By Bo Kyaw Nyein
Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com)
October 8, 2003:
This is a challenging time for Burma, where the country is at the major crossroad and current events are demanding that everyone become involved in Burmese politics. Sound understanding of the political landscape of Burma politics is required if Burma is to be liberated from tyranny. A carefully thought out strategy is needed for the Burmese opposition (exile) to set the goals, to determine the end game and to choose the appropriate path to reach the common goal of everyone-- Burman, Shan, Kachin, Karen, Kayar, Arakein and all the people of Burma-- to be free from the yoke of this hated and brutal military dictatorship and to build a fair and balanced political system founded upon democracy and rule of law.
Graduating from being the tool of Ne Win to suppress the opposition, the Burmese military was transformed by institutionalizing itself as the sole pillar of power. Although its legitimacy has never been acknowledged by the public, it, nevertheless, established a base and built itself into the ruling class. From being simply oppressor, then to rulers, some have now deluded themselves into actually believing that they are reincarnations of famous rulers of the past, and, like their supposed predecessors, have sole ownership of the nation including its land, resources, people and destiny. During Ne Win's era, the military at least pretended to be looking out for the interest of the country, and tried to hide the corruption. After 40 years of misrule, the mentality of the present generation of Generals is to maximize their opportunity to enrich themselves while in power and to prolong military rule by any means.
While the current world civilization is moving forward towards globalization and democracy, the current military rulers are marching backward, leading the country towards a self-glorified version of history of their own making. Just like the feudal days, there are only two classes of people in Burma: the rulers and the ruled or the oppressors and the oppressed. The regional military commanders are in fact regional governors or warlords with unchecked power to rule over their own region regardless of any cost, human or otherwise. In turn, they submit a certain percentage of their looting to the leaders of the military council. The military leaders divide into personal interest sections and loot the country for their own benefit with singular determination. Khin Nyunt’s interests are in drugs and foreign affairs, Maung Aye took charge of the economy. And the biggest chief, or thief, is Than Shwe who takes a cut from everyone. If you peel off all the formalities and examine the core structure of military establishment,
it is nothing but a gang of thugs—a Burmese mafia.
Lonely at the top
If you look at the strength of the opposition, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is the undisputed leader, loved and respected by the people, and admired by the
world. She has shown courage, vision, determination, and is resolute in her goal and focused on winning the true independence for all Burmese people. She has chosen nonviolent struggle as the means to reach her goal and has led the people bravely by example. Her bravery was acknowledged by world leaders and is respected around the globe. But what many had not seen were the dirty hands of the military intelligence. They had created a culture of mistrust and suspicion among the Burmese people and systematically eliminated able and capable leaders around her by arresting them and refusing to free them even after their sentences were served. Naturally people in the West praise her courage and the people inside the country and the opposition community takes justifiable pride in her leadership. She won the Nobel Peace prize and Burma’s struggle for Freedom receives attention because of her. Because of her accomplishments and the recognition she has received, she has, in effect, become an icon of democracy. But when the military establishment purposely prevented her from building the organization structure to run the successful political movement, she became the ‘Personality’ based movement. She became not only the symbol and the voice; she became the ‘movement’. Only when Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was cornered into the position of singularity, the Military Intelligence people spread word that she had become a demi-god and tried to sow suspicion into the minds of the people.
Before Daw Aung San Su Kyi came into the political scene, Ne Win and its military intelligence arm had systematically eliminated all the political infrastructures and marginalized all the seasoned politicians. In addition, it has successfully suppressed all uprisings and systematically eliminated generation after generation of potential opposition leaders. It is not brilliance, but the use of unlimited power to arrest and torture any suspect as a fascist tool that drove potential opposition leaders to exile or to join the armed struggle of various groups. After the 1988 uprising was crushed brutally by killing thousands indiscriminately, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, still standing tall, defiant to the nth degree and bravely demanding for democracy, became a natural leader for the people. The people, desperately in need of a national leader, follow her leadership and support her wholeheartedly. While the world and all of us are busy building up the image and symbol of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi we failed to notice the concurrent activities of the Burmese military intelligence to systematically undermine both Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy.
