History repeats itself: the fall of the Myanmar Military Dictators

History repeats itself:

the fall of the Myanmar Military Dictators

30 April 1975 was the day that Saigon fell. And it fell because the government did not have its fingers on the pulse of the nation. 30 May 2008 may be the day that Senior General Than Shwe — and therefore SPDC as well — falls after getting a beating on 8 May 2008.

Modified and edited the article, “Back to the future: the fall of Saigon revisited” by DYMM Raja Petra Kamarudin  in the Malaysia Today’s THE CORRIDORS OF POWER chapter.

 I have edited and adapted to the Myanmar context from the original article. I hope that DYMM Raja Petra Kamarudin  could understand and forgive us for this. He should even be proud that they could contribute a very good article for the fellow Myanmar/Burmese citizens.

Saigon finally fell on 30 April 1975 after a protracted war that saw countless lives lost.

The fall of Saigon was not about superior firepower because that is exactly what the Vietcong did not possess. If anyone had superior firepower it was the vanquished, not the victor. But in a mere three days the superior Americans were sent packing back to Washington with their tails between their legs.

The fall of Saigon and eventually that of the entire Vietnam can be attributed to one fundamental problem.

  • The government was in denial mode.
  • They did not understand what the real problem was
  • and they failed to recognize that the army no longer had any will to win.
  • The war against communism can’t be won with guns alone.
  • The people must also have the desire to reject communism.
  • This was the secret of the British success in its war against the Communist Party of Malaya.

The British realized that the government cannot win the war against communism or communist terrorism.

  • It has to be the people themselves who must want to reject communism.
  • To achieve this, the British embarked on a campaign to win the hearts and minds of the people.
  • It can’t be a war of guns or of superior firepower.
  • It has to be a ‘war’ of winning over the support of the people.

This was what the British saw. But this was not what the Americans saw. So Malaya sustained while Vietnam fell.

The present SPDC Myanmar Military government took the route of the Americans rather than that of the British in the coming referendum and general election.

  • And the May 2008 referendum and the general election later would prove what a disastrous route this can be.
  • Myanmar Military thought it had superior firepower and it threw everything it had at the opposition.
  • But where the opposition lacked in political power, military might, government machinery, money and media control it more than made up for in strategy.
  • And where the SPDC government failed, the opposition succeeded.
  • And where the opposition lacked in ‘firepower’, it compensated for by winning the hearts and minds of the voters.

So all of us vote NO in the coming referendum.

Let’s crush the mask of illegitimate government by voting NO.

Let’s prove the whole world and UN that we, BURMESE CITIZENS reject the sham democracy of SPDC Junta.

Let’s free our Daw Suu with this vote of NO.

Let’s free our Ethnic Minority leaders with this vote of NO.

Let’s free our 88 Generation leaders with this vote of NO.

Let’s free our Saffron Revolution revered monks with this vote of NO.

Let’s free our all the political prisoners with this vote of NO.

Let’s free our country with this vote of NO.

Let’s free BURMA with this vote of NO.

 

 

Criminal terrorist PM Samak praises Myanmar Junta

  Criminal terrorist Thai PM Samak

praises Myanmar Junta

(BangkokPost.com) – Mr Samak Sundaravej hailed his trip to Burma last Friday as a success when he spoke on his weekly television programme aired on Channel 11 on Sunday.

The premier said he managed to talk to Burmese Prime Minister Thein Sein about several important issues including bilateral cooperation on the economic front, and on energy issues.

 “It was my job as a prime minister to judge the country through first hand experience. The general view of this country has always been one-sided, but there are two sides to a coin,” he said.

My comment: You must open both eyes and look at Myanmar. Now you closed one eye meant for the democracy, Justice and Human Rights. You open only one eye look at the benefits of your country, your cronies and yourself. And that only eye you looked at Myanmar is also covered with the greedy green spectacle.

The premier said before he left that he would not bring up human rights or democracy issues with the dictators, and also wound up witnessing the signing of a previously secret economic agreement that mandates Thai cooperation with Burma in several economic projects.

Mr Samak added that the trip made him realise that Burma is a peaceful Buddhist country. The country’s prime minister even prays and meditates on a daily basis.

My comment: In Burmese there is a saying,

” Pasat Ka_Phaya Phaya.

Let Ka_Karyar Karyar.”

So what? Myanmar PM prays and meditate daily. Pray for what? Asking Buddha to forgive the killings, torturing and jailing of Monks, demonstrators and unarmed civilians who protested peacefully?

Let’s the history of that bird with the same feathers with Myanmar SPDC Junta leaders_

Samak Sundaravej 

Samak Sundaravej (Thai: สมัคร สุนทรเวช) (born June 13, 1935) has been the Prime Minister of Thailand since January 2008, as well as the leader of the People’s Power Party since August 2007. He is of Chinese descent , ancestral surname Lee (李). Ref: [泰国] 洪林, 黎道纲主编 (April 2006). 泰国华侨华人研究. 香港社会科学出版社有限公司, 187. ISBN 962-620-127-4. 

