Jay Leno & Zarganar (Satire)

Jun 7th, 2008

by Yebaw Day, Burma Digest



Mr. Jay Leno throwing up his hands as he surrenders to the Goverment Agents of ARMYrica

“American Comedian Jay Leno Arrested by FBI and US Army MI & Tortured in Prison !”
_ by Yebaw Day, Burma Digest Reporter via Rocket Express in Washington DC. Continue reading

Dictator of Myanmar (Satire Burmese song)


Dictator of Myanmar (Satire Burmese song)

Compassionate letter 12,“The End of the Saga, but not the Dear John letter!”

Compassionate letter 12,

“The End of the Saga”

“But not the Dear John letter!”

As Bo Aung Din in Burma Digest

Dear Nan,

                If you could remember, I sent my first letter on our wedding anniversary, that is 12th February (our National day commemorating forming the foundation of our union, the day we signed our matrimonial agreement at Panglon) and that is also your birthday, the Shan National day. And coincidently that is two day’s prior to the Valentine day, the day of lovers. And I wrote the letter to you because your father announced our divorce declaration that is the Shan leaders announcement of the separation from Burma/Myanmar and the forming of an Independent Shan Country.

And another strange coincidence that leads to my compassionate letters was because of a DVD of Sai Kham Leik/Sai Hti Sai’s songs sent by my brother. While I was enjoying my renaissance or daydreaming back the good old young era, my children keep on doing their daily routine even without noticing my favourite songs. So I decided to explain or translate the songs to them. And the rest is the minute history of a saga of these compassionate letters to my ‘estranged wife’.

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Compassionate letter 11, “Cannibal Queen Kyine Kyine @ Marie Antoinette”

Compassionate letter 11,

“Cannibal Queen Kyine Kyine (a) Marie Antoinette”

As Bo Aung Din in Burma Digest

Disclaimer! Cannibalism and Daw Kyine Kyine’s story is just a political Satire and never based on the real events.

During the French Revolution, when Queen Marie Antoinette was told that the peasants had no bread to eat she retorted and advised, “Let them eat cake”.

According to the unconfirmed reports, Cannibal Queen Daw Kyine Kyine, wife of Senior General Than Shwe, ordered the young generals to bring in all the chocolates donated for the Cyclone Nargis victims for her grand children.

She advised all Myanmar Cyclone victims to eat the dead bodies as she could solve the disposal of dead bodies and the victims could also get the high protein food. She had rumoured to have whispered the shocked young general that Thar Manya Saya Daw’s flesh was very tasty.

Cannibal Queen Kyine Kyine hoped to kill multiple birds with one stone_

  1. No need to request for further aids
  2. No need to worry about the disposal or burial of the cyclone victims’ dead bodies
  3. Although it is no need for her to worry about the feeding of the victims, no one would revolt because of hunger
  4. Her grandchildren could eat all the chocolates.

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Compassionate letter 10, “MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY!”

Compassionate letter 10,


As Bo Aung Din in Burma Didest

Dear Darling Nan,

I hope to catch you with the twist of my tongue at the end of month of May because I thought your mind would be on Worker’s day, May Day and laugh at me for celebrating the 1st. May event on the 31st. i.e. end of the month only. I was expecting your accusation of my absent mindedness.

But I am surprised because you are quite smart and could immediately understand what I mean by MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY, which is just a distress call used on the radio or SOS,” “Save our Ship,” “Save Our Souls,” or “Send Out Succour”. Yes darling I am just making a distress call to the whole world to save us, all the Shwe Bama villagers from the tyrants, criminals, would-be-fugitives SPDC Junta government terrorizing and ruling our Shwe Bama country.

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Compassionate letter 9, “SPDC Generals’ record in the Dog-leather book of Sakya”

Compassionate letter 9,

“SPDC Generals’ record in the Dog-leather book of Sakya”

 As BO AUNG DIN  in Burma Digest

   Dear darling Nan,

                             I hereby wish a very Happy Burmese New Year and peaceful Thingyan for you and all the Shwe Bamas. Our children missed you but I missed you more especially during Thingyan because as you know we met at our University’s Thingyan festival and so Thingyan became a very important landmark or mile stone for both of us. I still remember the first Thingyan we celebrated together after our mutual friend Ko Tin Mg introduced us. I was teasing him why he was there as he is not a Buddhist. You were at his back and without even knowing me, you act as his advocate or solicitor and give excuses for him by answering that he was the secretary of Burmese Language Association of the university, that organization is sponsoring this event and Thingyan is nowadays celebrated by all the citizens of Burma.

By the way darling, are you tired or fed up of reading my compassionate letters? Kindly allow me to quote a famous saying, ‘My letters could not be written out unto their end even if all the trees on earth were pens, and if the sea eked out by seven seas were ink’. May be my favourite song ‘Want to stay together-alone only no-one else’ by Mar Mar Aye could explain my feelings. She sang about using the sky to write upon, a river as the pen and using the ocean water as ink. But in this age of ICT, neither do we need to use pens nor ink but just ‘typing’ onto the key board is enough. So I have to change or modified these into, “My letters could not finish even if my hands suffered ‘Carpel Tunnel Syndrome’. But it is your prerogative, up to you to decide whether you continue to receive my letter or not. I will stop any time if you say so.

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Since 2002, the European Union has intervened abroad sixteen times in three different continents (in Burmese)

 “We should not let people die.”


သုံးသပ္သူ- (ms)
နားဂစ္ေလေဘးဒုကၡသည္ ကယ္ဆယ္ေရးလုပ္ငန္း ေႏွးေကြးေနမူ႔ေၾကာင္႔ ေသဆုံးမူ႔ ဟာတေန႔ထက္ေန႔ ပုိမုိမ်ားၿပားေနပါတယ္။ ဒီလုိ ကယ္ဆယ္ေရးလုပ္ငန္း အဓိက ေႏွးေကြးေနမူ႔ဟာ မေကာင္းဆုိး၀ါးမိစၦာဓိဌိ စစ္အာဏာရွင္ေတြက ႏုိင္္ငံတကာ အကူအညီ ေပးေရးအဖြဲ႕ မ်ားကုိ၀င္ေရာက္ကူညီခြင္႔မၿပဳဘဲ ၿငင္းဆန္ေနတာေၾကာင္႔ ၿဖစ္ပါတယ္။


Since 2002, the European Union has intervened

abroad sixteen times in three different continents

primarily for humanitarian reasons.

ၿပင္သစ္၊ၿဗိတိန္၊ဂ်ာမနီ၊အေမရိကန္၊ဆြီဒင္၊ဒိန္းမတ္၊ ဘယ္ဂ်ီယံ၊ အီတလီအပါအ၀င္ ဥေရာပႏုိင္ငံ အစုိးရ ေတြကေတာ႔ ဒီလုိလုပ္ရပ္ဟာလူသားမဆန္တဲ႔ၿပဳလုပ္မူ႔၊ လူသားေတြအေပၚ က်ဴးလြန္တဲ႔ အစုလုိက္အၿပံဳလိုက္ေသဆုံးမူ႔အေပၚ တာ၀န္ရွိတာေၾကာင္႔ မေကာင္းဆုိး၀ါးမိစၦာစစ္ဗုိလ္ခ်ဴပ္ေတြဟာ ရာဇ၀တ္မႈ႔ က်ဴးလြန္းေနၾကတာၿဖစ္ေၾကာင္း ( Crimes against humanity လုိ႔ ) မေန႔ကၿပင္းၿပင္းထန္ထန္သတိေပးေၿပာၾကားလုိက္ပါတယ္။

အရင္တုန္းက လူ႔အခြင္႔ အေရးအဖြဲ႔အစည္းေတြသာဒီလုိရွဴံ႕ ခ် ခဲ႔ၾကတာၿဖစ္ေပမဲ႔၊ ႏုိင္ငံတကာအစုိးရေတြပါ ဒီလုိပါ၀င္ ရွဴံ႕ ခ် လာေနတာေၾကာင္႔ မေကာင္းဆုိး၀ါးမိစၦာ စစ္ဗုိလ္ခ်ဴပ္ေတြရဲ႕ ေနာက္ဆုံး ေန႔ရက္ဟာ ပုိမုိ နီးကပ္လာၿပီ လုိ႕ ယူဆေၾကာင္း ႏုိင္ငံေရးေလ႔လာေနသူေတြက ေၿပာဆုိေန ၾကပါတယ္။

ရ၀မ္ဒါ ေဒသမွာလူသားေတြ အစုလုိက္အၿပံဳလုိက္သတ္ၿဖတ္ခံခဲ႔ရမူ႔ ကုိ ကမၻာ႔ႏိုင္ငံေတြက မဟန္႔တားနုိင္ခ႔ဲတာ ကုိဥပမာယူၿပီး၊ ၿမန္မာႏုိင္ငံ နားဂစ္ေလေဘးဒုကၡသည္ေတြအေပၚ ကုလသမဂၢ အပါအ၀င္ ကမၻာ႔ႏုိင္ငံ ၾကီးအစုိးရေတြ အေနႏွင္႔ အၿမန္ဆုံးအေရးယူ ေဆာင္ရြက္အကူအညီ ေပးသင္႔ေၾကာင္: ႏုိင္ငံတကာ လူ႔အခြင္႔အေရးအဖြဲ႔အစည္း ေတြ ႏွင္႔ ၿမန္မာၿပည္သူေတြက ေတာင္းဆုိေနၾကပါတယ္။ အရင္တုန္းက လူသားေတြ အစုလုိက္္အၿပံဳလုိက္ သတ္ၿဖတ္ ခံခဲ႔ရမူ႔အေပၚ ကုလသမဂၢ ႏွင္႔ ကမၻာ႔ႏုိင္ငံ ၾကီးအစုိးရေတြက အကာအကြယ္ေပးမူ႔ေတြ ကုိ ၿပန္လည္ ေလ႔လာၾကည္႕ယင္—–





Examples of past possible humanitarian interventions include:

ဒီေန႔အမၻာ႔ႏုိင္ငံအစုိးရေတြအေနႏွင္႔ၿမန္မာႏုိင္ငံလက္ရွိအေၿခအေနအေပၚအၿမန္ဆုံးအေရးေပၚအစည္း အေ၀းေခၚယူၿပီ——–

  • (၁) မေကာင္းဆုိး၀ါးမိစၦာ စစ္ဗုိလ္ခ်ဴပ္ေတြဟာ နားဂစ္ေလေဘးဒုကၡသည္ ကယ္ဆယ္ေရး လုပ္ငန္းေတြမွာ ဆက္လက္ၿပီး ႏုိင္ငံတကာႏွင္႔ပူးေပါင္းေဆာင္ ရြက္မူ႔မရွိလွ်င္၊ မိမိတုိ႔၏သံတမန္မ်ားကုိအၿမန္ဆုံးၿပန္လည္ေခၚယူၿပီး၊သံတမန္ေရးရာဖိအားေပးမူ႔ႏွင္႔အေရးယူမူ႔ ကုိတၿပိဳင္တည္းၿပဳလုပ္သင္႔သည္။
  • (၂)မိမိတုိ႔၏သံတမန္မ်ားကုိအၿမန္ဆုံးၿပန္လည္ေခၚယူၿပီးေနာက္ထူးၿခားတုိးတက္မူ႔မရွိလွ်င္၊ႏုိင္ငံတကာအစုိးရမ်ားအေနႏွင္႔ လူသားခ်င္းစာနာေထာက္ထားၿပီး၊ လူသားေတြရဲ႕ အသက္ကယ္ဆယ္ေရး (Humanitarian Intervention ) ကုိ ခြင္႔ၿပဳခ်က္မယူဘဲ အၿမန္ဆုံးၿပဳလုပ္ပါ။
  • (၃)လူသားေတြရဲ႕အသက္ကယ္ဆယ္ေရး (Humanitarian intervention ) ကုိ ေႏွာက္ရွက္မူ႔ ၿပဳလုပ္လွ်င္ေသာ္လည္းေကာင္း၊ စစ္ေရးတုန္႔ၿပန္မူ႔ၿပဳလုပ္လွ်င္ မေကာင္းဆုိး၀ါးမိစၦာ စစ္ဗုိလ္ခ်ဴပ္ေတြ ေနထုိင္ရာၾကပ္ေၿပးေနၿပည္ေတာ္ႏွင္႔္ မေကာင္းဆုိး၀ါးမိစၦာ စစ္ဗုိလ္ခ်ဴပ္မ်ားကုိ ၿပစ္မွတ္ထား တုိက္ခုိက္ပါ။
  • (၄)မေကာင္းဆုိး၀ါးမိစၦာ စစ္ဗုိလ္ခ်ဴပ္မ်ားအတြက္ၿမန္မာၿပည္စစ္ေလယာဥ္မ်ားအားၿပန္သန္းခြင္႔ “No Fly Zone အၿဖစ္” ပိတ္ဆုိ႔ပါ။


Humanitarian intervention refers to armed interference in one state by another (or more) state with the stated objective of ending or reducing suffering within the first state. That suffering may be the result of civil war, humanitarian crisis, or crimes by the first state including genocide. The goal of humanitarian intervention is neither annexation nor interference with territorial integrity, but minimization of the suffering of civilians in that state. The claimed rationale behind such an intervention is the belief, embodied in international customary law in a duty under certain circumstances to disregard a state’s sovereignty to preserve our common humanity.

Defenders of humanitarian intervention justify it primarily in the name of a moral imperative: “we should not let people die.” This idea is grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, written in 1948. For these defenders, intervention is only legitimate when it is motivated by a massive violation of human rights and when it is put in motion by an international body, typically the United Nations Security Council. In particular Article 28 announces a right to a social and international order in which human rights are realized. Further, the Chapter Seven powers of the United Nations Security Council are often used to legitimate intervention for stopping any threats to international peace and security. From the 1990s the understanding of what constituted threats to international peace were radically broadened to include such things as the movement of refugees, to justify intervention into Somalia and Yugoslavia. These two countries were the first that the United Nations intervened without gaining permission from the States involved. In practice, humanitarian intervention actions are often carried out by coalitions of nations, which can create two somewhat different situations: Humanitarian Intervention

The right to interfere, which constitutes jus ad bellum, a term coined by the philosopher Jean-François Revel in 1979, is the recognition of the right of one or many nations to violate the national sovereignty of another state, when a mandate has been granted by a supranational authority. In practice, because of humanitarian emergencies, it is common that the mandate is provided retroactively; for instance, France’s intervention in Côte d’Ivoire was made initially without a UN mandate.

The duty to interfere is an obligation which falls to all nation-states to provide assistance at the request of the supranational authority, to the extent possible. Obviously, this notion is the closest to the original concept of humanitarian intervention, except that a right translates into a duty, and is managed by a supranational authority. Humanitarian Intervention and Relational Sovereignty By Dr. Helen Stacy Humanitarian intervention with military force has no firm theory under the international legal apparatus because sovereignty, the inviolate claim of a nation state against all others, is a legal shield against outside intervention in a nation’s internal affairs.

1 The United Nations Charter under Article 2(4) prohibits the “threat or use of force” against another state, even when civil bloodshed is creating humanitarian disasters.

2 The Charter allows only two exceptions to this prohibition: Article 51 in Chapter VII of the Charter allows a nation to use force in self-defense if an armed attack occurs against it or an allied country,

3 and the United Nations Security Council is authorized to employ force to counter threats to breaches of international peace.

4 Humanitarian intervention rests upon the unconvincing fiction of the danger that a civil conflict may spill over a nation’s borders, at least if it is to be justified under the U.N. Charter. A better account of the fate of national sovereignty in cases of international humanitarian intervention in human rights disasters derives from what I call a theory of Relational Sovereignty.

5 This theory arises under today’s conditions of globalization and describes the role of the sovereign government as an obligation to meeting its citizens’ civil, political, social and economic needs, according to the government’s capacity, and always working for its citizens’ good. A government fails in its governance role when its murderous, corrupt, or persistently neglectful actions lead to serious human rights harms. Under the theory of relational sovereignty, widespread and extreme harm to citizens is evidence that sovereignty is no longer an absolute shield against international intervention. Put differently, relational sovereignty puts human rights at the heart of good governance.

6 A widespread and extreme humanitarian crisis alters sovereignty in two ways: First, citizens rather than the government are seen as the bearers of their national sovereignty. If their government no longer represents their best interest, the nation’s sovereignty no longer coalesces in its government. Second, citizens rely on the international community to express their sovereign interest in good governance when they themselves are unable to depose a government that harms them. In other words, their national borders have metaphorically fractured, allowing other nations in the international community to step across to their assistance. When sovereignty is seen this way – as an obligation of attentive governance, which the international community can insist upon on behalf of a nation’s citizens – it need not be breached when humanitarian intervention takes place. This temporary dispersal of national sovereignty from a nation’s citizens to the international community is easiest to map onto humanitarian crises of murderous civil conflict. It is more difficult to map onto humanitarian crises of malnutrition and starvation. But I argue here that humanitarian intervention may also be justifiable for massive cases of letting-die, such as starvation and disease. In other words, national sovereignty cannot shield corrupt or neglectful governments that fail to distribute essential sustenance – food, medical care, and essential services – to their citizens in exigent circumstances. International morality is invoked not only for the commissions of nation states, but also for their intentional omissions. My argument is that widespread death by malnutrition or disease should make a government just as culpable as death by civil violence, where a government that has the capacity to prevent starvation and disease fails to do so. When a government negligently fails to prevent a national crisis that leads to widespread death, that government’s claim to inviolate sovereignty qua other nations or the international community is invalid. But expanding humanitarian intervention into a general license for war against repressive regimes is dangerous. The equitable principles of fairness show that humanitarian interventions should be restricted to very few situations. In what follows, I set out the problems with the legal apparatus of humanitarian interventions under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, and how this apparatus is out of step with an emerging notion of sovereignty. Using Relational Sovereignty as a theory for lowering the defense of sovereignty against the legitimacy of international humanitarian interventions, and using familiar principles of equity and individual rescue in tort, I set out three limiting principles for international humanitarian intervention, and then briefly test these against the ongoing U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.

(B.) The Problem with Interventions under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter The last decade of humanitarian intervention has been a patchwork of inconsistent justifications, too-often sluggish international responses, and varying degrees of efficacy in bringing assistance to failed states. On the face of Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, intervention in purely civil unrest contravenes the principles of national sovereignty. There is no mention in the Charter for intervention on purely humanitarian grounds. And yet there have been several Chapter VII interventions in recent years. In each of the humanitarian crises of Somalia, Rwanda, Haiti, and Bosnia, the U.N. has authorized intervention across national borders.

7 In each of these cases, internal national conflicts were incongruously reinterpreted as wars that could spill into other nations so that Chapter VII could be made to fit. Not surprisingly, these awkward interpretations are contested. For example, in 1994, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 940 to justify an international military mission to Haiti under its Chapter VII powers, citing fears that the civil conflict in Haiti threatened the region’s peace and security. In fact, Haiti’s problems were specific to its own politics and history and were unlikely to cross its borders. The U.N. intervention was opposed by many Latin American countries and led to the charge that the real motive was not humanitarian but political – namely, to restore democracy and the rule of Jean-Baptiste Aristide.

8 Another way of creating moral grounds for intervention arises when the U.N. is already participating in the settlement of a civil war or is somehow involved in the region. Multilateral humanitarian action by a coalition of states without Security Council sanction in these conditions seems more plausible. There have been multilateral military interventions outside the U.N. Charter when, for example, the 1995 Serbian massacre of some 7,000 Muslim males in the supposed U.N. “safe haven” of Srebrenica gave rise to NATO’s role in Bosnia. This led to Washington’s coercive diplomacy that hammered out the Dayton agreement.

9 The fiction is that an internal human rights crisis may spill over a nation’s borders and pose a threat to regional peace and security. But the “breach of regional peace” fiction doesn’t easily apply to a human rights crisis in a remote part of island nation that has little impact on its neighboring nation states. For example, when in 1999 rampaging Indonesian militiamen were slaughtering East Timorese by the hundreds, this human rights crisis did very little to threaten the peace or security of any other country in the region. In the absence of grounds for a Chapter VII intervention, even more creativity was called for. U.N. Secretary General Annan issued a statement that senior Indonesian officials risked prosecution for crimes against humanity if they did not consent to the deployment of an available multinational force.

10 Annan insisted that the Indonesian government either stop the killing itself or consent to the deployment of international troops, threatening that failure would result in Indonesians being held criminally liable for human rights violations.

11 The humanitarian intervention in East Timor has given rise to what has been termed the “Annan Doctrine”: the loss of the traditional prerogatives of sovereignty in the face of crimes against humanity.

12 Some scholars argue that Article 2(4) of the U.N. Charter prohibits any military intervention in other states on the grounds of purely internal violations of human rights.

13 Others argue instead that the recent humanitarian interventions that have occurred with a U.N. Security Council (UNSC) resolution under Chapter VII have created a de facto exception to Article 2(4).

14 Still others argue that humanitarian intervention may be morally justified, albeit not legally justified, without a foral UNSC Resolution. In such cases, some other record of the UNSC’s condemnation of the target country’s human rights record is sufficient, and the lack of any formal UNSC Resolution simply reflects international politics rather than any lack of genuine humanitarian concern. This occurred in relation to the 1999 NATO attack of Serbia that successfully rescued the Albanian Kosovars from Serbian ethnic cleansing. NATO acted because the U.N. could not. Richard Goldstone, chair of the Independent International Commission on Kosovo, concluded that even though the Kosovo intervention did not have the backing of a Security Council resolution, it was never the less a legitimate intervention. NATO’s actions had resolved a humanitarian crisis and had widespread support within the international community and civil society.

15 Furthermore, the Commission argued that the gap between legal and legitimate humanitarian interventions is dangerous and needs to be removed by specifying the conditions for humanitarian intervention.16 In other words, what matters more than a legal permission to intervene is a moral permission to intervene. This moral permission legitimates the intervention, even though it cannot render the intervention fully legal under the terms of the U.N. Charter. The legal constraints upon international humanitarian intervention are out of step with the moral urge to prevent loss of life in a nation with a humanitarian crisis. These efforts to fit humanitarian intervention into the existing international legal apparatus are fictions, crafted so that international action may follow international moral opprobrium. They are more honestly a simple judgment by the international community that a nation’s government has failed its citizens. I want to suggest that the “Annan doctrine” deployed in East Timor is the way ahead. It shows the sovereign – here, the Indonesian — government bargaining directly with the international community through the U.N. over human rights standards and trading some of the traditional prerogatives of sovereignty for freedom from international criminal prosecution. In this way, the sovereign answers not only to its own citizens for its failures of responsibility, but answers also to the international community. The stakes of the negotiation are sovereignty. Sovereignty is not only a duty of government to protect the human rights of its citizens, but a bargaining chip in international humanitarian intervention with the international community acting on behalf of a nation’s citizens.

