I refer to Ups and Downs in 2007 [Commentary] by Aung Zaw in Irrawaddy. I have always followed Ko Aung Zaw's commentaries closely as I always find his opinions sensible and reasonable, his flow of thoughts strongly coherent.
Again, in this article, he has done a good job of summarizing the past significant happenings in Burma for 2007. In particular, below quote strikes me as something of utmost importance for us to consider in our future plans:
It is inevitable that change will come from within Burma. However, it is better if we can influence change in a peaceful way without bloodshed.
So far, I have heard of many people saying that, though they wish to do their bit for Burma, they fear for the safety and livelihood of their loved ones. In a country where poverty is already prominent, and the lives of people are heavily controlled by SPDC, the people seem to want to avoid any act to further aggravate the situation for the sake of their survival as well as their loved ones. Such fear has been systematically driven into the mindsets of burmese people by the junta over the years. We all know that mindsets cannot be changed overnight. Neither can fear be erased overnight. However, we need to change all this in our people in order for change to come from within Burma.
In the meantime, we also need to take into account of how much influence international community is having over SPDC. The following facts that SPDC was able to
1. reject Mr. Gambari's proposal to address the leaders at Asean Summit,
2. act nonchalant towards international sanctions and UN condemnation on its actions,
3. continue its crackdown on students, monks and political members by arresting them amidst international pressure to call for political dialogue and to respect international human rights
do not really give much hope for us on the role of international community to "influence change in a peaceful way without bloodshed".
Looking forward to 2008, in my humble opinion, we seriously need to plan for the following:
1. How do we encourage our burmese people so that "change will come from within Burma"?
* In my honest opinion, though proposals and analysis on future of Burma serve their purposes in some ways, those definitely cannot be used to reach out to ordinary citizens who cannot fully comprehend the intricacies of political analysis.
* Though different forms of campaigns create awareness within the targeted community, those also seem insufficient.
* Hence, especially the prominent groups of democratic movement, such as NLD, NCGUB, etc should seriously come together to plan on how to reach out to every Burmese person.
2. How do we garner support from international community so that they can "influence change in a peaceful way without bloodshed"?
* The governements of certain countries are reluctant to influence change on Burma as they do not wish to jeopardize their own economic gains.
* However, I feel that every government cannot survive without the support of its people.
* Hence, we can consider driving towards the global movement by "people-for-the-people" kind.
Lastly, I would like to say that a lot of sacrifices have been made and it seems inevitable that more has to come before Burma can be liberated. However, how much more? The answer is within our hands. No matter what, we cannot fail again. Our enthusiasm must not wane regardless of how much struggle we may have to face. So my wish for year 2008 will be to see Free Burma without much bloodshed.
(Burmese Bloggers w/o Borders)