Unity At All Cost

Bo Kyaw Nyein

There is an intellectual debate going on between Roadmap supporter and those from the opposing view. Reading Kanbawza Win's article of the comparison between a melodious music and the buffalo seems to hit the nail on the head. What I understand is that Prof. Win who has a good experience of working with the top brass (Prime Minister's Foreign Affairs Secretary) knows the psyche and rationale of the Generals and is convinced that no road map except that of the military will ever move them.

He is simply emphasizing on the essence of "Unity" of all the forces in Diaspora, now that NLD inside Burma has been incapacitated. This was misinterpreted. In other words it seems " either take it or leave it." However, during this debate, there is a danger that some one might push the other side to the wrong meaning and weakened the stand of opposition as a whole.

The most crucial fact about the Diaspora is that no one is proposing to choose the violent way. Yet some are raising this 'violence' word, just to beat their opponents in the debate. Just because one side opposes the idea of roadmap, it does not necessarily means that roadmap opponents are now conforming to violence. It is critical that when all attention is now on Burma, narrow-minded people use this crafty tactic to win over the leadership of the opposition. We all have the same goal, to free our people from the yoke of the military rule, if possible, through the peaceful means. But there are other ways other than offering roadmaps. To propose the alternative way is not a sin in a democratic society.

But the fundamental factor is the role of Daw Aung San Su Kyi. She is not merely a leader of one faction or one Burman race. She is our national leader of Burma, accepted both by all the people of Burma and the international community especially by the world leaders. The authentic prove being that in her trip through the length and breadth of Burma all the local population came out to greet and support her in spite of the threat from the military intelligence and USDA goons. If one can recollect, Daw Su has personally praised the bravery and the guts of the Arakanese that was bestowed to her during her tour of Arakan state. Hence, there is not speck of doubt that she is our national leader and nobody can substitute her.

In addition Daw Suu has become not only a symbol of hope flickering in a pitch dark night of the military rule but also an inspiration for the people fighting for democracy and the prevalence of human rights in the world. So it was against this backdrop that Prof. Win compared her to a brave Lion. We all should be proud and glad that we have a symbol that the world leaders had come to accept and respect her and it was because of her, Burma and the atrocities of the military rulers are highlighted and broadcast in the world media. Do we want to go back to the backwater days where no country or any world leader is interested in what is happening in Burma?

Daw Aung Su Kyi belongs to the category of Nelson Mandela, Ho Chi Min, Mao Zedong etc that have become the symbol of their movement in the annals of world history. While these leaders are in the forefront fighting for the cause, the supporters and other leaders work hard to win the hearts and mind of the population and their hard work is the result of successful revolutionary or evolutionary changes. No single leader can win the revolution alone, it must have the backing of the entire people. My reading of Prof. Win's article was that he was referring to these supporters and compatriots as hyenas. It is rather sad to witness that some leaders interpreted in a narrow sense of nationalism as 'us' and 'they'. I would like to suggest that we all should grow up and work together as a united force, standing tall behind Daw Su. Particularly at the time when the military thugs trying their level best to bypass and marginalize Daw Aung San Su Kyi, none of us should accepted any plan whether we called it Roadmap plan or Roadside plan.

It would be naïve to harbor the thinking that Daw Aung San Kyi or any other leader will deny or reject the full participation of ethic nationalities in any solution or any transition process. The entire people of Burma knows that any solution will not survive until and unless it has the full support of the people, and all the Shan, Karen, Kachin, Chin, Mon, Arakanese, we all are the PEOPLE and I am quite positive that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi understands it. Her attempt to reach every state has demonstrated it vividly clear. And many of us if we had not understand the meaning of numerical minority before, we now all understand it very well because we have learned the hard way. Are we in Diaspora not residing in a numerical minority? If there is any one who still does not get the message that it is our bounden historical duty to help educate the next generation and our compatriots to the mindset of 21st century.

I am very confident that Daw Aung San Su Kyi and any leader standing behind her will treat our ethic brothers and sisters for their fair representation either in the transition period if there is one or in the evolution period. If not, we will fight with our ethic brethren shoulder to shoulder for their proper place and fair representation in any form of government in Burma and to find the true solution for all races in Burma.

Proposing a separate roadmap plan seems to be is just playing to the tune of the military. It is obvious that they had shown their end game, which is nothing, but trying to legitimize the military rule by appointing their own National Council, writing their own constitution and conduction the fake election and in the end will present the military-turned-civilian government to the world. Who knows how long they will drag this process. There is a Burmese word for this: Nar-Lei-Par-Yike.

Knowing the fact that the military government never keep its promise and never negotiate in good faith, are we going to dance with them again with the same old tune or we will write our own script and dance with our own tune. The hidden utopia is that, those who are willing to dance with this military thugs wont lose their seat in the future government, is totally wrong. The scenario is similar to an ugly girl endeavoring hard to get the boy's attention at the prom dance unwittingly end up as a slut. Especially when the boy is a bad, bad boy.
If we truly want the genuine solution for the country where the people can and will support is to stand tall behind Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and must pressure the Junta to find a solution. It can be done. If the generals release Daw Suu and all other political prisoner to show their sincerity and form a National Council that represent the people and try to write a genuine constitution and then call for real free and fair election, all of us including our ethic brothers and sisters will have a role to play and it will be the people who will choose their own leaders. Otherwise, if every one wants to present their own roadmaps for their own narrow interest, there is a danger that they will end up like an ugly girl at the prom party.

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