16. Relational Sovereignty In the twentieth century the view was that national sovereignty applied universally to all nations with a seat at the United Nations table, but that it did not impose a practical requirement to assist people in need in other lands. It suggested that we need not be morally troubled that other people may need our care. Under the 20th century metric, international sovereignty was a “thin” responsibility–at heart, merely a duty or obligation each state owes to all others to observe national borders.

17 Sovereignty today is best understood as vastly more complex. Economic interdependence between nation states has grown, accelerating with the end of the Cold War, the expansion of the European Union and the growing influence of the World Trade Organization and the World Bank.

18 More subtly, the proliferation of regional and international organizations has led to a diffusion of state influence beyond their sovereign borders.

19 This distribution is uneven, and often unjust. Even so, globalization has blurred the distinction between domestic politics and international politics.

20 What was once seen as a parochial national issue may now become a matter of regional or international concern.

21 This growing transnational awareness of the plight of another nation’s people has in part been the product of the last decade’s expansion of human rights as an international rhetoric of demand aimed at governments by citizens and outsiders alike– a rhetoric that is simultaneously being elaborated in international human rights treaties. Much of the human rights rhetoric, as well as many international human rights treaties, are a “wish list” that go far beyond a nation’s capacity or political will to fulfill. Even so, new global and international communities are judging national compliance with international human rights. The United Nations, regional systems like the European Union and the Inter-American systems, and myriad non-governmental organizations, have both direct and indirect input into human rights issues today.

22 Claims that states have violated their citizens’ human rights, either overtly or simply by mal-distributing essential goods in exigent circumstances, come from sources both inside and outside the state. Ever-expanding economic, cultural, and intellectual interdependencies between states, and between the citizens of states, are forging tenuous bonds of interest and concern among the citizens of different states. Do these bonds –much more tenuous than the bonds of shared citizenship of a state, and contingent upon international communication – amount to a moral relationship that crosses state borders? And if they do, how should it influence the moral calculus about coercive interventions in a state’s human rights abuses of its citizens? Relational sovereignty proposes that sovereignty today is dependent on the measure of care by government for its citizens, and that the international community may step in to militarily enforce this care. Sovereignty, in other words, carries a more expansive definition than it used to. Relational sovereignty describes sovereignty as an emerging set of obligations among citizens, governments, and the international community, with two dimensions. The first is a duty upon governments that correlates with the activities of their citizens, even if those activities extend beyond the nation’s borders. For example, the activities of the U.S. government extend beyond the borders of the U.S., not only because of U.S. military and economic interests, but also because U.S. citizens have myriad capital, corporate, professional, and recreational interests and activities beyond U.S. borders. Second, relational sovereignty describes the interest that one country may have in the quality of governance in another country. For example, the nations of the European Union have an interest in the quality of governance of nations applying to join the Union, and an improving human rights record is an important chunk of the accession process. In other words, sovereignty is a qualitative function rather than an unconditional status, and a function that may be assessed by citizens and the international community alike. A nation’s claim to sovereignty – the sort of strong claim that under the traditional definition of sovereignty would have kept other nations at bay and outside the borders – will not necessarily be recognized by other nations. This is especially so if a government is creating a human rights crisis. Relational sovereignty places such interactive judgments at the center rather than the periphery of responsible governance.

23 Relational sovereignty can be applied to humanitarian intervention. International peacekeeping activities of the last decade have emphasized the growing role of international human rights norms when considering the need to override sovereignty to protect a nation’s citizens. In 1999, the U.N. Security Council’s resolution authorizing the intervention of international peacekeeping in Kosovo referred to the resolution of “the grave humanitarian situation in Kosovo.”

24 And more recently in 2004, Kofi Annan urged the U.N. Security Council to take action in the Darfur region of Sudan, citing “strong indications that war crimes and crimes against humanity have occurred…on a large and systematic scale”.

25 When national sovereignty is seen as a normative standard that is conditioned upon a government’s good human rights performance, this decade’s peacekeeping and humanitarian missions create a new principle for humanitarian intervention. National sovereignty will not deter the international community when a state is committing human rights abuses. National governments must discharge their duty of care towards their citizens, and the “court” of international opinion passes judgment. The international community acts as proxy for a state’s citizens in judging its care for them. If the sovereign fails to treat its citizens, and by that government’s own standards, the social contract between the ruler and the ruled collapses, an assessment of the government’s failings becomes a tripartite negotiation between sovereign, citizens, and the international community.

Three Principles Limiting International Humanitarian Intervention Widespread recognition exists that the U.N. Charter is out of step with contemporary international conditions. The 2004 U.N Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change

26 emphasized the inter-connectedness of terrorism, civil wars, and extreme poverty. In welcoming the Panel’s report, Kofi Annan enthused about the “opportunity to refashion and renew our institutions,” including a more systematic and effective mechanism for intervention in humanitarian crises. In meantime, while this reform process takes place, the gap between legal and legitimate justifications for interventions in humanitarian crises should be closed. In a world of complete justice, no government would ever seriously harm its citizens, either directly through violence or indirectly through incompetence, corruption, or mal-distribution of social and economic goods. But the extreme step of military intervention needs to meet an extremely high standard of clear need, even more so if intervention does not fit Chapter VII conditions of threatening regional peace and security. I want to offer the legal principle of equity as a way of justifying and containing the new global awareness of harm a state does to its citizens, pending full recognition of the legitimacy of humanitarian intervention under the theory of Relational Sovereignty. Equitable principles can balance the benefits and the dangers of humanitarian intervention. Equity has its historical foundation in both morality and law. When in the early days of modern courts the letter of the law failed to provide a remedy for deserving plaintiffs, judges used their discretion to grant a remedy “in equity.” Without a statute to guide them, judges have created the “common law” by articulating equitable principles that are so taken-for-granted that they do not need the authority of constitutions or legislation. The common law has in this way created fundamental legal principles that courts have elaborated over the years. These principles of equity have become the fail-safe of courts that seek to see that justice is done. In these situations, “equity intervenes when there is no adequate remedy at law.”

27 Courts fall back to equitable remedies in order to “provide fairness in a particular case of law.”

28 In other words, equity allows a court to fill the gaps of formal laws so that justice and fairness may prevail. Equitable principles are already part of international law, and have been applied in international judicial decision-making to ensure justice and fairness to the state parties. For example, the Statute of the International Court of Justice lists general principles of law recognized by civilized countries as one of the four sources of law,

29 and the Court assumes that it is always entitled to have recourse the use of equity. Equity, states the Court, is “implicit in the functions of a world tribunal.”

30 One recent example is the Court’s decision in the case about the Israel-Palestine wall. The Court directly cited equitable remedies, with all of the opinions referring to the “basic fairness” to the people of both territories and Judge Owada stating: Consideration of fairness in the administration of justice requires equitable treatment of the positions of both sides involved in the subject-matter in terms of the assessment both of facts and of law.

31 Equity should provide relief when the lives of innocent civilians are at risk. Judge Odwada said: Condemnation of the tragic circle of indiscriminate mutual violence perpetrated by both sides against innocent civilian population should be an important segment of the Opinion of the Court.

32 My argument here is that equitable principles and equitable doctrines can be applied to sovereignty, describing the duties of government towards its citizens and constraining intervention by the international community. Using equity and an analogy to principles of interpersonal rescue under traditional tort law, I suggest three threshold conditions for intervention. Such intervention should be limited to very rare cases, and should carry three threshold conditions. The first condition is that the humanitarian crisis must be widespread and extreme for intervention to be justified. This test already de facto exists in international law and has been applied over the last decade to interventions in genocide and widespread civil murder and mayhem.

33 I argue that this test should also apply to interventions that seek to alleviate mass starvation and disease. The crucial element for both types of widespread harm is the culpability of the national government in either causing or allowing such harm. The second threshold condition is that intervention must be welcomed by a firm consensus of injured citizens within the ailing state. Of course, this test is difficult to establish because it requires an ex ante assessment of popular support for intervention. It is easy to assume popular support for intervention when there is some reliable institutional litmus of public sentiment, as when in 1999 the U.N. intervened in the East Timor mayhem, after the overwhelming “yes” vote of the East Timorese referendum seeking secession from Indonesia. But such clear evidence is usually not available because oppressive governments rarely allow institutional expressions of unpopular sentiment about them. Finally, the third threshold test requires that international intervention do some good, and at very least, do no harm. This is also hard to establish: it requires excellent information about the politics, the capacity, and the popular preferences of the country where intervention might take place, and this information must point to the strong likelihood that intervention can improve conditions in the recipient country. If these three conditions are not in place, then intervention is unlikely to produce improved human rights. When they are, intervention can rightly be seen as an urgent expression of assistance to another nation’s people in need. Improving respect for human rights is the raison d’être of humanitarian intervention.

Threshold Test 1: Conditions must be extreme and widespread International law holds that a nation’s absolute sovereignty is sacrosanct and should be respected by other states. Despite this, military intervention, either multilateral or unilateral, has been justified under international law in the last decade where civil conflict was causing death or physical harm to innocents. But whereas intervention has been a measure of last resort in halting civil conflict, military intervention has not been justified in other situations of widespread death to innocents, such as terrible malnutrition, starvation and disease, even when those terrible circumstances have arisen from a government’s culpable inaction.

34 The international community typically intervenes in such cases by sending economic aid, both immediate aid with food and personnel, and longer-term economic aid for building a country’s infrastructure. Yet corruptly-governed countries, even those with very low internal revenues, still resist international economic incentives to prevent malnutrition and disease through better distribution of scarce social goods. Zimbabwe, for example, has high rates of government corruption and high rates of infant mortality and death from disease, including HIV-Aids. It has widespread poverty caused by its government.

At the same time, Zimbabwe is resistant to international pressure to reform its politics. For countries that lie beyond indirect international influence, is there another way to incentivize their governments to distribute social goods more equally among their citizens?

Where a Chapter VII intervention on the grounds or regional peace and security is not justified, and international economic incentives are not reducing the death toll, should there be an alternative rationale for forced intervention in a government’s harm to its citizens? One approach could be to revisit the justifications for military humanitarian intervention and ask: is there a philosophical difference between intervention for genocide and intervention for mass malnutrition and starvation caused by corrupt or negligent governance? Why should a slow death through starvation be categorically different from a swift death by machete? The total numbers of deaths of citizens doesn’t distinguish the cases, nor does the pain and anguish experienced by their victims. If it is accepted that the philosophical rationale for humanitarian intervention is the international community’s interest in protecting the suffering citizens of a nation, surely this should equally apply to death delivered by degrees over weeks and months. Equity looks to the moral culpability of a party for the harm of a victim. The test is justice and fairness, not just sovereignty. The key justification for international humanitarian intervention should be a government’s culpability in causing, or failing to prevent, the widespread death of innocents, rather than the method of causing those deaths. The test of widespread harm has already emerged for international intervention in civil carnage.

For example, after the civil and political crises in Rwanda and Kosovo, Kofi Annan stated that military intervention could be legitimate if there is an acute human rights crisis and if all diplomatic efforts have failed. Annan’s test could be read to mean that military invention may also be justified for widespread starvation through a government’s negligent or intentional failure to distribute minimally necessary goods and essential sustenance. Governments that fail miserably in their duty to ensure their populations’ well-being, either through bad intentions or through corruption or negligence, are surely failing in the obligations of the sovereign to care for its citizens. States which have no capacity – commonly referred to as “failed states” – are outside this first threshold test because their government is not the direct cause of the conditions causing death. The crucial element here is a government’s capacity to help its citizens. There is no moral difference between deaths caused by a government’s failure to keep the peace and deaths caused by a greedy government’s failure to distribute social and economic goods among all its population.

There is little practical difference either: recent studies have shown that the perception that intervention in civil war is straightforward is simply wrong – intervention is always complicated, and its success or failure depends much more upon long-term support than it does on the initial justification for intervention. Death by civil violence and death by corruption or neglect should be treated equivalently, equally justifying military humanitarian intervention if the harms are as equally widespread.35 Applying this to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, for example, a true humanitarian intervention would have depended upon more widespread harm – harm that was felt across all ethnic groups and not concentrated in one region. This threshold test would therefore rule out humanitarian intervention in Iraq because human rights abuses there, though extreme in some cases, were not as widespread as either mass starvation or large-scale ethnic cleansing. Threshold test 2: intervention must be welcomed by the victims The common law does not demand that an individual accept help from a bystander. The law of equity has applied this in the area of medical assistance, crafting the equitable doctrine of self-determination. This is defined as “one’s ability to exert autonomy over one’s own person, which includes the right to prevent unwanted bodily invasion and, therefore, the right to refuse unwanted medical treatment.”

36 As long as a person has the rational ability of an adult, he may refuse medical treatment. Applying this principle to international military intervention, equity suggests that just as people may refuse medical intervention, citizens also may make a political choice not to be saved from their sovereign’s tyranny. In other words, international intervention must only take place if the beleaguered citizens of a nation state wish it. Using East Timor as an example, I want to suggest that this idea of consent is already forming de facto in the international system. From 1975 to 1999, there had been active resistance among the East Timorese people to Indonesian rule – resistance that was regularly reported in the international press and was a subject of heated diplomacy between Indonesia and other nations. When the 1999 referendum in East Timor voted overwhelmingly for independence from Indonesia, the U.N.’s decision to send troops to stop civilian murder was easy. The East Timorese had expressed a clear mandate for the U.N. to step in on their behalf. But in many cases of widespread civil unrest or widespread starvation and disease, there is no such unambiguous expression of the popular will as there was in East Timor. What information can the international community rely upon? Even more problematically, what are the moral obligations of the international community if it seems that a population consents to its own violation? Equity is a guide here. Sometimes, an individual’s refusal of medical treatment may be overridden where there are other interests, such as the preservation of life, the prevention of suicide, the protection of innocent third parties, and the integrity of medical ethics. But the courts are extremely cautious about stepping over apparent consent to self-harm. For example, in Gray v. Romeo, 697 F. Supp. at 580, a 1988 decision of the US District Court of Rhode Island, the court stated: Although Marcia Gray has a constitutional right to refuse life-sustaining medical treatment, no right is absolute…Accordingly, Marcia Gray’s right must be balanced against competing governmental interests that include: the preservation of life, the prevention of suicide, the protection of innocent third parties, and the integrity of medical ethics…Upon examination, Marcia Gray’s interest in self-determination outweighs all governmental interests.

37 Marcia Gray had the right to make a self-harming decision in refusing food and hydration. The same question needs to be asked about a nation’s people who seem to be acquiescing in their own government’s harm or neglect. The equitable doctrine of self-determination can either act as a brake on intervention by imputing to citizens their preference to suffer under a corrupt or violent government rather than have outsiders come in and impose solutions, or it might act as a justification for intervention by imputing that citizens could not possibly consent to the degree of extreme and widespread harm in their country. The second threshold test will also be hard to satisfy in most cases as most corrupt or authoritarian governments do not take the pulse of their citizens’ feelings. Absent a referendum such as in East Timor, there must be clear evidence of such a groundswell of popular opinion that there is likely to be very little insurgent reaction against international intervention and very high levels of co-operation with those intervening forces in the days and weeks following invasion. Applying this to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, for example, would have called for better empirical knowledge of the human rights conditions in Iraq, and would have meant taking seriously those provisions in the 1991 Security Council resolutions that referred to human rights by, for example, sending human rights monitors as well as weapons inspectors to Iraq. Anything less than East Timor’s expressions of popular will must be viewed with extreme caution. Intervention must be informed by opinions of people currently living under a repressive government and not only the veins of a vocal diaspora of past inhabitants.

Threshold test 3: the intervention must produce more good than harm Finally, the third threshold test requires that international intervention ought only take place where it will do good, and at the very least, do no overall harm. Returning to the individual rescue analogy, equity does not require a bystander to be a Good Samaritan and help another in distress. But if bystanders choose to intervene, two conditions apply: first, they must intend to help the victim; and second, at very least they must not do harm. If the bystander causes more harm to the victim, it raises the question of misfeasance or bad intent on the part of the bystander. Applying equity to international law, humanitarian intervention into another nation’s human rights crisis ought to bring an improvement, and at the very least, must not make the human rights situation worse. If conditions worsen, the Good Samaritan has not been so good after all. Equity emphasizes two things: first, that humanitarian motivations must seek predominantly to help the people of another nation and not to pursue other geopolitical agendas; and second, intervention must improve, or at very least not worsen, conditions for the citizenry.

Like Threshold Test 2, this makes intervention harder and not easier to justify. Improvement in conditions for citizens in the recipient country must be substantial, and not likely to be outweighed by harms that may come from insurgent resistance to the international forces. Improvements in living conditions must occur immediately, instantly providing relief from ghastly circumstances. And the intervention must also demonstrate the likelihood of long-term improvements, such as improved governance and better distributive mechanisms for social and economic goods. How might this last threshold test operate? The United States’ unilateral invasion of Iraq fails the Good Samaritan test because not only were weapons of mass destructions not found, but the invasion came at a huge cost of lives for the Iraqi people, with some 25,000 Iraqi civilians killed in the first two years. Given the relative size of the two countries, this number of civilian deaths would be the equivalent of roughly 300,000 American deaths. The application of an international Good Samaritan doctrine would seek to limit the harm within Iraq. An acceptable alternative might have been to deploy troops on the border to put pressure on the Iraqi regime to comply with the 1991 Security Council resolutions. The potential task of those troops would not have been invasion and regime change, but to protect civilians in the event that the government decided to crush an uprising, as happened, for example, in 1991. Under the equitable doctrine of the Good Samaritan, the U.S. invasion could be seen as misfeasance – the sin of commission.

5. Conclusion A couple of decades ago, neither the U.N. Security Council nor the governments of individual nations relied so heavily on issues like human rights, genocide, oppression and torture when justifying intervention in civil conflicts. This is changing. There is today an unprecedented awareness of the plight of people in other nations. Globalization has accelerated this debate through its focus on the role of governments in responding to international pressures for expanded human rights. This awareness has altered the expectations of sovereignty: the international community places an affirmative duty upon national governments not only to keep the peace, but to distribute minimal material goods sufficient to prevent starvation. Military humanitarian interventions of the last decades are invoking a moral language of international interest in the competence of domestic governments. International humanitarian intervention has become one way of expressing compassion for citizens who are too silenced, too sick, too hungry, or simply too neglected to demand more of their government. While death by government violence or civil war may seem a more shocking failure of a government’s duty of care to its peoples, in fact, widespread death through malnutrition or disease may render a negligent government equally culpable. The rationale for international intervention ought to apply to both active violence and passive death and disease. In both cases, the sovereign government has failed in its role to protect its people.

A murderous, corrupt or neglectful government’s failure to prevent the death or injury of its citizens amounts to a fracturing of sovereignty. This creates an opportunity – a moral permission rather than a legal obligation — for other nations to act as Good Samaritans. In these circumstances, the international community may provide a remedy to beleaguered citizens – a remedy that exists as a matter of equity rather than as a matter of law, and which may be the impetus for a Chapter VII intervention.

The test should be extreme and widespread harm, whether this comes from deadly civil mayhem or malnutrition and diseases. An equitable international right to intervene in the intentional governmental harm or negligent failure of a state to distribute public goods should arise when national sovereignty has been overtaken by a government’s action or inaction towards its people. It needs to be an overwhelmingly welcome intervention, with good ex ante evidence of internal support for exterior intervention. And it must be an intervention that improves the lives of citizens, and certainly does not make their life harder. For even when intervention is supported by a large majority of a population, history shows that some resistance and insurgency will likely cause further bloodshed and harm. For intervention to be justified, there must have been such extreme and widespread hardship in that country that the bloodshed of a forced international presence seems minor in comparison. Finally, humanitarian intervention is only justified if there is a long-term commitment to building something better in the place of what is destroyed. Helen Stacy is a lecturer at the Stanford Law School. She has published extensively on international and comparative law; the adversarial system of law; legal and social theory; and human rights. She is the author of Postmodernism and Law: Jurisprudence in a Fragmenting World, (Ashgate Press, 2001), which explores the impact of postmodernism on legal thinking and discusses how law can benefit from postmodern thought. Before coming to Stanford, Stacy was a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Law at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. Before becoming a law professor, she practiced law as an industrial lawyer with Shell Oil Company in Australia, and then as a senior crown prosecutor in the United Kingdom as a member of the Inner Temple of the Inns of Court, where she prosecuted cases of murder, manslaughter, rape and terrorist acts. Endnotes 1 On the debate regarding humanitarian intervention and its status in current international law see, among others, A.P.V. Rogers, The Rule of Law in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations: Humanitarian Intervention and International Law, 27 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 725 (2004); Dino Kritsiotis, Reappraising Policy Objections To Humanitarian Intervention, 19 Mich. J. Int’l L. 1005 (1998); And Nikolai Krylov, Humanitarian Intervention: Pros and Cons, 17 Loy. L.A. Int’l & Comp. L.J. 365 (1995). 2 U.N. Charter art. 2, para. 4 reads “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

3 U.N. Charter art. 51 reads “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

4 U.N. Charter art. 42 states: “Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations.”

5 I initially proposed the reconfiguration of relational sovereignty in Helen Stacy, Relational Sovereignty, 55 Stan. L. Rev. 2029 (2003).

