time during the last two decades. So, it’s not surprising that she seems to become quite frustrated with the current situation of apparent lack of life in her party. And she, during her last meeting earlier this year with her party elders, pointed out to them the need to carry on the fight with or without her inspiration, and to be able to make decisions with or without her guidance, especially at this critical moment for the future of the country.

So, while making “No” campaign, activists should also start thinking about the next steps to take when military junta declare, in a believe-it-or-not manner, that their constitution has been approved by referendum.

When the new constitution come into effect, by hook or by crook, there will open up three main options to continue the fight against military oppressors _

  1. To take the new constitution as the symbol of total defeat and failure of current non-violent struggle, and launch an all out armed revolution.
  2. To continue the non-violent struggle but in a more active manner, taking direct actions frequently, mobilizing Saffron Revolution style people power uprisings as frequently as possible, trying to destabilize any future puppet civilian government under military control.
  3. To play along with the new constitution and take part in elections and attempt to fight any future puppet civilian government from inside, or from inside the parliament
    Actually, all these three components can be used in a harmoniously synchronized combination. But to accomplish such a massive political effort and organization, pro-democracy parties will need new generations of more daring and more active leaders.

In reality, number two and number three options are more practically feasible than the first, as armed revolution nowadays seem to become totally obsolete. Since “nine eleven” no government around the world would provide assistance to an armed revolution in Burma, however much sympathetic they are to Burma’s struggle for democracy. And all those successful coloured democratic uprisings (velvet one in Georgia, orange one in Ukraine, etc) in recent history are based on non-armed movements. Even the terrorist Hamas has finally come to power in Gaza Strip through political elections. Likewise, today’s major armed ethnic resistance groups in Burma, if they understand changing trends in the world, will in near future need to form political wings like Sin Fein of IRA, to take part in elections and to make two-pronged efforts (non-armed political offensives as well as armed self defence against any attempted genocide) ultimately towards self-determination and autonomy in their homelands.

If the pro-democracy movement, especially the movement’s main political party the National League for Democracy NLD, is to survive and thrive beyond 2008, and beyond 2010, the party must try to build political muscle. Of course, military junta and its security apparatuses and its future successor puppet civilian government will all try their best to contain and crush NLD party. But if there’s a will, there will be a way. There had been many instances in the past where activists successfully organized strong movements despite intense scrutiny and tight control by security forces; e.g. , under difficult situations students organized and mobilized protests in 1987, 1988, 1996, and student leaders initiated white shirt movement and open heart campaigns of 2006 and anti-inflation demonstrations of 2007 despite the junta stamping down on them. And with the new constitution and new elections in 2010, it will become inevitable for military junta to allow some room for political activities inside the country. So NLD must try to regroup and rebuild itself, and must try to establish a well organized political institution inside the country, mostly above ground but also some under ground elements as required; and there must be a long line up, a virtually endless supply, of new generation leaders who will take over and carry on the fight whenever their senior colleagues are arrested or eliminated by the military.

Most important above all else will be to bring together people power; to re-align the movement as one for the people, and by the people, instead of a movement by a small group of politicians for transfer of power to their party.

Recently, there has been poverty relief efforts and rice distribution by Amyotheryei U Win Naing and group. And, there was Ko Htin Kyaw and group who voiced people’s concerns for the worsening poverty, lack of credible social welfare and lack of electricity supply, etc. And, there was an effort by Phyu Phyu Thin and group to provide assistance to HIV patients. And there were attempts by Su Su Nway and group to protect the rights of people used as forced labourers by the military. And there even is a group led by actor Kyaw Thu providing free funeral arrangements for poor families. And there are many a faceless civilian journalists and bloggers from inside Burma who try to record the sufferings of people and spread the word to the outside world. And there are numerous groups which are providing healthcare, education, food, shelter and other helps to refugees, migrants and displaced people along Thai-Burma border.

But sadly, we haven’t seen anything significant done, or said, by current caretaker leaders of the movement, and the elected people’s representatives inside and outside the country, for the relief of poverty and sufferings of the people.

Since 1990, all policy platforms of current caretaker leaders of the movement and the elected people’s representatives inside and outside the country have steadfastly been based on 1990 election results; all statements issued, all request and proposals made to the junta, all petitions and open letters written to United Nations, all policy initiatives laid down, and all political strategies designed have consistently been centred around 1990 election results and the need to get power transferred according to 1990 election results.