In 1968 Samak joined the Democrat Party. Well connected to the military, Samak became head of its renegade right-wing faction. In the 1976 general election, he defeated Kukrit Pramoj and was made Deputy Interior Minister in the cabinet of Seni Pramoj. He quickly became prominent for arresting several left-wing activists. (Ref: Paul M. Handley. The King Never Smiles. Yale University Press (2006). )

Samak was removed from his ministerial position, and in reaction organised an anti-government demonstration calling for the removal of three young liberal Democrat ministers who he branded as being “communists”. On the evening of the massacre on October 6 he headed a lynch mob which confronted Prime Minister Seni in front of Government House. Although in 2008 interviews with CNN and al-Jazeera Samak denied complicity with the 6 October 1976 massacre that left officially at least 46 dead, the record tells otherwise. Accounts from witnesses, documents and published reports clearly identify Samak as chief operator of the “Armoured Car” radio programme, an ultra-right wing broadcast that constantly expounded anti-communist and pro-right propaganda.

Samak used this programme to stir up hatred against Thammasat University students, and intentionally disobeyed the Prime Minister’s orders at the time to “stop creating divisiveness.” In defending the return of 1973-ousted Field Marshal Praphat over the radio, Samak told listeners that students demonstrating against the dictator’s return were committing suicide.

Following the coup of October 6, 1976, Samak became Minister of the Interior in the administration of Tanin Kraivixien, a palace-favoured anti-Communist with a reputation for honesty. Samak immediately launched a campaign which saw hundreds of supposed leftists, many of whom were writers and other intellectuals, arrested.

In 1992, as Deputy Prime Minister in the Suchinda administration, Samak justified the military’s brutal suppression of pro-democracy demonstrators by declaring that the government had the right to do so as long as the United States could send troops to kill people in other countries. He remains unrepentant and continues to stand by his justification, stating that the military was merely trying to restore law and order after the pro-democracy demonstrators, which he branded as “troublemakers”, had resorted to “mob rule”.

 

The meeting between new Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej instead focused on growing anger over killings of Cambodian immigrant workers, a spokesman said Monday.

At Samak’s two-day visit at Cambodian, issues of disputed sea borders and border killings of itinerant Cambodians had come up.

As a newly-elected leader, Samak’s visit to neighbouring nations has become a tradition for new leaders of the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations, of which both countries are members.

Cambodian alleged that Thailand uses undue force in controlling Cambodian immigrant workers to Thailand, which results in at least a dozen shooting deaths at the hands of Thai border patrols per year, according to border police.

‘Please, do not use unnecessary violence (on the borders) because it could disturb the Cambodian people,’ Kanharith warned. ‘Thailand has full rights to control illegal immigrants, but Thailand should also respect human rights.’

Thai refused to accept the 1962 ruling of the International Court of Justice in the Hague that Preah Vihear temple belongs to Cambodia.

The oil field border dispute had been discussed extensively by Hun Sen and Samat, and Thailand had been urged to be less inflexible, allowing a ‘win-win situation between our two nations’.

As all of us know and Samak has also admitted that he is a proxy for Thaksin Shinawatra, let’s look at his puppet-master’s history_

Thaksin Shinawatra 

(Thai: ทักษิณ ชินวัตร, IPA: [tʰáksǐn tɕʰinnawát]; (Chinese: 丘達新), nickname แม้ว (maew, a northern Thailand hill tribe also known as Hmong), born July 26, 1949 in Chiang Mai, Thailand), Thai businessman and politician, is the former Prime Minister of Thailand, and the former leader of the populist Thai Rak Thai Party. He was in exile for 17 months until February 28, 2008, when he returned to Bangkok. Thaksin is commonly referred to by the Thai press as “maew” (Thai แม้ว) which is, the derogative term for a northern Thailand hill tribe also known as Hmong.

Thaksin attended the 10th class of the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School.[24] He then attended the Thai Police Cadet Academy and upon graduation, he joined the Royal Thai Police Department in 1973.

Thaksin started his career in the Thai police, and later became a successful entrepreneur, establishing Shin Corporation and Advanced Info Service, the largest mobile phone operator in Thailand. He became one of the richest people in Thailand prior to entering politics, although he and his family later sold their shares in Shin Corporation.

His government was frequently challenged with allegations of corruption, dictatorship, demagogy, treason, conflicts of interest, acting undiplomatically, tax evasion, the use of legal loopholes and hostility towards a free press. He was accused of lèse-majesté, selling domestic assets to international investors, and religious desecration. Independent bodies, including Amnesty International, also expressed concern at Thaksin’s human rights record. Human Rights Watch described Thaksin as “a human rights abuser of the worst kind”, alleging that he participated in media suppression and presided over extrajudicial killings. A series of attacks in 2005 and 2006 by Sondhi Limthongkul and his People’s Alliance for Democracy destroyed Thaksin’s name and reputation.  He was also subject to several purported assassination attempts.

Thaksin initiated several highly controversial policies to counter a boom in the Thai drug market, particularly in methamphetamine. After earlier anti-drug policies like border blocking (most methamphetamine is produced in Myanmar), public education, sports, and promoting peer pressure against drug use proved ineffective, Thaksin launched a multi-pronged suppression campaign that aimed to eradicate methamphetamine use in 3 months. The policy consisted of changing the punishment policy for drug addicts, setting provincial arrest and seizure targets, awarding government officials for achieving targets, targeting dealers, and “ruthless” implementation.

