A Challenge To The N Generation Of Burma – OpEd


Now the people of Burma had a glimpse in the nature of the true episode of the 7th July Incident taken place half a century ago. This episode had the capacity of not only wiping out the higher education of that period but also of the two generations of Burmese youths. It is now glaring at the next generation and the authentic proof of it is the educational budget allotment of 1.3 % of the National Budget by the quasi military government. Believe it or not this 7th July Incident has a potential of wiping out another two generations, if not in perpetuity of the higher education of Burma. Hence it is up to the current N Generations to continue to battle the evil forces led by Tatmadaw (Army).

Detaining briefly the students’ activists, commemorating the 7th July Incident clearly indicates the gravity of it of how the powerful Generals are sore afraid of the student’s power, lest the hidden the truth be known and they face the accusation of crime against humanity. But the future of Burma will be in the hands of those upcoming N Generations led by our national leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi of whether they can tackle this military mentality of chauvinism and exploitation and truthfully educate the upcoming youths.

It should be recollected that after the 2nd World War, the 50s and 60s generations construed that the wars and strives were over and that there will be peace and prosperity. They also discovered, that in the economic life, if the father works, he is able to feed the entire family and naturally they used to have more children and so they were label as Baby Boomers, and it was generally accepted internationally.

This also applies also to Burma when the country was just liberated from foreign colonialist and there was democracy (from 1948 to 1962). On the whole the country was united with the ethnic nationalities rallying around the central government to meet the Communist and other destructive forces. But in the international arena dark clouds like, the Cuban missile crisis, the Sino- India War and many other problems arises and naturally the people of the world were not so sure of the good life ahead.

In Burma, the army led by Ne Win has embarked upon its military coup, and has secretly killed most of the ethnic leaders especially the Shan and have arrested the entire government leaders and naturally the people are not so sure of what they will have to do. Around Asia there were many military coups in the newly emerging nations (post colonial new countries of Asia, Africa and Latin American countries) and the Cold War was at its heights. The ongoing War in Korea and Vietnam are in doldrums. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and most of the old students leaders belong to this group and because they are at a loss of how to carve their way, their generation of the world are usually known as X Generations, because they are so confident which way to follow.

Then came the 70s and 80s and the people of the world began to see things more clearly and are able to decipher their way through, to their desire goals and obsessions. In Burma, General Ne Win precariously hung on to power with its Socialist Constitution of 1974, that has taken the country from the rice bowl to the rice hole of Asia, up to the LDC ( Least Developed Country) status. The students led movement like Thakin Ko Daw Hmaing’s anniversary, U Thant’s funeral incident were successfully crushed with much bloodshed, but not in spirit. The Simalaike Dockyard and Okkyin factories workers uprising were vanquished killing scores of people. But most importantly is that he was able to snuff out the lives of those patriotic Young Turks of the army who really loved the country by taking an example nary measure in Bo Ohn Kyaw Myint and his comrades.

However, the people of Burma together with the people of the world clearly visualize their goal and what are the obstacles and the difficulties and the challenges to be met. However, most importantly they began to see who are the ones that were pulling the strings and the system that is blocking their goal. But by now the people have some ideas and knowledge and of how to achieve their goals. Hence they were usually labels as Y Generations, because they have graduated from X level.
The 8888 generation of Burma belongs to this group and they now have become middle age persons. They have experience

and knowledge and is able to envision their way, while at the same time they still have some energy left to lead. They knew that they will have to cooperate, coordinate and correlate with both the younger and the older generations, the prime example of this category is not only the leaders of the 8888 generation today but also Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and those in Diaspora.
A great many of the Burmese in Diaspora who suffer nostalgia, are professionals, well established in their countries which they chose to reside. These are the people much needed by the motherland but blocked by the quasi military administration less they would come back and take their place.

These Burmese intelligentsia both inside and outside the country knows the gross injustice done to the people of Burma especially to the ethnic nationalities and hated the ruling military class, who are also producing their own offspring in their military academies to take their place.

The only advantage the Generals have over the free thinkers of the world is that they were able to lure their offspring by saying that only with the existence of this partial military administration will they be able to maintain their supremacy and their ill gotten wealth and if there is real democracy led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi they will be no place for them in the sun.

Unwittingly, their offspring have been brain washed as can be seen in their Face books, Twitters and so on, and one of the barometers is that they could not comprehend the difference the word Burma and Myanmar and blindly adhere to the word Myanmar. Of course they cannot match those in Diaspora. Naturally, they could not match with the ethno democratic thinkers exposed to the outside world and learning from international top brains.

The people of Burma especially the leaders knew that in dismantling a very well knit and strong building as the Burmese military administration, they cannot dismantle it all at once. The 50s students starting with Ava Hall episode where the army tanks smashing the hostel gates, was able to take out some bolts from the posts, the 7th July incident of the 60s was able to take out some beams, then U Thant Funeral episode of the 70s where the University students attempted to bury the Secretary General in the University compound rather than the common grave allotted by the Burmese Military has managed to take out some supporting post followed by Thakin Ko Daw Maing’s anniversary where the military administration became shaky.
Then came the 8888 generation where the entire population supported, in other words the people goes up to this shaky mansion and simultaneously jump on it. At once the strong building of the Burmese military administration collapsed. However lack of experience, education, coordination and understanding were the greatest barriers where its leaders could not overcome and the military came back with vengeance.

Now the ultimate battle has arrived and will be fought within a year or two, to be exact in 2015. The student leaders of the baby boomers, X generations, Y generations must nixes well to guide the N generations. The current generation is called N Generations because they are always networking with each other via the satellite phones, computers, I pad, galaxy and so on in this electronic digital world. Via the internet they can tap all the information and general knowledge from every part of the world. They can communicate each other in seconds. But most importantly is they are young and is willing to sacrifice for the country. Hence the future belongs to the N Generations of Burma.

We will have to learn from our mistakes and keep our passion and obsession under control for the sake of the country and people. This is where our weak point lies if we do not remedy the mistakes or wean out the bad apples then it can lead to failure. It is very heartening to hear the news that Daw Suu herself is involved in reliving her security guards who behave aggressively to the newsman even as the profile of the NLD has mushroom since it won 43 parliament seats. The Burmese proverb of “Nga Khone Ma Ta Gaung Ta Hle lone Poke”(ickH;r aumiESifh favSvkHk;ykwf) meaning it is far better to throw that rotten fish away before the whole catch would be rotten. This is very laudable.

In this respects we will always come across the betrayers and imposters from our own flesh and blood. This was so since the 7th July incident when some student leaders went over to the side of the Revolutionary Council and cooperated as Students; Affairs Officer. Such kind of opportunists will always be there as even now some of the former leaders of ABSDF have defected to the quasi military government in exchange for position and a bunch of them can be seen in Myanmar Egress founded by the Nazi ancestors. This is a natural phenomenon but we must be able to wean out such apologists.

It is our bounden duty to educate the younger generation and it is they that will make or break the country. For in the reshaping of Burma, these N Generations has been an audience in the 7th July Incident and its aftermath as most of them were not even born yet. Soon the baby boomers have become history as most of them are septuagenarian and octogenarian and was replaced by the X and the Y generations to struggle on. In other words they have become actors and actress in the Burmese scenes. However, time is not on their side as the N Generations are posing to take over. So what kind of Directors will be for the X and Y Generations? Until and unless we cooperate, coordinate, educate with patience and understanding it will be very hard to make Burma where peace tranquility and equality reins. However it is must, for men may come and men may go but the Union of Burma not dominated by the big major race Myanmar will go on forever.

Kanbawza Win

Kanbawza Win is a political scientist based in Canada

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