6 See id. at 2045-7.

7 On the matter of intervention in Somalia, see Security Council resolution S.C. Res. 794, U.N. SCOR, 47th Sess., 3145th mtg. at 3, U.N. Doc. S/RES/794 (1992); On the matter of intervention in Rwanda see Security Council resolution S.C. Res. 929, U.N. SCOR, 49th Sess., 3392d mtg. at 2, U.N. Doc. S/RES/929 (1994); On the matter of intervention in Haiti see Security Council resolution S.C. Res. 940, U.N. SCOR, 49th Sess., Res. & Dec., at 51, U.N. Doc. S/INF/50 (1994); and on the matter of intervention in Bosnia see Security Council resolution S.C. Res. 770 (1992), U.N. SCOR, 47th Sess., 3106th mtg., U.N. Doc. S/RES/770 (1992) & S.C. Res. 816, U.N. SCOR, 48th Sess., 3191st mtg., U.N. Doc. S/RES/816 (1993). 8 On the opposition of Mexico, Cuba, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Brazil (who was a member of the Security Council at the time) see the Security Council’s discussions for July 31st 1994, when representatives of Mexico, Cuba, Uruguay and Venezuela, among others, were invited to participate in the discussion without the right to vote, at S/PV. 3413 of 31 July 1994, pages 4 (Mexico), 5 (Cuba), 6 (Uruguay) and 8 (Venezuela & Brazil). 9 For more on the Bosnian atrocities and the Dayton Agreement see Elizabeth M. Cousens, Making Peace in Bosnia Work, 30 Cornell Int’l L.J. 789, 791-2 (1997). 10 .U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Press conference at the U.N. Headquarters on September 10, 1999. A transcript of this press conference, UNIS/SG/2360, is available at: http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/pressrels/1999/sg2360.html. 11 .Annan warned that if Jakarta refused to accept the international community’s assistance, it could not “escape the responsibility of what could amount . . . to crimes against humanity.” Id. Or, in the words of the Geneva Conventions, Indonesian leaders would be left open to international prosecution because they had not taken “all feasible measures” to stop the violence. Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Aug. 12, 1949, art. 68, 6 U.S.T. 3516, T.I.A.S. No. 3365, 75 U.N.T.S. 287. 12 . U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Speech to open the General Assembly on September 20, 1999, at http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/1999/19990920.sgsm7136.html. 13 Michael Akehurst, Humanitarian Intervention, in Intervention In World Politics, 99 (Hedley Bull ed., 1984); Natalino Ronzitti, Rescuing Nationals Abroad Through Military Coercion And Intervention On The Grounds Of Humanity (Dordrecht, 1985). Ian Brownlie, International Law And The Use Of Force By States (Oxford, 1963); Lori F. Damrosch, Commentary on Collective Military Intervention to Enforce Human Rights, in Law and Force in the New International Order 215, 217-21 (Lori F. Damrosch & David J. Scheffler eds., 1991); Louis Henkin, The Use of Force: Law and U.S. Policy, in Right v. Might: International Law and the Use of Force 37, 41-44 (Louis Henkin et al., 2d ed. 1991). 14 John Norton Moore, Grenada and the International Double Standard, 78 American Journal Of International Law 145, 154-55; Michael Reisman, Sovereignty and Human Rights in Contemporary International Law, 84 American Journal Of International Law 866, 869 (1990); Celeste Poltak, Humanitarian Intervention: A Contemporary Interpretation of the Charter of the United Nations, 60 U.T. Fac. L. Rev. 1 (2002); For more on the veto system, as preventing humanitarian intervention see: Jules Lobel, American Hegemony and International Law: Benign Hegemony? Kosovo and Article 2(4) of the U.N. Charter, 1 Chi. J. Int’l L. 19, 2000. 15 The Independent International Commission on Kosovo, The Kosovo Report: Conflict, International Response, Lessons Learned, (Oxford University Press, 2000). 16 Id. 17 This conception of sovereignty extended to both internal and external relations: a state exercises extensive control over its people within its territory, but at the same time it must respect the authority of other states within their territorial borders. This is a ‘thin’ conception, as it concentrates on the state’s right to govern its citizens, and not on the state’s responsibilities towards its citizens. For more on this see Jonathan H. Marks, Mending the Web: Universal Jurisdiction, Humanitarian Intervention and the Abrogation of Immunity by the Security Council, 42 Colum. J. Transnat’l L. 445, 477 (2003). 18 Stanley Hoffmann, The Ethics And Politics Of Humanitarian Intervention, 12-13 (University of Notre Dame Press, 1996). 19 Id. at 15. 20 For more about the erosion of sovereignty due to economic and technological developments see John H. Jackson, Sovereignty-Modern: A New Approach to an Outdated Concept, 97 A.J.I.L. 782, 785 (2003). 21 An example for such occurrence can be found in the case of East Timor. East Timor declared its independence from Portuguese colonization on 28 November 1975. Nine days later it was invaded and occupied by Indonesian forces, killing 60,000 Timorese in the initial assault. At the time, the international community did not initiate any actions targeted at the protection of the Timorese people. More than 20 years later, on 30 August 1999, in a U.N.-supervised popular referendum, an overwhelming majority of the people of East Timor (78.5%) voted for independence from Indonesia. By this time, the region’s aspirations for independence were the focus of the United Nations, which agreed to send a multinational peacekeeping force to the region in the pre-referendum phase, at the request of Indonesia. Soon after the referendum, anti-independence Timorese militias – organized and supported by the Indonesian military – commenced a large-scale, scorched-earth campaign of retribution against the East Timorese. On 20 September 1999 the Australian-led peacekeeping troops of the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET) deployed to the country and brought the violence to an end. On 20 May 2002, East Timor was internationally recognized as an independent state. 22 For a historical account of the globalization of human rights see Herbert V. Morais, The Globalization Of Human Rights Law And The Role Of International Financial Institutions In Promoting Human Rights, 33 Geo. Wash. Int’l L. Rev. 71, 2000. For more on the involvement of the EU in this process see Diego J. Linan Nogueras & Luis M. Hinojosa Martinez, Human Rights Conditionality in the External Trade of the European Union: Legal and Legitimacy Problems, 7 Colum. J. Eur. L. 307, (2001). 23 A similar idea was expressed by Fernando R. Teson, at Forthcoming in J. L. Holzgrefe and Robert O. Keohane, editors., Humanitarian Intervention: Ethical, Legal and Political Dilemmas (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2003); see also Fernando Teson, Humanitarian Intervention: An Inquiry into Law and Morality (Transnational Publishers Inc., 1997). 24 See .S.C. Res. 1244, U.N. SCOR, 4011th mtg., U.N. Doc. S/RES/1244 (1999). 25 Emily Wax, Sudanese getting little help U.N. estimates death toll has nearly doubled to 70,000 since Sept. 9, The Washington Post, November 17, 2004, at A10. 26 The U.N. Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, established the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, in November 2003, in order to examine new dangers to international security and to recommend ways of strengthening institutions of collective security. For more on the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change see: http://www.un-globalsecurity.org/panel.asp . 27 Thomas O. Main, Traditional Equity And Contemporary Procedure, 78 Wash. L. Rev. 429, 476-78 (2003). 28 Jack Moser, ESSAY: THE SECULARIZATION OF EQUITY: Ancient Religious Origins, Feudal Christian Influences, And Medieval Authoritarian Impacts On The Evolution Of Legal Equitable Remedies, 26 Cap. U.L. Rev. 483, 486 (1997). 29 The other three sources are: (1) international covenants; (2) international custom; and (4) judicial decisions of various nations. See art. 38, para. 1. 30 See General Information about ICJ: http://www.icj-cij.org/icjwww/igeneralinformation/ibbook/Bbookchapter7.HTM. 31 For the separate opinion of Judge Owada, see theICJ website at http://www.icj-cij.org/icjwww/idocket/imwp/imwpframe.htm 32 For the separate opinion of Judge Owada, see theICJ website, at http://www.icj-cij.org/icjwww/idocket/imwp/imwpframe.htm. 33 The requirement of an extreme and widespread humanitarian crisis, as a just condition for humanitarian intervention, has also appeared in the work of others. See Michael Walzer, Just And Unjust Wars 108 (Basic Books Inc. 1977); Fernando Teson, Humanitarian Intervention: An Inquiry Into Law And Morality, (Transnational Publishers Inc., 1997). 34 Fernando Teson, Humanitarian Intervention: An Inquiry Into Law And Morality 117, 123-5 (Transnational Publishers Inc., 1997). 35 Here, I am utilizing the distinction between civil and political rights as they are expressed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and social and economic rights as they are expressed in the International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights. 36 See Kristin M. Lomond, Note: An Adult Patient’s Right To Refuse Medical Treatment For Religious Reasons: The Limitations Imposed By Parenthood 31 U. Louisville J. Fam. L. 665, 670 (1993). 37 Gray v. Romeo, 697 F. Supp. at 580. အဆံုးအထိဆက္ဖတ္ရန္ ၿပန္ေခါက္ထားခဲ့ေလ….

Source Ko Moe Thee Zun weblog

Senior General and his PA (in Burmese)

Senior General and his PA

ဗိုလ္ခ်ဳပ္မွဴးၾကီးနွင့္ သူ၏ ပီေအ

“တပ္ခ်ဳပ္ၾကီး ဖုန္းလာတယ္ခင္ဗ် ”
“ေဟ ဘယ္ကဖုန္းလဲ”
“ ဘန္ကီမြန္း ဆီက ဖုန္းပါ တပ္ခ်ဳပ္ၾကီး”
“ဟာ ဒီ ေခြးမသား ေလာပန္ ျပန္ေျဖလိုက္ ငါမအားဘူး ေတဇနဲ႔လႊဲထားတယ္လို႔ ေျပာလိုက္”
“တပ္ခ်ဳပ္ၾကီး ဘန္ကီမြန္းက ေလာပန္မဟုတ္ဘူးခင္ဗ်.. ဟို..ဟို”

“ဘာ လဲ ယူနန္ျပည္နယ္အုပ္ခ်ဳပ္ေရးမွဴးလား ေျပာလိုက္ အဲဒီေကာင္လဲ တင္ေအာင္ျမင့္ဦးနဲ႔ ေျပာလိုက္လို႔”
“ တပ္ခ်ဳပ္ၾကီး လက္ခံစကားေျပာမွျဖစ္မယ္ထင္တယ္ မုန္တိုင္းတိုက္လို႔ ဒုကၡေရာက္ေနတဲ့သူေတြကိစၥ”
“ ဟ .. မင္းတယ္ခက္တဲ့ေကာင္ပါလား ၊ ေျပာလိုက္အဲဒီတရုတ္ကို မင္း အပူမဟုတ္ဘူးလို႔ ငါေတာင္မပူဘူး”
“ တပ္ခ်ဳပ္ၾကီး .. ဒါဆိုဘယ္လိုျပန္ေျပာလိုက္ရမလဲ”
“ ငါ့ေျမးနွာေစးေနလို႔ ေက်ာင္းမသြားနိုင္ဘူး ဒီေန႔ သူနဲ႔ ငါ တေနကုန္ဗီဒီယိုဂိမ္းကစားရမယ္ မေနွာင့္ယွက္နဲ႔လို႔ ေျပာလိုက္ မင္းတို႔ ဒါေလာက္မွ အသံုးမက်ဘူးလား ေခြးမသားေတြ”

“ဟုတ္ကဲ့ တပ္ခ်ဳပ္ၾကီး … ဒါဆို အေမရိကန္ သေဘၤာေတြ ျမန္မာ့ေရပိုင္နက္ထဲ ေရာက္ေနျပီခင္ဗ်”
“ေဟ…ဟုတ္လား ဒီေကာင္ေတြ ပါမစ္ မပါပဲ ငါးလာဖမ္းရင္ အကုန္ ဖမ္းခ်ဳပ္ျပီး ဒဏ္ရိုက္လႊတ္လိုက္ ေခြးမသားေတြ”
“ မဟုတ္ဘူး ခင္ဗ် …. ေလေဘးဒုကၡသည္ေတြအတြက္ အကူအညီပစၥည္းေတြလာပို႔တာ ”
“ ရာရာ စစ… ငါေတာင္ မကူဘူး ဒီေကာင္ေတြကဘာေကာင္ေတြမို႔လဲ”
“တပ္ခ်ဳပ္ၾကီးဆီက ခြင့္ျပဳခ်က္လိုေနပါတယ္ သူတို႔ေတြ ၀င္ကူဖို႔”
“ ဟ… ဘယ္ေတာ့မွ အေမရိကန္ ဆိုတဲ့ေကာင္ေတြ ကို အလကားမတ္တင္း ငါ အသက္ရွင္ေနသမွ် အ၀င္မခံဘူးကြ မွတ္ထား”
“ဟုတ္ကဲ့ နိုင္ငံျခားေရး၀န္ၾကီးကို ျပန္ေျပာခိုင္းလိုက္ပါ့မယ္”
“ေအး ဒါန ဲ႔ ထိုင္းက ႏွာျပားလာတုန္းက ငါ့အတြက္၀ယ္လာတဲ့ KFC ၾကက္ေၾကာ္ေတြေႏႊးထားစမ္း ၾကားလား”
“ဟုတ္ကဲ့ ေလေဘးကယ္ဆယ္ေရးအတြက္ အေမရိကားက လွဴထားတဲ့ အခ်ိဳရည္ေတြပါ ထည့္ထားေပးပါ့မယ္”
“ေအး … မင္းေတာ္တယ္ ေခြးသား ”
“ေက်းဇူးတင္ပါတယ္ တပ္ခ်ဳပ္ၾကီး ခု ကုလသမဂၢက ေနာက္ထပ္ ကိုယ္စားလွယ္တစ္ေယာက္လာေတာ့မွာျဖစ္ပါတယ္ ဘယ္လို ကိုင္တြယ္ရမလဲ ”
“ထံုးစံအတိုင္းေပါ့ မင္းေတာ္ေတာ္ညံ့တဲ့ေကာင္ပဲ ေခြးမသား ၊ ေက်ာက္စိမ္းေတြ ပတၱျမားေတြ ဘာလုပ္ဖို႔ထားတာလဲ”
“ အားလံုးေကာင္းသြားမွာပါ တပ္ခ်ဳပ္ၾကီး အားလံုးျဖစ္ေစရပါမယ္”
“ ေအး… မင္းေတာ္တယ္ ေခြးမသား ၊ မင္းဘာဆက္ေျပာဖို ့က်န္ေသးလဲ”
“ ေနာက္ဆံုးတခု တင္ျပခ်င္တာက..အေမရိကန္ သေဘၤာေတြက အေမရိကန္ေရတပ္က စစ္သေဘၤာေတြ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္တပ္ခ်ဳပ္ၾကီး”





Compassionate letter 8, “Loss of Home, Loss of Paradise”

Compassionate letter 8, “Loss of Home, Loss of Paradise”


As Bo Aung Din in Burma Digest

Dear Nan,

Do you remember the seminar we attended in 2001 called, Ethnic Minorities’ Struggles along the Thai-Burmese Border, organized by the Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University, the Thai Action Committee for Democracy in Burma, and Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development. I think we had noticed the presence of UNDP, UNHCR, UNESCO and some UN officials there.

Dear Nan, nowadays why did you become so over sensitive, easily irritated, snappy, angry fast and quick to blame others including me? May be you are frustrated with the deadlock in our country’s future. Don’t worry dear, nothing last forever in this world, including the Military rules in Burma/Myanmar. There would be definitely a change in our country’s politico-social status. Don’t give up hope; we already could see the light at the end of the tunnel. SPDC camel’s back is already weak, its need only some more straws to break. We just need to keep on pushing endlessly on them from all possible battle front s.

You asked me why I could even think you would forget that trip. I know darling, you enjoyed that trip too much and could not forget the various memorable experiences on the journey and there. And especially you had a rare chance to reunite with few of your cousins staying at Thai-Burma border. And our feeling and experience of as if we were at home, just by tasting the wind that breezed from the Shan Yoma into Thai. And you accidentally discovered my soft spot, my love for your Shan Land, when I could not control my tears while gazing at our mother land, which is actually my birth place also. At first you even failed to understand me and asked, what happened to my eyes because you thought that dust or some foreign particles entered my eyes. You were shocked only when I could not answer back immediately, choked and answered with the trembling soft voice.

Dear Nan, just remember that incidence before saying good-bye to me. My eternal love would never stop even if you go ahead with your plan to divorce me or even if I die. Don’t worry dear, even if you stay away from me I would not disturb you with revenge and jealousy or keep on stalking you. I am not a Sula Thu Badda from Saddan Sin Min, or like the character from our favourite, writer, singer, artist, actor and director Win Oo’s, The hate of a pretty woman. Win Oo himself was hated by the military and refused to honour him because he had supported the democracy movement. I just wish to remind our futures leaders not to forget the popular artist from various fields like Win Oo, U Htun Wai and etc who were ignored or suppressed by the Myanmar Military because they had supported the democracy movement. Once there is democracy, we should honour them and those who had sacrificed for the democracy movement.

I am not asking for blood or revenge punishment of the perpetrators but to compensate by our country to those suffered. We have to take a leaf out of National Reconciliatory Council of South Africa. This is in case the SPDC Generals redeem themselves and transfer the power back to the real owner, people, NLD and opposition. If not they should better start to select and engage the best lawyers in Myanmar who could converse in English, and study the International Laws related to GENOCIDE. Shan leaders and Burma Digest had already said; See you in court to the SPDC Generals. According to the Laws they had already contravened the Genocide Law, and there is neither Diplomatic nor Ruler’s Immunity. So dear darling, I wish to assure you not to even worry for my letters; I could stop writing to you if you just say so.

As you know darling, at that time, you were still studying at Singapore National University for your Masters and I was working with a Multinational company there. Now you got your PhD and you could afford trying to run away from me like a winged bird. Sorry dear, you were very angry with my first letter comparing you with the cat got (transplanted with) the new wings. I know you left me not because you could stand on your own, but for the principle: as a strong warning protest for the arresting of your uncles by my step mother Daw Than Shwe. I know and felt from the bottom of my heart that after many years of staying together, we already have a very strong bond and attachment for each other. Your other uncles and Burma digest is even collecting evidences to take legal action on Daw Than Swe and cohorts including that crime as I had mentioned above. Yes dear Nan, UN and International Criminal Court had defined that incarceration of the leaders of a group is guilty of not only attempted genocide but committing the GENOCIDE!

Let’s go back to our trip. Although we could take a flight, we decided to follow your idea to take the slow train from Singapore to Bangkok, through Malaysia. Dear Nan, I have to thank you for your suggestion and I am glad that even our fussy children had enjoyed the journey. Although we had visas to enter Malaysia, Thailand and re-entry visa to Singapore, all the three Immigrations had given trouble to us just because we were holding the Myanmar passports. After prolonged interviews only they approved our entry and then only you questioned them what wet wrong. You pointed out calmly to them that we could enter their countries even without any visa before when we were not an ASEAN member. Now only after Myanmar is accepted as an ASEAN member country, why our citizens need visas and there are a lot of red tapes and stricter entry conditions. You were angry because although our travel documents were in proper order, they set-aside our Passports and processed only after all the passengers were safely back on the train.

Malaysian Immigration and Thailand officers had given lame excuses; they have to be strict because of many Myanmar illegal immigrants in their countries. But you boldly told them off, by asking how rich their countries were, to think we were going to work in their countries. Dear darling, you continued that even if their governments invited your husband to work for their countries, you have to reject as your husband’s driver’s salary is even more than the average government officer’s salary in their countries. (Actually my real salary was not that high; Nan just wanted to revenge and dents their pride only.) I had to pull your arms to stop you because they were Government Officers and they could easily give trouble to us as they are notorious for extortion with trumpet charges on others. And the politicians are always ready backing them, to cover up their countries’ rots.

But when the stupid and greedy Thai officer keep on repeating that they have to be strict because of Myanmar illegal, and advised us to deal with the touts outside to smoothen the process, we all understand that he was clearly asking for bribes. You are a lady only but your anger sometimes rose higher than me and told them off again by advising to clear the millions illegal and rebels from our country inside their border. And you threatened to report to the Thai Embassy for refund of the visa fee if we need to pay bribes again. Then only the Thai officer from the back came out and stamped our passports with 60 days’ stay approval, although we asked for only three days. Thai Immigration officer’s agent touts are also shameless and although they knew that we have no more business with them they follow us and asked for few loose coins as cigarette money. (They already knew that they could not demand the dinner or tea money but have to settle for cigarette s only.) Although I did not want to pay, you pulled out few dollar notes to stop harassment.

Sorry friends for Nan’s offending words about the freedom fighters at our border. Please forgive us because she used those words just to win the war of words, with those Sit Taung Sars meaning the officers checking just to get bribes. Although we all knew that those kinds of habits and extortion are rampant in Myanmar SPDC authorities, we now know that this is one of the ASEAN values. But we had to admit that we rarely see these corruptions amongst government servants in Singapore, but cronyism, nepotism racial discrimination and unfair cruel crushing or annihilation of all the political opponents is still the order of the day under the autocratic government of Singapore. My dear wife never looks down on all of you and even forced me to follow her to the border to donate some foods, clothings, medicines and cash at the border. Later we learnt that our photographs were secretly taken by Myanmar MI spies and sent to Singapore Myanmar Embassy to take necessary actions. We have to thank the special officer-in-charge of Intelligence works in Singapore Myanmar Embassy, who was married to Nan’s cousin. (The same person who helped the release of Ko Harnif after the racial riots, mentioned in my previous letter.) His wife gave the whole file to Nan so that we could destroy.

Dear Nan, as you were familiar with the history of our Ethnic Minorities: the facts came out or revealed there in the seminar were not strange or new to you, but I was shocked because I lost in touch with the history at that time. And the following facts disclosed at the seminar were unanticipated; I could not swallow and were not even accepted easily by my conscious mind:

These are a few stories passed down by the Daw Daw Mon, U Ka Yin and Daw Daw Shan (Daw Daw Tai), Wut Boonlert, coordinator of the Karen Network for Culture and Environment, continued to explain how a stateless predicament befell the U Ka Yin’s relatives of the Salawin Basin.

According to him, once upon a time ie a long long time ago Ka Yin started his long march from the very far far away land, Gobi Desert and migrated to Yangtze Basin. Then he descended aga in downwards to the Khong River, the Chao Phya River and the green Irrawaddy Basin in Shwe Bama village, where grass were greener and water was cleaner.

U Ka Yin is also known in Thailand as the Kariang or Yang as he is also an ethnic group of U Thai village. U Ka Yin always has good relations with Ko Thai Land because Ko Thai Land started a policy to use U Ka Yin’s villages as buffer zone from successive aggressive U Shwe Bama. After some of the U Bama’s relatives were expelled from the Lanna Kingdom village in 1783, with support from the new U Chakri Dynasty of Bangkok village, (Saw Bwa Pya) Kawinla of Chiang Mai village had a close relationship with the U Ka Yin in order to bring people from the land controlled by his cousin U Ka Yinni (also known as U Ka Yah) to Chiang Mai.

Later Saw Bwa Luang Setthi Khamphan of Chiang Mai married Saw Bwa Nang Kham Paeng, daughter of Saw Bwa Maha Wong who governed Muang Pha Poon. Saw Bwa Nang Kham Paeng was later sent to govern Muang Kantara Wadee. But the Saw Bwa Muang of Chiang Mai dared not tell about an ancestor who came from the land of the U Ka Yinni. Saw Bwa Nang Khampaeng was the great-grandmother of Saw Bwa Dararassamee, a wife of King Rama V.

But it is a fact that Ko Thai created our Shwe Bamas as a common bogyman not only for historical reasons but it offered a cheap and convenient target when it launched a Pan Thai Empire, to unite all the Tai speaking tribes in Shan quarters of Shwe Bama village, U Laos and all those of the Dai tribes including from Sip Son Panna in U Ta Yoke’s village tract.

Ka Yin-speaking people are spread over a large area, mainly on the Shwe Bama village frontie r with U Thai Land village. Everywhere U Ka Yin’s relatives live interspersed among various other ethnic brothers of Shwe Bama, so that we find pockets of exclusiv e U Ka Yin’s cousin villages among for instance Daw Mon, U Shan and Ko Lawa.