While the military left Daw Aung San Suu Kyi untouched because of her international stature many able and seasoned leaders were arrested. U Win
Tin, U Htwe Myint, U Win Htein, and Min Ko Naing, to name a few. They also
drove away able student leaders, including those who had been at the forefront of the 1988 National Uprising, together with Min Ko Naing. Basically the regime isolated Daw Aung San Suu Kyi from the core group of potential leaders who could have provided invaluable advice and assistance to her and her party. In addition, being infiltrated by the military intelligence at every level of the society, Burmese people in general are very suspicious of each other.
With the best in prison and the die-hard driven into exile, surrounded by infiltrators, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has no choice but to rely on those few remaining she knows and trusts, rather than the large reservoir of talent now in prison or in exile. Gradually she is left with the ones that military has purposely left for her to choose. Her hands are tied.
Supporters without Hope
While the military intelligence implemented their wicked acts to isolate Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi, the military thugs also systematically suppressed her supporters. It is unthinkable in the western way of life, but in Fascist military controlled Burma, the whole family is punished if one of the family members is considered to be Daw Su supporter or an undesirable element of the society. Late night knocks on the door, torture, intimidation, arbitrary arrests are every day happening to suppress the innocent people and drive them away from Daw Su. Even under these difficult conditions, people are brave enough to come and greet Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and show their support whenever she visits the townships and divisions.
Segmented Citizen-Exile activists
This segment is the ‘Missing Link’ in the whole equation. This segment has the freedom to maneuver and yet, the most lethargic in
progress. This segment is comprised of disparate factions acting in separate
directions with separate interests. Some even joke that if there are two Burmese, there are three factions. It is an embarrassment. Many have been soul searching to answer a single question: Why?
In my opinion, the following are the root causes of division in the Burmese exile-citizen-activists in the Burmese opposition community:
(1) Personality based politics
(2) Suspicious mind set implanted by the military intelligence
(3) Lack of experience in political activities
(4) Lack of understanding of policy making
(5) Lack of Common Activity
(6) Lack of Vision on End Game
For reasons that escape explanation, Burmese politics has extreme bias on
personalities. It may be because Burma never had a chance to develop its civil society strongly, or suffering from repressed oppression, many of our political decisions and choices are based on personality rather than on political conviction or policy. In most nations of the west, where civil society is fully developed, there are some personality skirmishes, but many political players come together to fight for their political conviction or policies. They fight for their ideas. But in the sense of fairness, the west also has a friendly environment and political vehicles to express and exchange their views freely. Many Burmese grew up under very different and dangerous circumstances and maybe this is the price we all are paying tolerating decades of abuse by the military fascists. The worst effect of military rule has been the atomization of society. After being betrayed by several close associates, we become very suspicious of each other. Just a simple accusation of being an informant for the regime will bring a
storm of mistrust upon any individual. Thus, trust and confidence within
communities and even within families has been destroyed. Many naïve and
narrow-minded individuals use this accusation for their own interest without
understanding the effects it can have on the movement as a whole. It doesn’t help either, that since 1962 coup, all non-regime supported political activities are
suppressed and punished and many of us have no experience or idea of
working together for a political cause. I guess we carry all this political baggage
with us and still have not overcome our dysfunctional behavior.
When many of us came to the West, we were overjoyed to reach the land of the
free. We all soon realized, however, life under capitalism, usually means that every one is burdened with bills and payments and life is a constant struggle for survival. We still have a heavy heart left for the well being of our people still struggling under the yoke of the military dictatorship and many of us become ‘Heineken Activists”. We go to work, come home, check our emails and surf Burmese websites. We’ll curse the Generals calling them names and we achieve our satisfaction for the day, drink our Heineken and go to sleep.
