Fighting back the Tsunami

Fighting back the Tsunami 2011 September?

Our JAR Volunteer Group at Rikkuzentakata, Iwate-ken, Japan

Advertisements

မဂၤလာနိဒါန္းအတြက္ ေမတၱာပို႔

ဒီေန႔ဟာ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံက ယံုၾကည္ခ်က္ေၾကာင့္ အက်ဥ္းက်ခံေနရတဲ့ နိုင္ငံေရးသမားအားလံုးေလာက္ကို လႊတ္ေပးတဲ့အတြက္ မၾကံဳစဖူး ထူးထူးကဲကဲကို မဂၤလာက်က္သေရအေပါင္းနဲ႔ ေမႊးထံုသင္းပ်ံ႕တဲ့ေန႔၊ အျပံဳးပန္းမ်ား ေဝျဖာတဲ့ေန႔၊ အေမမ်ား၊ အေဒၚအမ ႏွစ္မမ်ား ပူေဆြးသျဖင့္ က်ေနၾကရေသာ မ်က္ရည္မ်ား ရပ္တန္႔ ေျခာက္ေသြ႕ခြင့္ ရသြားတဲ့ေန႔ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။

ဒီအရာအားလံုးကို ျဖစ္ေစတဲ့သူေတြထဲမွ အဓိကတာဝန္ယူခဲ့တဲ့ သမၼတႀကီး ဦးသိန္းစိန္၊ ကုလားကာေနာက္ကြယ္မွ အာဏာရွင္ႀကီးမ်ား၊ တပ္မေတာ္မွ အႀကီးအကဲအသစ္အေဟာင္းမ်ား၊ နိုင္ငံေရးေခါင္းေဆာင္မ်ား၊ အႏိုင္ႏိုင္ငံမွ တိုက္တြန္း အားေပးလုပ္ၾကေသာ ႏိုုင္ငံေတာ္ေခါင္းေဆာင္မ်ားႏွင့္ အတူ ျမန္မာျပည္သူ ျမန္မာျပည္သားအားလံုး က်န္းမာသက္ရွည္စြာ၊ စိတ္ဝမ္း ခ်မ္းေျမ့စြာျဖင့္ တိုင္းျပည္အက်ိဳးကို ဆထက္တံပိုး ရြက္ေဆာင္ႏိုင္ ၾကပါေစလို႔ အထူး ေမတၱာပို႔သလိုက္ေၾကာင္းပါခင္ဗ်ား။

အားလံုးကို ေလးစားခ်စ္ခင္စြာျဖင့္

ညြန္႔ေရႊ

Will Myanmar is going to become a Next Asian Tiger or Remain as a Despised Hyena?

(One of the term papers submitted by Nyunt Shwe during his graduate study at TUFS)