Over the next seven weeks, press reports indicate that more than 2,700 people were killed.[75] The Government claimed that only around 50 of the deaths were at the hands of the police. Human rights critics say a large number were extrajudicially executed. The government went out of its way to publicize the campaign, through daily announcements of arrest, seizure, and death statistics.

Thaksin’s anti-drug approach was effective and extremely popular. According to the Narcotics Control Board, the policy was extremely effective in reducing drug consumption, especially in schools, at least until the 2006 coup.

King Bhumibol, in his 2003 birthday speech, supported Thaksin’s anti-drugs approach, although he did request the commander of the police to categorize the deaths between those killed by police and those killed by fellow drug dealers. Police Commander Sant Sarutanond reopened investigations into the deaths, and again found that few of the deaths were at the hands of the police. A Bangkok university poll conducted in February 2003 revealed 92% of respondents backed Thaksin’s approach. Nevertheless, his anti-drug approach was widely criticized by international community. Thaksin requested that the UN Commission on Human Rights send a special envoy to evaluate the situation, but said in an interview, “The United Nations is not my father. I am not worried about any UN visit to Thailand on this issue.”

A year after the 2006 coup, the military junta ordered another investigation into the anti-drug campaign. Former Attorney General Kanit Na Nakhon chaired the special investigative committee. “The special committee will be tasked with an investigation to find out the truth about the deaths as well as to identify remedial measures for their relatives,” said Justice Minister Charnchai Likhitjittha.

The committee found that as many as 1400 of the 2500 killed had no link to drugs. However, while giving the opinion that orders to kill came from the top, the panel failed to establish sufficient evidence to charge Thaksin directly with the murders. The Nation (an English-language newspaper in Thailand) reported on November 27, 2007:

Of 2,500 deaths in the government’s war on drugs in 2003, a fact-finding panel has found that more than half was not involved in drug at all. At a brainstorming session, a representative from the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) Tuesday disclosed that as many as 1,400 people were killed and labeled as drug suspects despite the fact that they had no link to drugs. … Senior public prosecutor Kunlapon Ponlawan said it was not difficult to investigate extra-judicial killings carried out by police officers as the trigger-pullers usually confessed.

South Thailand insurgency

A resurgence in violence began in 2001 in the three southernmost provinces of Thailand which all have a Muslim, ethnic Malay majority. There is much controversy about the causes of this escalation of the decades long insurgency. Attacks after 2001 concentrated on police, the military, and schools, but civilians have also been targets. Thaksin has been widely criticized for his management of the situation, in particular the storming of the Krue Se Mosque, the deaths of civilian protesters at Tak Bai in Army custody, and the unsolved kidnapping of Muslim-lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit.

In October 2004, 84 Muslim human rights protesters were killed at Tak Bai when the Army broke up a peaceful protest.. The many detainees were forced at gunpoint to lie prone in Army trucks, stacked like cordwood. The trucks were delayed from moving to the detainment area for hours. Many detainees suffocated to death due to gross mishandling by the military. After the 2006 coup, the Army dropped all charges and investigations into Army misconduct related to the Tak Bai incident. Thaksin announced a escalation of military and police activity in the region. In July 2005, Thaksin enacted an Emergency Decree to manage the three troubled provinces. Several human rights organizations expressed their concerns that the decree might be used to violate civil liberties.

In March 2005, Thaksin established the National Reconciliation Commission, chaired by former Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun to oversee efforts to bring peace to the troubled South. In its final report released in June 2006, the commission proposed introducing Islamic law and making Pattani-Malay (Yawi) an official language in the region. The Thaksin administration assigned a government committee to study the report, while Muslims urged the government to act faster in implementing the proposals.

There have also been complaints that Thaksin appointed relatives to senior positions in the civil service and independent commissions, for example by elevating his cousin, General Chaiyasit Shinawatra, to Army commander-in-chief. In August 2002, he was promoted from Deputy Commander of the Armed Forces Development Command to become Deputy Army Chief. Both General Chaiyasit and Defense Minister General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh denied charges of nepotism at the time. General Chaiyasit replaced General Somthad Attanan as Army commander-in-chief. However, General Chaiyasit was replaced by General Prawit Wongsuwan in August 2004, after only a year in office. His replacement was in response to an escalation of violence in southern Thailand. Prawit was succeeded by Sonthi Boonyaratglin in 2005.

Thaksin was also accused of interference after the Senate appointed Wisut Montriwat (former Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance) to the position of Auditor General, replacing Jaruvan Maintaka.

Respected former Thai ambassador to the UN Asda Jayanama, in an anti-Thaksin rally, claimed that Thaksin’s two state visits to India were made in order to negotiate a satellite deal for Thaksin’s family-owned Shin Corporation. The accusation was countered by Foreign Minister Kantathi Suphamongkhon, who attended the state visits with Thaksin.

Thaksin’s government has been accused of exerting political influence in its crackdown on unlicensed community radio stations.

Thaksin has also been accused of being superstitious.

Thaksin often faced harsh comparisons. Social critic Prawase Wasi compared him to AIDS, Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda and Senator Banjerd Singkaneti compared him to Hitler, Democrat spokesman Ong-art Klampaibul compared him to Saddam Hussein, and the newspaper The Nation compared him to Pol Pot.