Some form groups in a vertical setup and many became overly impressed with
titles and any perceived slight in deference resulted in personality conflicts. Many fail to recognize the need to graduate from personality-basedorganizations to policy-based organizations.
When the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) surfaced in the late 1980s, many groups and individuals who were looking for
leadership from NCGUB got lost in the political wilderness when NCGUB failed
to provide leadership. Some found satisfaction in demonstrations and some
even became good at it and unknowingly became professional demonstrators.
Circling in Local Loops
Very sadly, because we are so entangled in personality conflicts, self-importance and narrow-minded views, many have lost perspective and failed to see the big picture. We are circling in local loops, and are not following a path to our goal, which is to free Burma from military dictatorship.
Some of the enlightened and educated activists learned the process of the
West and adapted quickly. Some became good at searching for opportunities,
writing proposals for projects and running the projects in the name of Burma. Many got integrated into this process- oriented community and some got lost.
NCGUB: Bureaucratic or Political Entity?
NCGUB on its part need to re-examine its role and function. At present NCGUB
is acting as a Bureaucratic entity. It should be a political entity. We all should come together and remind NCGUB that the objective of politics is to unite the people and to gain strength and to lead them to victory with a clear vision and supporting policies. Some feel that the direction of NCGUB has been hijacked towards the project-based politics and it is now time to move back to regime change. Many feel that enough energy has been wasted on bureaucratic meetings and producing documents for ‘BURMA after SPDC’ period. Instead, NCGUB should concentrate on how to remove the military dictatorship.
Raw Thinking versus Critical Thinking
When the community is divisive, segmented and out of focus, it is much easier to be caught in the enemy’s trap. In the advanced society with established institutions the society thrive on intellectual thinking, and their elites meet the society challenges by finding solutions via articles, professional papers and think tanks. And naturally many of our best and brightest imitate these academics in trying to find solutions for Burma’s problems.
On the other hand, Burmese military thinking is based on “raw thinking”. It’s thinking is based very simply on FORCE, SUPPRESSION & SURVIVAL bolstered by age-old superstitions and mystical rituals.
Falling into the TRAP?
Just because their thinking is raw, we should not underestimate their effectiveness. They are experts on human psychology and human behavior, not
learning from textbooks but through practical experiences. Unless one is a
torturer or a victim of this dehumanizing experience, one would not believe how we humans react under difficult conditions such as torture and imprisonment. The Burmese Military also know very well how power can be seductive and just by offering a small hope for power and position, how they can manipulate or divide the opposition. This tried-and-true trick has rarely failed them.
Now, they are at it again. First, the SPDC gave a ray of hope for reconciliation, with talk about transition. They talked about cooling period and building confidence. Daw Su, being the daughter of a politician, knew exactly what SPDC was planning and approached the situation with caution and care. Last year, in the thick of this reconciliation fever, the big honcho of NCGUB and his advisor came to the border area and dismantled all political defiance trainings and UG activities being built by the prominent student leader who had fought hand in hand with Min Ko Naing during 88 Uprising. The reason: To remove any misunderstanding by SPDC and for the talks to proceed successfully.
Palestinians do not destroy Hamas and other political structures even under severe pressure from US and Israel because they know this is their “force”.
They may reduce the use of this force but they know they need the “force”. It would be wise for the Burmese opposition leaders to take lessons from other groups who are struggling for their freedom.
Everyone make mistakes and it is easy to fall into the traps of these military foxes. During the chaotic times after the 1988 uprising, one of the sons of a former prominent leader received a large sum of money because of his father’s name. Military intelligence approached this individual and sold him a fabricated story about disgruntled regional military commanders planning to stage a coup against SLORC. But they needed cash to feed these renegade soldiers. The story was bought against the advice of many experienced politicians and long-time “Burma Watchers” and the money was handed over to these “soldiers” who were MIS officers in disguise. If the money had been spent wisely in support of All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF), and the students, today political landscape might be very different.