It depends. All possibilities are there. If the leadership sooner realize the
defects of present economic policies in regard to national and international standards
and shortages in skilled human capitals in all fronts and willing to correct these, then,
Myanmar is very likely going to be a powerful tiger in the ASEAN. She has got
nature’s blessings and easy to teach human resources. What she needs is only wise
and accountable leadership.
According to Holier, all poverty stricken countries are caught up either in one
or more of four traps – namely the conflict trap, the natural resources trap, the trap of
being landlocked with bad neighbor, and the trap of bad governance in a small
country (Collier 2007: 5). Myanmar has fallen into two traps of the first and the last.
The Generals seem not concern much about the plight of the people and feel no shame
of their performance. They seem not bother why other authoritarian countries in the
region, like Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore et cetera
found wealth and developments in the past three decades. The kind of irresponsibility
and indifference to the critiques of the world made Myanmar one of the bottom
countries. Most scholars agree that Myanmar (Burma) was Asia’s bad economic
disaster.
No country without right policy (Klaus 2008: 1) and overwhelming export
compare to import could found economic growth.
1. Problem Defined
There are five fundamental problems that need to solve immediately. One is
political stability; second is realistic monetary policy; and third is to exercise
transparency and accountability, and fourth is to breed able professionals in
development and management fields. With unrealistic money exchange rates and
unchecked inflation, investments and existing businesses won’t find incentives very
much to work with.
Myanmar is one of the most poorest countries in the world and poverty is
spreading and middle class is either diminishing or already wiped out. When the
citizen learned that the United Nations has recognized Myanmar as a Least
Development country in 1978, most of them doubt the fact was real, but not now any
more. For real development and growth, the government’s assistance to create
sustainable income is imperative (Easterly 2002: 143). This kind of incentives and
education would spell the people necessary vigor to work out of poverty trap. Without
incentives, long-term economic development is impossible.
Table 1 . Index of Growth of Real GDP Per Capita, 1929-60 (1960=100) (Booth
2004:18) (Originally Table 1)
year Indonesia Burma North Vietnam South Vietnam
1929 115 148a 102 133
1938 115 121 106 146
1951 87 77 97 90
1956 96 96 99 69
1960 100 100 100 100
Fig. 1. Index of Growth of Real GDP Per Capita, 1929-60 (1960=100) (After Booth).
Why we need ‘political stability’ in the first place?
Myanmar is trapped in political conflict for so long and so costly. All the
countries in the region, including South Korea, have performed much better than her
now, but in the 1950s they were all in the same boat or Myanmar was more favored
by natural resource endowments (Steinberg. 1990: 20). Malaysia got her
independence much later than us, but now she is far ahead. All the governments of
Myanmar, in one way or another fought inner battles for power, but all forgot to adapt
or learn to be committed politicians or good leaderships.
The first Prime minister U Nu had failed not only in economic development,
but also to establish unity. Insurgency broke out just mere three months after
independence. Nu’s right-hand-man, Home minister, Kyaw Nyein’s hatred and
jealousy over Communist Party of Burma (CPB) urged him to suppress and arrest as
many as top communist leaders drove CPB to underground. That Karen National
Union (KNU) one year later followed the suit. In 1949, international and indigenous
communities called Nu’s government as Rangoon (Yangon) government.
Chinese Communist Party led by Mao Tse Tung founded The People Republic
of China on 1st October 1949 and the Chang Kai Sheik’s troops fled the mainland. He
himself retreaded to Taiwan, but over 40,000 of them took their strongholds inside
Myanmar in order to invade and harass the mainland and the new government. Those
troops had occupied huge land area in northeastern region of Myanmar that bordered
with China. They have had built even airstrips. The American CIA and Formosa
government supplied with all necessary logistics. Myanmar Army had to engage both
insurgents and invaders at the same time, but its manpower and resources were
limited. However, Myanmar Army had fought courageously and selflessly in those
battles and won over them at last. Insurgency was scaled down and concentrated at
the border regions and remote areas.
Those unfortunate historical experiences definitely played a role to economic
development. However, just pointing the finger to the past alone would not save the
country. Why Vietnam bypasses Myanmar in economic development now? Vietnam
is the country whose land was bombed almost inch by inch by the world super power
nation, the United States of America. She has suffered much more than any troubled
country in the world. Above all, it is a communist state, but why Vietnam overcomes
1929
1938
1951
1956
1960
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
Indonesia
Burma
N.
Vietnam
S.
Vietnam
those difficulties and problems? Because it has firm doctrine, commitment and wise
leadership compare to Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos, at least.
The following table (Booth 2003:19) showed how bad is Myanmar doing in
economic development.
Table 2. Per Capita GDP in Burma and other Asian Countries, 1950-54, 1960-64 abd
1985—9 (1985$: annual averages for the five years shown) (Booth 2003:19)
(Originally Table 3)
1950-54 1960-64 1985-89
Burma (Myanmar) 245 361 556
India 617 800 1142
China n.a 487 1282
Laos n.a n.a 1316
Philippines 896 1204 1627
Indonesia n.a 583 1688
Thailand 804 1027 2790
Malaysia n.a 1544 4082
Taiwan 967 1387 6708
Singapore n.a 1899 9578
Fig. 2. Per Capita GDP in Burma and other Asian Countries, 1950-54, 1960-64 abd
1985—9 [1985$: annual averages for the five years shown (after Booth)].
Myanmar’s past economic failures could be blamed on weak, corrupted, and
insurgency under the parliamentary government and closed-door and wrong economic
policy under late U Ne Win regime. Old era ended late 1988, however, the present
military regime is failing its mission of economic development though it opens FDI
and citizen private ownerships. Late U Ne Win regime had fought powerful
communist and KNU insurgencies and more than a dozen other forces, but this
regime has achieved a truce with 17 insurgent groups. Today, only much weaker
KNU troops and a few others remain in intransigence.
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
Burma
(Myanmar)
India
China
Laos
Philippines
Indonesia
Thailand
Malaysia
Taiwan
Singapore
1950-­‐54
1960-­‐64
1985-­‐89
The troubles the regime faces today is not insurgency, but the Aung San Suu
Kyi led NLD, backed up by Diasporas in different major countries like U.S.A, U.K,
Japan, Australia etc., and its own policies and corruption.
The regime’s economic efforts are much hampered by the United States’
sanction and Suu led oppositions’ tourism boycott-calls. The revenues were sharply
lowered in those concerned area like exports and tourism. Suu led oppositions are still
campaigning against FDI, tourisms, and even on humanitarian aids. The effect is
heavily falling down on ordinary people who lost their jobs like at garment industry,
tourism and also lost opportunities to secure paying jobs if those obstacles are not
intact. All in all,
1. Discouraging Foreign Direct Investments.
2. Forcing out the foreign businesses and NGOs.
3. Denying the correcting the name of the country as Myanmar from Burma,
which was colonial legacy. It corrected some towns, streets, and public places
that bear colonial names or corrupted Myanmar, if not corrupted, it doesn’t
change, i.e., Mandalay, Taunggyi, Myingyan et cetera.
4. Vehemently oppose visit Myanmar Years (1996) and tourism.
5. National Convention; NLD boycotted it and the regime expelled it.
6. Regime asked Suu to withdraw ‘foreign sanction demands’ and her threat of
‘utter devastation’. She did not comply.
Suu, NLD, and their foreign Diasporas lobbyist groups worked earnestly
against all that were cherished by the regime. Even Mr. John McCain, an admirer and
advocate of Suu’s cause, was concern about the impact of economic sanctions on long
suffering people. McCain said, “Even I, admirer though I was of Burma’s nonviolent
freedom fighters and their leader, worried that sanctions would punish the people
more than they would convince their rulers to relinquish power.” (McCain
2004:
Pp.
160-­‐161) Contrary to stranger, Suu did not count the people, but she always claim that
only the regime has to suffer. The communists always say that people have nothing to
loose. In fact, it is contrary to their says; people are most to suffer.
Previous Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s special envoy, a Malaysian
diplomat has written in his article how amazingly Suu Kyi has changed. He wrote:
“Suu Kyi had come a long way to realize that democracy can only be done
thrugh the generals, with he latter still in the driving seat. This realization of hers is in
stark contrast to the imperious, principled and unbending Suu Kyi I had met over
twenty meetings ago.” (Razali 2007: 30). When I read those lines, I was encouraged
that she will do something significant soon. However, it was now almost five years
since she spoke those words, but no hint of progress and slight change. She appeared
at the demonstration of monks in September 2007 in support of that uprising. Still she
and her party is calling unconditional dialogue to the regime. The regime has its firm
conditioned placed on the table, but Suu and NLD ignored. Why did not Suu offer
what the regime want – to withdraw international sanction demands and her verbal
threat of ‘utter devastation’ (Suu 1997: 361).
Why Myanmar Needs Realistic Monetary Policy
Everybody knows that Myanmar’s exchange rates are unrealistic. During last
year, the rate fluctuated from 1100 to 1400 Ks to a United States Dollar while official
rate stay constant at 6.5 Ks to a US$. To attract domestic and foreign investors alike,
the regime needs to devalue to acceptable rate.
Transparency and Accountability
Myanmar’s military governments since late General Ne Win’s era up to this
moment, Myanmar (almost) never released honest statistics of the government’s
performance. There was no story of resignations of any minister after severely failing
their missions or targets. No one is responsible for anything, even, no public apology
at all.
Myanmar Needs Able Professionals in Economics, Technical and in
Management Fields
Some scholars, like Steinberg (2001:164), Booth (2003:14), observed that
many bright and educated young generation left the country since they were not
properly accommodated by the regime and because of woe of country’s economic and
political situation. Though many left for their better future, some of them might come
back when the country’s situation is changed and improved. However, the need of
educated and skilled labors for the real development of the country is incomparable
with that lost.
Myanmar needs a lot more educated and skilled labors. She needs to raise her
educational and health standards alongside overall political situation. Myanmar
physicians without foreign additional diploma or degree, who become doctors since
1972 were no longer recognized internationally. Most of the doctors who came to
developed countries like U.S.A., U.K, Aus., Japan etc. engage in manual labor works.
It’s a great lost for the country.
A few Myanmar economists, historians, and linguists found jobs in teaching,
mostly, in developing and developed countries.
The peoples’ living standard has been deteriorating for two decades now.
Many rural families are landless and rely on farm-jobs and on other miscellany. Many
small landowners lost their lands and have degraded one meal a day or so in rural
areas (Dapice 2003: 21/22). Urban population also faces a lot of hardship due to high
inflation. As Anne said in her paper, this government makes all the systems corrupt
from top to bottom. “Both UNDP and IMF placed the blame for poor government
revenue mobilization on the weak and corrupt administrative system, which was in
turn the result of salary erosion caused by high inflation”(Booth 2003: 12/13).
Though Myanmar needs to revive moral (religious) education, if the regime
does not eradicate the principal faults of the system, nothing will fix the dilapidated
state structure.
Myanmar needs ‘Foreign Direct Investment’
Myanmar needs huge capital to develop both raw material and finished
products for export and indigenous markets. Besides, she needs modern technology in
order to compete with others in the region and in the world. Without favorable
incentive, foreign direct investment would not come enough.
Myanmar military regime is too suspicious not only towards outsiders, but
also its own citizens. It differed with successful authoritarian regimes around the
world in treating the professionals and learned persons. This xenophobic mentality it
inherited from its mentor late General Ne Win is still so strong and played a vital role.
Late General Ne Win’s dictatorial rule lasted for 26 years from 1962 to 1988.
The economic growth was steady until nearly end of the first decade. However, his
isolationist policy, unfounded economic policy in agriculture and production
industries sent his country to Least Developed Country status in 1987. In fact, this
was a necessary creation by the regime’s brain-group in order to reap the benefit of
interests reduction of various loans, from loan to grant shifts, debt-releases, and more
loan with low interest rates from the World Bank, the IMF, and individual countries
like Japan (Steinberg 19989: 44; Booth 2003:13). Gradually and after 22 years,
Myanmar becomes a real poverty stricken country while the regime and cronies enjoy
reap all the opportunities to amass formidable fortunes.
The present regime took the control of power on 18 September 1988. It
dismantled the socialist government and its policy, but adapted to market economy
based capitalism. The regime opened up the country and invited foreign investments
and joint venture businesses. The Myanmar Foreign Investment Laws and ‘The
Myanmar Citizen Investment Laws’ were promulgated in Nov.1988 and March 1994.
However, the country’s manufacturing goods are much short of the demands. The
worst problem is they could not compete with imported things both in quality and
price (Booth. 2003: 8)1.
The economists, mainly homegrown, concluded that Myanmar lacks enough
citizen involvements in development businesses. They argues this legged resource
mobilization will not favor economic growth (Than. 2007: 368). One of the problems
for the people who have money to invest is the low or negative return because of high
inflation. The regime must systematically fight it by delegating necessary power to
professional team. Israel in 1986 succeeded it from 445 percent to 20 percent in mere
within two years and Ghana also brought down its black market premium from 4,264
percent in 1982 to 10 percent in 1990 (Easterly 2002: 219/252). There were many
such countries in the world, including the regime’s modal ‘Indonesia’ and it must
learn from others, asks their advice, and hire brilliant economists to solve this
devastating problem of inflation.
Table 3. Percentage breakdown of export value by country in ASEAN: 1937-1998
(Booth 2003:20) (Originally Table 5)
Country 1937- 1955- 1965- 1980- 1995- 1998-
Burma 11.5 6.2 4.7 0.7 0.3 0.3
Indochina
Cambodia
Lao PDR
Vietnam
6.5 2.9 3.0 0.5 2.1 3.2
Indonesia 33.6 25.6 15.1 30.5 14.2 14.2
British
Malaya
Malaysia
Brunei
Singapore
34.3
44.9
48.1 51.3
18.0
6.4
26.9
60.6
23.0
0.7
36.9
56.3
22.2
0.8
33.3
Philippines 9.4 11.3 16.0 8.0 5.4 8.9
Thailand 4.7 9.1 13.1 9.0 17.6 16.5
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Fig. 3. Percentage breakdown of export value by country in ASEAN: 1937-1998
(After Booth).
1
Anne
Booth
is
Professor
of
Economics
in
the
Department
of
Economics,
SOAS.
Table 4.
Exports Per Capita (current US$) in Southeast Asia, 1909-13, 1934-38. 1969-73,
1993-97 (annual averages for the five years shown) (Booth 2003:20) (Originally
Table 6)
1909-13 1934-38 1969-73 1993-97
Myanmar 10 12 4 24
Indochina 3 4 n.a 80a
Malaysia 88 88 178 3246
Singapore 1004 30256
Indonesia 5 6 10 231
Philippines 5 8 31 248
Thailand 4 6 26 852
Taiwan 6 6 155 4969
As you will see, the 4 five years range conveys the healthiness of
Fig. 4. Exports Per Capita (current US$) in Southeast Asia, 1909-13, 1934-38. 1969-
73, 1993=97 (annual averages for the five years shown) (After Booth).
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
1937-­‐
1955-­‐
1965-­‐
1980-­‐
1995-­‐
1998-­‐
0
10000
20000
30000
40000
Myan
mar
Indoch
ina
Malays
ia
Singap
ore
b
Indon
esia
Philip
pines
Thaila
nd
Taiwa
n
1909-­‐13
1934-­‐38
1969-­‐73
1993-­‐97
I have just collected the data of Inflation Rates and Per Capita GD of ASEAN
countries from CIA World Factbook and put them into a table below. Myanmar is
biggest inflation rate and lowest Per Capita GDP. Normally Myanmar people are not
only proud of their ancestors (history), but also for themselves. For pride, there are
many who even don’t mind to sacrifice their lives. However, it seems that the present
regime is particular and alien to Myanmar tradition.
The saying goes .” “Athe’ne’ lulo’ta- maho’ Ashe’ne’lulo’ta-” “We are not
made up of life-breath, but made up of disgrace.” That means “if we were disgraced,
it’s better to die.” For visual purpose I split the table into two charts 5a and 5b.
Table 5. Comparison of Annual Inflation Rates and Per Capita GDP between the
ASEAN countries – based on CIA factbook 2008 estimate.
Country Inflation Rate % Per Capita GDP
Myanmar 27.3 1,200
Laos 8.5 2,100
Cambodia 21.1 2,100
Vietnam 24.5 2,900
Brunei 0.4 54,000
Philippines 9.6 3,400
Indonesia 10.5 3,900
Thailand 5.8 8,700
Malaysia 5.8 15,700
Singapore 6.6 52,000
Fig. 5 a
Fig. 5b
0
10,000
20,000
30,000
40,000
50,000
60,000
Per
Capita
GDP
Per
Capita
GDP
Table 1. Comparison between Claimed Annual GDP Growth Rates and EIU estimates
of GDP Growth Rates (% p.a.), Myanmar (Burma), 1999 -2004
The biggest and frustrating problem there is that the government provides no
reliable data of Myanmar. This fact is well known among international academicians
and scholars. I combined two separate tables into one to highlight the regime’s
statistics and the Economist Intelligent Unit (EIU) estimate (Turnell 2004: 2/3).
Table 6. Claimed and EIU estimate Annual GDP Growth Rates (Originally Table 1 &
2 of (Turnell 2004:2/3).
year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
ADB based
on (CSO)
10.9 13.7 11.3 10.0 10.6 10.0*
Based EIU 10.9 6.2 5.3 5.3 -1.0 -0.9**
* estimate **Forecast
(Source: ADB (2004a and 2004b) based on data supplied by Burma’s CSO and EIU
(2004)
The chart clear shows how Myanmar regime’s statistics are unreliable. During
the 2003 monsoon, Myanmar was badly flooded and many thousands acreage of
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
In.lation
Rate
%
InUlation
Rate
%
-­‐2
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
ADB
based
on
(CSO)
Based
EIU
paddy fields were destroyed. GDP’s more than 50% is made up of agricultural
outputs. EIU estimate was close to reality. If the country found such a rise in GDP,
then, why Myanmar is still poor?
“Bad government policies are usually partly to blame, but so is bad
luck”(Easterly 2002: 214). The cyclone Nargis had wiped of the delta region or the
rice-bowl of Myanmar on May 2/3 2008 caused 140,000 dead, many injured, and lost
huge amount of properties, including skilled human capitals. This was a hardest blow
to the regime more than what insurgency could disturb the commercial routes and
sites. The reluctance and ill management of the foreign aids to the victims by the
regime’s red tape bureaucracy added sufferings over already devastated people. Why
did that bad luck happen? Traditional Buddhist thinking is that it happened because
the ruler has violated the law instead of guarding it.
The United States had extended her sanctions before the end of Bush
Administration. The EU is not relaxing its sanction grip, either. As Anne Booth wrote,
“The real losers from the current standoff are the Burmese people.”
Unless the regime takes favorable and necessary actions to cure its ailment, it will
never near to become a powerful tiger, instead, chances are to remain as despised
hyena.
Conclusion
Myanmar can transform into a powerful tiger. It depends the political
willingness of the military regime. The regime must create more stable condition both
with the political opponents and cease-fired ethnic insurgent groups for long-term
security. It must fight the inflation and find a way to devalue the currency. If it could
improve human right record significantly, then the helps and aids could fall in. The
United States has her new President and administration that would likely change the
tough stance of previous two Presidents if they find some improvements of bad
records. Because of U.S imposed strict sanctions, IMF and WB are also not likely to
help the country. Nevertheless, without foreign financial assistance, Myanmar regime
could not afford the devaluation of its currency (McCarthy 2000:241). Without this
two (checked inflation and sensible exchange rates reform), both domestic and
foreign businesses could not expect attractive incentive. Without incentive, they
won’t invest. Without investments, Myanmar could not become a tiger, but would
have to remain a hyena and receive humiliation by its own citizens and international
communities alike. Money could not buy true dignity and peace of mind. Without
peace of mind and dignity, all form of entertainments, leisure, and luxury one may
have plenty, but there will be no real happiness. When the Generals die with this kind
of attitude towards its own subjects, they have to go to the deepest hell.
References:
Aung San Suu Kyi. 1997. Freedom From Fear. Penguin Books, Revised Edition,
Printed in England by Clays Ltd, St Ives plc.
Booth, Anne. 2003. The Burma Development Disaster in Comparative Historical
Perspective, SOAS Bultetin of Burma Research, Vol. 1, Spring 2003, ISSN 1479-8484
Collier, Paul. 2007. The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Falling and
What Can Be Done About It. Oxford University Press and Printed in the United States
of America.
Easterly, William. 2002. The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventures and
Misadventures in the Tropics. MIT Press first paper back edition.
Klaus, Hans. Taiwan and South Korea – capitalism and economic growth can develop
in an authoritarian state: Authoritarian Economic Development in Comparison.
Murayama eds. Elusive Borders Changing Sub- Regional Relations in Eastern South
Asia. Institute of Developing Economies, Japan.
McCarthy, Stephen. 2000. Teb Years Chaos in Burma: Foreign Investment
Liberalization under the SLORC-SPDC, 1988-1998, Pacific Affairs, 73/2, pp. 233-
262. Published by Pacific Affairs, University of British Columbia. url:
http://www.jstor.org/stable/2645735 accessed on 15 January 2009).
Steinberg, I. David. 1989. Neither Silver nor Gold: Fortieth Anniversary of Burmese
Economy, Josef Silverstein, ed., Independent Burma at Forty Years: Six Assessments,
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, SEAP, 35-49
Steinberg, I. David. 1990. The Future of Burma: Crisis and Choice in Myanmar, The
Asia Society, University Press of America.
Than, Tin Maung Maung. 2007. State Dominance in Myanmar. The Political
Economy of Industrialization, ISEAS Publishing, Singapore.
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bm.html (accessed
on March 2, 2009.