Historically, U Ka Yin (U Pha Hti) descended from the same ancestors as U U Mongo people. The Great grand father U U Ka Yin settled in Htee-Hset Met Ywa (Land of Flowing Sands), a land bordering the source of the Yangtze -Kiang River in the Gobi Desert. From there, U Pha Hti migrated southwards and gradually entered the land now known as Shwe Bama about 739 B.C. or earlier as stated above. They thought they were the first settlers in this part of new land. U Ka Yin named this land Kaw-Lah, meaning the Green Land.

But U Pha Hti could not enjoy his peaceful live for long, as Daw Daw Mon entered this area next, followed at their heels by the Shwe Bamas. (Contrary to his claims, most historians accepted that Daw Daw Mon was the first settler in Shwe Bama earlier than U Pha Hti.) Both the Daw Daw Mon and U Bama brought with them feudalism. U Bama later won the feudal war, and they subdued and subjugated all other nationalities in the land. The U Pha Hti claimed that he had suffered untold miseries at the hands of the U Bama lords. U Pha Hti thought that persecution, torture, killings, suppression, oppression and exploitation were the order of the day. U Pha Hti even mentioned a few historical facts as evidence; he referred to the U Bama’s subjugation of the Daw Daw Mon and the Daw Ya Khine, and especially their past atrocities against the Daw Thai at Ayudhaya village. He even claimed that those were episodes in a never ending attempt of Genocide by the Shwe Bama soldiers on their Ethnic Minorities.

Dear Nan, I have already acknowledged that you are smart and clever but why did you query me for the skipping of your second question regarding the Basic concepts of good Governance. Why do you forget my right of answering your questions in any serial order? I thought the answer to that question is a little bit dull and so I used my right to choose to answer your last question before the second question.

What’s up Nan, at first my answers were based on Shan official web and the Karen migration is based on Karen web site and our own experience at the seminar. I also quoted Dr Than Tun’s books, and various History books I mentioned in earlier letter and from the Wikipedia encyclopaedia.

Even if you do not wish to give me the distinction marks, I am sure you could not fail me. Ha, Ha! I had learned a lot from you Nan, thank you for teaching me all the general knowledge and encouraging or sometimes pushing and forcing me to read in stead of watching my favourite movie series. Now you are reaping what you sow. Don’t even think to say that now the son is one month older than the father! If all the students in the whole world just used to learn and know what their teachers spoon fed them, and if there are no more research or progress, we all would be stuck in the Stone Age.

Dear darling, all of us progress successively from Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Steel Age, Mechanical Revolution Age, Electrical Age, Atomic Age, Computer Age, Internet Age, ICT Age and K-economy Age (Knowledge based economy) because students not only learned but tried to be better than their teachers. I am not insulting the teachers dear Nan. Just because you are working as a lecturer, you are a little bit bias, angry and thought I am insulting all my teachers. Actually I always respect my teachers and also know their plight: the grinding stones became thinner helping to sharpen the knives.

Our Lord Buddha pointed out to us the virtues of the candle light (fire) sharing the fire (light) to light up another candle. You never lost any thing, but could help light up another candle. We need to think like that. Teachers are sharing or distributing their knowledge but the students must not stop or satisfied with what they are taught. Even Lord Buddha had taught us not just to accept any thing without thinking, including his teachings. So don’t angry with me dear Nan. You should instead happy with your student’s small progress. Although I am gloating, I had made a blunder again. Sorry Nan, I am drifting away a lot from my topic again.

Dear darling Nan, as I had already answered earlier, our people of Shwe Bama village are said to be descendants of three main Migrant Ancestor branches or families:

(1) Mon-Khmer,

(2) Tibeto-Burman and

(3) Tai Shan-Chinese.

Daw Daw Mon is a desendant of of this Mon-Khmer group family. Humans lived in the region that is now known as our Shwe Bama village as early as 11,000 years ago, but the first identifiable civilization is that of the Daw Daw Mon. See Nan, this fact is contrary to U Ka Yin’s claim. But I think it is no use for us to quarrel who came first when the most important real practical fact is that we all are sailing together in the same boat. It is no use trying to fight over who is the original owner, who came later and who is just a freshman comming in and join last. Once we accepted any one as a fellow traveller or a citizen, we must be fair to all of them, should stop all discriminations and treat as an all-equal-partner. We need the combined undivided effort to reach our destination, Democratic Federal Union of Burma/Myanmar. The weather out side is bad, SPDC thunderstorm is still strong, it cause Kyant Phut waves which could pull and push our ship into danger. Instead of fighting among each other and wasting our energy, we must focus all our energy to fight our common enemy, SPDC and cohorts.

Daw Daw Mon actually began her long march of migration into our Shwe Bama village in about 3000 BC, and her first kingdom Suwarna Bhumi village, or Golden Landwas founded around the port of Thaton in about 300 BC. Daw Daw Mon’s tradition folk tales suggests that they had contact with Buddhism via seafaring as early as the 3rd century BC. But definitely by the 2nd century BC, they received an envoy of monks from Ashoka, Ko Kala’s village. Much of the Daw Daw Mon’s written records hav e been destroyed during the wars.

By the mid-9th century, Daw Daw Mon became a dominant force in all of southern Shwe Bama. Even in Malay Chronicles called Sejarah Melayu.

 Pago/Bago men were recorded to arrive Malacca, the first Malay kingdom, and were regarded as one of their founders, forefathers or ancestors! Yes, I wish to repeat again, our Daw Daw Mon’s children were regarded as part of Malaysia’s ancestors.

Daw Daw Mon’s descendants are also known as Talaings because of their origin partly from Talingana village (State) of Ko Kala’s village tract. But some of them think that Talaing is a derogatory name for them and wish only to be known as Daw Daw Mon’s desendants. Daw Daw Mon blended U Kala and Mon culture (carried and inherited from U Tayoke’s place) together and emerged as a hybrid of the two civilizations.

I h ereby wish to apologize my Mon friends because some of you may be obviously offended by the name Talaing. But let me continue talking about the gossips about the alleged secret afair of Daw Daw Mon and U Talaing, Dear Nan, while writing about this Talaing name, I remember the joke of my uncle U Tin Oo (NLD) and I hope that you would kindly allow me some extra time to regurgitate this story.

Dear Nan, thank you for allowing me to interrupt with this interesting story about my Uncle U Tin Oo. As y ou know, although he is my uncle but you are more closed to them as his wife had a better chemistry with you. Dear Nan, when we were in U Ya Khine’s village tract they used to visit our house for few times. And Uncle U Tin Oo used to tell that our house was his lucky house because coincidently on the day of his visits to our house, he got promotions for two times. At that time he was serving in the Burma Army and was the Commander of the Middle Division Military Command. Once he was promoted and became a full General on his first visit to our house and on the day of his next visit he was promoted as the Minister of Defence.

Dear Nan, you were strict with our a-little-bit-mischievous children, forced or disciplined them to eat with porcelain coated iron plates and used to keep the delicate fine china plates in storage, for the guests. I still remember that day; our Bama Military General refused to use the precious plates and joined our children using their porcelain coated iron plates. As we already knew his humane or decent habit of calling in his driver and security soldiers to join the dinner table, one of his soldiers fondly or proudly told us that his General used to eat with the ordinary soldiers and usually refused to eat at specially decorated reserved VIP places. He was very popular among the grass roots and loved by various strata of people; Military rank and file and even among the ruling elite. He was the national hero then because he had just rooted out the prolonged strong hold of Burma Communist Party’s rebel head-quarters on the Bago Yoma (Pegu Mountain Ranges).

No wonder uncle U Tin Oo was loved by the whole army and all the people, not like the present megalomaniac Myanmar SPDC generals, who used to sit on higher decorated special chairs with the delusions of been a royal descendents and wished to be addressed like a royalty. They are actually like the dirty trace of oil above the peoples’ clean water. They choose not to be mix with rank and file and ordinary people; like that oil could not mix with water.

Dear Nan, once you asked me in a whisper; why my uncle General Tin Oo never attempted a Coup d’tat, to save all of us from Daw Ne Win’s tyranny. I told you I thought he was so naive and loyal to Daw Ne Win at that time, but now he has to pay dearly for that indecisiveness. He even failed to support with all his might to Captain Ohn Kyaw Myint, a Burmese Muslim, who sought his blessing for a Coup d’tat to topple Daw Ne Win. Captain Ohn Kyaw Myint was caught, charged and hanged. And our uncle U Tin Oo had to spend six years in jail for the failure to report the treason attempt. And Daw Ne Win started a vicious and ferocious revenge attack on all the Muslims of Burma like Saddam Hussein’s attack on all the Shiites after the failed assassination attack on him.

Dear Nan, we all have conveniently forgot our fallen unsung hero, Captain Ohn Kyaw Myint, who unsuccessfully tried to stage a palace Coup d’tat and present the crown on the platter to a good, fair and just leader, U Tin Oo of present NLD. We should honour him so that other heroes in the Myanmar army would repeat the wheel of the history; follow his brave plot to save all of us. Now most of us could only have a secret day dream for the split in Myanmar military and the rising of the moderate leaders who would negotiate and willing to make a deal with all of us.

I am regurgitating these old events because recently I got the news that NLD U Tin Oo was allowed out for less than an hour to visit his nephew’s funeral. At our last meeting with him, when we met before our transfer to Thar Yar Waddy, he joked that the town was notorious for its biggest jail in Burma. But he was so pleased with you when you were quick to retort that it is actually famous for Saya San, farmer rebel, our hero. He even commented, Shan Ma, I am happy that you could also remember our Bama hero!

But I thought he made an unintentional blunder by insulting Daw Mon when he joked about the story of Kyansittha. During the war with the Daw Mons, he went to pray at the famous Shwe Maw Daw pagoda in Bago. When he came down the stair case of the pagoda, the Talaings had already surrounded the pagoda. But Kyansittha managed to come down calmly without any harm, any fight and he neither faced a danger nor even had a scratch.

He asked us the reason of that miracle and the answer to this extra normal phenomenon. I was caught, but dear Nan, you were clever enough to quickly give the correct answer: Ta, means one in Burmese. Ta-Line means one line on the shoulder i.e. a sergeant in his own army. So, Kyansittha was not surrounded by the enemy Daw Mon or U Talaing’s soldiers but was just surrounded by his own military men, sergeants or in other words ˜Ta-Lines.

That General Tin Oo was later promoted to the Chief Commander of Burma Armed Forces and became ˜the number two man in Burma. But that position was dangerous under the dictator Daw Ne Win. Once the second man became popular and if there were signs of a threat, he used to remove them like all other dictators around the world, and replaced with a weaker person so that his number one position would be safe. General Tin Oo was accused of corruption. He had allegedly accepted five bottles of imported foreign liquor, accepted the government controlled foreign currency from the Military Attache in London, to buy medicine for his child suffering from leukaemia! Quite a flimsy trumpeted charges to remove the second most powerful man in a country. But you told me that we have to thank god, he was not accused of shameful trumpeted charges like sodomy as Hitler and Mahathier had done on their deputies. I hereby wish to propose that future Presidents or Prime Ministers of Burma/Myanmar should not allow in office for mo re than two terms. In Burmese, all the Aso Ya Asa bae yoe thee means all the governments are trustworthy at the start but later changed into tyrant and not honest any more. .

Dear Nan, you could deduct some marks from my score. No problem, I think it is our duty to tell our children about our experiences. You have to give me some latitude to swing and sway. As long as my variations do not overshoot beyond one standard deviation, I hope there should not be any problems.

Dear darling, at the above mentioned seminar we attended in 2001 called, Ethnic Minorities Struggles along the Thai-Burmese Border, Pisanh, a Mon representative, presented about his great grand Aunty Daw Daw Mon ancestors building kingdoms villages in Shwe Bama village tract and other parts of Asia.

According to Daw Daw Mon and Shwe Bama village records, before Buddha achieved Enlightenment, Alika and Tapusa, two Mon merchants, had presented khao tu [sweetened rice] to Buddha. Lord Buddha then gave his eight hairs to those two Daw Daw Mon’s merchants. They then brought the hairs to their Daw Daw Mon’s village head and he put the Buddha’s hairs in a pagoda. That pagoda is now known as Shwedagon, and has become a symbol of Shwe Bama village.

Daw Daw Mon’s village kingdom was destroyed by the Shwe Bama village heads. First Thaton village was conquered by King Anawrattha in eleventh century. He bitterly accused that in 1757 King Alongphaya of Burma attacked and burn the Mon capital of Hongsawadee village (Han Tha Wadee) about 3,000 Mon monks were killed. The Mon religious leaders flee to U Thai’s village.

Ten years later the U Thai’s kingdom of Ayutthaya village was also destroyed by the Shwe Bamas. But later Thailand skilfully used Daw Daw Mon, U Ka Yin, Daw Daw Shan and other ethnic groups to play as buffer states between the Ko Thai and Shwe Bamas.

Daw Daw Mon’s Dvaravati kingdom ( Danya Waddy village) existed from the 6th to the 11th centuries AD, when it was conquered by the Ko Khmer’s Empire. And that Ko Khmer’s Empire or village tract was centred on the Chao Phraya River valley in modern-day Ko Thai Land’s village, with Nakhon Pathom village as the capital and spread up to lower Shwe Bama village tract.

Dear Nan, I wish to give a just brief account of Ko Khmer’s village empire that was a powerful village kingdom based in what is now Daw Cam Bodia’s village. Ko Khmer’s village empire, which seceded from the kingdom of Chenla, at times ruled over parts of modern-day U Laos’ village, Ko Thai Land’s village and Daw HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam”Viet Nam’s village. Its greatest legacy is Angkor, which was the capital during the empire’s zenith. Khmer villageers are Hindi and Mahayana Buddhists but l ater changed into Theravada Buddhists after the new version of religion was introduction from Sri Lanka in the 13th century

Dear Nan, Daw Daw Mon’s cousins, U Kaya, Daw Wa, Ko Palaung, Ma Padaung, Daw Pale, U Yao, Ma La, and others are originated from the Mon-Khmer group. Actually Mon-Khmers are sea-migrants of the east from India Talingana State mixed with the invader Mongols from the north. Mon-Khamars also stayed in U Thai Land village and Daw Cam Bodia village. Shwe Bama villagers got their cultures, written language , religion, arts and skills dubbed ten flowers: goldsmith, silversmith, carpentry, painting, architecture, sculpture, masonry etc from Daw Daw Mon and her cousins from U Thai Land’s village!

Dear Nan, it is a little bit strange for me because we were taught in the history books that Shwe Bama village head Anawrattha conquered Daw Daw Mon village head Manuha and brought back the Buddhism and all the skilled persons but our Shwe Bama written language is more related to Daw Daw Shan’s cousins Ma Mon, from U Thai Land’s village rather than our own sister Daw Daw Mon.

Dear Nan, in the chronicles of U Thai Land, it stated that Daw Daw Mon’s relatives were one of the earliest distinct groups to occupy Shwe Bama, moving into the area as early as 1500 BCE, or possibly earlier. Daw Daw Mon’s relatives had established the historical kingdoms of Dvaravati (Danya Waddy) and Haripunchai. Until the 14th century AD, Daw Daw Mon’s culture continued to spread very far east, including modern U Thai’s village and Issan plateau cities such as Lampang and Khon Kaen. As late as the 14th and 15th centuries, it is believed that the Daw Daw Mon’s relatives were the ethnic majority in this vast region, but intermarried freely with U Cam Bodia and U Tai-Kadai (your Daw Daw Shan’s relatives) populations. Archaeological remains of Daw Daw Mon’s settlements have been found south of Vientiane village, and may also have extended further to the north-west in the Haripunchai village era.

Dear darling Nan, according to the chronicles of U Thai Land, Daw Daw Mon’s cousins converted to Theravada Buddhism at a very early point in their history; unlike other ethnic groups in the region, they seem to have adopted Theravada orthodoxy before coming into contact with Mahayana tendencies. And it is believed that the Daw Daw Mon had converted U Thai and U Cam Bodia from Hindu/Mahayanism to Theravada Buddhism (15th century). So this is another version of the event how you got Buddhism.

Dear Nan, it is interesting that like us, U Thai and some present day Ma Mon has tried to identify her ethnicity with the semi-historical kingdom of Suwarnabhumi. Historical scholars pointed out that the early usage of the term (as found in the edicts of Ashoka during the U Kala’s Village tract’s haydays of Buddhism) 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 Shwe Bama and U Thai have tried 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. (This is taken from U Thai’s records.)

Dear Nan, I am excited to know that, Suwannaphum (also Suwarnabhumi) remains one of the most mythified in the his ory of Asia and in U Thai Land’s village, their head of village and village museums insist that it was somewhere along their southern coast. And so they had named the new Bangkok village airport after the mythic kingdom of Suwarnabhumi, or “Suwannaphum”.or Thu Wanna Bumi meant Golden Land in Burmese.

Dear Nan, when I wrote about your Daw Daw Shan, I forgot to mention about her ancestor origin that she was a descendant of the Tai Shan-Chinese group. Daw Daw Shan, U Pha Hti or U Ka Yin and Daw Taungthu, etc., all have their roots in the Tai-Chinese community and descended from present U Ta Yoke’s village tract and had made a long march through Ko Yu Nans village. We already knew the relation of Daw Daw Shan and her twin sister Daw Daw Siam, now known as Daw Thai. Their languages are also similar and both of them feel that they are twin sisters, just separated by the border.

Some of the Daw Shan’s descendants prefer to be called Tai. “Shan” is a Burmese corruption of “Syam” or “Siam”, or Thai or Tai. Shwe Bama Shans are much more in common ethnically and culturally with their cousins in U Thai village than the Shwe Bama villagers.

“In the past, there were 33 provincial towns in Muang Tai and each town was governed by chao fah or Saw Bwa,” said Chaiya Khongchuen of the Tai Union. “Burma was directly colonized by Great Britain, but Muang Tai [the Shan State] was just a Protectorate State. Ne Win killed many chao fahs (Saw Bwas) during 1962 coup. On May 21, 1958, Tai leader Saw Yanda announced that he was waging war against the Burmese government,” Chaiya said at the above mentioned seminar.

Dear Nan, let’s talk about last group of our ancestors, the Tibeto-Burman group which I had already mentioned in last letter.

Shwe Bama spoken language is derived from this Tibeto-Burman group. U Bamar, Daw Chin, Ko Kachin, Ma Rahkine, Ma Inthar, Ko Naga, Daw Yaw, Ko Mro, Daw Lisu, U Kadu, Ma Hpon, Daw Maru, U Lashi, Ma Rawang, Daw Azi, Daw Nung, U Daru, U Gauri, Ma Lahu, Ma Lolo and others, descended from the Tibeto-Burman group.

Darling, they migrated downwards from Daw Tibet’s village, U Ta Yoke’s village tract. They are now spread widely and staying in Shwe Bama village, U Tayoke’s village and Ko Kala’s village. Do you remember darling, in 2002 there was a U Kachin’s international conference held in Shwe Bama village. U Kachin’s cousin brothers from U Tayoke’s village and Ko Kala’s village attended.

Ko Chin, Ko Kachin and Ko Naga’s relatives are also on both sides of Indo-Burma border. Buddhist Rakhines in Bangladesh are known as Marghs.

Dear Nan, as you already know, our ethnic brothers spread in our village tract widely viz: U Ka Yin, Daw Daw Mon, Daw Daw Shan, Ko Intha, U Kayah, Ma Palaung, Ko Aka, and Ma Pa-o usual ly stayed in the east and southeast of the Shwe Bama village tract. And Ko Kachin, Daw Wa and U Kokang stayed in the north and east of our village tract. Daw Chin and U Yakhine are mainly in the west.

Dear Nan, I still remember these facts you told me once, that the Tibeto-Burman group of languages (often considered a sub-group of the Sino-Tibetan language family) is spoken in various central and south Asian countries, including Shwe Bama village, northern part of Ko Thai Land village, southern part of U Tayoke’s village tract (Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai, Gansu, Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, Hunan), Daw Nepal’s village, U Bhutan’s village, Ko Kala’s village tract (Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir), and western part of U Pakistan’s village.

Dear darling, at that time you amazed me by telling me that the Tibeto-Burman group of languages subfamily includes approximately 350 languages. Our Shwe Bama language has the most speakers (approximately 35 million).

Dear Nan, you will be surprised by my new findings that some linguists (including Shafer 1966 and George van Driem) advocate elevating “Tibeto-Burman” to displace “Sino-Tibetan” as the top-tier language family, with the Chinese languages (Sinitic) classified as a branch of the Tibeto-Burman/Sino-Tibetan family. In simple layman terms, Chinese language is now under Tibeto-Burman language family. It is facinating to know that the great China or U Tayoke got the language from our ancestors!

As I had stated, in the 9th century the Shwe Bama and our Ethnic minorities migrated from the then U Tayoke-Daw Tibet border region into the valley of the Ayeyarwady which is now the heart of the Shwe Bama golden Pavalion.

Dear darling, our Shwe Bama village tract has experienced a long history of migration along fluid frontiers and numerous conflicts among various ethnic groups. We are between two big neighbours or world’s greatest civilizations, U Tayoke and U Kala’s village tracts. And our country is the only highway those big neighbours could travel, trade or migrate because they are divided by the very high Himalayan Mountain Ranges. When there were wars or struggles for power to control a village kingdom, our village tract became a safe heaven of refuge. Or if there were any famine, bad weather, diseases of humans, animals or plants our country was always ready to provide a greener pasture and cleaner water. So our Golden Shwe Bama village became the melting pot of two civilizations.

Sorry Nan I forgot to acknowledge that you told me about these facts in my first letter: our spoken language is from Tibeto-Burman group and related to U Tayoke’s language but our written language is from Brami script of Ko Kala’s village tract. And even our vowels or way of pronouncing is the same as southern Ko Kala’s few languages. So some of them could even read written Burmese correctly but could not understand much. But as our spoken language is similar to U Tayoke, they could understand some of our spoken words. Our lower half of the national dress is from Ko Kala and upper half from U Tayoke. And we got the religion, culture, arts etc from our big neighbours. But I am glad and feel proud because we had adapted all we got, modified to suit our needs and now almost all of our nationalities have our own unique languages, personalities, national dresses, traditions, cultures etc that we all could proud of.

Dear darling, I am sad to tell you about this, but anyway you had already known it. Because of the bad SPDC government, now our country is suffering the reversal of fate, totally in a different state, we are in the reverse gear mode. Our Shwe Bama village tract’s long tradition of giving refuge to all our neighbours in need, immigrant’s heaven, is sadly changed. Now many of our people are refugees, working legally and illegally abroad and we are in the emigration mode. Last time our country was a paradise for all of us, citizens and foreigners. Now we had lost our paradise like the Athu Yar Nat Min who was removed and replaced by the Tha Gar Min and sent to Athuyakae. But sadly, our SPDC is not Tha Gar Min or King of the angels, but acting like the King of the devils. They could not get or enjoy the Paradise stolen from us because they had just ruined our paradise and are collecting endless sins, preparing to go to hell, where they be long, in the next life. I hope and strongly believe that our lost or ruined paradise could be rebuilt by our united workforce once we got our democracy.