Thaksin has been engaged in a series of lawsuits brought by American businessman William L Monson regarding a cable-television joint venture the two partnered in during the 1980s.

Accusations by Sondhi Limthongkul

The political crisis was catalyzed by several accusations published by media mogul Sondhi Limthongkul, a former Thaksin supporter. These included accusations that Thaksin:

  • Restricted press freedom by suing Sondhi after Sondhi printed a sermon by a controversial monk (see Luang Ta Maha Bua incident)
  • Masterminded the desecration of the Erawan shrine (see Phra Phrom Erawan Shrine incident)

Sale of Shin Corporation

On January 23, 2006, the Shinawatra family sold their entire stake in Shin Corporation to Temasek Holdings. The Shinawatra and Damapong families netted about 73 billion baht (about US$1.88 billion) tax-free from the sale, using a regulation that made individuals who sell shares on the stock exchange exempt from capital gains tax.[132]

The transaction made the Prime Minister the target of accusations that he was selling an asset of national importance to a foreign entity, and hence selling out his nation. The Democrat party spokesman compared him to Saddam Hussein: “Saddam, though a brutal tyrant, still fought the superpower for the Iraqi motherland”.

Thaksin faced pressure to resign following the sale of Shin Corporation to Temasek Holdings.

2006 Bangkok New Year’s Eve bombings

On December 31, 2006 and January 1, 2007, several bombs exploded in Bangkok. Thaksin later went on CNN to deny any involvement in the bombings.[150]

Thaksin was assaulted while eating at a Thai restaurant in London. A Thai woman threw a glass at him – it was not known whether he was injured.[151]

His diplomatic passport was revoked in December 31, 2006 after the junta accused him of engaging in political activities while in exile. Thai embassies were ordered not to facilitate his travels.

In January 2007, the Financial Institutions Development Fund complied with an Assets Examination Committee request to file a charge against Thaksin and his wife over their purchase of four 772 million baht plots of land from the FIDF in 2003. The charge was based on alleged violation of Article 100 of the National Counter Corruption Act, which specificies that government officials and their spouses are prohibited from entering into or having interests in contracts made with state agencies under their authorisation. As in truth, this particular law,has been proposed before the Thaksin’s regime, by the Democrats.

The Assets Examination Committee also accused Thaksin of issuing an unlawful cabinet resolution approving the spending of state funds to buy rubber saplings. However, it did not accuse him of corruption.

In March 2007, the Office of the Attorney-General charged Thaksin’s wife and brother-in-law of conspiring to evade taxes of 546 million baht (US$15.6 million) in a 1997 transfer of Shin Corp shares.

The Assets Examination Committee rules that Thaksiin was guilty of malfeasance for obstructing competition by passing an executive decree that imposed an excise tax for telecom operators. Thaksin’s Cabinet approved an executive decree in 2003 that forced telecom operators to pay an excise tax of 10% on revenues for mobile phone operations, and 2% for fixed-line operations.

 Reference

Bangkok Post

Wikipedia

 

What an utter disgrace!

What an utter disgrace!

KAREN,   Selangor. Letter to the Star

WE saw three Bangladeshis, in their early 20s, standing at our front gate. One was holding a rubbish bin trying to protect himself while the other two asked us for help because some boys were chasing and throwing stones at them and blocking their path. 

My parents asked if they had done anything to the boys to receive such treatment but the three, almost in tears, said all they did was to go to the night market near my home to buy some food. The boys had followed and harassed them.  

The poor foreigners also grabbed the rubbish bins in front of my house to shield themselves. 

My parents and my brother followed them to the corner of the street and saw a group of boys, who upon seeing them just laughed and ran away when my parents called them.  

My parents then watched the three men walk home to their quarters.  

It was a pitiful sight. We were upset with the actions of the boys.  

Is these how human beings deserve to be treated? 

Don’t they too have feelings and dignity?  

These are basic human rights. Just because they are foreigners does not mean that they can be bullied and no one would come to their aid.  

We are easily influenced by all the stereotypes of the world and become prejudiced and judgmental when encountering foreigners like Indonesians, Bangladeshis, Indians or Africans.  

One of my friends told me her Nigerian college mate said that when he travelled to college by bus, no one would sit beside him, even if the bus was full. 

He said some Malaysians gave him suspicious looks as though he was up to no good. Sometimes, they would close their noses and mouths when he stood near.  

We are known as a friendly and warm people but is this perception really true?  

The time has come for everyone to learn to respect and treat one another with love regardless of race, religion or nationality.  

“Treat others as you would like to be treated”  

That is the golden rule of life that is to be found in the holy books of the major faiths – phrased differently but all with the same message. 

KAREN,  

Selangor.  

Don’t cry for me grandpa, Minister Mentor

Don’t cry for me grandpa, Minister Mentor

  

There is a Burmese saying_

Kyaw poo dar_khan naing thee

Naar poo dar_ma khan naing”.

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

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

Yes! Even our Prophet (PBUH) had taught us_

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SINGAPORE GOVERNMENT FAILS BECAUSE OF THAT FAILURE>

Just read the following article.