Alternative Perspective!!

If you would accept it or not, controversial Myanmar National Constitution has, officially, emerged by the the end of May, 2008 and multiparty parliamentary election in November 2010 has, in consequence, produced bodies of representatives for two or three parliamentary bodies and a government. As a country and one government, we need only one army to defend the sovereignty of the country. This constitution was supported and agreed by the Kachin insurgent group and its political wing to the end.

Of course, in general, no body want civil war or fighting using firearms, but particular group or groups wanted it as the war can certainly benefit the participants (Collier 1999). If Kachin does not want civil war, why not dismantle or change their armed group into political party or boder-guard forces as initiated by the National Defence Army or Tatmadaw of the Union of Myanmar.

Why did the Kachin choose to fight against the Tatmadaw which is much superior in every sense? Even though the Kachin or any insurgency could not defeat the opponent, all think that they can keep their struggle alive while exploiting the loots and waiting for the favourable international situation for them. simply put an insincerity. The Kachin group like other ethnic insurgents, seems weighted the profit of going into peace against the free looting the natural resources and they finally chose the latter as it did in the past.

Because of finding the natural resources, most ethnic groups wanted to exploit the loots as much as possible. This is dilemma of Natural resources trap (Ross 2002). If any body is sincere, no one will choose to fight a war that they all believe they will never win. Worst of all, they all believe that they cannot defeat the Tatmadaw at all. If that is so, why fight against it. The answer is already discussed and because of their lust over the natural resources.

No country has got two or more armies in the world. Therefore, if the insurgents insist stubbornly, then, there is no alternative for the country to annihilate all the factions that rebel against the country. Having more than one army is worst humiliation to the country and to prevent is the duty of the incumbent government. War or fighting is, in deed, disgusting act, but when there is no choice, the last solution is going out to the full war. The insurgents should realise that they cannot count international pressure if the government goes out of patience. Therefore, my best advice is come back into the legal fold and form political parties and over power the opponents in the election processes.

References
Collier, Paul. 1999. Dong Well out of War, Paper prepared for Conference on Economic Agndas in Civil Wars, London, April 26-27, 1999.
Ross, Michael. 2002. Natural Resources and Civil War: An Overview with Some Policy Options, Draft report prepared for conference on “The Governance of Natural Resources Revenues,” sponsored by the World Bank and the Agence Francaise de Developpement, Paris, December 9-10, 2002.

Why does confrontation-style politics not work with the current regime in Myanmar?

(I submitted the following paper as a term paper at the graduate class of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies in 2009 as part of prerequisites of a MA degree in Peace Building and Conflict Prevention Study. I graduated on 26 March 2010.)

“Also, he advised me to concentrate on saying things that will bring about reconciliation. And that what I should say should be truthful, beneficial, and sweet to the ears of the listener”(Alan Clement. 1993. P. 9).

 Introduction

Myanmarese oppositions led by Aung San Suu Kyi (Suu, hereafter), a Nobel Laureate and the world’s single most popular woman in present day politics, failed to bring the regime change during last two decades any better, but worse. The outcome of her confrontational style has revealed not only unproductive, but also negatively affected the citizens’ living standard. Every physical and verbal confrontation she staged ended up by house arrests, deaths, and confinement to her, the colleagues, and the followers. Both the regime and the opposition have responsibility for what had had happened and affected the citizens and the country. This study will explore the other alternatives to facilitate the national reconciliation.

In this paper, I have tried to find out how much “the processes and mechanisms” of Charles Tilly and Sidney Tarrow’s are accountable. I found those events happened and shaped Myanmar politics follow their formulation.

This short paper is also not to polish the image of the regime whose image, in fact, is full of atrocities, lies, and bullies to its subjects. However, both sides are responsible for what have had happened in the past.

Myanmarese opposition as a whole is getting weaker while military regime is getting stronger day by day even amidst the Western sanctions. Since they were in power, the country founds several trillion cubic meters of natural gas and more mines of precious stones like jades and rubies. Apart from these, the regime has secured the friendships and staunch support of People Republic of China and Federation of Russian States to ward off American led Western actions at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The regime has kept good neighborhood with India, Bangladesh, Thailand and most ASEAN nations. With such neighbors and other many apolitical nations, the regime could stand against the Western sanctions.

The oppositions’ main allies are Western nations. Their support is mostly moral and lip services. Since Suu and her party, the National League for Democracy (hereafter NLD) and her lobbyists vigorously undermined the regime’s promotion of foreign direct investments (FDI) and other programs. The regime’s reaction is more than equal. With or without Suu at the helm, NLD could not make significant impact on the military, but rather drift away from reconciliation. Suu and NLD has initially underestimated the regime and overestimated their own strength. However, they still don’t seem realize the true situation. They demand too much and give little or none.

Nevertheless, the two parties could come up any time soon for reconciliation if one party, most likely NLD, gives the other what it wants. Only then, they can structure the working solution and implement it solely for the interests of the country. It will take time to make understand each other and trust each other.

Section 1

1.1  The Players and performances

We need to give Identities of some important players and background history would facilitate the readers to understand and grasp the situation of present Myanmar politics.

The Country: Myanmar (formerly Burma). She received Independence from British Colonial Government 0n 4 January 1948. First and last elected prime minister U Nu government ruled the country until 1962. The country plunged into civil war since end of March 1948 and still fighting continues today. Dictator General Ne Win staged a coup’ de’tat in March 1962 and his rule lasted until 1988. From 1988 September, the present military regime rules the country by decrees. Myanmar is almost 1.8 times bigger than Japan, and endowed with fairly rich natural resources.

Senior General Than Shwe: Who inherited the Chairmanship of the State Law and Restoration Council (SLORC) that turned in 1997 to State Peace and Developing Council (SPDC) from late Sr. General Saw Maung since 1993. I will use indivisibly as SPDC in this paper for clarity.

Ex. Prime minister Khin Nyunt: He headed most feared ‘Military Intelligence’ and a trusted General by former Dictator Ne Win. Sr. General Than Shwe purged him in 2004.

Late Prime minister General Soe Win: He was a hardliner, loyalist, and outspoken person against Aung San Suu Kyi (hereafter, Suu)’s legitimacy and integrity.

Present Prime minister General Thein Sein: A loyalist.

Aung San Suu Kyi: A daughter of National Hero Aung San who was assassinated in 1947, and accidental politician, won several awards including Nobel Peace Prize, Sakharov Prize, Rafto Prize, all together more than 70 now. She was very challenging, too. Known as sole leader of oppositions. She is General Secretary of the National League for Democracy Party (hereafter, NLD). Most of her lieutenants are ex. Soldiers, leftists, and professionals.

1. 2 Myanmarese Army

Myanmarese Army is highly politically oriented army since its formation in 1941 December 26. All the members were politicians turned soldiers and the tradition of political training or officer corps and other ranks are still kept alive. Traditionally people based, but after 1988 uprising, a visible distrust between the two became pronounced.

The military regime embodies absolute totalitarianism and would not tolerate challenges. Since former military leader General Ne Win’s reign, it has shown clearly that every challenge would be met with violence response. The regime ruled the country by fear and coercion. After his 26 years reign, the present regime has inherited all the legacy or even harder line of annihilation against the oppositions. The regime knows no compromise until now.

What is believed to be Bogyoke Aung San’s blue Print for Burma written on washi paper in 1941 in Japan, in which he outlined as, “ In the conception of the Burmese people, everything goes well if the head leads correctly but everything goes wrong if the head misleads or is unable to lead. . . . What we want is a strong state administration as exemplified in Germany and Italy. There shall be only one nation, one state, one party, one leader. There shall be no parliamentary [sic] opposition, no nonsense of individualism” (Silverstein,Ed. 1993: 20)

Later in his life, Aung San promoted democratic ideals. He had chosen democracy and socialism as only vehicles for the betterment of the society. Late General Ne Win tried to build a socialist state, but because of his ‘closed-door’ policy and bad administration m gus effort failed completely. The present military regime adopted what was most suitable to justify its ego-centered performances.

The regime has insisted that to maintain the union intact is its foremost task at any price after the chaotic condition of 1988 uprising. The army has fought British troops, fascist Japanese army; defended the country from communist, ethnic insurgency, and Nationalist Chinese invading army in the past.

The regime consistently accused the Communist Party (Burma) (hereafter CPB) creating this uprising to destabilize the BSPP government. The BCP operative code name is 4828, taken from the communist rebellion on March 28, 1948 (48). The regime unearthed and apprehended all the underground leaders and more than 200 agents one after another since July 1989. Aung Zaw has reported in his article ‘Secret of Commune 4828’ as “Twenty years later, many opposition sources admitted there was some truth in what Kin Nyunt (Military Intelligent Chief and Secretary One of the regime) has said,” (Zaw 2008: 31), but he rightly surmised that though communist might have played a role, but the event was a genuinely all-inclusive event –the will of the people of Myanmar demanding for a change” [ibid] CPB has traditionally always organized underground cells among university students. Myanmar military intelligent is very effective and excel in its arts.

Callahan has noted that contrast to the Philippine Army’s torture squads, Burmese soldiers did not spend most of their time killing their own fellow citizens who looked like themselves, spoke the same language, and came from the same circles (Callahan 2003: 223)

The leaders of the army know that the majority of the peoples’ psyche of no-wish-to-interfere in government matters and they exploit it.

1. 3 Aung San Suu Kyi’s Image

Suu had lived in democratic societies like India, England and the United States for 28 years since she was 15 years old and outside her native country. Her childhood was brought up in Myanmar apparently in democratic rule under parliamentary U Nu government. So, she has never experienced authoritarian rules in her life.

Traditional Myanmar society is far different from those countries in terms of tradition and culture. Myanmar is a backward country since 1962 when late General Ne Win toppled the parliamentary government and replaced by one party and dictatorial rule for next 26 years. She was already out of the country by 1960 and still so young to discern deeply about the politics of Myanmar.

The regime sometimes accused her as a communist and on other occasion, the regime as an axe-handle of the neo-colonialists. If she is not the daughter of Aung San, she could not only reach this level, but also hard to survive this long. Myanmar has been a paternalistic country.

Kathy Scot-clark and Andrian Levy have written an article about Aung San Suu Kyi in The Guardian in last November in which they said, “ Suu Kyi has always advocated non-violent resistance, but is internationally renowned for her recalcitrance rather than her compliance” (Guardian 2008)  accessed on 27 Dec. ’08).

Suu made a pledge in very early stage. The pledge came after her mother’s funeral.

Aung San Suu Kyi‘s Pledge

” If the generals have the Karma

to rule and make a prosperous nation,

may they be successful beyond limit.

” If I were to have that Karma

to undertake the nation building

for the interest of religion,

language, and race, may I outdo them.”