But the truth is, after nearly two whole decades, under very terrible real-life situations on the ground, the long suffering and now virtually starving people are no longer interested in election results of twenty years ago. And, the younger newer generation activists of today were either born after 1990 elections or were in a very tender young childhood at the time of the election. So, although they care very much about nowadays’ terrible poverty suffered by their fellow country men under a corrupt military junta, they do not care that much about an election result some two decades ago which the military junta refused to recognize.

And remember that the massive Saffron Revolution of 2007 was not at all about politics or political parties or political elections. The people in 2007 were already absolutely poor and on the brink of starvation which was dramatically worsened by junta’s five-fold increase in fuel prices. Angry people led by their student leaders came out onto streets and marched and made protests which were supported by Buddhist monks, which led to brutal beatings by soldiers on the monks, which in turn angered the mass of Buddhist monks and devotees in majority Buddhist country Burma, eventually leading to the explosion of the Saffron Revolution. So it is very clear that Saffron Revolution exploded solely and spontaneously out of people’s poverties and miseries, nothing to do with politicians or political parties.

Since before 1990, and until now, people of Burma have been trying to get rid of an unwanted military rule. But there is a delicate and gradual change in underlying reason to get rid of the military rule. In 1990s people were angry with the military junta because they felt that, by refusing to recognize 1990 election results, the military had cheated people of their legitimate choice of government. But in 2007 and now, people are angry with the military junta because military generals’ corruptions, brutalities and incompetence has caused so much and so terrible sufferings to the people.

So, if the pro-democracy movement is to survive and thrive beyond 2008 and 2010, there are two imminent and immediate requirements to fulfil.

The first is to reinvigorate the movement by getting more energetic new generation leaders who can get along and go along with people better, and are bold enough to initiate, organize and lead people power movements as required to take direct political action against military aggressors.

Nowadays’ younger generation of grass-root junior activists are looking for new generation leaders, like the 8888 generation students, who understand the people and are understood in return by the people, who sympathize with the people and are sympathized by the people, who speak out for the people and are spoken very highly of by the people, who stood up for the people and are rallied around by the people.

And the second requirement is to realign the movement with the people by speaking up about people’s sufferings, representing people’s interests, trying to help people in every possible way, fighting for the people, fighting to get power for the people but not fighting to get power for a party.

Usually, in democratic systems politicians whose policies best reflect people’s most pressing concerns have the best chance to get elected. Bill Clinton on economy platform during economic recessions of the beginnings of 1990s. Second Bush winning second term with a tough warrior stance on national security platform during an era of terrorist phobia.

As people in Burma are suffering quite a lot, there are a lot of things which Burmese politicians can speak out for their people. First of all there is very high inflation and low income, coupled with high un-employment and low morale. Many people are starving, and millions of children are malnourished. Child mortality rate is very high. With very meagre and poor quality health-care, maternal mortality rate is also high; and general population’s life expectancy is also very low. Nasty infectious diseases like HIV, TB, etc are very prevalent. Education system is very chaotic. Starving and un-educated children are sold into sex-slavery or used as under-age under-paid labourers. Jobless women also fall into prostitution in neighbouring countries. Military frequently uses people as unpaid forced labourers. Military also uses child soldiers. Military can confiscate people’s houses, land and any thing they want at any time and any where they like without giving any compensation. Judges, juries and the whole judicial system runs on bribery. The entire government bureaucratic system from top to bottom is rife with corruptions. And there is no media freedom, and all phones and emails and internet access are tightly controlled and monitored by security forces. If we go on and on (I¡Ä(B.. there will be an endless list of people’s sufferings. There is quite a lot for politicians to speak out on behalf of the people; they only need to have a will to do so. If politicians really love their country, as they usually tend to claim, they must think more about helping the people rather than about getting power for themselves. In a democratic system politicians really need to serve the people.

And, by the way, a few words about Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; there is a very strong possibility that the people’s long drawn-out struggle for human rights in Burma may outlive their leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. There is a very essential need to keep the freedom struggle and revolutionary spirit alive as long as necessary, until Burma become fully democratic with genuine and complete human rights, which may take up to twenty years or fifty years or even a century if all these democratic reforms and human rights improvements are to develop so very gradually against generations upon generations of hard-line dogmatic aggressive military generals who want to maintain their dominance in Burma’s politics. The need is real, and may be even urgent, to make sure that the struggle will not die down or fizzle out when, in an eventuality, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is no longer there to inspire it and lead it.