There is HOPE
Even in the midst of this unfavorable and difficult situation, some determined groups of young activists successfully promoted sanctions and searched for ways to promote the strengthening of grass-root efforts. Many next generation young leaders are emerging, especially the Western trained lawyers and professionals who forgo monetary success and dedicate their lives for the struggle and freedom of Burma. It is a great pleasure to witness the birth of this new generation of leaders, especially the young ethnic nationals. Lately there are groups of like-minded people coming together to find an alternative solution for the country and to form a UNITY. Organizing a march or a unity meetings (Ft Wayne) are always a positive efforts if we can learn from each other and establish trust and understanding among different groups and individuals.
Thinking Out of the Box
It is obvious if we meet again, along the old model of giving fiery speeches, jockeying for positions and titles and to backstab the potential rivals, we will fail again. We have had these meeting several hundred of times before and we fail miserably because we walk the same old road without recognizing our failures. We must now challenge ourselves and think outside of the box.
WORKING GROUP MODEL: NO LEADERS, NO CHIEFS, and ONLY INDIANS.
Please allow me to share the real life model that works. I used to work for an 800 lbs gorilla high-tech company in Silicon Valley. In the high-tech environment, it is in an industry interest to have a standard that can be used uniformly across the industry. So there are forums where all the companies come together to create standards. All the best brains and minds come to meet and compete in this forum for best ideas and standards to be adopted by the industry. How do we create these standards? We create working groups and sub-groups with specific responsibilities and milestones to meet within acceptable time frame. The best engineers and managers represent the respective companies and their corporate interests. Yet, these companies’ self-interests are subordinated to the overall interests of the industry. Likewise, members from various entities and organizations within our Burmese citizen-exile community do not need to lose their identities, yet we can form separate working groups for specific issues.
We need to seriously examine the issues that are most urgently needed for
the opposition and we can all pool our resources and form these ‘work groups’. In this way, everyone is a member without titles and the role is only to deliver the required resolution and result for the much-needed issues.
10,000 commit campaign.
For example, the most immediate requirement for any opposition movement is
funding. We can start by organizing a “10,000 commit campaign”. Every Burmese living in the West can easily commit $10 a month for the freedom of Burma. That is only $120 a year. If we can collect this amount, say within 3 months to 6 months, we will have the capacity to support our activists in the
border area with $100,000 a month.
A “10,000 Commit Campaign” will bring the following benefits:
(1) The activists in the border area who are fighting without much support will be rejuvenated and we will be showering them with hope and support.
(2) People inside Burma will see the first ray of hope that exile-citizen-activists can deliver and will come to trust our movement. This will excite them and will
become a very potent incentive to join the fight with us. This fact is critical.
(3) Donor community and NGO community will at least see some results and will
learn to believe in us. And after building our credibility, we can find more effective ways to seek effective assistance from them.
(4) Lack of common activity is what preventing us from coming to know each other more and building trust among our activists.
(5) This grass-root activism will encourage others to join and once we receive traction and build our momentum, this movement will become unstoppable.
This is just a start. We do not need any grand ideas and grand rules to make
it happen. Every existing group member or individuals can commit to contribute $10 dollars for the country. We can adopt 90/10 rules or 80/20 rules where 90% or 80% goes to the border area to support the opposition activities. 10% or 20% will be use for local groups administration costs.
If we can reach this stage, we can create ‘Finance Working Group’ that will decide which issue will receive what amount of support. Several issues
may be REFUGEES, ABSDF, UG activities, so on and so forth. Or we can create
separate funds for separate issues. But we must set aside enough funds to
create non-violent Under Ground activities within the country.