(litral translation from Myanmar by Nyunt Shwe)

 Suu’s pledge suggests that either you or I to govern the country, but not ‘We’. It was a pledge made and pamphlets were distributed on the day ritual ceremony held for her deceased mother in early January 1989. That means, Suu’s mind was already set to exclude the military as a partner. However, she has later said there is no permanent friendship or permanent enemy in politics and her readiness to share the power, but with her own term.

After meeting with Suu, Madeleine Albright has pour the fuel by saying that oxen still rule Burma and unless its leaders go down the path of democracy, they will be isolated and finally ruin themselves and the country (Madeleine 2003: 201, 200). Suu has repeated Madeline’s words a day after she was released from house arrest on 11 June 1996. She asked the regime to choose either dialogue or utter devastation (Suu1997: 361). Suu has admitted that her greatest weakness is having a short temper and tend to get angry quickly (ibid.: 36).

————————————————–

“In five ways a child should minister to his parents as the eastern quarter: – ‘Once supported by them I will now be their support; I will perform duties incumbent on them; I will keep up the lineage and tradition of my family; I will make myself worthy of my heritage” [Excerpt from Sigalovada Sutta, (Butt1982: 85)].

Section 2

The Problems

The main problem is how to transfer of State’s power from military to civilians. Military regime would like to get 25% of emerging Parliamentary seats without contests, but Suu and NLD insisted that was not democratic. Suu idea was Army has no role in politics, but only to safeguard country’s territory and to quell the insurgency. The Army`s opinion is it is the real defender and savior of the countries along its modern history so that it has a right to participate in the hierarchy of ruling structure.

One more crucial question is Suu’s place in the politics. The regime has repeatedly asked Suu to leave politics as she has married to a British and having two sons and their extended families all British citizens. That fact alone is not only to contradict to the new constitution, but also with the old 1947 constitution which was drawn up by a committee headed by Suu`s father, Aung San. (see appendices 1)

2. 1 Confrontations and Analysis

Less than a year in politics, the regime placed Suu under house-arrest. After intervening a Buddhist monk called Dr. Rewata who resided in England brought her freedom after six years in incarceration. The regime put her under house arrests in 1989, 2000 and 2003. She spent in confinement for more than 13 years of last twenty years in politics.

2. 2  1988 Uprising and Analysis

The human waves of several thousands demonstrators flowing Yangon downtown streets crisscrossed and bypassed in columns on August 8. The slogans were around demanding multiparty democracy and end of one party rule of Burmese Socialist Program Party and dictatorship. The first day was not well organized though participants rose several thousands. When the government troops shot in the crowds, many people died and injured. The people dispersed and regroupings found difficult. The government put curfew from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. and decreed that gathering more than four is illegal. Only sporadic demonstrations of small numbers engaged with the troops in cat and mouse games. Troops shot dead some of the demonstrators.

The authority lifted the curfew on 24 August and people including many school children joined daily demonstrations. The demonstrators later formed strike committees by township wise, professional and group wises. Many civic groups like ‘Housewives Committees’, ‘Trishaw Associations’, ‘Port Laborers association’, ‘Lawyers’ Councils’ et cetera. Strike leaders set up communications with other towns and cities. It became somewhat systematic and coordinated. Many intellectual groups published several bulletins and newspapers on daily basis to diffuse news and events using ample of visual photos of deaths by gunshots and wounded persons. Brokerage, diffusion, and interaction were all in concerted work like what have had happened in Poland, Yugoslavia, and Georgia (Tilly and Tarrow 2007: 32-33/115-116). From July to September the ruling party chairman (Ne Win) and two Presidents resigned from the Socialist government up to that stage.

However, Myanmarese uprising failed. The regime wasn’t split, but decisively use lethal oppressions against the unarmed citizens. Buddhism is also different from Christian faith; Church and State is unmixable. The Christian Church in Poland, Georgia, and the Philippines helped those oppositions effectively, but main streamed Buddhist Order in Myanmar stayed quiet.

Here we find the difference between the forces without arms and with arms as evident in Sandinista Vs. Samoa case. Sandinistas were armed revolutionaries so that they could effectively replace the old regime (Tilly and Tarrow 2007: 159). In Myanmar case, the regime had its own calculation and intentionally created the chaotic environment around Yangon. So called important figures, like Aung San Suu Kyi, U Tin U, U Nu, U Aung Gyi and no one volunteered to contain those activities to rules and order. The worst cases were beheading of accused collaborators and police personals. A few of them were even burnt alive after hacking with swords and hatches. The demonstrators occupied most of the police stations in Yangon. However, the purpose was to keep the captured collaborators and suspect informers before they were executed.

Army aired and broadcasted through media that it took over the power of the State and sent troops to maintain law and order and ordered to shoot those who were believed to be rioters. The regime removed the last President of the Socialist government Dr. Maung Maung on the early evening of 18 September 1988.

No leaders of the uprising could take huge force of people and manage to control systematically and organize more coherent body that perhaps fill the vacuum of evacuated local authorities.

In the whole country millions of people had participated in defiance of BSPP regime. Half a million people attended Aung San Suu Kyi’s official debut and listened her speech on 26 August 1988. One paragraph of her speech may be true to many, but it was an insult to the soldiers. It reads, “ This national crisis could in fact be called the second struggle for national independence” (Suu Kyi 1995: 193). When the regime used force in excess and violently suppressed the uprising, it prevailed over the non-violent demonstrators and the uprising was disintegrated (Tilly and Tarrow 2007: 140).

According to the media, the regime shot down about 3,000 activists in the 1988 uprising, but it admitted only 266 persons died. The truth could be in between.

2. 3 Direct Confrontations by Aung San Suu Kyi

After forming the National League of Democracy Party (hereafter NLD), Suu has waged many confrontations with the security forces, most of them ended peacefully after all. However, she has vehemently attacked former dictator U Ne Win calling him by the name several times in all her speeches given at various places. She persuaded present military leaders to dissociate with their mentor dictator Ne Win, but to no avail. She has encouraged the file and rank soldiers not to obey unjust orders, but no one change their loyalty.

One Captain even ordered his soldiers to aim their rifles at her, but fortunately a Major interrupted the counting by shouting ‘stop’. That happened at a small town called Danubyu in Ayeyerwadi division, not much far from Yangon. (Barbara 1998: 88)

Suu led NLD has arranged a show of strength by scheming to attending the Martyrs’ Day celebration that yearly honored Suu’s father and his cabinet colleagues who were assassinate by a fellow power crazy politician U Saw on July 19, 1947. The regime responded with brutal force to deter it. After all, Suu has issued notice to the followers to stay at home and pray. However, some students contested against the regime. Many of them and onlookers were brutally beaten and sent to jails.

If Suu’s challenge ever happens on that day, the regime might shoot down many hundreds if not thousands.

The regime promoted the following areas, but Suu led forces vigorously campaigned against them.

  1. Foreign Direct Investments
  2. Correcting the name of the country as Myanmar from Burma, which was colonial legacy. It renamed some towns, streets, and public places that bear colonial names or corrupted Myanmar.
  3. Visit Myanmar Years (1996) and tourism.
  4. National Convention; NLD boycotted it and the regime expelled it.
  5. Regime asked Suu to withdraw foreign sanctions demands. She did not comply.

Suu, NLD, and their foreign Diasporas lobbyist groups worked earnestly against all that were cherished by the regime. Even Mr. John McCain, an admirer and advocate of Suu’s cause, was concern about the impact of economic sanctions on long suffering people. McCain said, “Even I, admirer though I was of Burma’s nonviolent freedom fighters and their leader, worried that sanctions would punish the people more than they would convince their rulers to relinquish power.” (McCain 2004: Pp. 160-161) Contrary to stranger, Suu did not count the people, but she always claim that only the regime has to suffer.

Suu has called for international sanctions and boycotts of trades, investments, tourism,  and even NGOs’ existence in Myanmar and so on, her tactics not only work but strengthened the regime’s resolve to resist as International Crisis Group concluded.(http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/11/burma-aung-san-suu-kyi accessed on 27 Dec. ’08.)

Mary Callahan has observed that “the NLD too, exhibits characteristics that seem intolerance of and inimical to the development of democratic processes” (Callahan 2003: 22). She added that this phenomenon is not only confined to NLD, but almost all of the Myanmarese opposition groups, including student organizations (ibid: 22). Suu and her party were supposed to promote democracy, but in practice the intolerance of different opinions among them causes schism and ended up expelling such and such members.

Suu and her followers have been using ‘non-violence in Myanmar way’ tactics from the beginning. This non-violence Myanmar way is different from those used by Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Both predecessors based their methods on religions, Hinduism and Christianity respectively. Ours is not based on religion, specifically on Buddhism or any other. There is no doctrine, but just common knowledge of not fighting back physically including using materials or objects. Gandhi’s non-violence is imbued with patience that is self-suffering and his goal is trying to transform his enemies into friends.

Oppositions’ demand is to send the military back to their barracks and frontlines where they belong. Besides, both Gandhi and King never said a word like ‘World Tribunal’ or ‘ICC’ or ‘ICT’ or ICCJ, but Myanmarese oppositions including top leaders voiced such ideas to the media or even viz. a viz. with the regime.

2. 4 Leading to Second House-Arrest

Suu and her party tried to go Pathein in a car on 23 July, 1998, but authority stopped her outside Yangon. The standoff lasted for five days and finally the authority forcefully sent Suu to her home. She repeated it less than a month later on August 12. She fore prepared for the standoff and managed to take extra food and necessary toiletry with her. The authority sent her back again.

Suu was on an organizational tour on 24 August 2000 just neighboring area of Yangon called Dala, but the authority pushed her back home and closed down her party offices. Then, she tried again to go to Mandalay on 21 September 2000 with her deputies, but the authority cancelled their coach giving some technical reason.

She has contested unsuccessfully and ended by putting her and her colleagues under house arrests two days later. It lasted for her until March 6, 2002. (http://www.dassk.com/categories.php?category_no=5 accessed on 27 December 2008).

The regime freed her on two understandings; one is not to travel outside Yangon; two is not to disfigure the regime’s profile, but to help seen look good (Razali 2007: 30). Suu did not abide, but mobilized the mass and instigated them with her sharp speeches against the regime. She went to Arakan State, Chin, and Ayeyerwady Divisions. The regime harassed her rallies and detained some of her followers. General Soe Win, who became later the prime minister, has said the regime will never let her rule the country during her trips.

2. 5 Black Friday Massacre; A Third House Arrest

This incident took place in upper Myanmar in Monywa district and near a village called Dipeyin on the evening of 30 May 2003. Suu’s speeches given at Mandalay, Mattaya, Mogoke, Saging, and Monywa had built up the negative impact on the regime. The regime-backed thugs were making many disturbances during Suu’s speeches. Then rumors spread among the citizens that the regime has secretly given training the thugs to assault Suu’s motorcades. On 30th May, Suu was late to set off her back journey and a group of thugs attacked her motorcades when the darkness fell around eight o’clock in the evening. Suu’s followers did not resist. The thugs beat them with bamboo, wood, and iron sticks and looted the accessories and money. Suu’s car drove away, but at the next small town gate, the authority arrested Suu and her deputy. The regime said only four persons dead, but NLD claimed not less than 70 persons dead and more than a hundred were jailed without trial. However, the regime did not even try to arrest the attackers.

The United States moved fast and posted severer sanctions, including financial transactions on the regime. Japan suspended all her Oversea Development Aids (ODA). Western Nations followed, too.

The world leaders were asking where about of Suu, but the regime said it took her as protected custody at a safe place. Later the place was known as notorious In-sein Prison. Then Mr. Razali intervened and Suu returned home, but as a prisoner again. First, she was furious about the crimes orchestrated by the regime and treatment of her. She asked for justice, but later she changed that she can forgive the regime for the interest of the people and ask a dialogue through Mr. Razali Ismail (Razali 2007: 30). The regime did not move.

