Burma: Why Advocacy? – OpEd


It came to no surprise and is well expected that ICG, (international Crisis Group) came up on the side of the Burmese military bullies against the entire people of Burma and the international community as it had always done, since the Burmese Junta assumed power in 1988. But I would humbly like to point out some of the fallacies.

(1) The conclusions of the ICG seems to recognize that the current Burmese regime’s “Dubious Constitution” and its’ “Sham Elections” to be legally binding and that the people of Burma and the international community should recognized the done deal, implementing Machiavelli’s theory of “the end justifies the means.”

(2) It seems to recognize the theory that dictators can change the name of the country and the national flag without the consent of the people and the country because ICG continue to use the word Myanmar and not Burma? The word Myanmar is phonetically wrong. It comes from the word Mrama a South Indian word because the Burman believe that they originated from India as the Burmese saying goes in Burmese as Myan Ma Ah Sa Ta Kaung Ka (jrefr,tpwaumif;u). Hence it should be spell MYANMA without the R as the en MA is pronounced softly in the English word of MOTHER. Besides in the contemporary history of Burma during the independence struggle against the British, Bogyoke Aung San, founder of modern Burma stated with Doh Burma A Se Ayone (‘dk hArmtpnf;t&kH;) and not Doh Myanmar A Se A Yone (‘dk hjrefrm tpnf;t&kH) . It must be remembered that founded on 1947 Pangong Concordat where most of the ethnic leaders and people willingly decided to join the Union of Burma of its free will and hence the word MYANMAR is politically wrong. So the name MYANMAR is both phonetically and politically wrong.

(3) As announced that the current regime have repudiated the Panglong Agreement which explicitly means that it does not recognize the Union of Burma and make it appear that Myanmar was a monolithic whole since time immemorial save the British interlude and that the ethnic nationalities were a rebellious bent on Balkanization hindering the creation of a nation state. The ICG seems to believe this hypothesis and hence unwittingly encouraging the ethnic cleansing policy imposed by the Myanmar over the Non Myanmar.

(4) Yes! Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Ambassador Derek Mitchell, Secretary of State for Southeast Asia and Pacific Affairs, Kurt Campbell have all admitted that there is a possibility of change, but so far there not a single concrete step has been taken in terms of the release of more than 2000 political prisoners placed in inhuman conditions. Most importantly there is no cessations of offensives to the resistance ethnic nationalities, not to mention restoration of basic civil liberties or lifting the media censorship.

(5) ICG statement reads “The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) seems convinced that Myanmar is heading in the right direction and may soon confer upon it the leadership of the organization for 2014”. One cannot comprehend this statement when the Indonesia Foreign Minister and the group’s chairperson Marty M Natalegawa is still yet to go to Burma for a fact finding mission before putting up to the ASEAN Board for decision. We do hope that ICG is not keen on putting US in an awkward position knowing full well that Burma by then will have the play the role of the coordinator between America and ASEAN?

(6) Even though ICG is a non profit, non partisan and prestigious organization depending on the dole out of the corporate, one will not dare not to make any wild accusations it, but our interest is very much aroused when its made its assertions in flowery Burmese, when writing so much about Africa or Arabs none of them are in their native tongues? In view of the fact that Burma has a surplus petro dollars via the oil companies we pray that you are not trying to wean out the Burmese pro democracy forces from the ethnic nationality brethren.

Perhaps ICG should not construe Burma to be Brussels’ Noire Chocolat (sans sucre et lait), a black chocolate for diabetics, as it is not like by the majority of the people.

Kanbawza Win

Kanbawza Win is a political scientist based in Canada

One thought on “Burma: Why Advocacy? – OpEd

  • September 26, 2011 at 4:57 am

    It’s hypocritical to heap blame on the International Crisis Group.

    The criticism clearly reveals the desperation of professional Burmese activists, many half-educated, that the gravy trail is about to run dry following the fast-changing events in Myanmar/Burma.

    The world is getting tired of the propaganda and half-truths peddled by the exiles for more than two decades. Never in the history of Burma has so few betrayed so many for a handful of dollars.

    But why shoot the messenger? Why not attack the democracy goddess, Aung San Suu Kyi, who is ready to *work well with President Thein Sein as he seems committed to reform*.

    *I am sufficiently confident that I will be able to work together with him. I think the way is open for positive change,* she said.

    Like it or not, Suu Kyi is quietly moving away from the extremist National League for Democracy (NLD). Evidently, once-idealist Suu Kyi is now more pragmatic. A wise move and it’s about time.

    During Suu Kyi’s 13 August one-day visit to the nearby city of Bago, her first political trip outside Yangon since being released from house arrest, *the government offered to provide security for the trip, and she accepted. On the day, the police acted in a professional and non-intrusive manner.*

    The ICG report noted that *Aung San Suu Kyi avoided any confrontational language in her speeches, which were viewed by the government as constructive. The focus was mainly on her as a national figure rather than as a leader of a political party; banners and placards referred to her rather than the National League for Democracy, and its logos were absent . . .*

    How hypocritical of the exiles to keep pointing the finger at the new generation of the military’s officer corps, while giving a pass to former army officers and extreme leftists who now dominate the NLD.

    Let’s set aside Suu for a moment, and what have we got? Nothing but a cabal of racist former communists and rogue ultranationalist army officers who dragged the once-democratic and prosperous nation to the bullock-cart age.

    The NLD leadership lack democratic credentials. Party chairman ex-Brigadier Aung Shwe was a colonel and made ambassador to spread propaganda for the Revolutionary Council (RC) that overthrew the elected government of U Nu in March 1962.

    The deputy chairman of NLD, who died in 2005, was Colonel Kyi Maung, another member of the RC.
    Tin Oo, second deputy chairman of NLD, has much blood on his hands. The non-commissioned colonel-made-general was former dictator General Ne Win’s despicable gunman/enforcer.

    The radical left-leaning *Butcher* Tin Oo was defence minister and commander-in-chief when troops killed scores of unarmed civilians, including school children, during anti-government demonstrations over growing economic and financial hardship in 1974.

    Under his command, the army became the *backbone of the Burmese Way to Tyranny, er Socialism.*

    Lest we forget: Burma did have *genuine democracy* once, from 1948-1962. The (gullible) world is today supporting the same tyrants — now in the NLD leadership — who destroyed our hopes and freedom. Where’s the justice?

    The *dream merchants* in exile should find real jobs and stop ripping off well-intentioned groups and individuals in the West by selling lies.

    There’s no such thing as instant democracy. It took Western Europe 200 years to build democracy, not counting the two world wars. Dream on.


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