Don’t cry for me grandpa Lee,

Goodbye and thank you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

> High costs of living 

> Singapore is too regulated and stifling 

> Better career and prospects overseas 

> Prefer a more relaxed lifestyle 

> Uncertain future of Singapore. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Burmese Muslims requested the future leaders including the opposition leaders to grant the following Basic Human Rights

Burmese Muslims requested

the future leaders of Burma

including the opposition leaders

to grant the following Basic Human Rights

The following basic Human Rights should be granted to all the citizens including all the Muslims of Burma/Myanmar:

  1. Rights of unrestricted internal travel in the whole of Myanmar/Burma.
  2. Rights to travel abroad must be accepted by the government and to relax the strict present regulations on all Myanmar/Burmese citizens.
  3. Equal access to education at all levels including postgraduate studies, locally and abroad, according to meritocracy.
  4. Equal rights to all the government jobs and chance to be promoted according to meritocracy but not based on the Military experience or relationship.
  5. Equal rights to settle and work in any parts of Myanmar/Burma.
  6. Equal rights to serve and entitle for promotion to all the ranks in armed forces, Police, immigration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs etc.
  7. Freedom of religion, worship, religious publications, building and repairing of religious buildings and religious schools etc.
  8. Rights to allow participation in the election process and hold posts in all the levels in national and regional politics.
  9. Rights to hold the political and administrative posts in various level of government and its’ agencies.
  10. Freedom of speech and expression in any form of media is important. But freedom after speech is especially more important!

We all must recognize and implement:

  1. (i) The Status, Rights, protection, participation and representation of all the Ethnic Minorities.
  2. (ii) The Status, Rights, protection, participation and representation of all the Minority Religious groups.
  3. (iii) The Status, Rights and protection of the poor and downtrodden.
  4. (iv) Programme and implementation for the eradication of poor and general measures to increase the living standard of people. Handicapped people, youths, orphans, aged, disease inflicted people, homeless people, retrenched and unoccupied peoples’ rights and protection must not be ignored.
  5. (v) Majority got the right to rule. But they must respect, protect and guarantee the Minorities’ rights.
  6. (vi) Minorities must have the right of representation because the Majorities with their number of votes could totally monopolize all the good, lucrative and high places and positions, marginalizing the minorities.
  7. (vii) Majority must ‘sacrifice’ their absolute power by reserving some places and positions thus giving the Minorities the chance of participation and representation.
  8. (viii) Workers rights and adequate protection. Rights of forming unions, strikes, compensation, recreation, various benefits, pension and etc.
  9. (ix) On farsighted and fair distribution of investment policy in various fields of : Education, Research and Development, Science, Information Technology, Health, factories, Irrigation, Houses especially low cost houses and infrastructure projects.

There must be antitrust legislature to control the monopoly in each and every field.

We have to look, monitor and record at the –

  1. (a) Distribution of wealth and opportunity among the different groups depending on race, religion and political alignment, Political patronage- awarding government contracts, appointments, promotions, scholarships, land distributions, permits etc.
  2. (b) Rural development, Urbanization, squatter relocation and settlements.
  3. (c) Basic infrastructure facilities, water, electricity, highways, telephone, multimedia facilities, railways, seaports and etc. 

not to forget the most important basic issue of :

  1. (i) The Rights of Dissent and Disobedience of the people, parties, minorities and even among the Ruling Party (Party ordinary members, Central Committee Members, MPs and even Cabinet Ministers). Those individuals should not be forced or coerce to always toe the party line.
  2. (ii) We also wish to request that the minorities must have a say in the governance or at least the laws and rulings that are related or affected them.
  3. (iii) Democratic governments must accept that accepting the participation of minority races and religions is better than hatred, resentment, revolution, racial riots or civil wars.

 “Counting the ballots is better than cracking the skulls”.

We need the folowing undertaking by the future governments of Burma/Myanmar_:

  1. 1. “The people, whether Majority or Minority must have the right to disobey or resist the commands of the oppressive, authoritative or tyranny governments, if their commands trespass the limit and no longer serve their interests.
  2. 2. There must be enough check and balance. ACA (Anti Corruption Agency) or any organizations dealing with corruption must be independent from the administrative branch of Government.
  3. 3. Newspapers, TVs and all the media must be free and independent to probe and do investigative reports.
  4. 4. NGOs and other right groups must also be free to express their views. All of them and various reporters must have a free access to the government and the big companies as long as there is no real danger of espionage or national security. There is a danger of over protection and trying to hide under the name of national security to avoid exposure of the corruption.
  5. 5. There must be real separation of powers in the government. Administrative power of the head of the government should not let to be able to influence the Judiciary, Attorney General’s office and Legislative assembly.