All her confrontations were partly fueled by the U.S. government’s policy on Myanmar. John Pliger, a famous video-journalist wrote some truth about Suu’s confrontational saga as follow:

(It was western backing that emboldened Suu Kyi in adopting a confrontational stance against the military in 1990. Her attempt to wield western power against the generals, including her calls for sanctions and disinvestment, has only entrenched the military’s suspicion of her.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/13/letter-burma-suu-kyi  accessed on 27 December 2008.

The regime has removed its prime minister in 2004 who has good rapport with Mr. Razali and most diplomats. Then, the regime changed its mind and denied Mr. Razali’s several requests for visa. He resigned from his post in 2006 and Kofi Annan appointed his under secretary Mr. Ibrahim Gambari. Since then Mr. Gambari has visited Myanmar seven times. He has met both the regime’s leaders and Suu. He could do only insignificant progress. On his sixth visit, both regime top leader and Suu denied him to talk.

2. 6 September 2007 Monks Protests

Aung San never agrees meddling of the monks in politics. He was very sharp and critical about it. He said, “History has shown us that there is such a thing as priestcraft aside from religion. That is what has caused so much muddling of our affairs and not religion as religion in the ultimate analysis of it.” (Silverstein ed. 1993: 96). He said we must draw a sharp line between politics and religion and if we can remove the trash and travesties which antiquity must have doubtless imposed on this great religion (ibid: 96-97). When Suu wrote a book on her father, she described one of her father’s debating as, “Aung San rose from the floor to support the motion which had been proposed by his elder brother, that monks should not participate in politics. This was a case of conviction rather than of family solidarity” (Suu 1984: 6).

The regime has tried to remove Aung San’s influence on the masses, but it takes all the useful things of what he had said or written for its purposes. It always says that monks who do involve in politics are not real monks sanctioned by Buddhism. It sent many of those monks to jails. Some learned monk also admonished the monks not to interfere into the affairs of mundane world.

Sharp contrary to them, Suu invites and encourages the monks and nuns to participate in the struggle for the country. She has answered to this effect at an interview as follow:

Well, there are a lot of monks and nuns who have played a very courageous role in our movement for democracy. Of course, I would like to see everybody taking a much more significant role in the movement, not just monks and nuns. After all, there is nothing in democracy that any Buddhist could object to. I think that monks and nuns, like everybody else, have a duty to promote what is good and desirable. And I do think they could be more effective. In fact, they should help as far as they can. I do believe in engaged Buddhism’, to use a modern term (Clement 2007: 8).

When monks passed marching in front of her residence on 24 September, she appeared at the gate and paid homage to them. The media used those photos of the scene and air from the foreign-based Myanmar language radio stations to arouse the entire nations. People from all walks of lives joined the march and the participants drastically grew. On the 27, the monks and citizens amassed more than 200,000 according to the media. The troops came in, warned the demonstrators by bullhorns to disperse and go home. The crowd did not give in. Then the soldiers fired into the crowd. According to the United Nations, at least 32 people died, many injured, and about three thousand arrested.

————————————————–

“We live in an imperfect world and have to learn to accept imperfect solutions which become more acceptable as we learn to live with them and as time passes by . . .” ( Thant 1962: 100)

Section 3 – The United Nations and ASEAN’s ineffectiveness

The United Nations encouraged both parties to have a dialogue and for faster reconciliation. The Secretary-General appointed Special Rapporteur for human rights one after another. One of the two outstanding Special Rapporteurs, Professor Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro has good meetings with both sides, but could not persuade any of them to reach an agreement. He has visited many political prisoners and helped them to get medical assistance and improved treatment inside the prisons. The International Red Cross played a role to do the jobs, but later the regime denied the access to the prisoners. Later, the relationship between the regime and Professor Pinhero deteriorated and the regime denied his entry into the country. He resigned in 2007 and Mr. Tomas Ojea Quintana took his place.

Since year 2000, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed an outstanding diplomat Mr. Razali Ismail as his special envoy to facilitate the reconciliation between the regime and Suu led opposition forces. Practically, it was only Suu to represent the oppositions since she was the one who represent the landslide wining party of last election. Mr. Razali has facilitated Suu’s released from house arrest in 2000. Second Special envoy of Secretary-General of the U.N. Mr. Gambari has been trying to dislodge the stalemate of Myanmar politics, but shows insignificant signs of improvement.

ASEAN has its own constitutional limitation so that it cannot much contribute to the mediation process. Military regime is strong and knows how to play with ASEAN. No leader of ASEAN hasn’t got green light to meet Suu up to now.

Conclusion

 Suu’s nonviolent confrontation has failed so far up to the present to persuade the authorities in National level like Poland’s Lenin Shipyard strikers (Tilly and Tarrow 2007: 116). Although she tried to split the Army several times by urging the ranks and files not to obey unjust orders from above, it resists and stays undivided horizontally and vertically. Instead, she finds herself put under house arrests in every confrontation. She has already served more than 13 years of past 20 years.

In the eyes of traditional Nationalists and who (may) genuinely believe that they are the real persons who practically fought and defended against so many adversaries, including the British and Japanese, they have every right to be part of or even leading elements of Myanmar politics. And they see Aung San Suu Kyi’s marriage and family connection with foreign subjects simply cast her out of Myanmar politics. She has violated the Buddhist ethics, Myanmar value, and both 1947 (drafted by her father) and 2008 constitutions (see in Appendixes). Therefore, the best hope she could do for her country’s smooth transition to democracy is to quit party politics. Or compromise with the regime to allow her to remain as a backbencher of NLD and to collaborate with the regime.

Mr. Razali Ismail has met and conversed with her not less than twenty times during his tenure as United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan’s special envoy and according to him, Suu has changed drastically her opinion of achieving democracy for Myanmar when he met her last time in 2004. He wrote in Irrawaddy Magazine, “Suu Kyi had come a long way to realize that democracy can only be achieved through the generals, with the latter still in the driving seat. This realization of hers is in stark contrast to the imperious, principled and unbending Suu Kyi I had met over twenty meetings ago” (Razali 2007: 30).

Democratization is a long process and trial and error and to install sound democracy for a third world country and authoritarian culture like Myanmar needs a gradual change. Ideals are ideals, but in practical world, we much accept compromise and Myanmar could not change drastically, but only gradually. In this vein, what Mikael Graver has said is close to the reality. He said, “Only via a prolonged social and cultural exchange with the rest of the world, as well as shared power between the Tatmadaw (Army) and civil society, can enduring and positive changes come about (Graver 1999: 135).

  I am going to conclude this confrontation-style politics could not go well with this type of regime and suggest to change the method and secure to grab more representatives in coming election in 2010 in order to balance the military representatives and its allies in the government and parliament. This is the only way to serve the people.

If honorable exit for Suu could be arranged and if she inclines to do so, Myanmar politics would find more chances for reconciliation and economic developments.

If the U.N. would like to be effective, it must avoid to making the issue international to add up pressure on the regime. It will resist to the last dish.

The last hope is that since the regime’s rulers are Buddhists, they may realize and fear about their sins committed so far and atone them by changing to genuine reconciliation with the people. Here is how a British colonial officer observed about the faith and the people of Myanmar more than a hundred years ago.

“There is no flexibility in Buddhism. It is a law, and nothing can change it. Laws are for ever and for ever, and there are no exceptions to them. The law of the Buddha is against war – war of any kind at all – and there can be no exception. And so every Burman who fought against us knew that he was sinning” (Hall 1903: 76-77).

Appendices

Appendix (1)

74. (1)Any person who –

(i) is under any acknowledgement of allegiance or adherence to a foreign Power, or is a subject or citizen or entitled to the rights and privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign Power; or

(Appendix (2)

The President and Vice-Presidents  (Page 19/20)

59. Qualifications of the President and Vice-Presidents are as follows :

(d) shall be well acquainted with the affairs of the Union such as political,

administrative, economic and military;

(f) shall he himself, one of the parents, the spouse, one of the legitimate children

or their spouses not owe allegiance to a foreign power, not be subject of a

foreign power or citizen of a foreign country. They shall not be persons

entitled to enjoy the rights and privileges of a subject of a foreign government

or citizen of a foreign country;

(g) shall possess prescribed qualifications of the President, in addition to

qualifications prescribed to stand for election to the Hluttaw.

 Disqualification for the Pyithu Hluttaw Representatives (Page 43/44)

121. The following persons shall not be entitled to be elected as the Pyithu Hluttaw

representatives :

(f) person who is entitled to enjoy the rights and privileges of a subject of a

foreign government or a citizen of a foreign country;

(g) person himself or is of a member of an organization who obtains and

utilizes directly or indirectly the support of money, land, housing, building,

vehicle, property, so forth, from government or religious organization or

other organizations of a foreign country;

(h) person himself or is of a member of an organization who abets the act of

inciting, giving speech, conversing or issuing declaration to vote or not to

vote based on religion for political purpose;

4. References

 Albright, Madeline. 2003. Madam Secretary: A Memoir. Miramax Books, Printed in the United States.

Aung San Suu Kyi. 1984. Aung San Of Burma: A Biographical Portrait by his Daughter. Kiscadale, Edinburgh.

Aung San Suu Kyi. 1995. Freedom From Fear. Penguin Books,

Callahan, Mary P.. 2003. Making Enemies: War and State Building in Burma. Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London.

Clements, Allan and Aung San Suu Kyi. 1993. Voice of Hope: Conversation with Aung San Suu Kyi. Penguin Books.

Hall, H. Fielding. 1903. The Soul of A People, London, Macmillan and Co., Limited.

Ismail, Razali. 2007. Meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi. The Irrawaddy Magazine. Vol. 15, No. 4, April. Chiang Mai, Thailand

McCaine, John. 2004. Why Courage Matters: The way to a braver life. Random House Inc.

Silverstein, Josef, Editor. 1993. The Political Legacy of Aung San. SEAP Series No. 11, Cornel University Press, Ithaca, New York.

Tilly, Charles and Tarrow, Sidney. 2007. Contentious Politics. Paradigm Publishers, Boulder . London.

Victor, Barbara. 1998. The Lady: Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Laureate and Burma’s Prisoner. Faber and Faber.

Zaw, Aung. 2008. Secrets of Commune 4828. The Irrawaddy Magazine. Vol. 16, No. 8, August. Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Acceptance speech as Secretary General at the UN, Nov. 30, 1962 as reprinted in U Thant, ‘Toward World Peace – Speachs and Public Statements, 1957-63 (1964), p. 100

Aung San Suu Kyi Homepage (http://www.dassk.com/categories.php?category_no=5 accessed on 27 December 2008.

Pilger, John http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/13/letter-burma-suu-kyi  accessed on 27 December 2008.

Scot-clark, Kathy and Levy, Andrian. 2008. Not such a hero after all.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/11/burma-aung-san-suu-kyi

accessed on 27 Dec. ’08).

