Friday 26th Oct 2007 21:25 (Myanmar time)
Translated by BBWOB (with the help of MMM, TL)
[Original post in Burmese]
Last month, the courageous Burmese people protested against the hike in petrol prices as they could no longer endure the poverty under the repressive military regime (SPDC). The peaceful protests led by the monks commenced from a small town called Pa-khok-ku. However, the military regime that believes in holding onto power through the means of violence, beat up, arrested, killed the monks and people and also raided monasteries.
During this September movement, due to the advancement of internet technology, the military regime could no longer hide their atrocities from the international community like what they did during the 1988 demonstrations in Burma. Pictures of soldiers shooting into the crowds and a dead body of a monk in the stream were featured widely in all the international media almost instantly.
As a result, the international community became aware of the atrocities that the military regime had committed against the peaceful demonstrators and they lent their voices urging their governments to do something to help the Burmese people. As a result, UN had to step in and send Mr. Gambari to Burma as a UN representative for discussions with the military junta. Though the military junta was reluctant to meet Mr. Gambari, they eventually had to agree under the pressure from international countries and UN.
Looking back at the past events in Burma, the military junta seized power after 1990 elections instead of giving way to the winning party, National League for Democracy (NLD). They also arrested the national leader, Daw Aung San Su Kyi (DASSK). For the past 18 years, the military regime has been lying their way out to escape from any form of political dialogue. Instead, they have drawn up their own version of one-sided Road Map without much intention of achieving true democracy in Burma. In fact, their discussion with Mr. Gambari was full of pretence from their side. It is their ploy to deceive the international community by offering conditional acceptance/ offer without any sincere intention for true political dialogue.
Honestly speaking, I was one of those people who felt rather frustrated at DASSK’s non-confrontational policy. In my opinion, DASSK has never encouraged any form of confrontation to work towards democracy for Burma. Therefore, by demanding her not to carry out any form of confrontational role, the military junta is purposely trying to drive her to a corner. Likewise, economic sanctions by other foreign countries come about purely because they cannot tolerate the atrocities that the military junta has committed on the people of Burma. Hece, the junta should not claim unfairly that DASSK is the driving force behind such economic sanctions.
It is rather clear that all these groundless demands were made by the junta with the sole objective of depriving DASSK from any role in Burma’s political future.
It is also a political trap by the junta to leave DASSK and NLD that have been asking for a political dialogue for the past 18 years, with little choice. If they do not agree to the demands from the junta (regardless of how groundless those demands may be), some people will accuse them of letting go of the chance to end the sacrifices made in the struggle for the freedom of Burma. If they agree to the demands in order not to have more lives being lost, they will be deemed as weaklings. It is a big dilemma for them to decide whether to accept or reject. Based on the emotions for the sacrifices made so far, there is no way they can accept such demands from the junta. Therefore, some members from NLD refused to accept the pretentious offer from the junta for reconciliation.
From a professional view, this opportunity should be exploited. A Shan ethnic leader said during an interview that we should accept the demands. But he failed to discuss the most difficult part; that is how we should accept.
It is believed that DASSK and NLD also have a hard time deciding and thus, they have not announced their views officially. Therefore SPDC put pressure through the press. As the time goes by, Gambari, China and India may also add to the pressure.
There is no need to be afraid to play the politics as long as we take caution and think one step ahead. It is a political twist so it should be accepted with reservation and the rest has to be rebuffed.
Acceptance with reservation
I never agreed with head-on confrontation. Economic sanction is not just my demand. It is fair to say that they come about due to SPDC's unfair and oppressive control over its own people.
No matter what, we should accept these unfair demands for the sake of our country. If SPDC agreed not to use force or gun down innocent civilians and monks in the future uprising, we, who uphold non-violent ideology, will accept the demands.
In that way, we are throwing the knot back to SPDC.
There is no way for these power-hungry military generals to accept this statement because they know that they would be considered liable if they do not keep to their promise. If that is the case, we just have to start from the beginning.
In addition, United Nations and Gambari will also have to be more involved in discussion.
Let's discuss under the light
There might not be documented record during the last meeting. There was no improvement after the lunch meeting between DASSK and SPDC leaders. They delayed the process by giving many hopes. This time, the middle person should take good record of NLD's views, meeting agenda and outcomes. Otherwise, SPDC will delay even longer with the excuse of misunderstanding.
Every meeting needs to describe goodwill gesture. It should be demanded that SPDC should lift the control over DASSK and free all NLD leaders including U Win Tin for meaningful discussion.
NCGUB (National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma) has been writing proposals outside of Burma for the past 18 years. Given their long experience in writing analytical proposals, they should also consider writing one that includes the analysis on NLD’s stand, the outcome of the dialogue, expectations for Burma’s political future, current obstacles, matters that need to be reconciled between NLD and SPDC, etc. The prime minister of NCGUB and his general secretary can then publish the paper so that NLD, Burmese and international audiences will become aware of their stand as NCGUB. The suggestions and ideas from all the educated Burmese people who are currently staying all over the world should also be taken into consideration when deciding for the future path for Burma. Afterwards, DASSK and NLD can decide which one will be the best to present to the world as the future path for Burma. By doing so, everything is out in the open and SPDC can no longer trick their way around.
To hold meetings outside Burma at the same time
Actually, SPDC looks like a bully and we need to stop them from having their own way. America should lead the international meeting with SPDC by inviting China, North Korea and all the other countries. If so, international countries can monitor and control SPDC to conduct a real dialogue with NLD. Dr. Htun Kyaw Nyein, Ko Moe Thee Zun and Dr Sein Myint have already presented 8-page proposal for international meeting policy. It can be found at this link - http://www.mizzima.com/MizzimaNews/MizzimaForum/01-July-2007.html.
If we put pressure on SPDC from both inside and outside of Burma, they will be compelled to get involved in true dialogue.
Many lives have been sacrificed for this dialogue. It is not enough by saying that we support DASSK and NLD. It is not a dutiful act. Every body should involve in every step whenever and in whatever way that they can. It is not fair to put all the responsibilities on only DASSK’s shoulder.
When General Aung San was fighting for Independence, he led Pha-Sa-Pa-La very well with the support of Tha-Khin Mya, Tha-Khin Nu, U Kyaw Nyein, U Ba Swe, Tha-Khin Chit, Tha-Khin Than Htun and Ko Ba Hein. Those people were reliable and qualified leaders. Nowadays , we have U Win Tin and U Tin Oo. But they have been arrested together with DASSK. The people inside Burma are waiting for the release of DASSK and many people outside Burma seem to be only urging others to take action. In my opinion, if we love our country and DASSK, we ourselves should take some serious actions.
SPDC will not come to the dialogue on own accord.
In fact, the recent Saffron Revolution has pushed them to start a dialogue.
DASSK and NLD must try to get a real resolution out of SPDC through the dialogue.
The whole world should monitor this dialogue carefully so that SPDC will not have a chance to dilly-dally any further in their commitments to bring about democracy in Burma.
Hence, we need the following three factors as our strategy:
1. People Power [ People Protest / Uprising ]
2. Discussion between DASSK and NLD
3. International Pressure
Therefore, every body has a duty to perform. If SPDC try to deceive everyone again, we should prepare in advance for another uprising to be able to show our people’s power and desire.
May our revolution succeed.
May our people obtain freedom.
Friday 26th Oct 2007 21:25 (Myanmar time)