Beyond this monthly commitment scheme there are other ways and means to seek funds. These several mechanism and strategies to implement them can be
discussed in details in the Operation discussion. From these funds we must build and run businesses that will permit the movement a regular revenue stream. In
addition, it will offer the new generation much-needed experience in running
businesses and complex organizations. This will prepare the new generation
for the post- military era.
Using a portion of these funds as seed money, we must build our own small groups to coordinate and help the internally displaced citizens and refugees, rape victims, or any form of victims from the military dictatorship. Basically we must create our own Burmese led organization to assist and coordinate with the NGOs working and helping in the border area.
But the main focus must be to rebuild and strengthen our non-violent political activities within Burma.
Why the self-reliance funding is so critical?
We all know how restricted our Burmese life is within the boundaries of Burma. And we all know how intrusive the government can be. It can arrest without question anyone at anytime. We activists know that there can be a knock on the door because a comrade had been arrested and yet, the activist cannot run, and cannot hide, because we have no support system or funds to help them evade arrest. What a waste for a brave soul! We must build a support system to help, move and train these fighters who will become invaluable UG activists. We cannot be accountable for these activities, where secrecy is a necessity and only we Burmese can fund these kinds of activities. If these people are neglected, the only alternative for them is suffering in the SPDC torturechambers. We are the lucky ones who have escaped these hardship conditions. We must not forget these brave patriots who are still fighting these murderers with any mean they have. They fully deserve our support.
Every one is the organizer.
We must take the example of how grass-root organizations operate in the Western world. Base on these successful examples we can work hard to organize the fellow Burmese who are quiet in their support for the freedom of their country. Some may feel hopeless because of the inability of the opposition community to deliver results. Some may be genuinely caught up in their every day struggle and some may want to contribute but no one bothers to ask for contribution. We now have a structure for organized fund-raising. We can now demonstrate where the funds are channeled. Moreover, if we can show better results, we can build the credibility necessary to grow the grass-root support and enlarge the movement as well. Now, everyone has a role to play and everyone can feel the contribution and feel proud of being an activist. Consider those who are already involved in the opposition as a core. If every individual acts as an organizer if each and every one can bring in two or more people into the movement, we would double in size. If the new comers then recruit another two or more our movement will grow even stronger. It is not a necessity that each and everyone must be active member. Even if their professional lives do not allow them to be active, any or many Burmese can contribute at a minimum of $10 a month.
I hope this activism will give an opportunity for all us to meet and work together and lead to more understanding and hopefully we can build relationship base on trust and mutual respect.
We need more full time activists.
With a successful, fund-raising campaign, we could then hire our own people
to run our local offices and significantly increase our activities. That is how the western grass-root campaigns grow and function. They sell the ideas, and as more people come to support them, the campaign grows in strength and , making success more likely. Anti-war movements, environment groups, animal rights movements, labor movements all grew the same way.
Other Working Groups
Some important issues like lobbying, China or ASEAN relationship, require intellectual thinking, time, knowledge and strategy. We need thinkers and knowledgeable activists to form these groups and create a unified position to counter SPDC charm offensives and diplomacy. We may lack the pure negotiating position like SPDC, but if we pool our brains together we can come up with a realistic strategy and be able to present our position through a unified position paper and one voice.
If our movement grows and if we can galvanize support inside and outside Burma, there are many other issues we need to tackle. We must methodically
think through and prioritize them.
THINKING THE UNTHINKABLE
Many, in a Burmese fashion, do not even like to open the discussion for “what if?” scenarios. At this current situation, our Burmese opposition movement is dependent upon one single icon, our leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. But she is not immortal. And we should be clear that the SPDC Generals’ strategy is to outlive Daw Su. They have identified the next line up of new generation Generals, and they are systematically grooming them. The opposition has none. If Daw Su left the political scene at this stage, Burma’s prospects for democratic change would be irreparably damaged. No movement can continue with no new generation leaders in the background. We just cannot rely on Karma alone.