မိုုင္တစ္ေထာင္ ခရီးရဲ႕အစ ပထမေျခတစ္လွမ္း ေမာင္ၫြန္႔ (မင္းေက်ာင္းတိုက္)

ျပည္တြင္းမွာေတာ့ တိုုးတိုုး၊ ျပည္ပမွာေတာ့ က်ယ္က်ယ္ေလာင္ေလာင္ ေအာ္ေနတဲ့ အသံေတြကေတာ့ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲကိုု သပိတ္ေမွာက္၊ (တနည္းအားျဖင့္ ေျပာင္မေျပာေသာ္လည္းပဲ) ကၽြန္ေတာ္မ်ား စစ္အစိုုးရလက္ေအာက္မွာပဲ ဆက္ေနပါမယ္ ဆိုုတဲ့ လံႈ႕ေဆာ္သံေတြ ျဖစ္တယ္ ခင္ဗ်။ ျပည္သူေတြနဲ႔အတူ ကၽြန္ေတာ္တိုု႔ကေတာ့ စစ္အစိုုးရလက္ေအာက္မွာ မေနခ်င္ေတာ့ဘူးခင္ဗ်။ အနည္းဆံုုး ျပည္သူလူထုုဖက္က တရား၀င္ ေျပာနိုုင္ ခုုခံနိုုင္တဲ့ သူေတြ၊ တစ္ဆင့္ၿပီးတစ္ဆင့္ အခြင့္အေရးေတြကိုု ေတာင္းယူ တိုုက္ယူေပးနိုုင္မဲ့ သူေတြ ပါ၀င္တဲ့ ကူးေျပာင္းေရး အစိုုးရလက္ေအာက္ကိုု ျမန္ျမန္ေရာက္ခ်င္ၿပီခင္ဗ်။ ၿပီးခဲ့တဲ့လကလဲ “မိုုးက်ဒီမိုုကေရစီ” အေၾကာင္း ေရးၿပီး အာဏာရွင္နိုုင္ငံေတြ ဘယ္လိုု စနစ္ေျပာင္းၾကတယ္ဆိုုတာ အကိုုးအကားနဲ႔ တင္ျပခဲ့သလိုု၊ အခုုလဲ ဘာေၾကာင့္ မဲေပးသင့္သလဲဆိုုတာကိုု အဓိက ေရးလိုုက္တယ္ခင္ဗ်။

ကိုုေအာင္မိုုး၀င္းရဲ႕ ေဆာင္းပါးတစ္ခုုထဲမွာ ပီသံုုးလံုုး (သိုု႔မဟုုတ္) ကြန္မ်ဴနစ္ျပန္ အမာခံမ်ားရဲ႕ ပါတီဥကၠ႒ႀကီး ဦးခင္ေမာင္ျမင့္ရဲ႕ၾသ၀ါဒတစ္ခုုကိုု ကိုုးကားထားတာ ဖတ္လိုုက္ရသဗ်။ အဲ၊ ဦးခင္ေမာင္ျမင့္ရဲ႕ ရဲရဲေတာက္ တရားပြဲကိုု ၁၉၈၈ ၾသဂုုတ္လ (၂၉ )ေလာက္မွာခင္ဗ်၊ စက္မႈတကၠသိုုလ္၀န္းထဲမွာ နားေထာင္ဖူးတယ္။ ၾကက္သီးထေလာက္တဲ့ မိန္႔ခြန္းလိုု႔ပဲ ေျပာနိုုင္ေတာ့တယ္၊ အေသးစိတ္ သတိမရေတာ့ဘူးခင္ဗ်။ အခုု ၾသ၀ါဒကိုုလဲ ဘယ္ မွတ္မိမလဲ။ ဒါ့ေၾကာင့္ ကိုု ေအာင္မိုုး၀င္းကိုု ေက်းဇူးတင္မိတာခင္ဗ်၊ တခုုတ္တရ ကိုုးကားထားလိုု႔။
မီးဟုုန္းဟုုန္းေတာက္ေနတဲ့ ၈၈တုုန္းကေတာ့၊ အဲဒီ ၾသ၀ါဒဟာ ၾကက္သီးထစရာပဲဗ်။ ဘာမွတ္သလဲကြေပါ့။ လူတိုုင္း အားရတဲ့ ၾသ၀ါဒေပါ့ဗ်ာ။ ဒါေပမဲ့ ဒီၾသ၀ါဒနဲ႔ပတ္သက္လိုု႔ ၂၂ ႏွစ္တာ သမိုုင္းက တကယ့္က်ား မဟုုတ္ဘူးဆိုုတဲ့ အေျဖကိုု ေပးလာတဲ့အတြက္ ခုုေခတ္နဲ႔ကိုုက္ညီတဲ့ ၾသ၀ါဒသစ္တစ္ခုုကိုု တစ္စံုုတစ္ဦးဦးက အသစ္ေရးဖိုု႔၊ ဒါမွမဟုုတ္ လက္တည့္စမ္းဖိုု႔ လိုုတယ္လိုု႔ သံုုးသပ္မိတယ္ခင္ဗ်။

အဲ၊ ေမာင္ၫြန္႔လဲ အခုုဆိုု အသက္ ၆၅ ေက်ာ္ခဲ့ၿပီဆိုုေတာ့ ၾသ၀ါဒ တစ္ခုုေလာက္ စမ္း ေရးၾကည့္ရင္ ေကာင္းမွာပဲလိုု႔ ခပ္ထယ္ထယ္ ေတြးၾကည့္မိတယ္။ ဟယ္၊ ၾသ၀ါဒဆိုုတာ ပညာရွိေတြမွ ေရးရတာလိုု႔ ေတြးမိျပန္ေတာ့ နည္းနည္းေတာ့ ေနာက္တြန္႔သြားတာေပါ့ဗ်ာ။ ဒါေပမဲ့ ေရးလဲ ေရးၾကည့္ခ်င္ေတာ့ကာ၊ ဟာ ႏြားေက်ာင္းသားေတြ၊ ငမူးေတြေတာင္ ေရးေနတာပဲ ငါလဲ ေရးမယ္ ဘာျဖစ္လဲေပါ့၊ ဆိုုၿပီး ဘာကိုု အတုုယူၿပီး ေရးရမလဲဆိုုတာ စဥ္းစားတယ္ခင္ဗ်။ ၾကာၾကာမစဥ္းစားရပါဘူး၊ ဦးခင္ေမာင္ျမင့္ရဲ႕ ၾသ၀ါဒကိုုပဲ နမူနာယူ ေရးဖိုု႔ ဆံုုးျဖတ္လိုုက္တယ္ခင္ဗ်။

ကဲ၊ ၾသ၀ါဒအသစ္ ဘယ္ပံုုေရးတယ္ဆိုုတာ နည္းနည္း ေျပာျပခ်င္တယ္။ ေနာင္လာေနာက္သားေတြ အတုုယူနိုု္င္ေအာင္လိုု႔။ အတုုယူေရးတာဆိုုေတာ့ မခက္ဘူးဗ်၊ ဒီလိုုေလ၊ ၂၂ ႏွစ္တာကာလကိုု ဓမၼဓိ႒ာန္က်က် သံုုးသပ္ၿပီး ေရးခ်လိုုက္ရင္ တခဏနဲ႔ ၿပီးသြားနိုုင္တာပဲ မဟုုတ္ပါလား။ ကဲ၊ က်ေနာ့္ ၾသ၀ါဒကိုုလဲ ဖတ္ၾကည့္ၾကပါဦး။ ဗုုဒၶဘာသာ ျမန္မာမ်ားပီပီ ဆဲေတာ့ မဆဲေစခ်င္ဘူးဗ်၊ ဆဲတယ္ဆိုုတာ ႐ိုုင္းစိုုင္း ယုုတ္ညံ့တဲ့အျပင္၊ ဆဲသူကိုယ္တိုင္ကို အမ်ားက မႏွစ္မ်ိဳ႕ ရြံရွာစက္ဆုုတ္တဲ့အျပင္၊ မိမဆံုုးမ ဖမဆံုုးမသားတိုု႔၊ သားသမီးမေကာင္း မိဖေခါင္းတိုု႕၊ တပည့္မေကာင္း ဆရာ့ေခါင္းတိုု႔ ႐ိုုက္ခတ္မႈေတြ မ်ားလိုု႔၊ အဲသလိုု ကိုုယ့္အျပဳအမူေၾကာင့္ ေက်းဇူးရွင္ေတြကိုုပါ ထိခိုုက္တဲ့အတြက္ မဆဲေစခ်င္တာပါ။ အက်ိဳးသင့္ အေၾကာင္းသင့္ ေ၀ဖန္တာမ်ိဳးဆိုုရင္ ႀကိဳဆိုုပါတယ္၊ အမ်ားလဲ အက်ိဳးရွိတာေပါ့။ ကဲဗ်ာ၊ ေျခဆင္းနဲ႔ ေပရွည္သြားတာ ေတာင္းပန္ပါတယ္။ စမယ္ဗ်ာ၊
က်ေနာ္ နမူနာယူတဲ့ ၾသ၀ါဒ၊ အဲဒါကိုု ပထမ ခ်ေရးလိုုက္တယ္။

“ဗိုုလ္ခ်ဳပ္ေတြကိုု သတိေပးခ်င္တယ္၊
ဒါ – ေတာင္ၿပိဳေနတာ၊ လက္ဖ၀ါးနဲ႔ သြားမကာနဲ႔။
လက္ဖ၀ါးနဲ႔ သြားကာရင္ ေက်ာက္တုုံးပိၿပီး က်ဆံုုးရတတ္တယ္။”
ဦးခင္ေမာင္ျမင့္ (ျပည္သူ႔တိုုးတက္ေရးပါတီ)

ၿပီးေတာ့မွ က်ေနာ္ တုုပၿပီး ေရးတယ္၊ ေရးဟန္ကိုု တုုေပမဲ့ အတြင္းသားကေတာ့ သမိုုင္းသင္ခန္းစာကေန ယူတယ္ခင္ဗ်။

“တစ္လမ္းသြား နိုုင္ငံေရးသမားေတြကိုု သတိေပးခ်င္တယ္၊
ဗိုုလ္ခ်ဳပ္ေတြက ေတာင္ၿဖိဳခ်ေနတယ္၊
ဒါ ေတာင္ၿဖိဳခ်ေနတာ၊ လက္ဖ၀ါးနဲ႔ သြားမကာနဲ႔။
လက္ဖ၀ါးနဲ႔ သြားကာရင္ ေက်ာက္တံုုးပိလိုု႔ မွန္လိုု႔ ေသရင္ေသ
မေသရင္ ဒဏ္ရာဗလပြနဲ႔ ဒုုကၡိတျဖစ္သြားလိမ့္မယ္။
ကူၿပီး ေတာင္ၿဖိဳရင္ လမ္းျမန္ျမန္ေပါက္မယ္၊
လမ္းေပါက္မွ လိုုရာေရာက္မယ္”။
အာဂ ေမာင္ၫြန္႔ (မင္းေက်ာင္းတိုုက္)

အတိုုက္အခံေတြဟာ စစ္တပ္နဲ႔အတူ ေတာင္ၿဖိဳရင္း ရင္းႏွီးမႈကိုု ရယူ၊ ၿပီးေတာ့ ယံုုၾကည္မႈကိုု တည္ေဆာက္နိုုင္ေအာင္ ႀကိဳးစားရမယ္ခင္ဗ်။ အင္အားလည္း မရွိပဲနဲ႔ ျပည္ပက ေလသံကိုု အားကိုုးၿပီး (အားမကိုုးဘူးလိုု႔ ေျပာတဲ့အခါလဲ ေျပာသဗ်) ၀က္ေခါင္းထိုုးဆန္႔က်င္ေနမဲ့အစား၊ အတူ၀င္လုုပ္ရင္း ကိုုယ့္ရဲ႕ အရည္အေသြး၊ ခြင့္လႊတ္နိုုင္မႈနဲ႔၊ မေဖာက္ျပန္မႈ စတာေတြကိုု လက္ေတြ႕ျပၿပီး ေစတနာမွန္နဲ႔ လုုပ္ျပတာက ပိုုၿပီးထိေရာက္နိုုင္တယ္ခင္ဗ်။ အဲလိုုသာ လုုပ္ခဲ့ၾကရင္ စစ္သားေတြလဲ လူပဲ၊ သူတိုု႔လဲ ဗုုဒၶဘာသာပဲ၊ အခ်င္းခ်င္း နားလည္မႈ မထူေထာင္နိုုင္စရာ မရွိဘူး၊ ယံုုၾကည္မႈရွိရင္ ေလးစားမႈလဲ ရွိလာမယ္ခင္ဗ်၊ အဲလိုု ယံုုၾကည္ေလးစားမႈ ရွိလာရင္ ေနာက္ဆံုုးမွာ စစ္သားေတြက နိုုင္ငံေရးက သူ႕အလိုုလိုု ထြက္သြားၾကလိမ့္မယ္။ နိုုင္ငံတကာ ယဥ္ေက်းမႈကလဲ စစ္တပ္က နိုုုုင္ငံေရးထဲပါေနတာ လက္မခံဘူးဆိုုတာ သူတိုု႔လဲ သိတယ္ခင္ဗ်။