And concerning exile politicians; although they cannot serve the people directly, must try to make a difference in Burma’s politics by repeatedly telling the international community time and again about the non-inclusive nature of the constitution drafting convention, the un-democratic nature of the new constitution, the lack of transparency in the referendum, so the illegitimacy of coming elections in 2010, and also the puppet nature of the future civilian government which the military is trying to install under their control.

And for the United Nations and the international community; if they really want to help Burma, they must first try to understand the true nature of Burma’s current problems, and need to see clearly that Burma’s problem is not a power struggle between a political party and a military junta, but is about the suffering, poverty and misery of the people under a corrupt and incompetent military junta. So if international community want to give a genuine help to people of Burma, they must try to help relieve sufferings of the people, and also get more freedom for the people if possible. Before UN envoy Mr Gambari’s latest visit to Burma, when he sent five written requests to the junta, one of the requests was about co-operations between UN and Burmese junta to make a joint effort for poverty relief for the poor people of Burma. But it was rudely rejected by the military junta. But Mr Gambari should not be disappointed by the junta’s total indifference towards people’s sufferings, but keep up his good work and try again, and again, to provide direct help to the people.

And the future civilian government after 2010 elections (even though it most probably will be a puppet one); it should try its best to reduce hostilities among all political factions in Burma, and try to build trust, try to be flexible, and try to work well with all politicians and parties in the parliament; should even try to form a broad-based big-tent government if possible.

One last word, for the generals, about sanctions_ generals need to understand that sanctions are the fruits of their own wrong doings. As long as military dominance is persisting in Burma, so also will the sanctions be on the businesses of military generals, their families and cronies. Sanctions nowadays are a default response mechanism of international community to any authoritarian regime. So if they really want lifting of sanctions, Burmese generals need to show that they deserve it by making solid credible, even if gradual, reforms in the right direction.

(The author got the M.B.,B.S. Medical Degree from Burma but is not practising in UK. He  is now a post graduate Law student in London; and general secretary of the UK-based exile branch of Burma’s National League for Democracy)

Gambari diplomatically hiding his failure

 Gambari diplomatically hiding his failure

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

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

The Nation, Published on March 13, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Supalak Ganjanakhundee

The Nation

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

Persistence and patience

don’t pay in Burma

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Nation

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

  Don’t waste time and money

Just order the new Constitution

and continue ruling Myanmar forever

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

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

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

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

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

We don’t think so.

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

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

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

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

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

But be careful, in every fairytale_

THE GOOD ALWAYS TRIUMPH OVER THE BAD!

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

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

This theme repeats itself numerous times_

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

The virtue always prevails.

The evil would ultimately vanish.

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

 

Resounding vote of NO could lead to the Second Independence

Resounding vote of NO

could lead to the

Second Independence

I have edited and adapted to the Myanmar context from the original column in Malaysiakini by KJ John. I hope that  Malaysiakini and KJ John 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.

 

 

‘The Japan that Can Say No’ was a book co-written by Sony chairman Akio Morita and politician Shintaro Ishihara during Japan’s rise as an economic power-house in 1989.

As a sequel many years later he and Dr Mahathir Mohamed co-wrote a book called, ‘The Asia that Can Say No!’

  1. Of course, they were talking about saying ‘No’ to the US and its Western allies and their agenda in Asia.
  2. Burmese citizens should also say a clear and clean NO to the SPDC’s referendum.
  3. Burmese citizens should also say a loud and clear NO to permanent Military dominance in Myanmar politics.
  4. Burmese citizens should also say a loud and clear NO corruption.
  5. Burmese citizens should also say a loud and clear NO cronyism.
  6. Burmese citizens should also say a loud and clear NO to the lack of transparency.
  7. Burmese citizens should also say a loud and clear NO to the lack of accountability. 
  8. Burmese citizens should also say a loud and clear NO to the lack of humility.
  9. Burmese citizens should also say a loud and clear NO to the lack of justice for all.
  10. Burmese citizens should also say a loud and clear NO to the lack of righteousness.

What did the people really need to say?

Is it that we were against Myanmar Tatmadaw per se or its politics of anti-multi-ethnicity?

Was it that we could not agree with the lack of_

  • Individual Freedom?
  • Religious freedom?
  • Human Rights?
  • Political freedom?
  • Freedom of speech?
  • Freedom of association?

We must vote NO to show clearly that we could not accept the fake democracy so called ‘disciplined democracy’.

Tatmadaw leaders should instead discipline themselves from their_

  • uncontrolled greediness,
  • uncontrollably high megalomania,
  • sky-high pride,
  • anger,
  • rudeness,
  • stubboness,
  • injustices
  • and barbarism e.t.c.