As you always said when I was a little bit disturbed with the never stopping visitors, Ain thar hma Ei lar thi in Burmese, which means only when the host (home) is pleasant, the guests would come. Your concept of “to be a donating person or paying hand is better than the receiving hand or a person in need”. Yes dear, now I could accept your foresighted ideas of trying to be at the upper end of charity chain of events. We have to thank god for chosen us in that position although we are not rich. We have to build back our country to regain our previous golden paradise status.

In the past we gained a lot; Brain Gain from immigrants, but now we are emigrating out from our mother land in droves and started to suffer the effect of Brain Drain. May be that is one of the SPDC Generals charitable idea of serving the world with our Shwe Bama’s brains, skills and labour. I am surprised with your never ending optimistic views that now many of our brothers and sisters are abroad, got a lot of experiences in almost every field. Once there is democracy and real open door economic policy, we all could contribute the rapid leap forward of our beloved country and we could easily overtake Thailand Malaysia, Singapore and all he ASEAN countries.

And I now could apply your Pollyanna’s optimistic views and could even see your temporary departure from me in t he fits of anger as a blessing in disguise for me. Because of that only I came to know Dr Tayza and Burma Digest and also have a chance to write love letters to you distantly following the paths of Nehru. Sorry again dear, I know this is the kind of gloating you hate most, and I had mentioned his name for three times already just to irritate you. But I hope you could already understand and forgive me at the end as I could not stop teasing you. And I don’t know why god matched two of us as life partners, you are always serious and hate fooling around and I am very light hearted and always search the funny side of any events around us.

Dear Nan, time is up because I foolishly waste it with the other subjects to impress you! I have to stop now but please reserve your judgment; don’t give your final verdict to fail me now. I will definitely continue to answer your remaining questions and impress you in my next letters. I hope to probe one of our ancestors, U Pyu and his civilizations next week but if Dr Tayza and Burma Digest Editorials thought otherwise and decided to stop their special courier service I have no choice but to stop nagging you.

Good-bye darling

Yours with love

(Ko Tin Nwe)


TQ for this_


Politics in America

Election 2008 and Politics

Compassionate letter 8, “Loss of Home, Loss of Paradise”

May 17th, 2008

jr wrote an interesting post today on
Here’s a quick excerpt
Compassionate letter 8, “Loss of Home, Loss of Paradise”

As Bo Aung Din in Burma Digest

Dear Nan,

Do you remember the seminar we attended in 2001 called, Ethnic Minorities’ Struggles along the Thai-Burmese Border, organized by the Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University, the Thai Action Committee for Democracy in Burma, and Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development. I think we had noticed the presence of UNDP, UNHCR, UNESCO and some UN officials there.
Dear Nan, nowadays why did you become so over sensitive, easily irritated, snappy, angry fast and quick to blame others including me? May be you are frustrated with the deadlock in our country’s future. Don’t worry dear, nothing last forever in this world, including the Military rules in Burma/Myanmar. There would be definitely a change in our country’s politico-social status. Don’t give up hope; we already could see the light […]

Read the rest of this great post here

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Compassionate letter 7,“Racial Discriminations everywhere”

Compassionate letter seven, “Racial Discriminations everywhere”

As Bo Aung Din in Burma Digest 

Dear Nan,

Thank you for your kind reply letter. I am happy to know that you are not angry with me any more, but wish to stay for a while at your father’s house, just to keep accompany to your aunts. They are depressed because of the very long jail sentences of their husbands by the military leaders. It is too harsh because they just involved in political discourse but never involved in any criminal activities nor even participated in a violent nor peaceful political demonstration!

No wonder, our country is a shameful place where the government even imprisoned the people who dare to take the United Nation’s Human Right Declaration papers from the UN office to distribute.

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.

On the 50th Anniversary of this Declaration, UN Security General Kofi Annan said:

 Human Rights are foreign to no culture and native to all Nations. It is a mirror that at once flatters us and shames us, that bears witness to a record of progress for parts of humanity while revealing a history and reality of horrors for others. 

“It was never the people who complained of the universality of human rights, nor did the people consider human rights as a Western or Northern imposition. It was often their leaders who did so.”

Yes dear Nan, governments, especially Myanmar Military and many ASEAN  dictator  governments are declaring that the Human Rights are based on western values and they want to keep their  ASIA values  just as an excuse to,  smoke shield their wish of denying their citizens of their Human Rights

Dear Nan, when compared to the abovementioned separated families, because of the unjust Burmese Military Government’s detention of their family members, our temporary separation is nothing to cry about. And you are never far away from me,

If we just think about each other, we are never far apart, always in each of our hearts. We are physically far apart but felt that we are psychologically together, present every where near each other all the times… Hti Saing’s voice surf the airwaves and goes right into my heart. Our youngest son is playing our favourite song, teasing me as he knows that I am writing to you.

Do you remember the time when we introduce Hti Saing’s songs to him? His remarks shocked both of us; I do not understand them and those BLACK AND WHITE SONGS are boring, I don’t like. He equated the old black and white movies shown on free TV Channels with the old songs. Now he always searches for Burmese Music VCDs whenever he visited Burmese shops. Although born in foreign country he still has Burmese blood in the body.

Don’t angry dear, Burmese that I mean is not Bamas only, but all the Ethnic Minorities, including your Shan blood. And I never forget my Burmese Chinese and Burmese Muslim friends, as we all are brothers and sisters only. And especially when we are away from our country only, I realized that the bond of Burmese Citizenship between all of us became stronger.

Dear Nan, we have frequent arguments and disagreements between us. You even read from a Psychology book and told me that it was because there needs a dominant leader in every household. You told me that there are a lot of divorces in the west because of equal rights between genders, women and men.

Talking about the Human Right records, we should submit to the World Guinness Book of Records to highlight our Burmese Generals’ achievements of world’s records in jailing the UN Human Right Record paper distributors.

Neither have a single Female Minister nor a Deputy Minister in the successive Myanmar Military Governments. We could call this as gender discrimination or it is the proof that Myanmar Generals are women right abusers. (Please ignore the unofficial; unconfirmed gossips the Myanmar Generals are afraid of and obey their wives. Especially Daw Kyaing Kyaing is the gate keeper of Than Shwe. All the appointments were controlled by her, whether for business or other matters e.g. transfers, promotions or appointments or for the further studies or study tours abroad etc. Some reports stated that even some younger Generals have to pay bribes to see their great leader. Than Shwe dare not do anything until and unless his wife shows the green light. But who knows, Than Swe and his Generals are still commanders-in-chiefs of their houses but ordered their wives to collect toll fees! )

Even the person working as the representative of few countries was jailed for using UNLICENSED FAX MACHINE! Mr Leo Nichols, the former de facto consular for Norway and other Scandinavian countries, died in detention under mysterious conditions after he was sentenced in 1996 to three years in prison for using a fax machine without permission.

(We should also submit this to the Ripley’s believe it or not.)

Dear Darling, from our domestic test of strength or quarrels, I wonder why we have successive unending battles, fights and wars around the world through out the history. I know you would mock with a smile because I dare to try, with out much wisdom/talent, following the path of the Great Nehru’s letters to his daughter.

Now our son came out from his room singing Sai Hti Saing/ Sai Kham Leik’s song, A Shan who visited Mandalay.  Although born here he curiously feels himself like staying in a foreign land. This song may be part of the clue to my search for ending all the fights, hatred and wars.

We could understand the feelings of our friend who came to Bama’s cultural heritage central town, Mandalay in Sai Hti Saing/ Sai Kham Leik’s song, A Shan who visited Mandalay. 

But we have to admit that we could sense the racial prejudice from both sides. I am not kidding Nam, at first glance; we all just think the dilemma of a Shan in a Bama city.

But it is almost normal for a visitor or a migrant, arrived in a new place. The inferiority complex of a new comer made that person feels unwelcome or thought that all the others are looking down on him. Later only he would find out that there are a lot of kind hearted people willing to help him out. Sure, there may be some people who like to discriminate or even take advantage of new-comers and even tried to cheat them. According to my friends, both the composer and singer of that song were comfortably living in the upper middle class of Mandalay, they even mentioned this in one of their songs, enjoying a very good lifestyles, got the degrees and composer Dr Sia Kham Leik was said to became a Medical doctor, even got the masters degrees and married to a Bama lady doctor.

Coincidently our son has skipped the DVD to Hti Saing’s famous song you like best The nature’s children about the place free of wars, fights and eternal peace. Is he hinting me indirectly that he want peace from our endless our domestic problems?

I strongly believe that the root cause of our family problems and all the wars throughout the history is because of our human’s inherited fault only. Almost all of us are greedy, selfish and crazy for power, and try to dominate upon others. That selfishness is later extended for our families, our friends, our clan, our race, our religion etc.

Dear Nan, just look back at all our family disputes, once we were together again, after a short argument, it seems minor. Sometimes we laugh together why we have fight for trivial things not worth at all. Now I know the root cause of our fights dear. It is because although our religion is same, we are from different races and we are attached to it too much in other words racially very sensitive.

If you are angry with me you had always thought that just because I am a Bama, I used to discriminate and look down on Shans. I have to admit that I am also guilty of this racial prejudice.

Darling, do you remember how we were always discriminated, once we step into any foreign airport or at any immigration check point? Although both of us are professionals and having professional Employment Passes from a reputable country and we already obtained the visas to enter their countries we were frequently asked to see their Immigration officers.

Just because we were holding Burmese/Myanmar Passports, we used to get a rude treatment and felt unwelcome every where. Other foreigners, even our secretaries and maids, just cruises the Immigration counter clerks, because the officials just look at their Passports and sometimes approved with entry stamps even without looking up at them. But they used to set aside our Burmese Passports and forced us to wait till he finished the queue.

Dear Nan, I remember one incident when you were furious because of the silly questions the Immigration officer was asking. I have to calm you down and the officer threatened you with deportation. Do you remember once one of the Immigration man threw my passport to me just because he could not get the under table money he was hinting, which some Burmese illegals used to offer. We reported to the officer-in-charge and demanded the apology in front of all the passengers and threatened to take legal action if he failed.

Darling, we were discriminated like this not in the West, rich developed country. That was in our neighbour, just a little bit richer than our country. Dear Nan, we used to talk about countless similar discrimination we suffered in our work place, market and every where just because we were holding the Myanmar Passports.

You already know dear, almost all the foreigners used to look down on us as Myanmar citizens. They realized what we are only after working with us or deal with us. We have to earn hard or some times fight to get respect or recognition. Many of our Professional friends and relatives working and staying almost all over the world have the similar experiences of discriminations based on the origin, skin colour, race, religion, wealth, social status, education, profession, status or rank at work etc.

Do you still remember the ugliest incidence in our life which shamed us? Although not our fault, we felt guilty of our youngest son’s violent action on his friend. We were urgently summoned by our son’s school Headmaster. We were lucky, both of us were in the house, you had not started your work yet and I was free because I had an evening shift duty. Our son had kicked his friend and as he was wearing the hard shoes there was a cut on the shin of his friend. We sent the injured child, accompanied by a teacher, to the nearest clinic and later sent back to his house.

The head master and the teachers had already investigated about the fight. Actually the victim was a Burmese Muslim boy. Other classmates used to call him a Kaladain not pure blood, mi ma sit, pha ma sit. He used to become angry and the arguments used to end with some minor fights.

On that faithful day, our son teased him with the abovementioned words. That Burmese Muslim boy retorted our son that he is also same as he had mixed parentage, Bama and Shan. Once our son heard the words directed back to him, he became angry, started a fist fight and kicked his opponent.

Dear Nan, both of us knew that our child alrea dy had an inferiority complex. Among my relatives, he was treated as a Shan, teased as A Shan Poke or Shan Pae Poke and when he visited your relatives, he was called a Bama or Bama Poke Kalay . He was also sometimes teased by others as a hybrid or mixed blood.

Now his Burmese Muslim friend’s words became the straw that break the camel’s back!

We already know that all the children were innocent.

But we, adults had wrongly brainwashed our children with all those racial slurs. That was in 1972, just after the General Ne Win’s speech at the BSPP conference and his rubber stamp parliament in preparation for the citizenship act. Yes! He used the same words on our Burmese Muslim brothers; and the actual meaning of mi ma sit, pha ma sit is bastards!

General Ne Win unkindly and rudely said this to instigate all the Burmese against Muslims, to divert the peoples’ unhappiness on the poor socio-economic conditions. He could not pull out the country from the so called Gyar Kar La interim period. The whole population was stuck and faced a lot of difficulties in that Gyar Kar La   The Burmese Socialist Paradise was no where in sight. So he needed a bogyman or scapegoat. In 1967 he created the anti-Chinese riots. So it was your turn Mr Indians in 1972.

I hereby wish to apologize my Burmese Muslim friends for reopening the old wound. It will hurt you all, but I hope you could understand that only if we could pinpoint the root cause; we would be able to prevent the racial and religious conflicts. In Burmese there is a saying, only if we know (could get the diagnosis) we could find the medicine (to treat and cure the disease). 

That speech of Ne Win was followed up by numerous bombardments of intense propaganda warfare against Indians and Burmese Muslims, in all the media, and echoed by many people.

So even many of our, Chinese mixed blooded friends have to claim that; they are pure Burmese, to avoid that racial assault. (Please accept my apology, as it would definitely hurt the feelings of my Burmese Chinese friends.)

Please read this from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia about the Burmese Chinese: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burmese_Chinese    

The Burmese Chinese are a group of overseas Chinese born or raised in Myanmar (formerly Burma). Although the Chinese officially make up three percent of the population (1,078,000), this is underestimated because of intermarriages between ethnic Bamar, and because of widespread discrimination against minorities (which compels many to refer to themselves as Bamar). Traditionally, the Chinese have dominated Burmese economy, although many enterprises today are co-owned by the military.

Notable Burmese Chinese:

 Aw Boon Haw (Hakka) _ Inventor of Tiger Balm

Khun Sa (Kokang) _ Major Southeast Asian druglord

Lo Hsing Han (Kokang) _ Major Southeast Asian druglord

Ne Win (Hokkien) _ Burmese dictator from 1960s – 1980s.

Dear Nan, do you notice that notorious Ne Win, the father of p resent Myanmar Military, was the person who inflamed the present racial tensions in our country. After all most of the Burmese citizens knew that he is also in the same category he profiled others, mixed blooded, but no one dare to question him.

Our Burmese Army’s real father Bogyoge Aung San was not like that. No wonder present Myanmar Military leaders tried to disown him. Bogyoge Aung San initiated and invited all of our Ethnic Minority brothers for the Panglong Conference but the present Myanmar Military Generals tried to divide us so that they could rule the country forever.

Dear Nan, although I never read Ne Win’s speeches, you used to read from A to Z of his speeches, saying that you need to know all the steps of your enemy. When the word  bastard  appeared in our meeting after the incident with the Headmaster, victim’s parents and ourselves, you rightly pointed out the source or origin of that word and asked forgiveness from all and dare to blame Ne Win by name! I salute your courage, general knowledge and fair mindedness.

And you are the one who angrily showed me the newspaper article of a very famous, actually my favourite author and journalist, Bo Ta Htaung Thein Phae Myint, shamelessly echoing Ne Win by calling our Burmese Muslim friends  Kala Dain . He even mention that ancient Kalas (Indians) were good, provided our country with religion, culture, arts, language etc. He emphasized that the present day Kalas (Indians) are bad, came here with penniless but now rich, low standard, mixed blood etc. I still remember that both of us decided to boycott his newspapers and books since then.

Recent remarks of UN Secretary General Koffi Annan are the best comment and advice for Thein Phae Myint and other racial intolerant journalists:

“We all fully recognize and respect freedom of the press and expression but it must be coupled with press responsibility. Inciting religious or ethnic hatred in this manner is not acceptable,”

He believes that the freedom of the press should always be exercised in a way that fully respects the religious beliefs and tenets of all religions.”

Yours with love,


(Ko Tin Nwe)


Compassionate letter six, “Our Long March to the Shwe Bamar Pavilion”

Compassionate letter six, Our Long March to the Shwe Bamar Pavilion”

As Bo Aung Din in Burma Digest

Dear Nan,

You are not satisfied and questioned me why I never write anything praising Ko Phone Maw, commemorating Burma’s Human Rights Day. Dear Nan, I could not believe that you do understand me. I just copy your habit or your ways of doing things to impress others. During any examinations, you tried not to answer the question others would choose, or favourite questions tipped earlier before the examination. When answering the essay types, especially in literatures, you told me that you used to try presenting the answer from the different point of views from others. So you got a better score than me. Sorry dear, if I even failed to impress you. I thought many people would write about Ko Phone Maw, so I avoid directly writing about him but indirectly wrote about all kinds of Human Rights. If there were respect for Human Rights everywhere, Ko Phone Maw would not have died.

I will try to switch back to my lighter form for your question regarding the origin of Shan, Ethnic Minorities and Burma or history and roots of our ancestors. But don’t worry dear; although I intend to start writing the answer to you as a serious official, history document, I now know that it will be very dull. So instead of answering your questions directly, dear darling, kindly allow me to answer using our village peoples’ migration format. It may be more appropriate and appeared informal as I am writing it to you, my love and my estranged wife.

I still remember the bed time stories you used to tell our children so that they would not forget their roots. Once upon a time, long long ago (round about 650 B.C. ) there lived our great great grand mother named Daw Daw Shan (also known as Daw Tai). She lived independently up north in a far far away land at present day U Ta Yoke’s village place at the lower part of the Yangtze River.

1. Her brothers, sisters, cousins and her family traveled down through the present day Ko Yu Nan’s village and migrated further down into our Shwe Bama village and settled in the Shan quarters at the eastern part.

2. A large group of her sisters made a detour U turn and went up north and climbed the Tibet hills and stayed there forming the Tibeto-Burman ancestors of the whole region.

3. One brother continued his journey up to the present day Ko Ya Khine’s village.

4. Another brother even decided to continue his long march up into the present day north eastern part of U Ka Lar’s village.

5. One of her brother continued south in our Shwe Bama village and settled in lower Shwe Bama closely with Daw Daw Mon and U Ka Yin.

6. Few sisters refused to follow them in a long journey, decided to continue to just settle in present day Ko Yu Nan’s village.

7. One cousin sister broke away from all others who headed to the south west, and decided to go straight southwards and settled in present U Tai’s village.

8. One distant cousin sister also broke away from all and moved to the east, settling in present day U Lao’s village and U Cam Bo Dia’s village. Actually they are a little bit different, some had more of U Ta Yoke’s blood and some even have mixed blood with U Kha Mars and some even went further and said to be settled in Vietnam.

9. One of her sister, known as Daw Daw Thet married to U Pyu and their decedents are part of my ancestors.

10. Some of the children of the sister who made a detour U turn and went up north and climbs the Tibet hills later, came down and they were known as U Kan Yan’s family and formed one of the great grand parents of Shwe Bama villagers.

11. At last intermarriage of distant cousins who were the descendents of U Pyu, U Kan Yan and U Thet give rise to my Shwe Bama ancestors.

Note: the long march travelers of Daw Daw Shan’s relatives came down in different times in batches. Because it happened in the prehistoric times, I have searched and collected data, and made it simple and easy from: the folk tales of our Ethnic Minorities, the old records of Chinese and Indian travelers’ chronicles, Thailand and Khmer chronicles, from Hman Nan Yar Za Won, The Glass Palace Chronicle of the Kings of Burma (Pe Maung Tin and G.H.Luce, Rangoon University Press, Rangoon, Burma, January 1960.), Dr Than Tun (History Professor, Mandalay University) “Chin, Myu and Khumi, Notthern Rakhine” in Myanmar Magazine Kalya 1994 August and other publications, and HGE Hall History of Southeast Asia and Burma’s old history text book publishedshed by Burmese Education Ministry.

I hereby wish to go into some details of what I had given as a gist above: Daw Daw Shan’s other cousins descended from the same ancestors, now inhabit northeast Assam or Asom at Ko Ah Than’s village in U Ka Lar’s village tract at the north west of our village.

Some cousins of Daw Daw Shan settled along the way, at Ko Yu Nan’s village in the north east of our village. Some distant cousins, mixed blood with U Ta Yoke and U Kha Mar, went to the east and founded the U Laos’ village and Daw Cambodia’s village. Others went down to the southeast and settled in U Thai’s land or village. No wonder U Thai’s Land was known as Siam or we could even call Shan.

Daw Daw Shan’s relatives had been gradually pushed south, at about the beginning of the Christian era by the advancement of the U Tar Tar. About 650 A.D. the Daw Daw Shan’s cousins formed a powerful village in Nan Chao, now that village is known as Ko Yu Nan’s village.

Daw Nan Chao, your great grand aunty was quite powerful and could resist U Ta Yoke’s attempts at conquest until 1253. During the years 754 to 763 A.D. the Daw Nan Chao, cousin of Daw Daw Shan extended her rule even up to the upper basin of the Irrawaddy River and came into contact with the U Pyu.

Dear Nan, I hope you could immediately recognize that he was my great grand uncle U Pyu. He was one of three brothers who founded our Shwe Shwe Bama village: viz, U Pyu, U Kan Yan and U Thet. U Pyu was then the ruler of the Upper Burma Village Plains.

Some of Daw Daw Shan’s descendents ventured beyond Upper Shwe Bama village into Lower Shwe Bama village to mingle and live together with the Daw Daw Mons.

During the heydays of the Daw Shan’s cousin Daw Nan Chao Village, her children had even crossed Upper Shwe Bama to reach far west and established the once powerful Ahom Village, in the northeastern part of Ko Ka Lar’s village tract, now known as Assam or Assom village, as I had stated above.

Daw Daw Shan herself had moved into the area now known as the Shan Pyae or Shan quarters of our Shwe Bama Village in large numbers and settled down and were well established by the time our first ‘Shwe Bama village head’ King Anawrahta ascended his throne in 1st century.

Daw Daw Shan’s relatives tried desperately to defend their Daw Nan Chao village kingdom from the U Ta Yoke attackers, but in 1253 the village Kingdom fell. Some of the cousins of Daw Daw Shan, unwilling to live under foreign domination there; move towards the south in strength, to seek freedom in present day U Tai’s village area.

They joined forces with the Daw Daw Shan’s other cousin sisters, who had already settled in the area, and in 1262 took over Chiang Rai village, in 1296 Chiang Mai village and in 1315 took Ayu Dhya village, and established their own village tract kingdoms.

