By Kanbawza Win
As student of political science, we were taught and believed in Marx and Lenin’s theory that “Imperialism, is the highest stage of Capitalism” and as such must be eradicated from the face of the earth. But now it seems, to be the opposite when Communist Russia, not satisfied with annexing Crimea in 2014, is threatening to invade an independent Ukraine under the pretext of national security and is now facing the Free World with a prospect of a Third World War. What more, Communist Russia led by Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has encouraged the authoritarian regimes of the world including the Burmese Junta, to hold on to power against the wishes of the people by- arming the Burmese military regime to the teeth and encouraging the Burmese army known by its hated acronym Tatmadaw to kill its own people, if need be, to hold on to power. In this aspect the Burmese army had carbon copied from their Chinese counterpart particularly from the dictum of Mao Zedong that, “power comes out of the barrels of the gun.”
As an obedient pupil of the Chinese Communist, General Min Aung Hlaing, the self-appointed liar is happily implementing its task, under the pretext of saving the country, from the clutches of anarchy when he himself is just implementing anarchy since he was in the rank of major in the army. However, the Russian Communist, which has armed the Tatmadaw to the teeth, is so prevalent among the Burmese military personals, that the Burmese pilots in communicating with each other, used the Russian language so that the enemy will not understand their conversation, in their course of indiscriminate bombing of the ethno-democratic forces. Cunningly, Min Aung Hlaing was able to organize, well known cronies Buddhist monks to go with him to Russia, as a show of evangelizing the communist to hoodwink the majority Burmese Buddhist people at home that communist Russia is susceptible to Burmese Buddhism evangelism and is a genuine friend of the people of Buma.
In this aspect the Russian communists outwitted their Chinese counterpart whose economic imperialism under the guise of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) or One Belt One Road, OBOR (Chinese: 一带一路) a global infrastructure development strategy adopted by the Chinese government in 2013 to invest in nearly 70 countries and international organizations. Considered as a centerpiece of the Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s foreign policy initiative, that calls for China to assume a greater leadership role in the global affairs in accordance with its rising power and status. This initiative is a bid to enhance regional connectivity and embrace a brighter future with the target date of 2049, that will coincide with the centennial of the People’s Republic of China founding under Chairman Mao. In fact the Global Economic Consultants has forecasted that this BRI is likely to boost the world GDP by 7.1 trillion dollars per annum by 2040. In other words, if the Russian military imperialism couple with the Chinese economic imperialism will greatly off balanced the Free World.
But economically Burma has shrunk 18% in the fiscal year ending Sept. 2021, and predicated that political instability coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic will prevent any rapid rebound, with a critically weak economy, the World Bank reported. “Economic activity continues to be affected by substantial weaknesses in both supply and demand. Firms continue to report sharp reductions in sales and profits, cash-flow shortages, and a lack of adequate access to banking and internet services.” It also wrote that the country’s economy is around 30 percent smaller, than it would have been absent the coup and the COVID-19 pandemic. Burma’s economic Great Leap Backward has formed the flipside to the disastrous political situation that has resulted from last February’s coup. Since then, the security forces have killed close to 1,500 people, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, and displaced tens of thousands in their attempt to consolidate the coup and wipe out the growing armed resistance to the military administration. In fact, the economic challenges have ranged across the full spectrum, from the imposition of sanctions by Western countries to the withdrawal of major international investors coupled with a sharp spike in unemployment that collapse in the value of the Burmese Kyat and the impacts of prolonged internet blackouts. Burma’s population living in poverty has doubled compared to pre-COVID-19 levels. “The coup and subsequent abuses committed by the military have fundamentally changed the direction of the economic and business environment in Burma.” Since the coup, the Burmese security forces have killed thousands of people and arrested thousands said the local non-governmental organisation the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a group that monitors verified arrests and deaths in Burma. The military government, as usual “Lying the very concept of truth being their standard motto,” disputed the figures. International companies doing business in the country have come under pressure from rights groups to review their operations to stop payments flowing to a military government and some major companies like Total and Chevron has withdrawn but other blooks suckers have gladly comes in as business always overrules the conscience.
With the combined encouragement of the Russo-Sino Communist imperialism, the Tatmadaw has dismissed the results of the country’s democratic election and seized power on February 1, 2021, peaceful nationwide protests and violent crackdowns by security forces have spiralled into a nationwide humanitarian crisis. Thousands of lives have been changed. Several elderly man and woman were forced to flee bombings. A former peace negotiator leaving his job to fight the Burmese security forces. A woman’s husband shot during a peaceful protest, leaving her alone to care for their two children and the likes and so on. Since the Burmese army dismissed the results of the country’s democratic election and seized power on February 1, 2021, the peaceful nationwide protests and violent crackdowns by security forces have spiralled into a nationwide humanitarian crisis. In the weeks that followed, protests calling for the military to restore democracy and free imprisoned politicians rippled through the country.
For example, in late March, as security forces began using lethal force to crack down on protests, Khine Tha Zin was babysitting when demonstrators came to her home to tell her that her husband had been shot. They took him to two clinics, but both refused to treat him. He died when they reached a hospital. “He suddenly disappeared. Before the coup, I had never imagined that our family life would fall apart like this.” He was one of at least 1,490 people killed by the military since the takeover, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. Over 11,775 have been arrested, according to the group. Since her husband’s death, Khine Tha Zin has started working at a garment factory, earning $3 a day. Unable to afford their old apartment after the loss of her husband’s income, the family has moved into a small room. She worries about being able to provide for her children and their mental health. “My eldest daughter is becoming traumatized,” said Khine Tha Zin. “She often says, ‘My friends have their fathers, but I don’t.’ Such kind of episodes are by thousands as the people make a supreme sacrifice for the restoration of democracy in Burma. The basic question here is the democracy loving countries of the West especially Uncle Sam will continue to look at it with folded arms? We want the world to be a better place to live in and looked on to help us with some materials in our lonely struggle against tyranny and autocracy.
If Uncle Sam cares so much for Ukraine why not Burma? Is it because Burma is Buddhist country or just an insignificant country somewhere in the far-flung area of Southeast Asia that has nothing to do with America? The American policy makers should rethink their geo-political strategy in the absence of SEATO, CENTO and FETO (The defunct Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, the Bagdad Pact and the little known Far East Treaty Organization with Japan and South Korea) to check the slow but determined Sino-Soviet tide of changing the world to Communism where they all believe that religion is the opium of the world.
Strategically also, if the Burmese Junta in their desperation have no choice but to seek the Chinese Communist help and let some of the Chinese Naval vessels to be docked in Western Burma, where the Chinese have already had their base for the middle eastern oil to be pump to Kunming, then the American Naval base the sixth fleet based in Diego Garcia will be greatly threatened. The seventh fleet in Taiwan will be of little help if it comes to show down. In short, the whole of the Free World will be threatened. So, it is high time that the authorities in the US to help the Burmese ethno- democratic forces, who are just fighting with home made guns against the battled harden half a million men marauding Burmese Tatmadaw whose generals are fighting just for themselves and not for the country.