We need to send the real message in black and white with the on paper official verdict of resounding NO at referendum.

The real meaning of the message of NO in referendum should mean: ‘We the Burmese/Myanmar citizens have the right to decide on our government; not the SPDC, mainstream media, not the Kyant Phut and Swan Arrshin cronies.’  

I believe that it should be a vote against_

  • the arrogance of the SPDC,
  • the false promises,
  • the many lies told
  • and the lack of true, honest and sincere accountability to the people;
  • for that is what democracy is all about.

And worst of all was the SPDC government’s false assumption that ‘we the people’ could not see through the smokescreen!

Burma/Myanmar will never be the same again. We could even call this another struggle or a revolution for a new second Independence – Yes; maybe it should be called the real Independence!

Resounding NO would be a great victory for the people.

  • It should be a vote against the SPDC’s inability to listen to the voice of the people.
  • We should work together against corruption in any form and cronyism in all forms.
  • We should work together to revert to the rule of law – you cannot go wrong and the law will always be on your side.
  • The Truely Democratic Constitution should be supreme and the rule of law should be our guide.

We need to oppose the Rule by Law concept of the Tatmadaw. They believe that the arbitrary Law or power come out from the barrel of the gun.

The biblical story of David and Goliath could be repeated if we dare to confront the Myanmar Military at the referendum.

The ‘small’ ones, NLD and Daw Suu led oppositions campaigned on our true democratic principles, while the SPDC, Kyant Phuts and Swan Arrshin ‘big’ ones fought with the power of incumbency, with abuse of authority, and without willingness to listen.

The problem of the SPDC Generals is:

  • they have become so arrogant.
  • They suppress any opinion that they do not like
  • and they begin to believe in their own reports, which are not actually consistent with what is happening in the country.”

Moreover, the Tatmadaw leadership was drunk with power and believed many of its own lies. 

While at George Washington University, I had a full professor of two fields of knowledge: political science and psychology. He once gave a talk on “the socio-psychological profile of disabled leaders”, having studied political leaders of a 100-year period.  

He concluded that all political leaders achieve “their disabilities” when they stop listening to the contrarian’s views and start believing false information given by their aids, who often concoct the stories to build up their own hypothesis.

Let us take the example of SPDC advertisements all over Burma. They were so simplistic and naïve while full of lies, that almost all the citizens ignored them.

Fascist Myanmar SPDC Junta

Fascist Myanmar SPDC Junta

I have edited and adapted to the Myanmar context from the original letter to Malaysiakini by TCM. I hope that  Malaysiakini and TCM could understand and forgive for this. They should even be proud that they could contribute a very good letter for the fellow Myanmar/Burmese citizens.

It never ceases to amaze me why Burmese people continue to tolerate the SPDC Junta and Tatmadaw’s raping of Burma. Okay, I can understand if the leeches (pronounced ‘cronies’) like the military, but why anyone else?

Corruption

Everyone knows that corruption is a plague in Myanmar condoned and willingly spread by SPDC.

What is corruption by the SPDC Military government?

In its simplest form, it is the illegal raping of a county’s economic wealth – meant for the benefit of the citizen – for the personal accounts of the privileged few.

If every employee of a bank, for example, jointly conspired to steal money from your account, which you had trusted them to manage, would you continue placing your money in that bank? Furthermore, would you elect some of these same employees to represent you in more important matters affecting your children? It’s as simple as that. So why continue to tolerate SPDC?

Racism

As long as human beings have an independent thought process, there will always be some level of racism. That’s inevitable.

However, institutionalized racism is a whole different thing, which Myanmar Tatmadaw Generals practices.

This is apartheid, i.e., a policy of segregation and political and economic discrimination for a particular race(s).

Racist discrimination is found in all aspects of Myanmar society, i.e., entrance to higher educational institutions, scholarships, employment, land grants, business opportunities, licenses, etc. It has become the new religion of Tatmadaw.

Cronyism

This goes hand-in-hand with corruption and racism. In Myanmar, corruption and racism is unique.

Even within a particular race, further discrimination is encountered through cronyism. This is why no matter what form of institutionalized racist laws are implemented, not all persons of that race will reap the benefits.

In Myanmar, it’s the elite Military and ex-military personals and a few members of Swan Arrshin, Kyant Phut e.t.c. that will benefit. In view of this unique system of racial discrimination, the non-privileged poverty- stricken Burmese citizens will forever remain poor while the privileged elite Generals and cronies will have a larger share of the economic pie.