က်ေနာ္က စစ္အစိုုးရရဲ႕ ၂၀၀၈ ခုုႏွစ္ ဖြဲ႕စည္းအုုပ္ခ်ဳပ္ပံုု အေျခခံဥပေဒကိုု လက္ခံတယ္ခင္ဗ်။ အေၾကာင္းကေတာ့ လက္မခံလိုု႔ မရလိုု႔၊ တျခား ေရြးစရာ မရွိလိုု႔ခင္ဗ် (ေနာက္တႀကိမ္ေရးျဖစ္မွ ဘာေတာ့ျဖင့္ လက္ခံတယ္၊ ဘာေတာ့ျဖင့္ ျပင္သင့္တယ္ ဆိုုတာ ေျပာဦးမယ္)။ အဲ၊ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲကိုုလဲ ေထာက္ခံတယ္ခင္ဗ်။ ေနာက္ၿပီး လူမုုန္းခံၿပီး (မျပည့္တဲ့သူေတြက မုုန္းတာကိုု ေျပာတာပါ) ဘာလိုု႔ေျပာရသလဲဆိုုေတာ့၊ ျမန္မာေရွးဆိုု႐ိုုးမွာလဲ၊ “ဆိုုေရးရွိက ဆိုုအပ္လွ၏၊ ဆိုုစမ်ားလ်ား ထားပေခ်မိ၊ ငါ့၀န္ရွိ၏” ဆိုုတာ ရွိသလိုု၊ အေမရိကန္သမိုုင္းမွာလဲ ဒန္နီယယ္ ၀က္ဘ္စတာက ၁၉ ၅၀ ခုုႏွစ္ဆန္းမွာ ကြန္ဂရက္မွာ “လိုုအပ္မႈက ခင္ဗ်ားတိုု႔ နား၀င္ပီယံျဖစ္မွာေတြထက္ အမွန္အတိုုင္း မေျပာမျဖစ္ ေျပာခိုုင္းတာျဖစ္တယ္။ တကယ္ေတာ့ က်ေနာ္ ခင္ဗ်ားတိုု႔သေဘာက်မဲ့ဟာကိုု ေျပာခ်င္ပါတယ္။ ဒါေပမဲ့ က်ေနာ့္ကိုု ခင္ဗ်ားတိုု႔ ဘယ္လိုုပဲထင္ထင္ ခင္ဗ်ားတိုု႔ကိုု က်ေနာ္ ကယ္တင္ဖိုု႔ကိုုပဲ ေရြးခ်ယ္လိုုက္ရပါတယ္” လိုု႔ ေျပာခဲ့သလိုု က်ေနာ္လဲ အမ်ားအတြက္ ေျပာပါတယ္။

ဘာပဲျဖစ္ျဖစ္ အေျပာင္းအလဲ တစ္ခုုကိုု အမ်ားျပည္သူ လိုုခ်င္ေနတယ္၊ ကုုန္ဆံုုးခဲ့တဲ့ ၂၂ ႏွစ္တာမွာ ျပည္သူအတြက္ ေျပာင္းလဲမႈတိုုင္းက အဆိုုးေတြပဲ သယ္ေဆာင္လာတယ္ခင္ဗ်။ အတိုုက္အခံေတြထဲက ေဂါင္ (ေခါင္) ဆိုုတဲ့ ဒီခ်ဳပ္လဲ ဘာမွ လုုပ္ရည္ကိုုင္ရည္ မရွိဘူးခင္ဗ်။ (လူထုုဦးစိန္၀င္းကေတာ့ ဒီခ်ဳပ္ကိုု ေရဒီယိုု အင္တာဗ်ဴးတစ္ခုုမွာ ဆြံ႕အနားမၾကားေက်ာင္းနဲ႔ ႏိႈင္းထားတယ္ခင္ဗ်)။ စစ္အစိုုးရရဲ႕ ဖိႏွိပ္မႈကလဲ ရက္စက္တယ္္ေလဗ်ာ။ ဒီေတာ့ တရား၀င္ ဗိုုလ္ေရြးခံနိုုင္ခြင့္ ရခိုုက္မွာ ၀င္ေပါက္ကေလးက က်ဥ္းခ်င္က်ဥ္းပေစ၊ ကစားကြင္းထဲမွာ ကိုုယ္ပါေအာင္ လုုပ္မွ ကစားသမားျဖစ္မယ္ေပါ့ဗ်ာ။ ဒါ့ေၾကာင့္ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲ၀င္တဲ့ ပါတီတိုုင္းကိုု ေမာင္ညြန္႔ ပစ္ေထာက္ခံတာပါပဲ။

အဲ၊ ဒီေန႔ စက္တဘၤာ ၁၉ ရက္ေန႔မွာ မိတ္ေဆြႀကီး ကိုု၀င္းတင့္ထြန္းနဲ႔ နက္ေပၚမွာ စကားတ၀ႀကီး ေျပာလိုုက္ရတယ္ခင္ဗ်။ သူက ဘာေျပာသလဲဆိုုေတာ့ “က်ေနာ္တိုု႔ ခင္ဗ်ားတိုု႔ အသက္အရြယ္၊ ျဖတ္သန္းလာတဲ့ ေနာက္ခံသမိုုင္းနဲ႔ ရည္ရြယ္ခ်က္ေတြ ခုုိင္မာၿပီးသား၊ မေျပာင္းနိုုင္တဲ့ ရည္ရြယ္ခ်က္ေတြျဖစ္တယ္ ဆိုုတာ က်ေနာ္ယံုုတယ္” ဆိုုတဲ့ ပညာစကား၊ ျဖတ္သန္းလာတဲ့ ဘ၀အေတြ႕အႀကံဳနဲ႔ ရင့္က်က္မႈေတြ ပါလာတယ္။ သူနဲ႔က်ေနာ္ သေဘာတူတာကေတာ့ က်ေနာ္တိုု႔ ကိုုယ္စီမွာ ဒီမိုုကေရစီအခြင့္အေရး ရွိတယ္၊ သူေျပာသလိုုပဲ၊ ေရာမေရာက္ေအာင္ ကိုုယ္သန္ရာ ကိုုယ္ယံုုၾကည္ရာ လမ္းကေန သြားခြင့္ရွိတယ္ဆိုုတာပဲ ခင္ဗ်။

တဆက္ထည္း က်ေနာ္က ခ်ီလီ၊ ဘရာဇီးလ္နဲ႔ ေတာင္ကိုုးရီးယားတိုု႔ ဘယ္ပံုု စနစ္ေျပာင္းခဲ့တယ္ဆိုုတာကိုု ေျပာျပၿပီး၊ ထပ္တူမျဖစ္နိုုင္ေပမဲ့ က်ေနာ္တိုု႔လဲ ဒီလိုုပဲ ေျပာင္းရမယ္လိုု႔ က်ေနာ္ ယံုုေၾကာင္း ေျပာျပခဲ့တယ္။ ကိုုယ္ယံုုၾကည္တဲ့လမ္းစဥ္ မွန္ကန္ေၾကာင္း၊ သိုု႔မဟုုတ္ မွန္နိုုင္ဖြယ္ ရွိေၾကာင္းကိုု အေထာက္အထားနဲ႔ တင္ျပနိုုင္ၾကသလိုု တျခားလမ္းကိုု လိုုက္ေနသူမ်ား၊ တနည္းအားျဖင့္ ကိုုယ့္အျမင္မွာ လြဲေခ်ာ္ေနတယ္လိုု႔ ထင္သူေတြရဲ႕ လမ္းစဥ္ကိုုလဲ အခ်က္အလက္နဲ႔ ေ၀ဖန္ပိုုင္းျခားခြင့္ ရွိေပတယ္ခင္ဗ်။ ဒါ ဘယ္သူ႕ဘယ္သူကိုုမွ က်ည္ဆံထြက္တဲ့ ေသနတ္နဲ႔ ပစ္ေနတာ မဟုုတ္ဘူးခင္ဗ်။

က်ေနာ္တိုု႔ရဲ႕ အဆံုုးစြန္ရည္ရြယ္ခ်က္က စစ္တပ္ကိုု နိုုင္ငံေရးထဲက ဆြဲထုုတ္ဖိုု႔ပဲျဖစ္တယ္။ သူတိုု႔ အေတာ္မ်ားမ်ားက အျပဳတ္တိုုက္ၿပီးေသာ္လည္းေကာင္း၊ စစ္အစိုုးရကိုု ထိေရာက္တဲ့ဖိအား ေပးၿပီး အေပၚစီးနဲ႔ ေသာ္လည္းေကာင္း၊ ေဆာင့္ကန္ၿပီးေသာ္လည္း ေျပာင္းပစ္ခ်င္ၾကတယ္။ ဒါဟာ လတ္တေလာ ၂၂ ႏွစ္၊ ေနာက္ေၾကာင္းျပန္ေကာက္ရင္ ႏွစ္ေပါင္း ၅၀၊ သမိုုင္းအရ လက္ေတြ႕မက်တဲ့အျပင္ ဆိုုးက်ိဳးသံသရာလည္တဲ့အျဖစ္ကိုု ေရာက္ဖိုု႔ပဲရွိတယ္။ “ငါတိုု႔ကိုု ဘာမွတ္သလဲ၊ မင္းတိုု႔ က်ားသနားမွ ႏြားခ်မ္းသာမယ္ ဆိုုတဲ့ စကား နားလည္ရဲ႕လား” လို႔ ျခိမ္းေျခာက္ေနသလိုုပဲ ခင္ဗ်။ တကယ္လက္ေတြ႕ဘ၀မွာ ကိုုယ္က က်ားမဟုုတ္တာေတာ့ ေသခ်ာတယ္ခင္ဗ်။

က်ေနာ့္နည္းက အခုု အတူတူလုုပ္၊ ကိုုယ္က သန္႔သန္႔ရွင္းရွင္းနဲ႔ အနစ္နာခံၿပီး (ျခမစား၊ လာဘ္မယူပဲ) တိုုင္းျပည္အတြက္ လုုပ္ျပ၊ အတူတူ ယိုုင္းပင္းလုုပ္ေဆာင္ရင္း ရင္းႏွီးမႈယူ၊ ယံုုၾကည္မႈကိုု တည္ေဆာက္၊ စစ္တပ္ကိုု တြန္းမထုုတ္နဲ႔၊ သူ႕ဖာသာ ၀င္လာသလိုု သူ႕ဖာသာ ထြက္သြားေအာင္ ကူညီဖိုု႔ပဲျဖစ္တယ္ခင္ဗ်။ သူတိုု႔လဲ လူေတြပဲ၊ ျပည္တြင္းျပည္ပ ေမးေငါ့တာ ဘယ္သူခံခ်င္မွာလဲ၊ အျမဲသျဖင့္ ငပြႀကီး ဗီလိန္ႀကီးလိုု႔ ဘယ္သူ အေခၚခံခ်င္မွာလဲ။ သူတိုု႔ စိတ္မခ်တာေတြ စိတ္ခ်ရၿပီဆိုုရင္ သူတိုု႔က ၀မ္းသာအားရ လႊဲေပးသြားမယ္လိုု႔ က်ေနာ္ယံုုတယ္ခင္ဗ်။