In gist, the Rights we should get from the good governments are, Political, Civil, Human Rights & Economic Reform, including though not limited to:

  1. Freedom of speech.
  2. Freedom of association.
  3. True, full democracy.
  4. Separation of Powers between Government, Judiciary, Police & Military.
  5. Independent, competitive non-government media, free from government censorship or editorial restrictions.
  6. Full freedom of religious-thought, belief, expression & practice, including abolition of Government controls of religious affairs.
  7. The right of self-determination.
  8. The Rule of Law: The presumption of innocence until proven guilty; Trial by jury of peers; The right to a fair trial with appeal rights; The right to adequate & independent legal representation
  9. Non-discrimination by Governments, individuals or organisations on the basis of race, nationality, colour, religion, gender, marital status, political belief or affiliation, physical or mental disability.
  10. Religious & Political organisations must be permitted.

if I go into details of other Human Rights such as:

  1. (i) Detainees’ Rights: Prisoners’ Rights, POW’s (Prisoners of War) Rights, Political Prisoners’ Rights etc. Free from torture and inhumane treatments. Right to engage a lawyer, right to remain silence, right to defend one self in proper open court of law, right of access to medical care, communication with the love ones, rights to recreate and rehabilitate in the prison etc.
  2. (ii) Women’s Rights,
  3. (iii) Children’s various Rights,
  4. (iv) Senior citizens’ Rights, Handicapped Persons’ Rights, and various victims of diseases, HIV patients, Ca patients etc Rights.
  5. (v) Workers Rights; Workers Unions’ Rights, Foreign Workers’ (legal and illegal) Rights etc
  6. (vi) Foreigners’ Rights; Foreign temporary Residences Rights, visitors, tourists, Foreign Investors and Asylum or refugee seekers’ Rights etc
  7. (vii) Diplomatic Rights, Inventors’ Rights, Artists’ Rights, Patent Rights etc. etc…

Asean embraces a rogue regime while inking a Charter for Big Business

Asean embraces a rogue regime

while inking a Charter for Big Business

By_Anilnetto

So the Asean leaders have signed a Charter in the “wonderfully democratic nation of Singapore” in the company of leaders from Burma’s rogue regime. (Check out this excellent documentary “Burma’s Secret War”.)

Each member nation now has to take the Charter back to their home countries so that it can be ratified by their respective parliaments

  • which shouldn’t be much of a problem,

  • considering how democratic Asean member nations are

  • and how much their governments have the interests of the people at heart.

  • Which leads to the question: why not a referendum as this is a hugely important document that affects the peoples of 10 nations? That will be the day…

Civil society groups that lament that_

  • the charter is too state-centred

  • rather than people-centred are missing the point.

It was_

  • never meant to be people-centred

  • – even though that is what most ordinary people would have wanted,

  • had they been consulted.

  • That is why most of the work of drafting the charter was carried out behind closed doors –

  • Although an Eminent Persons Group (EPG) did briefly consult a sample of civil society groups.

The EPG leader, Musa Hitam, had told civil society representatives that_

  • he considered the inclusion of a reference to a human rights mechanism or body as a great achievement.

  • But such a body would predictably be toothless –

  • if and when it is formalised – for some time to come.

So let’s not get side-tracked by_

  • the lip-service paid to human rights

  • or the sweet -sounding, but ultimately unenforceable, pledges about democracy.

The Charter is not about_

  • protecting the rights of ordinary people

  • including migrant workers,

  • refugees

  • and asylum seekers.

If it was, do you really think those undemocratic or authoritarian governments among the Asean member nations would have signed it?

Instead, it’s all about_

  • facilitating the interests of Big Business

  • as well as providing an institutionalised framework

  • that would, among other things, pave the way for the EU-Asean FTA

  • and further the “free trade” and neo-liberal agenda.

How terribly, terribly sad for the people of Asean!

Charo Says:

Yeah Anil.

ASEAN is and was always paying lip service and showing face to each other.

That has not changed.

If the mentality has not changed for the last 50 years –

  • situations like Burma will remain the same.

  • Besides, ASEAN does not want to face China, if they go against Burma.
  • China has vested interests in Burma.

The Golden days of the Great Mon Empire I

The Golden days of the

Great Mon  Empire I

References 

  1. Wikipedia
  2. Cambodia History
  3. Thailand History
  4. Mon Web pages
  5. Hariphunchai, Wikipedia 

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Mon state Flag

 The Mon are an ethnic group in Southeast Asia. They live in Mon State, historic lower Burma and the area around the southern Burmese-Thailand border.

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New Mon State Party Flag

There are believed to be around 8 million people who claim Mon ancestry and retain their culture and language, but the majority of the Mon (possibly 4 million) use the modern Burmese language for daily business and are literate only in Burmese (not in their native language).  The majority of Mon live around the city of Bago or the site of their historic capital, Thaton and the port of Mawlamyaing.

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Mon Children (boys)

They also constitute a significant percentage of the population further south along the lowland coast to the city of Ye, Burma.

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Mon Children (girls)

 Early history of Burma_ 

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

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Khmer Arts

The Mon were one of the earliest distinct groups to occupy Burma, moving into the area as early as 1500 BCE or possibly earlier. The Mon are primarily associated with the historical kingdoms of Dvaravati and Haripunchai.

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Ankor Wat

Up until the 14th century, outposts of Mon culture continued to spread very Far East, including modern Thailand and Isan plateau cities such as Lampang and Khon Kaen.

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Mon Khmer Empire

Look, Thai’s Upper or North Western region was under Pagan.
Remaining Thai, Laos, Upper Malaysia and Lower Burma
was under Mon-Khmer rule.

As late as the 14th and 15th centuries, it is believed that the Mon were the ethnic majority in this vast region, but also intermarried freely with Khmer and Tai-Kadai populations.

Archaeological remains of Mon settlements have been found south of Vientiane, and may also have extended further to the north-west in the Haripunchai era.The Mon converted to Theravada Buddhism at a very early point in their history.