In Upper Shwe Bama the Daw Daw Shan established the village kingdoms of Mo Gaung village (Mong Kawng), and Mo Hnyin village (Mong Yang), and in the Shweli basin, the Mao village Kingdom.

My great great grand father Anawrahta ruled the Pagan village for 43 year. He was able to unify the whole Shwe Bama Village tract under his rule for the first time in history.

During this time he sent his armed villagers into the Daw Daw Shan’s part of the village to help ensure the security of his village Kingdom. However, he had no intention of annexing or taking over of the Daw Daw Shan’s village. He merely wished to defend the low lying plains of his Shwe Bama village from raids by the Daw Daw Shan’s disgruntled village militias. For this purpose he established a string of fortified villages along the length of the foothills.

Relations between Daw Daw Shan and Shwe Bama village tract became friendlier under Anawrahta’s successors , but the Kingdom of Pagan fell to the attackers from U Ta Yoke village in 1287 A. D. and was destroyed.

Then in1312 A. D. one of Daw Daw Shan’s son took the kingly Title of “Thihathu” and ascended the Shwe Bama village head or throne in the village of Pinya.

Daw Daw Shan’s cousins, the (Mao) Shans, who had established villages in Mo Hnyin, Mo Gaung and the Shweli areas then overran the villages of Pinya and Sagaing in 1364 A.D.

After they had withdrawn, a Daw Daw Shan’s younger son from Ava village, whose title was Thadominbya, combined Pinya village and Sagaing village and established a new Village Kingdom, over which he ruled. So your great great grandmother Daw Daw Shan’s children effectively became village heads in our Upper Shwe Bama village tract from 1282 A.D. to 1531 A.D.

In 1527 A.D. due to the attacks of the Mo Hnyin village’s Saw Bwa on Ava village, the Daw Daw Shan’s children and U Bama’s children of the area left their homes and descended southwards towards Toungoo village, where they established a new village.

Thohanbwa, the son of the Moehnyin village Saw Bwa, who became Head of Ava village, was soon assassinated due to his lack of skill in statecraft and administration, and in 1543 A.D. Onbaung Khun Maing succeeded him as the village head.

Meanwhile from Toungoo village, in the year 1555 A.D. King Bayinnaung succeeded in unifying the whole of Shwe Bama Village for the second time in our history.

He was able to “persuade’ the Daw Daw Shan’s grandchild, Shan Saw Bwa to submit his suzerainty. In accordance with the traditions of the earlier Burmese Village Heads, the administrative setup was that the Daw Daw Shan’s descendents, Saw Bwas who submitted to the suzerainty of the Burmese King retained full powers to rule over their own village. This relationship was based on mutual respect. The military forces of Burma village include contingents of Shan soldiers who proved their valour on the foreign battlefields.

That is how Daw Daw Shan and U Bama’s descendents had lived closely together, like brethren, till the fall of Upper Burma in 1886.

Then the Daw Daw Shan’s grandchildren Saw Bwas, with the intention of restoring freedom to Burma and to the Shan State, chose the U Bama Princes Limbin and Saw Yan Naing to head their alliance, and started waging war against the colonialism.

Dear Nan, while you were away, I used to spend most of the time with your old history books, which we bought for your thesis. As your thesis is related to Diaspora, migration and immigration, we had a lot of books related to this subject. Now only, because of your questions, I learned and began to understand the basis of our village’s cultures, our dialects, literature, religions, and the history of migrations.

But dear darling, my answers about Daw Daw Shan were adapted from your uncle U Shan’s website. I am using your own method of appeasing the examiners, now you all have no choice but to accept my answers and also have to give high marks to me: may be perfect 10. Do you now understand or realize my idea or style of answering your questions based on your own concepts and ideas?

Dear Nan, I have to admit that I had learned this secret technique from you. Once I could not understand why although we learned together in the university, you could score better marks than me, and lecturers and even some professors were pleased with your answers. You told me your secret weapon against the lecturers, to try to find out which text book the lecturers are using; sometimes it may be different from the prescribed text book. Different chapters from various subjects were taught by different lecturers and they used to teach from the book they like best. You taught me to read from the lecturer’s book of choice. Then only we would get the best marks and praises from the examiners. Now I am practicing as you preached me. Although I could quote from various history books I had chosen my answers from your Uncle Shan’s favourite web site. (I hereby acknowledged that I have adapted the above facts from the Shan Herald Agency News’ Shan State Affairs section, Shan History.)

We could see in the above mentioned era how Daw Daw Shan’s children migrated and grew mightier. We should study how political, economical, social and philosophical patterns changed according to their coming. To sum up again, after the fall of Bagan village, Ava village kingdom was built in 1364 M.E. Subsequently, until Pinya village, Sagaing village and Myinsaing village eras, the power of Bagan village collapsed and rebellious small village kingdoms spread. When the invading conqueror Daw Daw Shan’s children came across Shwe Bama’s children, they accepted the Buddhist cultures and Shwe Bama cultures. In this case, the saying, ‘conquerors are conquered’ need to be explained thoroughly.

Sorry dear darling, I adapted this last paragraph from the “Story of Myanmar told in pictures” by Dr Than Tun and translated by Maung Win War. Anyway no one is sure the source of your ancestors’ conversion to Buddhism. We should accept that your relatives had very good relations with Daw Mon and U Kha Mar. You could even get the Buddhism directly from them. I am neither an expert nor a historian but I could see with my own eyes that your Shan Pagodas look more like Thai and Cambodia Pagodas than our Burmese. Never mind dear, it is not important or became a big issue for us as both of us are essentially the same Buddhists.

from (http://www.mchronicle.com.mm/pages/v2n5/thantun.shtml)

When I adapted the whole story from the Shan Herald, you looked down on me as a cheap plagiarist. So now I am just showing off a little bit to you and just as usual trying to tease you. I purposely chose the episode of the history, your Daw Daw Shans’ conquering over the Shwe Bama, which our government history text books just used to mention one line only and skipped forward to the glorious Shwe Bama warrior Toungoo village head or king Baying Naung who successfully established our 2nd Shwe Bama Empire.

Dear Nan, I have to show some of my general knowledge to earn some more extra marks or points from you. The same thing happened to the conqueror U Tar Tars. They took over Turkey, Iran and Iraq, and they killed the men and children but married those Muslim women. Their new wives strangely converted them into Islam and they accepted the Islamic cultures. In this case also, as the saying goes, ‘conquerors are conquered’. And those Tar Tar/Turk descendents’ armies invaded Afghanistan, India subcontinent (future India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.) and established the Moghol Islamic Empire. So the Central Asia Muslims, Chinese Muslims, Yunan Chinese Muslims and Burma’s Chinese Muslims or Panthays and many of the Burmese Muslims are also their descendents. Even the Muslims in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia got Islam from those Chinese Muslims.

I know that I frequently have an overdose of humour which you don’t like and used to sway from the main topic often.

I am so happy that you could not fail me in front of Dr Tayza and Burma Digest readers. If I just answer on the phone, you would just simply cut off the line. Now you get what you want, on paper in front of all. You cannot stop me now. I am sure that you would not be able to bribe Dr Tay Za and Burma Digest editors as they are not like the greedy SPDC generals. I hope I could impress you with my general knowledge in history, migration and may be even some radical views.

Dear Nan, our village or Shwe Myae is actually the virtual highway link between the villages in the south and their origin Ko Yu Nan’s village in northern part. Ko Indo Nesia, Daw Ma Lay traveled through our village in 2500 BC and 500 BC.

And those villagers on the numerous Islands up to U Au’s and Daw Zee Lans’ place, now we called Ko Poly Nisian also thought to have came down the same road.

Many of our cousin brothers like U Ka Yin (Pha Thi) and Daw Mon even came down earlier than Daw Shan from far north of Ko Ta Yoke village. U U Bamas and other cousin brothers of Tibet-Bama family villagers also came down from above. You and your half brother Ko Thai, Ko Laos and Ko Cambodia also came down from Ko Yu Nan’s village.

In the official Thailand History books, they even claim that all of the above came down from Ko Ta Yoke place through Ko Yu Nan’s village and even Daw Tibet had made an almost U turn and climbed beck onto the Tibet High Lands.

Those came down from north were met by the travelers from Ko Kala’s village. They came down from northwest. There was an old silk road from U Ta Yoke village at north-east to U Kala’s village at south-west. And that high way was in our Shwe Bama land.

Later they built the Burma Road which linked Burma and China. Its terminals are Kunming in China and Lashio in Burma. The road is about 1,130 kilometres long and runs through rough mountain country. This remarkable engineering achievement was built by 200,000 Chinese labouers during the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 and completed by 1938. It had a strategic role in World War II, where the Allied Powers used the Burma Road to transport war supplies to China. Supplies would be landed at Rangoon and moved by rail to Lashio, where the road started in Burma. In charge of the Operation was General Merrill and General Stillwell. At that time, Burma was a colony of the United Kingdom.

When the Japanese overran sections of the Burma Road the Allies flew supplies over the Hump and built the Ledo Road, also later known as the Stillwell Road. Ledo Road was built from Ledo in Assam into the Hukawng Valley as an alternative to the Burma Road, which had been closed by the Japanese. It was completed in January 1945 and was renamed Stilwell Road by Chiang Kai-shek.

(From the Wikipedia encyclopedia.)

Now China and India are negotiating with Shwe Bama villagers to build a modern high way liking their villages through our land. Recently Ko Ka Lar’s village chairman U Mus Lim went to Shwe Bama and signed an agreement to lay natural gas pipe line from Ko Ya Khine’s part of our village to Ko Ka Lar’s village. And there is already an agreement to connect the gas pipe line from Ko Ya Khine’s part of the village to Ko Yu Nan’s village. So these pipelines would become the renaissance of our forefather’s migration.

Dear Nan, why are you very sensitive, I am just mentioning the coincidences but not supporting those pipe-lines. You already know that I supported your policy of sanctions on SPDC. If you are not short sighted, you could still read the Burma Digest’s strong condemnation of TOTAL in recent issues. It is funny that those who play with fire and burnt sometimes blamed the fire. Recently the Malaysia PM complaint that their Petronas oil company suffered some losses because of the sanctions in the host countries they operate. Then why did they foolishly decided to follow their greed to buy the shares of TOTAL and invested in Myanmar/Burma oil exploration? They should now redeem themselves by supporting the US, UK and EU led pressure on Myanmar Generals for the rapid democratization.

So there were a lot of travelers, migrants, victims of disasters and famine, war refugees and etc moving along the road and some of them settled in our Shwe Bama Village as we are located along their high way through out the history.

Dear Nan, do you now accept the concept that our village was and still is a highway from west Ko Kala’s village to Ko Ta Yoke’s village in the north. People from Northwest of Ko Kala’s village came to our village through Ko Ya Khine’s village. Since 500 BC Hindu Orrisa village colonists had migrated towards Southeast and settled in lower part of our Shwe Bama village. Later other migrant villagers from the Andhra Dynasty from Ko Kala’s village similarly migrated to our village in 180 BC. Some took the long march on land and then some had sailed here.

Even U Pyu, one of the three founding brothers of Shwe Bama village was believed to be mixture of three groups;

(i) one local inhabitant since Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age,

(ii) another came from Ko Kala’s village bringing in Hinduism and Buddhism along with their cultures and literatures successively

(iii) and the another group believed to came down from north, Tibeto-Burman group.

Daw Daw Mon was also rumoured to have two groups of ancestors:

(i) One came down from above like Daw Daw Shan,

(ii) and another from U Kala’s village tract , Orrisa village and Talingna village bringing in Hinduism and Buddhism to our land. Ko Ta Laings originated from the Talingana village of Ko Kala’s village tract and arrived to lower Shwe Bama village part, met and married with Daw Daw Mon’s children, who came down from Ko Yu Nan’s village, spreads through our village up to Ko Thai, Ko Laos and Ko Cam Bodia’s villages.

They give us the Buddhism arts, culture, literature etc. You see Nan, our Shwe Bama spoken language was from Tibeto-Burman family and there are a lot of similarities with Chinese spoken language. But our writing language was from U Ka Lar’s village, Brami Script we took not from our native Daw Daw Mon but her cousin U Mon resided in U Thai Land’s village.

I am revealing this to you so that my dear Nan could accept our whole Shwe Bama villagers as the same family. Instead of dividing into numerous weak small countries we could even plan for the Future Federal Union of Burma working with ASEAN+++ formula, I proposed to you in my first letter sent together with my Valentine Music DVD.

Dear Nan, when I wrote in formal style, you complained that it was very dull, not attractive, you have to skip some lines and paragraphs, and you admitted that you even fell asleep before finishing my letter.

Now what? When Daw Khin Myo Chit wrote “The Heroes of Pagan” historians said she was playing with the history books like a child with a crayon. Now if you accuse me of attempting to imitate her, I would be glad and would felt honoured and reply with pride, “Thank you with my pleasure.” But I have to admit that my English could not even touch her toes’ level. And in the Story of Myanmar told in pictures by the famous historian Dr Than Tun, he had attempted to simplify the Burmese History.

Dear Nan, you have to understand me that I used to and need to quote the famous personalities frequently because I have an inferiority complex. I am afraid you would not be serious if I cannot support my words or the style of writing with the world accepted great persons’ works. I have to use them at least as an excuse for my deeds or words. You know I am just a graduate and were forced to waste my precious time with my business matters but you had already got two post graduate degrees, a Master and a PhD. So I hope my darling Nan is not sneering at my letter as a show off. Please kindly let me continue to enjoy with my false sense of grandeur by quoting those famous persons.

You see Nan, with the growing age and fading memory, I used to sway away from my primary target of answer your question.

The recent discovery of the Genetic DNA researchers’ claim of the finding of the Chinese to be migrated from Africa or “Out of Africa theory” may reveal the longer and winding trail of our great ancestors. From Africa to China and then continue to Burma. If we consider the origin of the Southern Indians from Africa and Arian Migration from the north or tall blue or brown eyed and fair people proved to be genetically related to east Europeans, some of our ancestors had endlessly marched quite a long distance.

Actually if I am allowed d to sum up the above: U Pyu, U Kan Yan and U Thet were my ancestors. Most of the U Kan Yan’s descendants stayed along Chin Dwin River and between Chindwin and Irrawady rivers. As I had stated above, few groups of villagers came down from northern Ko Yu Nan’s village, one of them went and established Daw Tibet’s village. One group went further west to Ko Ya Khines village and some went further into Ko Kala’s territory. One group stayed along our mother Irrawady and formed my ancestors. One group stayed in Ko Ka Chin’s village. Actually Ko Ka Yin, Daw Mon and almost all our ethnic brother villagers came down the same path.

Dear Nan, no wonder your great grandmother Daw Daw Shan was the elder sister of Ko Thai and Ko Laos’ great grandfathers. Because of the same language and culture you even cruelly planned to divorce me and go and marry with one of them. I know, I know, you just wanted to hurt me because you were angry with me and never really intended to do so.

Dear Nan, because of that, there are larger number of cousins of Ko Ka Chin , Ko Chin and Ko Na Ga in Ko Ti Bet’s village and Ko Kala’s village in Shwe Bama village. And there are a lot more of Ko Ka Yin and Daw Mon’s relatives in Ko Thai, Ko Cam Bodia’s villages.

Dear Nan, now I have answered part of your questions with flying colours. You could not accuse me of loving to eat the fruits without knowing the roots! I hope I have successfully proved that I love you; I know and respect you and your ancestors also.

Your loving hubby

(Ko Tin Nwe)


TQ for the the interest in my article and for republishing.

Politics in America

Election 2008 and Politics

Compassionate letter six, “Our Long March to the Shwe Bamar Pavilion”

May 17th, 2008

poblete wrote an interesting post today on
Here’s a quick excerpt
Compassionate letter six, “Our Long March to the Shwe Bamar Pavilion”

As Bo Aung Din in Burma Digest
Dear Nan,
You are not satisfied and questioned me why I never write anything praising Ko Phone Maw, commemorating Burma’s Human Rights Day. Dear Nan, I could not believe that you do understand me. I just copy your habit or your ways of doing things to impress others. During any examinations, you tried not to answer the question others would choose, or favourite questions tipped earlier before the examination. When answering the essay types, especially in literatures, you told me that you used to try presenting the answer from the different point of views from others. So you got a better score than me. Sorry dear, if I even failed to impress you. I thought many people would write about Ko Phone Maw, so I avoid directly writing about him but indirectly wrote about […]

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Compassionate letter No 5: The key to our future relations

Compassionate letter No 5: The key to our future relations

Respecting Human Rights is the key to our future relations


Dear Nan,
 Thank you for your surprised phone call early Sunday morning. It was not only a surprise for me; you were also surprised that I had already got out from bed early. Yes dear, only when you are away, I know more about your values and appreciate your daily house works which I am doing now.

Actually I was surprised, because you had already read my latest letter that I just sent through Burma Digest this week. And you just wanted to remind me to add one more analogy between Queen Pua Saw and Ah Ma Gyi Daw Suu. Queen Pua Saw had successfully helped the termination of the “Ta Yoke Pyae Min” and Daw Suu is seen to be going to do the same on “Kyat Pyae or Kyet Pye Min” SPDC.

But I was shocked when you told me that you still love me, but could not trust me fully yet! You want me to answer three questions. Yes three most important questions by a Shan woman for a Bama man to answer. Dear Nan, you already knew that I am fond of reading and I had learned a lot from the fables and fairy tales since I was young. I am used to various types of three wise questions and answers. Three tricky questions, three most important questions disguised in many forms from the numerous stories. And I already knew the answers to your three most important questions and even wish to reply instantly on the phone, but you requested for an official written reply in black and white on paper.

1.      What are the basic facts about the Human Rights? What is the “Role of Minorities in Democracy”? How do we protect the minorities’ rights from tyranny of majority?

2.      What do “Good Governance” means? Describe the basic principles.

3.      What is the origin of Shan, Ethnic Minorities and Burma? That is the history or roots of our ancestors.

Dear Nan, from your questions I understand your untold hidden agenda to make a new deal, matrimonial or nuptial contract for our reunion. You wanted to make sure of my own concepts, understandings of our future reunion. I could understand your feelings of do not want to just follow the emotions to rush into a deal.

You are right Nan, you must know whether I really understand, respect and value your companion. Love only is not enough; we must have mutual respect, meaningful discourse in future disagreements and after all my understanding in Human Rights, tolerance on different opinions is important for others.

Dear darling, the following basic Human Rights should be granted to all the citizens:

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!

Dear Nan, despite the Universal Declaration’s denunciation of discrimination against minorities, we are sad to see some kind of discriminations in many countries including Myanmar.

Dear Nan, we all have to respect and follow the majority’s rules in all kinds of democratic governments but we also must accept that the majority have a duty to respect and protect the rights of the minorities’ rights.

As you had said before Nan, the essence of the true democracy is: we all must accept that there are limits on the concepts of the majority rule, to prevent tyranny of the majority. Majority must rule with the good heart by persuasion, understanding and kindness, but should never coerce the minority with force, threat, cruelty, violence, exploitation and abuse of power or racial riots.

Dear Nan, we all must recognize and implement:

(i) The Status, Rights, protection, participation and representation of all the Ethnic Minorities.

(ii) The Status, Rights, protection, participation and representation of all the Minority Religious groups.

(iii) The Status, Rights and protection of the poor and downtrodden.

(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.

(v) Majority got the right to rule. But they must respect, protect and guarantee the Minorities’ rights.

(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.

(vii) Majority must ‘sacrifice’ their absolute power by reserving some places and positions thus giving the Minorities the chance of participation and representation.

(viii) Workers rights and adequate protection. Rights of forming unions, strikes, compensation, recreation, various benefits, pension and etc.

(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 –

(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.

(b) Rural development, Urbanization, squatter relocation and settlements.

(c) Basic infrastructure facilities, water, electricity, highways, telephone, multimedia facilities, railways, seaports and etc.

Dear Nan you had wisely reminded me not to forget the most important basic issue of :

(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.

(ii) Dear Nan, you had even demanded that the minorities must have a say in the governance or at least the laws and rulings that are related or affected them.

(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.

Dear darling, I never forget your words, “Counting the ballots is better than cracking the skulls”.

Dear Nan, your demands were quite advanced:

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. 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. Newspapers, TVs and all the media must be free and independent to probe and do investigative reports.

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. 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.

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

Freedom of speech.

Freedom of association.

True, full democracy.

Separation of Powers between Government, Judiciary, Police & Military.

Independent, competitive non-government media, free from government censorship or editorial restrictions.

Full freedom of religious-thought, belief, expression & practice, including abolition of Government controls of religious affairs.

The right of self-determination.

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

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.

Religious & Political organisations must be permitted.

Dear Nan, my letter is quite long and too thick now and I am afraid that Dr Tayza and Burma Digest Editors would use their rights to throw away my boring letter, if I go into details of other Human Rights such as:

(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.

(ii) Women’s Rights,

(iii) Children’s various Rights,

(iv) Senior citizens’ Rights, Handicapped Persons’ Rights, and various victims of diseases, HIV patients, Ca patients etc Rights.

(v) Workers Rights; Workers Unions’ Rights, Foreign Workers’ (legal and illegal) Rights etc

(vi) Foreigners’ Rights; Foreign temporary Residences Rights, visitors, tourists, Foreign Investors and Asylum or refugee seekers’ Rights etc

(vii) Diplomatic Rights, Inventors’ Rights, Artists’ Rights, Patent Rights etc. etc…

But Detainees’ Rights is our concern as our Ah Ma Gyi Daw Suu and many political activists including your uncle Khun (he is also my uncle! not yours’ only) are currently under various forms of detention and many of them were denied of their rights and were mistreated.

Dear Nan, but you must understand and accept truth that:

(i) I am not an official representative of all the Bamas and

(ii) no one is also foolish enough to give me the “General Powers of Attorney”

(iii) nor that no one had given me the mandate to speak on behalf of the whole country.

And you must know yourself, that you are also not a sole representative of all the Ethnic Minorities nor even for the Shans. But anyway I would request Dr Tayza to kindly publish my letter to you in their Burma Digest so that we could gather different opinions and decide to stay together with the improved second Panglong or Matrimonial Contract, which is fair to all the sides.

Dear Nan, when I asked you, why I need to answer your question No 3, when all you need is answers to Q No. 1 & 2; you told me that, you want to know whether I really love you, know your origin and the origin of other cousins, Ethnic Minorities.

Dear darling, why are you so smart? Only when I searched the history books and many web pages, I realized that we, all the Bamas, Ethnic Minorities and even those late comers, mixed blooded, Burmese Chinese and Burmese Muslims are all “The travellers on the same boat”.