Intelligence

When we choose a person to represent us in a legal suit, we want a person who is competent and who will be able to safeguard our interests.

When we choose a doctor, we want a person who is familiar and competent with our ailment.

Similarly, when we choose a person to represent us in the government, we want a person who is competent and will be able to safeguard our interests. So why why should we accept military candidates?

Democracy vs. Fascism

Democracy

A democratic government is a government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives. One of the crucial elements of a democratic system is a strong opposition. The opposition is a vital part of the democratic system.

Fascism

  • Do not confuse Fascism with Nazism.
  • Nazism is not a government structure.
  • Fascism is a government structure.

The most notable characteristic of a fascist country is the separation and persecution or denial of equality to a specific segment of the population based upon superficial qualities or belief systems. (Read Burmese Muslims, Mixed blooded Indians and Rohingyas e.t.c.)

  • Simply stated, a fascist government always has one class of citizens that is considered superior to another based upon race, creed or origin.
  • Fascism promotes legal segregation in housing, national resource allocations and employment.
  • It provides legal justification for persecuting a specific segment of the population and operates behind a two-tiered legal system.
  • In fascism, one segment of society is always considered less desirable, sub-human or second class.

 

 

It’s about equal rights

  It’s about equal rights

I have adapted the original letter to Malaysiakini by Seethalakshmi Suppiah 

I hope Malaysiakini and  Seethalakshmi Suppiah could understand and forgive for this. They should even be proud that they could contribute a very good letter for the fellow Myanmar/Burmese citizens.

We are familiar with the term ‘divide and conquer’ as both the Roman and British empires put this tactic into practice. In order to maintain power and control, they resorted to turning the people against each another.

Typically religion, language, or caste is brought into play to turn people against each another, thus making it easier for the would-be controllers to exploit and take control. They realised that people who are united would be able to oppose their rule.

This divide and rule, although sometimes a slow process, is evidently effective and subtle, so subtle that we do not recognise it happening until it gets out of hand. This strategy normally involves:

  • Creating or encouraging divisions among the subjects in order to forestall alliances that could challenge the sovereign.
  • Aiding and promoting those who are willing to cooperate with the sovereign.
  • Fostering distrust and enmity between local rulers.
  • Encouraging frivolous expenditures that leave little money for political and military ends.

As an example of divide and rule, the British Empire exercised the following tactic in Sri Lanka where hey made it mandatory for race to be indicated on official documents and forms.

Does all this information ring an all too familiar bell? Does this all this seem to be happening around us? To us? To our loved ones? To our acquaintances? To our fellow citizens?

It puzzles me that we hardly see ourselves as Burmese. Why do we identify ourselves as Bamas, Shans, Kachin, Chin, Mons, Chinese, Indian, Muslims and everything in between but never just as Burmese? I think these divisions have been implanted into our system over the years. Our minds, from a very tender age, have been tempered with and manipulated.

We are all citizens of the same country, from the same vernacular although sometimes we refuse to see it.

Who is to say that if someone asks for our rights which are due to them, that they should return to their country of origin?

How is this logical when this is our homeland?

We were born on this land, we are Burmese.

We should not have to go to some foreign country to get our rights or to make it in life or to feel accepted. Nevertheless, this is the case here in this country and this is a serious flaw. This flaw in my opinion cannot be addressed unless we all see ourselves as Burmese, we unite, we love and respect each other and we demand equal rights for all.

I strongly believe that this is not an impossible dream. My friends and I of various race, religion, colour, size, sexual preference, gender and so on and so forth have been able to discuss everything under the sun without inciting hate or getting offended so I’m sure the rest of us can too. In fact, I must add, we have grown so fond of each other that we love and respect a person for exactly who he or she is without holding against anything them.

My point is, it is not about special rights, it is about equal rights. Our rights belong right here on this land, this country. I remember so clearly citing:

“Kabar_ Ma Kyae

Bamar_Pyae

Darr_Doe’ Pye

Darr_Doe’ Myae

Doe’_ Paine Dae’ Myaee

Doe’ Pye

Doe’ Myae . . . . .”, so many times in school in full spirit though all the while we were being separated. Are we really going to sit around and take it? Don’t you think it is time we joined hands and embraced each other for what we truly are, Burmese?

The way I look at it, it is pretty much in our hands. We are not to be afraid of the government. It is after all supposed to be the people’s government and not the government’s people. As diverse as we are, let us unite. Vote wisely in the referendum to reject the extremists, autocrats and dictators

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