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Mon Buddha

Unlike other ethnic groups in the region, they seem to have adopted Theravada orthodoxy before coming into contact with Mahayana tendencies, and it is generally believed that the Mon provided the link of transmission whereby both the Thais and Cambodians converted from Hinduism and Mahayana Buddhism to Theravada Buddhism (increasingly from the 1400s).

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Mon Buddha (side view)

Although the precise date cannot be fixed, it seems that the Mon have been practicing Theravada Buddhism continuously for a longer period than any other extant religious community on earth, except for Sri Lanka, as the lineage was destroyed in India.

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Mon Scripture Wheel

Like the Burmese and the Thais, some modern Mons have tried to identify their ethnicity with the semi-historical kingdom of Suwarnabhumi. Today, this claim is contested by many different ethnicities in South-East Asia, and contradicted by scholars. Historical scholarship indicates that the early usage of the term (as found in the edicts of Ashoka) indicated a location in Southern India, and not in South-East Asia. However, from the time of the first translations of the Ashokan inscriptions in the 19th century, both the Burmese and the Thais have made concentrated efforts to identify place-names found in the edicts with their own territory or culture. Sometimes these claims have also relied upon the creative interpretation of place-names found in Chinese historical sources.

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(Mon Khmer) Grand Palace Bangkok

The 6th century Mon kingdom of Dvaravati in the lower Chao Phraya valley in present day Thailand extended its frontiers to the Tenasserim Yoma (mountains).  With subjugation by the Khmer Empire from Angkor in the 11th century the Mon shifted further west deeper into present day Burma.  

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Khmer Women in the field

Oral tradition suggests that they had contact with Buddhism via seafaring as early as the 3rd century BC and had received an envoy of monks from Ashoka in the 2nd century BC. 

The Mons adopted Indian culture together with Theravada Buddhism and are thought to have founded kingdoms in Lower Burma including Thaton in the 6th or 7th century and Bago (Pegu) in 825 with the kingdom of Raman’n’adesa (or Ramanna which is believed to be Thaton) referenced by Arab geographers in 844–8.The lack of archaeological evidence for this may in part be due to the focus of excavation work predominantly being in Upper Burma. 

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Shampoo Island

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

Mon kingdoms ruled large sections of Burma from the 9th to the 11th, the 13th to the 16th, and again in the 18th centuries. About the same period, southward-migrating Burmans took over lands in central Myanmar once dominated by Pyu city-states and the Tai started trickling into South-East Asia.  

The Burman (Bamar ) established the kingdom of Bagan.  In 1057, Bagan defeated the Mon kingdom, capturing the Mon capital of Thaton and carrying off 30,000 Mon captives to Bagan. 

After the fall of Bagan to the invading Mongols in 1287, the Mon, under Wareru an ethnic Tai (Shan), regained their independence and captured Martaban and Bago, thus virtually controlling their previously held territory. 

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Shampoo Island

Mon kingdoms A main body of ethnic Shan / Tai migration came in the 13th century after the fall of the Kingdom of Dali to the Mongol Empire and filled the void left by the fall of the Bagan kingdom in northern Burma forming a loose coalition of city-states. These successive waves of Bamar and Tai groups slowly eroded the Mon kingdoms, and the next 200 years witnessed incessant warfare between the Mon and the Burmese, but the Mon managed to retain their independence until 1539. 

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Mon State Mudon

The last independent Mon kingdom fell to the Burmese when Alaungpaya razed Bago in 1757.  Many of the Mon were killed, while others fled to Thailand. Hanthawaddy (or Hanthawady; in Thai หงสาวดี Hongsawadi) is a place in Burma.  Hongsawatoi ( Bago/Pegu/ Handawaddy )  Hongsawatoi, Capital city of old Mon kingdom.  

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

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Shampoo Island

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

The earliest mention of this city in history is by the Arab geographer Ibn Khudadhbin around 850 AD.  At the time, the Mon capital had shifted to Thaton. The word Mranma, in both Mon and Myanmar inscriptions came into being only at about the same time, lending support to this claim that the Pyu were an earlier vanguard of southward Tibeto-Burman migration who were entirely absorbed into a newly formed identity by later waves of similar people.  

The Pagan Kingdom grew in relative isolation until the reign of Anawrahta (1044-77) who successfully unified all of Burma by defeating the Mon city of Thaton in 1057. The area came under rule of the Burmese from Bagan in 1056.  

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Kyansittha, Alaungphaya, Bayintnaung and Nga Paw

Consolidation was accomplished under his successors Kyanzittha (1084–1112) and Alaungsithu (1112-67), so that by the mid-12th century, most of continental Southeast Asia was under the control of either the Pagan Kingdom or the Khmer Empire.  The Pagan kingdom went into decline as the Mongols threatened from the north. The last true ruler of Pagan, Narathihapate (1254-87) felt confident in his ability to resist the Mongols and advanced into Yunnan in 1277 to make war upon them. He was thoroughly crushed at the Battle of Ngasaunggyan, and Pagan resistance virtually collapsed. The king was assassinated by his own son in 1287, precipitating a Mongol invasion in the Battle of Pagan.  

The Mongols successfully captured most of the empire, including its capital, and ended the dynasty in 1289 when they installed a puppet ruler in Burma.  