I wish to apologise my Burmese Chinese and Burmese Muslim friends not to angry with me for this sentence calling all of you as new comers or late comers, mixed blooded etc. And I am afraid some of the Bamas and Ethnic Minorities would be offended by putting or downgrading them to the level of so called recent migrants or guest citizens. Please read my whole article first and then you could send your opposing opinions through Burma Digest as that is the main objective of the Burma Digest to form a forum of dialogue on these issues.

Dear darling, not only a lot of people in Burma/Myanmar, but also in almost all the countries around the world believe that they have the right to segregate others, feel superior to them and demanded that they should have more ‘Rights in every field’:

(i) Just because those other’s races or religions are different to what they are used to.

(ii) Or because they regarded themselves as the original natives “original people of the soil.”

(iii) Or simply because they are the majority or strongest among all the citizens.

(iv) Or because of combination of all the above facts.

In extremely religious or less developed countries:

(i) The racial discrimination is not considered wrong.

(ii) In addition, the methods to solve the racial and religious discriminations could not appeal to all races of all the countries.

(iii) And most of he political parties, governing and opposition parties around the world, usually tried to incite racial sentiments to gather support from the grassroots. And they act like they are the true champions of their own ethnic groups.

So if anyone is against the following “ideal ideas” of Human Rights, they could argue through Burma Digest because this is the main declared policy of this website to reach agreements and mutual understandings through proper discourse, dialogue, discussions and exchange of ideas and concepts about Human Rights and eradication of Racial Discriminations.

Dear darling Nan, I am also a little bit worried if UN or Mr Kofi Annan demand the copy rights fees from me as I could be easily be declared broke. I used to quote from them not because I am bankrupt of ideas. But I never regret quoting or adapting their views and concepts, as the whole world had accepted their words as norms and what am I to invent new ideas or concepts again?

Dear Nan, could you find someone who would accept, if I invent a totally different set of views when the concept of Human Rights is well established and accepted by the whole world as gospel truth? And I feel that there is no need to reinvent the wheels as it would be very foolish and waste of time only.

Dear Nan, our beloved father, General Aung San once gave his opinion regarding his belief about Races and Ethnic Groups as:

(i) A group of people who wish to stay together with a sense of unity and cohesiveness; in thick or thin, rich or poor, in war or peace and in good or bad times.

(ii) Refused to dissociate, ready to defend the disintegration of the mother- land and have a common destiny.

(iii) Race and Ethnicity depends on the sense and spirit of togetherness, cohesiveness, shared values and shared destination, although it must maintain and based upon individual groups’ social, culture, customs and beliefs.

Dear Nan, our father General Aung San had promised Democracy with fair treatment and respect for all the minority races and all religions in Burma. Because of his firm promises and assurances only, all the minorities agree to sign the famous Panglong Treaty, which leaded to the Independence of the whole of the Union of Burma.

His promises were later legally and officially confirmed on 2.10.1947 by U Chan Htoon, Advisor on constitutional affairs to the Constituent Assembly, who later became Chief Justice.

“…born in Burma, raised and educated in Burma, whose Burmese citizenship, according to paragraphs # 11 (ii) and # (iii) of the parents, or at least one of them, were Burmese (citizen), automatically had constitutional rights as citizens, they would enjoy the same status, rights and privileges as all other citizens of Burma.

Paragraph 13 of our first Constitution guaranteed that all the citizens of Burma, (without regard to origin, religion, race, or sex) should be equal before the law.

Paragraph 14 guaranteed equal opportunity to all citizens in matters of public service and in employment in any post, professional or business whatsoever. They also were entitled to all the other privileges of the citizen mentioned in the constitution, even the right to candidacy for the election to the post of President of the State and to the membership in the two Houses of Parliament.”

Dear Nan, you told me that the word ‘Citizen’ is the concept started from the time of Romans. This concept originated from the Latin ‘city’ and came from the idea of city-nations and the people residing in them. ‘Citizen’ concept is created so that there would be loyalty to the authorities of the city: the king, Mayor, the church and the fellow city dwellers.

Dear Nan, I still could recall your words about ‘Nationalism’; the people’s pride and sense of togetherness based on their love, unique and unity in the cultural, social, historical and territorial identity.

Dear Nan, I got a rare chance to know that you could express your unique radical ideas by sugar coating with some sense of humour, when you joked that, “sometimes nationalism is associated with ‘the sense of illusion or delusion of self-greatness, self glorification and renaissance’.

Dear Nan, because of you I have to re-examine my love of the Nationalistic spirit. At first I strongly believe that it increased our pride and love for our own nation, race and religion. But I have to agree with your wise words that there is only a very thin razor line between true Nationalism and extremism or ultranationalist spirit. Those fanatics could spoil all the greatness and benefits associated with Nationalism and most of the times Nationalism was misused by various parties for their own benefits.

Dear Nan, regarding the ‘Minority Groups and Civil Liberties’. Among the most of the members of United Nations there are citizens with difference in race, religion, ethnicity, social, culture and language. And there are many nations in which some minority groups’ rights are compromised to a variety of extent. Most of the time, the minorities have to adjust or fine-tune themselves to avoid the confrontation or conflicts with the majorities.

Dear Nan, sometimes the minority communities’ wish, to be recognized as equal citizens, was denied in many countries and was even sometimes unfairly treated as pariahs or untouchables. In addition to that, their wish to be granted all the equal Rights of Citizens and for the protection according to the Internationally recognized ‘Basic Human Rights’ were conveniently denied by most of the majorities.

So dear darling, now I understand that your concerns for the possible tyranny of majority on your Ethnic Minorities could not be brushed aside but must be addressed before hand in advance.

Dear Nan, your request to at least basically accept without any conditions, the right to possess the following documents for all of our minorities’ citizens is fair and reasonable:

1. Birth Certificates

2. National Registration Cards.

3. Passports.

4. Family Registration Cards.

With the globalization and the world is shrinking to become a global village, we Shwe Myanmars are every where in various status. Now we knew that even among the foreigners, we were not treated equally by most of the Foreign Government Authorities.

Dear Nan, I have to accept the bitter truth you told me, Ko Tin Nwe, now only you are at the receiving end of the discrimination. You continued sarcastically that you were glad I could get the chance to learn and taste the bitter lessons of discriminations against others.

Lastly, but not least, before I finish my letter please me say dear darling now I’ve  realized that our Myanmar/Burmese ladies’ house works were rarely appreciated in our country even if the house wife is also a bread earner or just compliment the overall household income. As non working house wives’ house works could not earn a cent, their whole day’s house work’s value was never obvious for laymen. For a working house wife, they have to work at their schools, hospitals, office, factories, and various other places and once came back home have to do some house works again whether they have maids or others to help them.

Yes dear, I cannot just came back from work and straight away go and sit on the sofa, in front of TV now, as you were not around. Even if we bought back food to eat at home, I could even relax with a book or newspaper, but you have to reheat, put into the plates etc. After that while you were washing dishes and cleaning the dining room, I could relax again. Yes dear, even when our children were around, boys will relax and let the girls to do the entire house work. This is serious gender discrimination in our society. Although you had tried to train our boys, once you are away their laziness forced them to commit gender discrimination on their sisters.

I still remember your words dear, and I agree with you that even all the strict laws, regulations and procedures are useless if we always search for the loop holes of the laws and the more powerful party tried ‘to walk on the eyebrow of others’. Mutual understanding and reciprocal respects are more important in the long run. Understanding the basic knowledge and practising of ‘Good Governance’ and true Democracy, especially the respect and protection of minorities’ rights is more important to hold any unions. You rightly pointed out that all the divorce cases started from mutual disrespect, mutual mistrust and failure or break down of proper communications.

Thanking you for giving me a chance to show and prove of my love and respects for the rights of your minority group.

Wishing for a quick reunion

Your loving darling

(Ko Tin Nwe)

TQ for the interest and republishing

Politics in America

Election 2008 and Politics

Compassionate letter No 5: The key to our future relations

May 12th, 2008


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Compassionate letter No 4:The most remarkable leader of our time

Compassionate letter No 4: The most remarkable leader of our time

As Bo Aung Din in Burma Digest

Dear Nan,

As you know, 8th of March is International Women’s Day. So Dr Tayza and friends invited me to an unofficial ‘Sunday morning coffee party’ this week, to participate, discuss and praise the courage and greatness of our democracy heroines who are in fact the icons of human right movements around the world. Actually they are planning to hail our Burma’s courageous women activists for democracy and human rights, such as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Su Su Nwe (detained for fighting against forced labour), Nan Cham Taung(had an audience with US President George W. Bush), Dr. Cynthia Maung, (known popularly as Florence Nightingale or Mother Theresa of Burma, the first recipient of the Jonathan Mann Award.) etc.  

Dear Nan I think we should also search and at least mention some great women leaders in Burmese history and instead of praising my own elder sister with my words, I wish to quote the words of two persons: 

Fergal Keane, who knows her personally and introduced her “Letters from Burma” to us. “Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the most remarkable leaders of our time. Read it and revel in the courage, the strength and the humanity.” He continued: 

“This is not the strength of guns or money but rather the power derived from faith in a simple idea: that all men and women have the right to a life that is FREE from FEAR and OPPRESSION.” 

Madhu Kishwar, a well-known Indian woman activist and editor of the Manushi journal praised our leader: 

”She is one of the few women leaders who have lived up to Mahatma Gandhi’s vision that in ‘the war against war, women of the world will and should lead’, and made the Mahatma’s dream come true that women’s entry into politics would act as a cleansing and humanizing force.” 

Courage is the ability to confront fear in the face of pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation.

The precise view of what constitutes courage not only varies among cultures, but among individuals. For instance, some define courage as lacking fear in a situation that would normally generate it. Others, in contrast, hold that courage requires one to have fear and then overcome it.

There are also more subtle distinctions in the definition of courage. For example, some distinguish between courage and foolhardiness in that a courageous person overcomes a justifiable fear for an even more noble purpose. If the fear is not justifiable, or the purpose is not noble, then the courage is either false, or foolhardy.

Dear Nan, I copy the above from Wikipedia encyclopedia, but do you remember our late father, General Aung San’s speeches: which were once played repeatedly on the radio and printed in the Burmese newspapers prominently? How wise he was, I am sure he had exactly mentioned about the courage as above. And I am glad his daughter who was two years old when he was assassinated had not only listened to his words but shown the whole world of her true courage. 

But I am sad to hear that General Aung San’s speeches disappeared from all the MYANMAR media, his photos were removed from every where, even from the MYANMAR Military’s banknotes.

Never mind dear, why are you so upset about this. As our Burmese saying goes, “The genuine Ruby could never lost in the mud!” SPDC mud or thugs could not remove our General Aung San’s name from our heart. His daughter Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s sacrifices and courageous struggles are pushing up her father’s name above all those thugs’ efforts and even became a renaissance among the people of the whole world.

Because Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was the daughter of General Aung San, she is loved and revered by all the Burmese citizens. Because she learned, knew about her father, she regarded her sacrifices as her historical or family duty to carry on. Now her struggles could even reach and could be compared to the level of her father’s sacrifices for the country.

Dear Nan, but I wish to whisper to you, so that no one could know that I am very selfish: “Please come back abroad to me and struggle from outside Burma. Don’t leave me alone dear, I am not brave enough like Michael Aris, a British, who could sacrifice his love for his wife’s country. I inconsiderately hope and pray that your love and wish to sacrifice for the country is also much less than Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

I am advising not only because of my selfishness but you see; SPDC and Kyant Phut thugs could even dare to attempt an assassination on Daw Suu at Depayin. If like you, a non prominent person, would just disappear under the SPDC Military’s boots like dust. Thousands of anonymous martyrs had already sacrificed with their lives for the democratic reform of our country.

Dear Nan let us search some more famous Burmese ladies (of all the nationalities of Burma).

The first should be Daw Khin Kyi, mother of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. She had taken good care of all the wounded Burmese soldiers, met General Aung San and married. After independence she had worked prominently as the Ambassador of Union of Burma.

Dear Nan, do you still remember the very active NLD divisional organising committee member Daw Win Mya Mya, who you met at your last visit to Mandalay. While telling me about her words of courage, you even could not stop your tears. Relating to her Depayin Assault, ordered by Daw Than Shwe, directed by the present PM Daw Soe Win and committed by the Kyant Phuts, “They had already broken my both hands and assaulted me all over the body. What should I scare for any more? I would continue with my NLD duties without any fears…”

I still remember your question about that Depayin incident for the SPDC to answer. Even if we just ignored the opposition’s claim of roughly a hundred fatalities, SPDC’s immediate press conference revealed and admitted that four persons had died. The four deaths must be accounted for. Kyant Phuts (Swan Ah Shin), local leader Daw Soe Win who executed the operation and commander-in-chief Daw Than Shwe who ordered the whole conspiracy must take responsibility for that four fatalities. If they wish to claim innocent, tell all to us, all the Myanmar citizens and the whole world have the right to know the truth! Why did all of you shamelessly punished the innocent victims, while you all know the truth that the whole drama was planned by you and committed by Kyant Phuts under your order? 

If SPDC could prove to the world or UN that NLD was at fault, they should charge NLD and Ah Ma Gyi Daw Suu, but they must be tried in an open court and must allow the international observers. Actually if SPDC wish to pursue the above course, they have to give permission to the UN investigation team first, to investigate and interview freely, without any restrictions. Now they refused all the above.  

Dear Nan, we are glad that the latest but not the last of the episode of the dramas depicting “The clashes of the religions” directed by SPDC and acted by Kyant Phuts is stopped. That drama series was last time acted by the 007 MI agents of Daw Khin Nyunt. Now as Daw Khin Nyunt was behind bars and her village thugs were banished, producer and advisor Daw Than Shwe was forced to use her village goons, Kyant Phuts to act.  

Dear Nan, although Kyant Phuts are new actors, we could not dismiss their skills of action. Those villains had practiced a lot since their failed attempt to shoot the movie, “How to nail the coffin of NLD”. They even unsuccessfully tried to shoot a drama, “The assassination of the Fighting Peacock Princess”. Actually the above three episodes are part of the well planned great drama series “The Eternal Kingdom of Vampire Myanmar Military to suck out the blood of all the citizens”.  

Although the Kyant Phut’s stardom is a lack luster, we could not lightly dismiss their ability of acting as actually they are not the new kid around the corner but veterans. Daw Than Shw’s eldest sister Daw Ne Win started to organize Kyant Phuts in 1958 as a Housekeeping Village Head. Actually Myanmar Military got the taste of our blood since then. When at last Daw Ne Win redeemed herself and was taken over by the new-fangled breed of Myanmar Military leaders. When General Saw Maung publicly announced his desire for redemption, Ne Win’s notorious daughter (Major, Doctor) Sandar Win shoot him on the thigh and injected him with the hallucination drugs. He was announced insane and there was a palace coup d’état and Daw Than Shwe was declared the head of Vampire Myanmar Army.   (Note: no one knew the truth, so we could accept this rumour as Daw Khin Nyunt’s Military Intelligence was also strongly behind her. SoI have unintentionally proposed Sandar Win to be recorded for the unique place of a notorious Burmese lady.) 

So actually Kyant Phuts are a force to watch out, for they are always planning for further dirty attempts. The senile puppet master Daw Than Shwe is the director and also producer with the big bank account, so she is searching for the good drama script writers to continue creating new episodes to distract the world’s audiences. They had successfully fooled U Pinheiro and U Yazali, who are eager to see the “Democracy pictures” but were instead shown the “Power crazy Pictures”. Now they are trying to deceive U Hamid Alba with their fresh play settings, camera-tricks and latest special effects with the help of computer experts at their new Yanglone-Wood studio. The facilities there could easily compete with the famous Hollywood and Bollywood studios. Dear Nan, if Yanglone-Wood studio’s name is too long to remember, we could safely call it the Dogwood studios as Yanglone, which is the name of the new Myanmar capital, was taken from the common house hold name for dogs. 

Dear Nan, in the mean time Daw Than Shwe and her sisters would try to divide us with gossips, rumours, and staged dramas as a propaganda warfare. We must not keep our guards low and must be united. 

Dear Nan, I was carried away by the drama stories and almost forgot our search for the great women leaders of Burma. 

Queen Pwa Saw of Bagan dynasty (10th to 13th centuries A.D) was the chief Queen-cum adviser or the puppet master to four successive kings. A reputed British writer of Burma, Maurice Collis, admired Queen Pwa Saw so much that he fictionalized her biography entitled “She was a Queen”. He based on characters and events drawn from the official account of Burmese history, the Hman Nan Yazawin, or Glass Palace Chronicle. Collis described a mysterious oriental court, with its maneuverings and conspiracies: a scheming chief minister, a corrupt immoral rulers and a strong-willed woman, desperately trying to hold a disintegrating country together.  

Although originally written in 1937, this book could also be read at the present time as an analogy of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s current-day battle with the ruling junta: two amazing women struggling through a crucial period in Burmese history. Queen Pwa Saw had to struggle with the four kings then, and dear Nan, our Ah Ma Gyi Daw Suu also had to deal with: Ne Win, Saw Maung, Than Shwe and the other relatively less powerful PMs Khin Nyunt and Soe Win. 

Maurice Collis (1889-1973), historian, biographer, and novelist, served in colonial Burma, like George Orwell. They later became friends in literature. 

So my friend Shwe Ba had presented the present day “Burma Animal Farm” adapted on George Orwell’s book. Another friend Maha Bandoola had also taken some facts about racial riots from Maurice Collis’ book in “United We Stand” and now, I am quoting his book again. Not only Maurice Collis and George Orwell were friends, served in Burma and written novels, now they seem to have a vision and could predict the future of present day Myanmar/Burma. Now we, a group of friends known through Burma Digest are writing the articles based on those two famous friends again.  

Dear Nan, although you are away, I could see your face smirk and sneer because I am comparing our selves with two very famous world’s renowned writers. Never mind dear, you should be happy, I am working or struggling the whole day for our family and using all my free leisure times on just doing research and writing to Burma Digest. At least I am away from clubs or parties.  And actually we knew that we are not up to the levels of those great famous authors but just referring and adapting some of their works only. 

Dear Nan, may be because of my age, I am now drifting again from my topic of great Burmese Ladies. Thank you for the information you give me on the phone, about the following historically famous Burmese ladies: 

The Panhtwa Princess ruled the ancient city of Beikthano till its destruction in the fifth century BC.  

Pyu Queen Nam Hkam (Malasandi) reigned in Thagya-in, now Sri Kittra. 

Queen Kywaypi of Arakan State ruled in the 3rd century AD. 

Queen Shin Saw Pu (1453 – 1472 A.D) was the Queen of the Mon, Hongsawaddy dynasty. She was the daughter of King Razadarit. She had donated her weight in gold for use in the first gilded coating applied to Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon.  

Set Kya Dewi, the chief queen of King Mindon (1853- 1878 A.D) who assisted the king in the conduct of diplomatic relations and daily administrations of Burmese Kingdom.  

Burmese women have also shown their talent and skill in various fields in literature: 

Mi Phyu, Mi Nyo and Yawai Shin Htwe were famous during the Inwa and Nyaung Yan dynasties as poet writers.  

Queens Ma Mya Galay and Hlaing Htaik Khaung Tin were song composers and harpists during Kong Boung dynasty of Burma.

Daw Mya Sein, M.A, daughter of Home Member U May Aung, delivered her speech in flawless English, during the British colonial period, at the Round Table Conference in the British Lower House, demanding for the separation of Burma from India.

The legend of Min Maha Giri or Lord of the Great Mountain takes us back to Tagaung, origin of the Burma. There stayed Maung Tint De, a blacksmith with Herculean strengths. Maung Tint De was shackled to a champak tree and burnt alive. His sister, the queen jumped into flames and died with him. Although some would say it was only a fable and if true also it was a foolish daredevil act: Dear Nan, you just look at her as a queen with full luxuries and some powers but her innocent brother was lured into the palace as if she, his sister had requested, and murdered cruelly just because the king was afraid of his strength. As she sacrificed her convenient position for love of her brother and as an ultimate protest to the cruel king, she should be listed as a Burmese Hereon apart from being worshiped as a small god or nat. 

Queen Su Phaya Lat was also known to have controlled our last Burmese King, Thi Baw Min. (Real Thi Baw, but not a fake descendent like your mother-in-law Daw Than Shwe.) She was said to have told her Ministers to wear the “Hta Mi” ladies’ sarong in Burmese if they were scared to fight back the invading army. And if compared to our present first lady Daw Kyaing Kyaing, just a gate keeper to collect bribes, she had a real influence on the daily administration of Burma and should be listed as one of the great Burmese ladies.

Dear Nan, do not forget Lu Du Daw Ah Mar and Khin Myo Chit but now I knew that you are getting angry because I purposely left behind your Aunty, daughter of our Burma’s first president, one of the founders the SSA. You already knew her name, no need to mention.

Dear Nan, our friend Dr Tayza who kindly arranged for the delivery of my letters to you secretly in to Burma, informed me that my last letter was too thick and he scared that Myanmar Secret Intelligent Agents could easily noticed the thick bundle of papers. He had already arranged to send my last letter with two couriers; I don’t know whether he could send this letter together with the last half left behind or send later only again. It is up to him. I am happy as long as I could send some letters to you.  

Thanking you for the reply letters 

Your loving darling 

(Ko Tin Ngwe) 


Compassionate letter : Third letter for Dear Nan, with love

Compassionate letter 3:

Third letter for Dear Nan, with love

As Bo Aung Din in Burma Digest
 “today’s human rights violations are the causes of tomorrow’s conflicts”   

“… today’s human rights violations are the causes of tomorrow’s conflicts.” by Mary Robinson, High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002)             

Dear Nan,

               We all should follow the wise and compassionate advice of our true Buddhist monk in accordance to the true teaching of Lord Buddha, which I copied from the Feb 21, 2006 (DVB) English news, because I am sure that Intra-Myanmar Internet access to all the opposition web sites are blocked. 

Monk appeals for calm and understanding after anti-Muslim riots in Burma

A Buddhist monk urged the military authorities to take the correct responsibility and issue correct reports in order to prevent misunderstanding between the Buddhist and Muslim communities, and appealed for calm after nearly four days of anti-Muslim riots in central Burma.

When we face this kind of problem ¨C whether they are Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus or Christian ¨C we must not approach and solve the problem by looking at their physical appearance. If we look at the case and solve the problem, there could be peace,¡± said the monk who doesn’t want to be identified.  

He then urged all Buddhists in Burma including the ruling authorities to follow the teachings of Lord Buddha by solving problems with loving kindness in heart.  

The riots started on 16 February at UchitkoneVillage, SingbyukyunTownship in Magwe Division and spread to neighbouring towns such as Pwintbyu, Salin and Chauk after a report of an alleged rape of a young Burmese woman by three Muslim men. A couple of people were killed, many wounded and several mosques and homes, shops and properties were destroyed and looted, according to local residents.

