By Kanbawza Win
“Soutshetless” is an Anglo-Burmese word meaning shameless, a new adjective, for the younger generation of Burmese, who are spearheading the demonstrating against the military. Their placards are usually written in English for the international consumption.
Knowing full well that “failure to bring about a peaceful outcome in Myanmar could affect the Association’s ability in shaping the region’s future which can pose a long-term existential threat to ASEAN by weakening the organization’s internal unity and decreasing its relevance and centrality in shaping regional affairs and order,” as commented by Yongwook Ryu, it seems to be true, and is the raison d’être ofthe regional organization meeting in Jakarta attended by the soutshetless generalissimos, accompanied by dozens of body guards, lest he will be whisk away by inter-pol for crimes against humanity. Not, being satisfied with killing the Rohingyas, has now turn their guns on the entire people of Burma. Incidentally, up to this day, he has a credit of killing 737 including 50 plus children and women and has already 3,229 persons detained incommunicado.
The primary objective of this meeting is, to make a meaningful step toward a peaceful resolution of the crisis and convince the soutshetless Tatmadaw to cease the use of force, on unarmed protestors, before any form of mediation can take place. Then ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), as before will be considering a proposal to send a humanitarian aid mission to Myanmar — a potential first step in a long-term plan to broker dialogue between the junta and the democratic movement.
For Min Aung Hlaing attendance, means international recognition, which he desperately craves, as some said that ASEAN should not have invited him in the first place and should rather be playing a more constructive role in resolving Myanmar’s crisis, by not providing a podium to the general and instead should invite the newly created National Unity Government recently formed by pro-democracy politicians and ethnic nationalities. But all ASEAN states agreed that they would not address him as Myanmar’s head of state in the summit, as according to Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsud. Thus, the Soutshetless Min Aung Hlaing meekly nodded his head.
United Nations Secretary-General’s special envoy Christine Schraner Burgener, who was refused entry into Burma, because she reports the truth has been visiting the Indonesian capital, a few days ahead, in her attempt to meet the Burmese junta leader, to have some discussions with various parties. Paradoxically, this action irked the Junta because the Burmese army’s hidden motto is “lying the very concept of truth.” In other word she was able to let the cat out of the bag.
However, as said earlier in my essay that there are deep divisions within the bloc, the land-based countries of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam who have authoritarian regimes believing in the dictum of Chairman Mao “that power comes out of the barrel of the gun” sympathise with the Junta and adhere to ASEAN’S longstanding policy of “non-interference in the internal affairs of member countries.” The proof is the Thai Prime Minister Prayuth have skip out the meeting justifying, of the rising coronavirus cases. While the more democratic peninsula and island countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore have been prominent in calling for a conflict resolution. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said. “The president, through Secretary Locsin, will convey the Philippines’ commitment to ASEAN’s collective efforts in addressing threats and challenges to peace and stability in the region.” In short, the Philippines’ strong supported an initiative led by Brunei and the ASEAN secretary-general to visit Burma and see things with their own eyes and solved the crisis. Of course, this will take time.
The land-based countries of Southeast Asia influenced by their big patron China has been pressured “to be prevent consensus emerging as they seem to be more concerned with preventing interference in Myanmar’s internal affairs, than in preventing the crisis from becoming worse.” Never mind killing of the people, including women and children, so long as there was no interference from external powers, it is quite okay for them, somewhat like to that of the Constructive Engagement Policy practice by ASEAN in 1988 which was initiated by the late Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore in consultation with Dr. Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia. In the meantime, the people of Burma will continue to be killed and suffer tremendously as even now without the participation of the UN World food Programme, many poor people would stave to death.
Even though the consensus among the ASEAN states was reached and if the Myanmar junta simply refuse to do anything, nothing can be done.
Hence wittingly or unwittingly the current crisis in Burma looks more like a global problem with far reaching consequences, involving superpowers and its followers. In fact, at Jakarta meeting ASEAN has released a five-point statement on the crisis in Myanmar, demanding the “immediate cessation of violence” and calling on all parties in the country to exercise utmost restrain. Indonesian President Joko Widodo, after crisis talking with Min Aung Hlaing and other Southeast Asian leaders said that “Myanmar’s military must restore democracy and stop committing violence against citizens”. At last, the Soutshetless Min Aung Hlaing has become the focus of international outrage over the coup and his subsequent crackdown on dissents leaving several dead and wounded.
Even though the general’s involvement in the Jakarta talks has angered activists, human rights groups and the National Unity Government because tends to exclude the people of Myanmar and include Southshetless Min Aung Hlaing, surprisingly he has meekly accepted a proposal to stop the violence against civilians. Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin describing it as “a success that went beyond expectations”. The meeting held by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations was the first coordinated international effort to ease the crisis in Myanmar. Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said, “Min Aung Hlaing did not oppose having an ASEAN delegation visiting Myanmar, while members on the bloc agreed on a proposal to defuse the conflict”. It includes starting a dialogue, allowing aid into the country, releasing political prisoners, and appointing a special ASEAN envoy to Myanmar. If so, this could this be the beginning of the end for the post-coup crisis?
But one should remember that Burma is under the military boots for only 60 years under various pretext of civilian administration and this serpentine generations of vehemently hated Southshetless Tatmadaw and if we allow them to continue to play its nasty rule, they can easily orchestrate and mechanise to rule for another 40 years to break the record of the War of Roses and set a new mark in the Guinness Book of Records as a century of Military Rule in Myanmar.
According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, Burma’s Covid tally had reached 142,393 cases with 3,206 deaths.
Doctors and nurses were the first civil servants to join the CDM, which has been gaining momentum in the country.