After the collapse of Bagan to the Mongols in 1287, the Mon regained their independence. From 1369-1539, Hanthawaddy was the capital of the Mon Kingdom of Ramanadesa, which covered all of what is now lower Burma.  

The area came under Burman control again in 1539, when it was annexed by King Tabinshweti to his Kingdom of Taungoo.  

The kings of Taungoo made Bago their royal capital from 1539-1599 and again in 1613-1634, and used it as a base for repeated invasions of Siam.     A Mon dynasty ruled Lower Burma after the fall of the Pagan dynasty from 1287 to 1539 with a brief revival during 1550–53. At first Martaban was the capital of this kingdom and then Pegu.

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Mawlamying jetty

The Mon king Rajadhirat, who waged war with the northern Burman kingdom of Ava during the whole duration of his reign, unified and consolidated the Mon kingdom’s domains in Lower Burma.The most famous Mon monarchs during this period were Queen Baña Thau (Burmese: Shin Sawbu; reigned 1453–1472) followed by Dhammazedi (reigned 1472–92). Queen Baña Thau personally chose Dhammazedi to succeed her. Dhammazedi had been a monk before he became king of Pegu. Under Dhammazedi, Pegu became a centre of commerce and Theravadan Buddhism. These two devout Buddhist monarchs initiated a long period of peace in Lower Burma.Many foreign traders were attracted to the capital, which became well-known to the outside world as a centre of commerce. As such it is mentioned by the Russian merchant, Nitikin, who traveled in the East about 1470.

Its fifteenth century rulers were, like those of old Pagan, chiefly interested in the development of religion. Missions were sent to Ceylon and on their return stimulated an important religious revival, which affected the whole of Burma.

Its centre was the Kalyani thein near Pegu, so named because its original monks had been ordained on the banks of the Kalyani River in Ceylon. Kalyani ordination became the standard form for the whole country. The story of the reforms is told in the Kalyani inscriptions erected by King Dammazedi (1472-92). Dammazedi was the greatest of the rulers of Wareru’s line. His reign was a time of peace and he himself was a mild ruler, famous for his wisdom. A collection of his rulings, the Dammazedi pyatton, is still extant. He maintained friendly intercourse with Yunnan and revived the practice of sending missions to Buddhagaya. He was a Buddhist ruler of the best type, deeply solicitous for the purification of religion. Under him civilization flourished, and the condition of the Mon country stands out in sharp contrast with the disorder and savagery which characterized the Ava kingdom. When he died he was honoured as a saint and a pagoda was erected over his bones.

The Mon kingdom possessed two great pagodas of especial sanctity, the Shwemawdaw at Pegu and the Shwe Dagon at the small stockaded fishing-town of Dagon, now Rangoon, the capital of modern Burma.

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Shwe Dagon

The last Mon kingdom was Hongsavatoi—they re-conquered much of their lost territory until the energetic Burman leader U Aungzeya forced them back and captured the kingdom by 1757, massacring a considerable part of the population. The Mon religious leaders were forced to flee to Siam and the Mon have been harshly repressed from the 1750s to the present day. 

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Shwe Maw Daw (Pegu)

King Mingyinyo founded the First Toungoo Dynasty (1486–1599) at Toungoo, south of Ava, towards the end of the Ava dynasty. After the conquest of Ava by the Shan invaders in 1527 many Burmans migrated to Toungoo which became a new center for Burmese rule. The dynasty conquered the Mohnyin Shan peoples in northern Burma. By this time, the geopolitical situation in Southeast Asia had changed dramatically. Mingyinyo’s son king Tabinshwehti (1531-50) unified most of Burma. The Shan gained power in a new kingdom in the North, Ayutthaya (Siam), while the Portuguese had arrived in the south and conquered Malacca. With the coming of European traders, Burma was once again an important trading centre, and Tabinshwehti moved his capital to Pegu due to its strategic position for commerce. Tabinshwehti was able to gain control of Lower Burma up to Prome, but the campaigns he led to the Arakan, Ayutthaya, and Ava in Upper Burma were unsuccessful. When Tabinshwehti’s brother-in-law, Bayinnaung (1551-81), Tabinshwehti’s brother-in-law, succeeded to the throne he launched a campaign of conquest invading several states, including Manipur (1560) and Ayutthaya (1569). An energetic leader and effective military commander, he made Toungoo the most powerful state in Southeast Asia, and extended his borders from Laos to Ayutthaya, near Bangkok.  His wars stretched Myanmar to the limits of its resources, however, and both Manipur and Ayutthaya, which had remained under Myanmar domination for 15 years, were soon independent once again.  Bayinnaung was poised to deliver a final, decisive assault on the kingdom of Arakan when he died in 1581. Faced with rebellion by several cities and renewed Portuguese incursions, the Toungoo rulers withdrew from southern Burma and founded a second dynasty at Ava, the Restored Toungoo Dynasty (1597–1752). Bayinnaung’s grandson, Anaukpetlun, once again reunited Burma in 1613 and decisively defeated Portuguese attempts to take over Burma. Encouraged by the French in India, Pegu finally rebelled against Ava, further weakening the state, which fell in 1752.                 

         

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Mon Shan dominence
Indo China