We need NEXT GENERATION LEADERS
It is clear that we have a great hole in leadership lineup. Inside Burma, it is understandable because SPDC does not allow any political activities. Outside Burma, we have no excuse. The reason for this major weakness is because the opposition is so fractured, segmented and divisive, and we waste more time and resources on unproductive issues rather than thinking forward and planning ahead.
This activism for forming unity and movement, uniting with forces in the border area and finally building UG movement inside Burma will open an opportunity to groom our next generation leaders.
It is a positive sign that many are now openly discussing about the need for UNITY. But we must be brutally honest with ourselves, especially when addressing the issues of actions taken to forge unity in our movement. In truth, I think we still have a long way to go, but we are progressing and moving in the right direction. Ethnic National issue is Very complex and sensitive, and there are signs that there are genuine attempts by many to truly understand and master this issue. We all talk about unity and “one big tent” and accepting everyone, but in reality and in practice how much do we accept our ethic national leaders as our overall National leaders? Is this because of a lack of trust or because of
discrimination? It is an ugly question but we need to ask it. Whatever the answer maybe, we must face this issue head on and tackle it. In my sincere
view, we must accept any leader who has vision, courage, skills, and honesty
Please let me share my recent experience on this issue. I had a chance to discuss with a young and upcoming Karen leader on strategies and
applications. She learned her basic education in the jungle and obtained her
law degree in the States, interned at a prestigious college in UK. Yet she
forgoes the monetary rewards and is fighting for the cause. After deep and
long debate I see her not as a young Karen lady but as our up and coming new
generation leaders who can contribute and lead the movement. I am also deeply concerned deeply as to if she will be allowed to contribute to the fullest of her ability. We must overcome these barriers of the old mind set. It is much easier to say than to practice. Even with all the guilt and political correctness, Americans have yet to elect a President that is not white and male.
Mass demonstration is a Non-Violence act
There may be some distracters who will mistakenly condemn mass demonstrations and national uprisings as violent acts. These are the tools used successfully in countries like India, South Africa, Poland, Serbia, and The Philippines and strategic nonviolent struggle is currently being waged in Venezuela and Zimbabwe. Mass demonstrations are a reflection of people power mobilized for political change. It is one the effective tools of political defiance. Nonviolent protests, acts of non-cooperation and intervention can only become violent if the regime initiates violence against peaceful protestors. When a regime initiates violence against trained and disciplined activists, invariably the political and economic costs far exceed any momentary victory. This explains why the military dictatorship in Burma lives in fear of another nonviolent mass movement against it. It has never recovered from using violence and terror
against the people in 1988. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, by advocating nonviolent
means to liberate Burma, has become symbol of that threat. Both she and the
generals know nonviolent struggle can be a force more powerful than the Burma
In our Burmese culture we are brought up to be polite and are sensitive even
to project an expression that can be interpreted as negative. We all know what “AH-NAR-DAI means. The truth is sometimes very hurtful but it is also necessary to accept the reality because if we fail to face the truth we all will be walking in the political wilderness for a long time. We have wasted enough energies, resources, lives and we are not even near our goal of removing the military dictatorship.
It is important to realize that we had made mistakes. Let’s accept our mistakes and make an effort never to repeat again and most critical issue is to focus all our efforts on the single target: To end military dictatorship.
Without ending this military dictatorship, no one dreams or desires or ambition will comes true. The country and the people will be perpetual slaves of the military fascists. If we have any different conviction, ideologies, beliefs or even personal conflicts to settle, let’s settle if when we have reach our goal and our country is free and fair, and the rule of law is respected.
Everyone has a Role to play
During the 40 years of struggle against these military fascists, we all have learned a lot and some of us have become good at things we do. Be it proposal writing, fund-raising, grass-root support, lobbying, diplomacy, demonstration, op-ed writing, media etc, etc. We cannot deliver our goal because we are shooting the same target form different direction with separate efforts. If we can set aside all our differences and concentrate to form a single united force and shoot at the same time why can’t we remove these military thugs?