The residents claimed that the problem became worse when the authorities tried to hush up the report of the alleged rape and used the riots to divert people’s attention from the real problems in Burma. [DVB]

Dear Nan, I was so surprised to see you so angry as both of us are non-Indian non-Muslims and yet you firmly stand on your principle of opposing against all kind of racial and religious discriminations. That was the time I was really proud of you! Bravo!

I have to admit that the level of your memory, intelligence and kindheartedness are much higher than me. You were always there when your poor in-laws need our help. They search for you and are willing to ask help from you, rather than me, their own blood! Dear Nan, do not misunderstand me that once you are away only, I am praising you to lure you back into my arms.

I hereby request DVB (Democratic Voice of Burma) to kindly allow me to quote one of your articles, and included in my letter to my Nan Sai, as this also help your cause which is the same as all of us, Peaceful democratization of future Federal Union of Burma/Myanmar. 

Easy Targets, The Persecution of Muslims in Burma research/interview paper by the Karen Human Rights Group was published in DVB.

 Successive Burmese regimes have encouraged or instigated violence against Muslims as a way of diverting the public’s attention away from economic or political concerns…………………………. 

The above paragraphs are the from the Karen Human Rights Group’s report in DVB web page:.  

Instead of hatred we should pity their plights and dilemma.

But our Burmese Muslim friends should understand that not only you, Muslims, are suffering but the whole populations of Burma/Myanmar of different religions, Buddhists, and Christians e.t.c. are also suffering under this cruel autocratic regime.

Do you know how many Buddhists Monks had given their lives and many were de-robed by this so called Religious Buddhist Government As a minority, you must respect the feelings of the majority. Even if you, Burmese Muslims thought you are victimized, you could not take the law into your own hands to revenge.

You could approach the peace loving majority Buddhist citizens. And most of the Abbots and Monks are also kind hearted and have understanding and even ready to protect you. You must not fall into the trap of the Military Junta. You Burmese Muslims should not hate all the monks and Buddhists but must understand the rebel rouser, Myanmar Military Intelligent undercover agents used to instigate almost all the racial and religious riots.

But you must also understand the Law of Nature/physics: each and every action triggered the equal reaction or response. If you show respect, love kindness; all the Buddhists would give you back the similar response. You all must try to avoid the sensitive issues which would hurt your friends of other religions: Buddhists, Christians and Hindu etc.

Dear Nan, our son is repeatedly playing the THE NATURE’S CHILDREN as if he knew what I am writing. Dear Nan, you know that both of us also had curiously experienced the same kind of thinking about the same thing at the same time for countless times. I think that kind of coincidence or paranormal incidences is because of our sixth sense or may be because of the very strong bond between us.

                        Dear darling, God or nature had done another wonder again. I cannot dismiss this as a mere coincidence. Our daughter-in-law, you called Jin Phaw Thu, just arrived and gives me your letter and the presents for me, the same Hti Sai’s VCD! Actually you had given that to her husband, our son, in the last week of January. With this kind of bond, I believe, our family could not be separated by any one or any misunderstanding!

And I could not believe this.  Jin Phaw Thu took out the old DVD, put your VCD and played the first song you selected and recorded. Again, this is the same THE NATURE’S CHILDREN

So the song is already forcing me to search for the place of eternal peace, free from arguments, fights, riots, killings and wars. I have to admit that my thoughts, ideas, concept and views were based on your repeated input to brainwash me.


As long as there is profiling of the human based on other merits and features and denied the basic Human Rights, there would be never ending conflicts and wars.

Dear Nan, I still remember your wise words and salute you millions of times, from the bottom of my heart.

Bamas are not superior to other Ethnic Minorities viz; Shans, Kachin, Karen, Kayahs, Mons e.t.c nor vice versa is true i.e. Shans, Kachins e.t.c. are also not in a superior position to Bamas.

Westeners and White people are not superior to the coloured persons; Easterners, Asians, and Africans. And we Asians, Arabs, Chinese, Indians, Koreans and Japanese are also not superior to the Europeans and Americans.

We all are same. Just different in external features only and those are also not important. Our deeds and heart is more important than external appearances.

But your later words shook my heart, I even could not accept at first; All the Bamas and Ethnic Minorities are also not in a higher position than Chinese, Indians, Mixed blooded people, Burmese Chinese and Burmese Muslims. And those all mentioned above, so called visitor citizens by Ne Win and cohorts are also not better than Bamas and Ethnic Minorities! All the citizens are equal and must have the same rights!

Although I kept quiet to avoid another argument or war of words with you, I cannot accept your ideal ideas of Human Rights and Citizen’s Equal Rights to practice on those Chinese and Indians. (Forgive me for my immaturity at that time, now my dear wife had successfully opened my eyes to respect the Human Rights of all the other races.)

But it was not my fault alone, all the successive National Leaders of Myanmar Military had successfully brain washed all of us to have a strong Nationalist Spirit, to love the race, country and religion etc.

But now only, when staying abroad, when I am at the receiving end of the discriminating process, I have learnt the bitterness of those discriminations based on different modalities.

Why are you so smart, humane, advanced and intelligent dear? I even not only admire, praise but am jealous of you my dear Nan.

When I told you that you are right, you smile with a mock and told me at least I am not too bad because once I suffered the discriminations, I immediately acknowledge my fault of discrimination on all the non-Bamas and especially my Burmese Chinese and Burmese Muslim friends.

Your words: Our Lord Buddha had teach us to be like a tongue, to know the taste with a drop of food, but not like a ladle, always has the chance to touched and stir the food but never knew the taste. is full of wisdom.

But I think you are some times too proud and insult my feelings when you continue, Darling, Ko Tin Nwe, you are like a tongue, easy to learn a lesson, I am like a brain, could imagine or estimate the taste without even have a chance to taste.

Dear Nan, as you mentioned our Lord Buddha’s teachings; my mind correlated it with our race and religious issue. In our Buddhists, 550 Religious Stories, tales about the repeated reincarnation of Buddha as human forms or other creatures (animals) there were  very good lessons we learned. Buddha taught us about THE KAMA OR FAITH, IF ANYONE, ANIMAL OR HUMAN, DOES ANYTHING ONE HAS TO REAP WHAT ONE SOWS.


Dear darling, do you remember the story I told you about two friends; one is very religious but another one is quite naughty. On one auspicious day, there was a special prayer section in the village hall. Religious and good friend calls his bad friend to accompany him, but the bad friend refused to join and instead counter proposed the good one to join him as there was a very pretty, young fresh call girl in their village. Both of them could not get an agreement and they parted their ways.

Religious friend was in the prayer section but his mind was wondering how his naughty friend would be enjoying with that pretty girl, sometimes even blaming himself for not following his friend. He daydreamed that if he had followed his friend he could also enjoy the pleasure of new experience with that girl.

But life is different on the other side of the moral divide. Although physically playing love with those girls, the naughty friend’s heart is heavy; he realized that he is committing serious religious crime and wonder if he could be better like his religious friend on this auspicious day, performing special prayers. He wished he could change his bad habits and to do more good deeds. Suddenly a big disaster fell on the whole village and both friends died.

Dear Nan, you already agreed that the bad guy could be rewarded by God, and the good poise friend would be definitely punished. But you are witty and reminded me that although substance is more important than form, I should not be absent from your regular prayer sections. You reminded me that, practice made perfect, and to try to control our mind during the prayers. You even dislike the story because you are afraid that some mischievous persons would use this as an excuse to commit adultery and claim that he is trying to change. Yes dear, you are right in your own way, at least you could prevent me from encroaching into other woman’s territory.

Anyway the basic moral is, in any religion, humans would not be judged by the outside appearance only, but their heart and intention would also be counted.


It depends on each individual’s deeds. We have to accept that any GOD of any religion has more than enough WISDOM of knowing the differences between appearances in forms and true benevolence acts.

In Buddhism and many religions there are no clear indications that all other subjects of not that faith would be condemned to hell.

So we are not God, and no one could prove that our religion only is right and others are wrong. And when actually all the religions have common basic good principles, why should we fight for the mere difference in appearances or form and fail to look each other as human beings and meritocracy of its deeds?

If we all could stop looking each others based on race, colour, decent, national or ethnic origin and recognize the individual’s merit there would be less conflicts, arguments, fights and wars in this world.

When other people’s opinions and beliefs are not respected by anyone of us just due to their religion or way of thinking that is strange or new or foreign to our belief or religion, we could not expect the return of mutual respect and recognition from others.


Dear Nan, do you remember the ghost story, The Others acted by Nicole Kidman? Nicole Kidman and her family were already dead and continued staying in the haunted house and they thought that the real humans came to their house were ghosts. We could learn a great lesson even from the movies that sometimes our views, concepts may be wrong and we just could not dismiss others because we could not understand them or just because they are strangers or relatively new comers.

But it is easy to preach others but difficult to practice by our selves. Do you remember the story you told me when I could not decide correctly during the racial riots we encountered because of my bias towards one race, Bama? You told me that the doctors should not treat their own family members’ dictum could be applied to avoid judging others if you are an interested party.

You even told me about a famous monk who used to console the whole village. When his own mother passed away, he could not stop crying and the villagers reminded the monk that he was the person who used to always preach all of them for peace of mind in the similar conditions. That monk replied, They were your parents, not my mother, now mother has passed away!

In order to organize or unite the whole world; all the races, religions, all the different coloured persons from all the different countries, we may need a bogyman like an alien invasion or the world wide disaster as in Hollywood movies. (Excuse me for this radical, sarcastic idea. I pray that we all would be free from this kind of trouble.)

This radical and sarcastic idea came into my mind because we humans are divided and fighting and we could not stop these yet. And we humans had a very bad reputation in our history that we even had harmed or attacked and killed the Gods or the messengers of God. Lord Buddha was harmed by a fellow monk by rolling the stone from a hill, Israel’s Moses was the victim of repeated assignation attempts and had to lead his people in an exodus, early Muslims had to migrate away from Mecca with their Prophet because of danger to their lives, and Jesus Christ was crucified.

Even great leaders known for their peace initiatives were assassinated; Mahatma Gandhi, Egypt‘s Anwar Sadat, Israel’s PM Rabin, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and our father General Aung San. Late Pope John Paul II was also a victim of an assassination attempt.

Only when we compare with the above events, we  could understand the present Military government’s cruel actions on the  peace loving people like; Ah Ma Gyi Daw  Su, your uncles including Uncle Khun Tun Oo and my uncles U Win Tin, U Tin Oo and thousands of our citizens.

Our leaders are not criminals and are willing to forgive and forget all the past. They all are searching for a peaceful solution through negotiations and dialogue. They are even willing to give the Military upper hand or handicap by recognizing their Military Government as a legitimate Interim Government!

Dear Nan, how would you answer if any one asked the following hypothetical question to us; what the present Military leaders would do to the great leaders, Prophets and Lords mentioned above if they preached against their Military Dominance doctrine and aim of holding the power forever?

I wish to indirectly answer the above question with this paragraph. Not worth compare with any great personalities mentioned above, but forgive me for mentioning your mother-in law Daw Than Shwe’s sister Daw Khin Nyunt. Although she had played a lot of underhand dirty tactics and committed a lot of injustices and even tortured many innocent people, at least she had successfully made peace with a lot of rebels. She had some dialogue with NLD and showed a soft sweet face to the International Community. Even that soft negotiator was thought to have passed the tolerance level of hardliners and was kicked out unceremoniously and is in custody by her elder sister.

Dear Nan, we need to change the present socio-political conditions in our country. Enough is enough! Not only in our country, but millions of people all over the world are suffering now as they have been victims of discrimination, preferences and exclusions in view of their race, skin colour, sex, religion, language, national or ethnic origin and form of expression, causing extreme sufferings and even loss of a lots of lives daily; during routine daily struggles for their livings, fights, and various wars.

So darling Nan, we have to start from ourselves; to change our views and to treat all the others as fellow human beings. I think we have to go a very long way to achieve world peace but we should try in our beloved country, Burma/Myanmar first.

SO PLEASE DARLING, DO NOT EVER CALL ME OR LABELLED ME AS BAMA AND I WOULD TRY TO STOP PROFILING YOU AS A SHAN. WE ALL ARE BURMESE/MYANMAR. We should not discriminate all other Ethnic Minorities including so call mixed blooded citizens.

Dear darling, your sudden emergency phone call to me confirms that, even if we could draw a line on the water, no one could able to separate us.  Present racial/religious riots in Burma/Myanmar are a blessing in disguise for us. Not only it became an ice breaker in our relation, it also confirms our common stand on religious and racial tolerance. And as I am worried about you and some of our family members back home in Burma, you are also aware and sure that I would be anxious about all of you.

I salute you for your courage and anger about the latest events, but I think it is not very wise and it is very dangerous to discuss any sensitive socio-political issue on the telephone in Myanmar because all the telephone conversations are usually tapped and recorded. They could put you behind the bars for a dozen of years!

And I was also stupid to tell you on the phone about the opinion article written by my friend Maha Bandoola, “United We Stand, Divided We Lose” published in 12-18 -02-2006 issue of Burma Digest.  Burma Digest had bravely published the very sensitive issue even few days before the recent riots started. I told my friend Maha Bandoola not to be too proud because although he wrote and predicted on record about that impending racial riots, it is the open secret that all the people knew. Myanmar Military has to find its way out of the present difficult conditions and creating racial riots is one effective way of diverting the people’s tension.  

I used to stay in the free land outside Myanmar and forgot the UNFREE STATUS OF ALL OF THE MYANMAR CITIZENS. Burma Digest is also blocked by Myanmar censors. So I hereby copy some salient facts from the letter, after my request to quote was granted by the author.

Daw Aung San Su Kyi once comments regarding the political extremists, religious fanatics and ultra nationalists, 

Well, there are people who think that it’s right to do any thing in the name of their religion, their race, their family, or any organization to which they may belong.

It would be much better if we look at the facts that trigger the Inter-religious conflicts and riots to stop them or prevent them from happening again.

For me no excuse is right, conflicts should be avoided at all costs from both sides. I am not going to search who is right or wrong, but the basic causes or events that trigger the conflicts only. I believe that if anyone fight or try to use force, both sides are wrong. I am searching the ways to avoid the repeat of those conflicts. 

We all must unite, if not we will fall. I will now try to search the triggering sparks of racial and religious riots in Burma/Myanmar.

                        Please read the US States department’s Human Right Reports, about Religious Problems in Burma/Myanmar. I do not wish to write any details but just read this web page  to see what the SPDC Junta is doing on Buddhists, Christian, Muslim citizens and the Ethnic Minorities of Burma/Myanmar. 

Actually you all will find out that I am just searching the ways to avoid the split of the democracy forces inside and outside Burma. We all know that Than Shwe is an expert on Propaganda Warfare. I foresee that the enemy SPDC Junta Generals and their Intelligent Mechanism would try to split our forces and at the same time divert the attention of all the Burmese people and the world’s spectators by creating racial or religious conflict. United we stand, divided we loss!

I hereby wish to advice all of you that many real actually correct facts would hurt both sides. I am opening the old wounds or doing the Post Mortem on the dead issues to search the triggering factors so that we could do the damage control any time if the similar things start to appear.

Mutual understanding, mutual respects and the granting of basic Human Rights irrespective of Race, creed, colour, religion or ethnicity would defuse most of the ill feelings among us.

                       The pride and good feelings of NATIONALISM: the love for the country, race and religion is frequently exploited and used by many politicians, ultra-nationalists, religious fanatics, racial extremists and present Military Junta of Burma.   

Adolph Hitler of Nazi Germany and Slobodan Milosevic, were the most prominent and indisputable example. But it is shameful to admit that many governments and politicians around the world are guilty of this crime one time or another to get or accomplish their own agenda or to cover up their faults and failures.

They use to threaten their own people with the foreign powers and enemies, western colonists, imperialists, religious terrorists, Communists and possible out break of racial riots, danger of losing independence of their beloved country. 

It is sad to note that, that propaganda warfare is usually successful with the help of the local government controlled media and because of the use or exploitation of the nationalistic spirit. PEOPLE AGAINST THIS WOULD BE LABELED AS UNPATRIOTIC OR TRAITOR.


With the GLOBALIZATION, the whole world is becoming a GLOBAL VILLAGE. So we, SHWE MYANMAR/BURMESE are also spreading like wildfire around the whole world.

It is said to note that the hatred to foreigners is rooted to fear of losing, insecurity, low self-esteem and jealousy of the respective locals. Then now we all SHWE MYANMARS are in the same position as the Indian, Chinese foreigners in our own country, Burma/Myanmar.

We Burmese are now migrating, working legally and illegally in many different countries. Now many of those host citizens are hostile to us, Burmese/Myanmar Citizens, claiming that we are taking their jobs, replacing them. They claim that because of our cheap labour they could not demand for pay rise. We are poor, dirty; we bring in diseases into their country etc.

We Burmese are accused by our own brothers, Ethnic Nationalities that Bamas are  acting like big brother, arrogant, want to assimilate or destroy them, raping them etc.


The purposes of the United Nations are¡ to achieve International cooperation… in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS FOR ALL WITHOUT DISTINCTION AS TO RACE, SEX, LANGUAGE AND RELIGION 

 EQUALITY, JUSTICE, DIGNITY is the emblem that represents the goals of the Human Rights Committee. The comprehensive implementation of actions against racism, racial discrimination, XENOPHOBIA and related intolerances is a very important topic because these forms of intolerance have been global issues since biblical times. 


RACIAL DISCRIMINATION is the ability or power to make distinctions among people based on race, color, descent, national or ethnic origin rather than individual merit.

XENOPHOBIA is a fear of the foreign, of what is strange. RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE occurs when someone’s opinions and beliefs are not respected by others due to their religion or way of thinking. (Wikipedia free Encyclopedia)

In extremely religious or less developed countries, sexism is practiced, and racial discrimination is not considered wrong. In addition, the methods of solving racism could not appeal to all countries. LOTS OF PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SEGREGATE OTHERS AND FEEL SUPERIOR TO THEM, just because they are different to what they are used to. The following are only some of the many examples in which discrimination has been highly presented: 

During World War II, the Holocaust genocide by the Nazis exterminated over 15 million people. In the course of the 11th- 13th centuries, the Crusades took place, in which European Christians fought the Muslims and a lot of casualties on both sides.  Dear Nan you are right that although millions of people were killed by the powerful superpowers of that time, no one could eliminate those three races/religions. Now how powerful are we to try and forced out others! Why waste our energy on these un-winnable conflicts. Better use all our forces together to rebuild our country. Yes dear, you are right, we all must unite and liberate our country first so that it could move forwards on the Democracy tracts towards our destination, heaven on earth, Union of Federal Republic of Burma.

After the 27 years in prison of the Racial discriminatory Apartheid Whites, the noble response of Nelson Mandela, when he became the South African Leader should be the example to all of us. He used his nonviolence strategy and fought to eradicate the object of racial division and turn it into the open democracy that today exists and the country prospers.

Lord Buddha teach us to detach from ATTA, I, my, me, mine. I realized that it could extend to my family, my relatives, my race, my religion, my home, my town, my country. And Buddha even advised to love and pity all humans and animals including our enemies.

Our common enemy SPDC would definitely create another racial riot in a near future to divert the discontented people and smoke shield the world opinion. 

We all are like the married couple. In Burmese, married couple is compared with the tongue and the teeth. We could unintentionally bite the tongue. If we could understand that the teeth is helping the tongue by chewing the food into smaller pieces to get better taste and forgive all will be OK.

In Burmese there is a saying. If we are near we always frequently fight amongst each other. Once we are away only we missed each other too much as if going to die if we cannot see each other.

Now I missed all my friends of different races and religion. We must unite against our common enemy whether we are in Burma proper or abroad.  UNITED WE STAND divided we loose.

Dear Nan, do you remember the unfortunate incidence of racial riots that took place in our town? After one mid night we were awakened by the knock on our door. My best friend Ko Hanif @ Ko Tin Mg was crying at our door step; his shop was looted, his home was burnt and his wife and youngest daughter were killed. Before that incidence because we thought that the fights are nothing to do with us, would not affect us, we just stayed away without any involvement.

You advised me to go and request the help of our respected Abbot. When I tried to take my licensed pistol and the knife hidden in the walking stick, you were wise to stop me from carrying those weapons and followed us instead, to defuse any danger.

To make it short, we got the approval from our Abbot, to bring in the local town Muslim leaders, and Ko Tin Mg even managed to persuade his religious leader, Maulawi Sub, who followed with some offerings for the monks. Our Abbot refused to accept the valuables but accepted some fruits as a good will gesture. Our Abbot managed to organize the meeting of the young monk leaders and Muslim elders.

We agreed that although there was a rumor of wrong doing by a Muslim man on a local Buddhist girl, we have to allow the authorities to take action according to the law. Both side must obey the truce agreement and if there were any misunderstandings, to report to the relevant religious leaders to handle and to avoid revenge and violence.

To our surprise, the leader of young Buddhist monk called all of us and handed over thousands of anti-Muslim pamphlets given by the Myanmar Military Intelligence, headed by General Khin Nyunt.

Ko Tin Mg and other Muslim friends did not know what to do with lorry-load of MI anti-Muslim pamphlets. Monks did not want to keep but difficult to get a lorry for our friends and my dear Nan had showed your wit! You advised to take out all the pamphlets into the monastery compound and burnt them.

To our surprise, Ko Tin Mg was arrested for distribution of letters about the above peace agreement, asking to love each other and to observe the truce! I have to salute your courage and connections my dear Nan. You wrote the complaint letter to the District Authorities and approach your cousin who was married to a Special Branch Officer. Because of you, my friend Ko Tin Mg was freed from detention.

Dear Nan, my letter is already too long, I have to stop now. As you know, even my love letters to my wife are also subjected to strict Myanmar censorship and we have to smuggle it into Myanmar. Especially as my letters include politics, it is dangerous for the bearer of the letters.

There is not only no freedom of speech in Myanmar but there are draconian laws, came out from the barrel of guns, that would make sure that THERE IS NO FREEDOM AFTER A SPEECH. I wish to ice the cake with the advised of a great man.

The United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan stated: 

There is no country in the world exempt of discrimination. No matter how severe or how mild the ratio of discrimination is, no nation is free from it. Either for one circumstance or another, not all countries are capable of giving the importance and dedication this issue needs. Even though we are all consciously aware of this topic, there is still a long road to cross.

 Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda… Our mission therefore is to confront ignorance with knowledge, and bigotry with tolerance. RACISM CAN, WILL AND MUST BE DEFEATED. Almost every country in the world suffers prejudice among its own people, racial discrimination, xenophobia or religious intolerance.

Dear Nan I hereby wish to end my letter with the recent another advice of UN Secretary General, Mr Koffi Annan:


Waiting for your quick return home,

Your loving darling,

(Ko Tin Nwe)