ဒါ့ေၾကာင့္ ယံုုၾကည္မႈတည္ေဆာက္နည္းနဲ႔ ပတ္သက္လိုု႔ ေျပာစရာရွိလာတယ္။ အမ်ားက ေျပာၾကတယ္၊ အျပန္အလွန္ ယံုုၾကည္မႈ၊ ေလးစားမႈ ရွိရမယ္တဲ့။ ကနဦးကတည္းက အျပန္အလွန္ ယံုုၾကည္ဖိုု႔ဆိုုတာ အႏွစ္ ၂၀ ေက်ာ္ ေတာက္ေလ်ာက္ အပုုတ္ခ်လာတဲ့ ရန္ဖက္ျခင္း အသာထား၊ သာမန္ အရပ္သားအျခင္းျခင္းေတာင္ မလြယ္ဘူးခင္ဗ်။ တကယ့္ယုုတၱိက ယံုုၾကည္ခ်က္တည္ေဆာက္တဲ့ အစဦးပုုိင္းမွာ တဖက္သတ္ ယံုုၾကည္မႈထားၿပီး တည္ေဆာက္ရတာ၊ ဟုုိတစ္ဖက္က ယံုုလာတဲ့အထိ ျဖည္းျဖည္းျခင္း တည္ေဆာက္ယူရတာျဖစ္တယ္။ အဲဒါနဲ႔ ပတ္သက္လိုု႔ ေတာက္၀ါဒရဲ႕ သူေတာ္စင္ႀကီး ေလာက္ဇူက ေတာက္က်မ္း စာ (၄၉) မွာ ေဟာလိုု ႁမြက္ၾကားထားတယ္ခင္ဗ်၊

“ေကာင္းတဲ့ သူေတြအေပၚ ငါ ေကာင္းမယ္၊ မေကာင္းတဲ့သူေတြ အေပၚမွာလည္း ငါေကာင္းမယ္၊ ေကာင္းျခင္းဟာ မဂၤလာမည္လိုု႔။
သစၥာရွိသူေတြ အေပၚမွာ ငါ သစၥာရွိမယ္၊ သစၥာမရွိတဲ့သူေတြ အေပၚမွာလည္းပဲ ငါသစၥာရွိမယ္၊ ဘာလိုု႔လဲဆိုုေတာ့၊ သစၥာရွိတာဟာ မဂၤလာမည္လိုု႔။
စာ (၁၇) နဲ႔ (၂၃) မွာေတာ့၊ “သူတစ္ပါးအေပၚ ႏွစ္ႏွစ္ကာကာ ယံုုၾကည္မႈမထားသူအေပၚ တစ္ဖက္ကလည္း ယံုုၾကည္မႈထားမွာ မဟုုတ္” တဲ့ဗ်ား။

အျပစ္တင္ခ်င္တဲ့ ဆႏၵေစာေနသူေတြကေတာ့ ဒီစစ္ေခါင္းေဆာင္ေတြက ဘယ္ေလာက္ဆိုုးတာ၊ ယုုတ္တာ စသျဖင့္ ဆင္ေျခအမ်ိဳးမ်ိဳးေပးၿပီး၊ အျပဳတ္ခ်ရမယ္ ဘာညာ ေျပာပါလိမ့္မယ္။ ခင္ဗ်ား ဘယ္ေတာ့ ခ်မွာလဲလိုု႔ေမးၾကည့္ပါလား၊ ျမက္ေလ ွ်ာ ျဖစ္သြားတာ အားလံုုး ျမင္ၾကရပါလိမ့္မယ္။ ႀကီးႀကီးက်ယ္က်ယ္ ေျပာေနသူေတြဟာ လက္ဖက္ရည္ပန္းကန္လံုုးထဲက မုုန္တိုုင္းေလးေတြခ်ည္းပဲခင္ဗ်။ ကိုုယ့္စီးပြားအတြက္ ေန႔မအား ညမအားေလာက္ အလုုပ္လုုပ္တယ္၊ ဒါမွမဟုုတ္၊ လူရည္လည္တဲ့သူေတြဆိုုရင္ အေမရိကန္အစိုးရအပါအ၀င္ အဖြဲ႕အစည္းႀကီးေတြကေန ေထာက္ပံ့ေငြရေအာင္လုုပ္ၿပီး တစ္လတစ္လ ေဒၚလာေထာင္ဂဏန္း လခယူၿပီး တိုုင္းျပည္လက္ၫိႈးထိုုး ဇိမ္ခံ နိုုင္ငံေရးလုုပ္စားသူမ်ားသာ ျဖစ္တယ္ခင္ဗ်။ နိုုင္ငံေရးကိုု ထဲထဲ၀င္၀င္လဲ မေလ့လာသလိုု အမ်ားစုုက ဘာမွကိုု မေလ့လာပဲ ေပၚပင္ အီးေမးလ္ ဂ႐ုေမးလ္ ေဆာင္းပါးေတြေလာက္ ဖတ္၊ ျမန္မာဂ်ာနယ္တခ်ိဳ႕က ေဆာင္းပါး တစ္ပုုဒ္ ႏွစ္ပုုဒ္ေလာက္ ဖတ္ၿပီး နိုုင္ငံေရးကိုု ပါးစပ္နဲ႔လုုပ္တယ္ခင္ဗ်။

က်ေနာ္ သုုေတသနလုုပ္ဖိုု႔ေရာက္ခဲ့တဲ့ အေမရိကန္မွာက ပညာဆက္ရွာေနတဲ့ လူလတ္ပိုုင္းေတြ ေတြ႕ခဲ့ရတယ္။ တခ်ိဳ႕က ဟားဗတ္၊ တခ်ိဳ႕က ေကာ္နဲလ္၊ ေယးလ္၊ ယူစီအယ္လ္ေအ၊ ပယ္ရီေမဆင္ စသျဖင့္ အထင္ကရ တကၠသိုုလ္ေတြမွာ ပညာသင္ေနၾကတယ္၊ သူတိုု႕အမ်ားစုုရဲ႕ နာမည္ေတြကိုု အင္တာနက္မွာ လဖက္ရည္ပန္းကန္လံုုးထဲက မုုန္တိုုင္းထဲမွာ မေတြ႕ဖူးဘူးခင္ဗ်။ သူတိုု႔နဲ႔ေတြ႕ၿပီး အင္တာဗ်ဴးလုုပ္တဲ့အခါ သူတိုု႔တေတြဟာ ဒီမုုိကေရစီရဲ႕ အေျခခံျဖစ္တဲ့ သေဘာကြဲလြဲခြင့္ကိုု လက္ခံၾကတဲ့အျပင္၊ အျမင္က်ယ္ၾကတယ္။ ကိုုယ့္ကိုုယ္ကိုု ႏွိမ့္ခ်ဆက္ဆံၾကတယ္။ ဒီမိုုကေရစီ တဖြဖြေတာင္းၿပီး ဆဲလား ဆိုုလား၊ တိုုင္းလား ထြာလား မလုုပ္ၾကဘူး။ မိဖ ဆရာသမားတိုု႔ရဲ႕ ဂုုဏ္ကိုု ထိန္းၾကတယ္ခင္ဗ်။

ဒီခ်ဳပ္က ဒီမိုုကေရစီေရးလုုပ္ၾကတဲ့ အဖြဲ႕တိုုင္းေလာက္ကိုု မေ၀ဖန္ေပမဲ့ ကိုုယ့္အထဲက ပဲ့ထြက္သြားသူေတြေထာင္တဲ့အဖြဲ႕ကိုုေတာ့ သဲႀကီးမဲႀကီးကိုု ေဆာ္ေနေတာ့တာပဲ ခင္ဗ်။ ဒီခ်ဳပ္ကေဆာ္ေတာ့ ျပည္ပလႊင့္ ျမန္မာဘာသာေရဒီယိုေတြနဲ႔ ျပည္ပက အမာခံလုုပ္ေနတဲ့သူေတြကလဲ စည္းဝါးကိုက္ၿပီး ေဆာ္ေနၾကတယ္ခင္ဗ်။ ကဲ အဲဒီအဖြဲ႕ကိုု ျပည္သူေတြက လံုုးလံုုးကိုု မေထာက္ခံဘူးတဲ့လား။ ေထာက္ခံတဲ့လူေတြ ျပည္တြင္းမွာ ရွိသလိုု ျပည္ပမွာလဲ အနည္းအက်ဥ္းျဖစ္ေစ ရွိနိုုင္တယ္ဆိုုတာ ျငင္းမလား။ အျပတ္မျငင္းနိုုင္ရင္ အဲဒီအဖြဲ႕ကိုု တိုုက္ခိုုက္တာဟာ အနည္းဆံုုး ျပည္သူလူထုု တစိပ္တပိုုင္းကိုု တိုုက္ခိုုက္တာနဲ႔ အတူတူပဲ ဆိုုတာေကာ သတိထားမိၾကရဲ႕လားခင္ဗ်။ ေနာက္ၿပီး ခင္ဗ်ားတိုု႔ တဖြဖြေအာ္ေနတဲ့ ဒီမိုုကေရစီရဲ႕ အႏွစ္သာရ ႏွစ္ခုုျဖစ္တဲ့ “သေဘာမတူတာကို ကၽြန္ေတာ္တို႔ သေဘာတူတယ္” ဆိုတာတို႔၊ “အနည္းစုုရဲ႕ဆႏၵကိုုလည္း ေလးစားရမည္”ဆိုုတာတို႔ဟာ ပါးစပ္သက္သက္ပဲလား ခင္ဗ်။

ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲ၀င္လိုု႔ ခ်က္ျခင္း တုုိင္းျပည္ကိုု ကယ္နိုုင္မလားဆိုုေတာ့ မကယ္နိုုင္ဘူးခင္ဗ်။ တ႐ုုပ္ရဟန္းေတာ္တပါးက “အႏွစ္ႏွစ္ အလလက စြဲကပ္လာတဲ့ ေရာဂါကိုု အံုုဖြဆိုၿပီး ခ်က္ျခင္းေပ်ာက္ေအာင္ ကုုလိုု႔မရဘူး၊ အခ်ိန္ယူရတယ္” လိုု႔ ေျပာဖူးတာ သြားသတိရမိတယ္ခင္ဗ်။ ဒါေတာင္ မတည့္တာ မေရွာင္ရင္ ေရာဂါျပန္တိုုး၊ ျပန္ေဖာက္နိုုင္သလိုုပဲ ဒီမိုုကေရစီနဲ႔ေ၀းၿပီး စစ္တပ္ေနာက္ခံ အရပ္သားအာဏာရွင္ စနစ္ဆီ ေလ ွ်ာက် သြားနိုုင္တယ္ခင္ဗ်။ ဒါေပမဲ့ မလုုပ္ရင္ ဘာမွ မျဖစ္ဘူး။ ေလာက္ဇူေျပာတဲ့ “မိုုင္တစ္ေထာင္ခရီးရဲ႕ အစဟာ ပထမဦးဆံုုး ေျခတစ္လွမ္းျဖစ္တယ္” ဆိုုတဲ့အတိုုင္း၊ အမ်ိဳးသား ဒီမိုုကေရစီ အင္အားစုုပါတီနဲ႔ အျခားေသာ ဒီမိုုကေရစီကိုု အေျခခံတဲ့ပါတီမ်ားရဲ႕ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲမွာ ပါ၀င္ယွဥ္ျပိဳင္မႈကိုု ပထမေျခတစ္လွမ္းအျဖစ္ ႀကိဳဆိုုေထာက္ခံရင္း ျပည္သူလူထုုအေနနဲ႔ ဒီမိုုကေရစီတာ၀န္တစ္ရပ္ အေနနဲ႔ မဲ႐ံုုေတြဆီကိုု အားတက္သေရာ သြားေရာက္ မဲေပးၾကဖိုု႔ တိုုက္တြန္းလိုုက္ရေၾကာင္းပါခင္ဗ်ား။

ေမာင္ၫြန္႔ (မင္းေက်ာင္းတိုက္)