Everyone has a role to play. Everyone drive, effort and contribution is required to remove these hated military dictatorship system. No one contribution is less than anyone. Otherwise, we all will become losers, especially the people who are suffering every hour of the day.
Suggestion to ALL
I would like to make the following suggestion for all to consider:
(1) Let us all try to set aside our differences: Political convictions, ideologies, personal conflicts
(2) Let us refocus our attention to remove the common enemy, the military fascists
(3) Let us reassess our experiences and expertise, and find ways to pool Our common resources
(4) Let us train and groom our next generation leaders
(5) Let us grow our movement on inclusiveness and avoid building exclusive elite separate groups.
(6) Let us make our honest commitment to try to build unity among us, and set
Laser focus on a single target: Military Fascists
(7) Let us make our best effort attempt to forgive and understand each
other in these critical time
Challenge To All
We cannot wait any longer to build this “Force More Powerful” to be employed
under the leadership of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. We know what needs to be done. We do not need detailed instructions from her. We need to mobilize our
resources to assist the new generation inside Burma to mobilize the masses. It is not a question about whether it can be done. We can do it and it must be done!
It has been 40 years since the army came into power and 15 years since the
second coup of the military. There is no longer any justification for “patience and tolerance”. General Aung San, when preparing for negotiations with the British for Independence, instructed his people to prepare the nation for a general strike. The British Governor assessed these preparations, then notified the Foreign Office that General Aung San had mobilized the people for the strike and that they were ready to respond. General Aung San went to the negotiations heavily armed with nonviolent power.
Also on his way for negotiations with British Prime Minster Atlee, General Aung San stopped over in India and sought a commitment from Nehru not to let the British use the Indians troops stationed in Burma for suppression if the talks failed. We must take lessons from our own history where the people led by able leaders stood up to the challenge of their time with passion, nationalism, and wisdom. We must not forget that General Aung San search for unity, built up forces based on grass-root support and had a well thought-out alternative plan if the talks had failed.
This is our time and this is country. If we fail to fight for own country, who will? If we fail to meet the challenges of our time, who will?
Every nation acts only for their interest. There is not a single justifiable interest for the Western nations to come and save Burma. So are our neighbors. Burma is our country. We will have to fight for our country. We, and we alone will have to save our country. Burma has a proud history. We all should be proud of our country. If we fail to do so, history will not be kind to us. Daw Su alone cannot save Burma. We as a people will have to do our own heavy lifting. Let’s not leave this ugly baggage to our next generation of Burmese.
At these difficult times, I remember my old comrade, U Tin Maung Win. He was
a true patriot, true politician. He will sell his shirt off his back to feed a comrade. I remember him saying we will fight until the military is replaced, and if there is still a breath, there is hope. We all have to believe in ourselves. Military men are no better than us. My old friend is gone, but his A-Naing-Ma-khan, A-Shone-Ma-Pay “saik duk” is still alive. His will to defeat this military dictatorship is still alive. I salute you, sir.
When I was in Ft Wayne, I saw how the ex-ABSDF fighters take pride in the
101 & 102 and special operations. Many of these brave fighters did not make
it out of the jungle. They gave their lives for the freedom of Burma. We cannot forget them. So is with our Ethnic brothers and sisters. Much blood had been shed and many lives had been sacrificed for the freedom of our country. We must fight until we reach our goal.
Throughout human history, organized minorities have ruled over disorganized
majorities. In Burma, the military has 400,000 troops. We, the people, number over 40 million. If we can organize just 10% of the population, we will have a 4 million strong force. Ten times the size of the military. We can do it. We can beat them. We must have the will to win. We must have the desire to win. I will like to borrow the American ‘can do attitude’. We can do it. We must organize and fight, and we must win.
Long Live Burma!!!!!!!!!!