All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Burmese)

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 9:

Those who have the kindness of benefit for others

For the sake of living beings, do not relax their powers.

Though these holy beings bear a heavy burden,

They never put it down and dwell in discouragement.

*the Great Chariot Sutra*

Burma is known as a golden land made of several ranges (or ‘Yoma’ in Burmese) where thousands of tribal memories, wisdoms, religions, cultures and beauties of plants and animals dwell. The rivers, all of them are indeed important to the people and other existences, snake through these beautiful mountainous regions and flow from the north to the south where Indian Ocean is. The peoples, Burma has 103 ethnics, all of them used to be really generous and all they knew was to give.

Since the modern day’s dictators have systematically destroyed, now the golden land is famous for its narcotic trades, refugees, migrant workers and various atrocities and sufferings.

One day, we’ll be free again and the land will be again famous for its beauty.

Harmony Not Desperation

Min khin Kyaw
Part 1
As the election is concerned to the release of political prisoners who were detained with no common criminal charges, we don’t know how the junta has planned to held the election all by themselves. The General Secretary of UN stated his idea of the credible election – must free the political prisoners and must allow the NLD and its leader Aung San Suu Kyi to participate. Seemingly the junta is acting water-follow-fish-follow dreaming for another chance of concession miraculously might happen again like Nargis referendum.

But they won’t get away with the election – without civilian candidates. They have to include all the independent parties. They cannot establish new parliaments without civilian faces and also they must include the ethnic representatives accepted by the armed forces fighting against them for decades. Unless they can answer the questions from the UN and other concerning leaders, they cannot score any credit for legitimacy.
An advantage will be to know who in which party is backed by the junta and the proof of such conspiracy. Without the freedom of campaign, freedom of speech and freedom of demonstration, the credibility of the junta’s 2010 election will be zilch. The junta’s suppression of the freedom of media can only let the king parade with invisible cloths.
Why is the junta forcing the ethnic armed forces to become border guards? There is no clear reason given officially. But it could be related to the election directly and indirectly. To prevent a tainted legitimacy in the post election, the participation of the ceasefire groups is critical as some kind of necessary approval. This approval must become obvious and significant before the election so that the junta can hold it as evidence. After the election, this evidence can be used to ward off any future questions from any attempt to denounce its legitimacy.
And most importantly the junta needs the 2010 election result in its favour as strong as the 1990 result that has favoured the NLD. Any result that is lower than the percentage the people have given to the NLD is a poor result and this is the reason why the junta tried a landslide victory from the Nargis referendum. Why? The reason is the NLD still has the right to act as a legitimate government. However, the junta has to prove the 2010 election is clean – as clean as the 1990 election in which the people trusted the NLD landslide.

Part 2
Worry should not be foremost in our thinking about how the new American approach to Burma will work. If they find their approach needs some adjustment, they will do so and they will need our agreement.
Negative is not what we need in working with the Americans. They need to launch their ideas. And we need them to do something. We have to let them know what we can agree with them positively. Our agreement is what we can offer to the friendly countries that have open-minded approach toward our crises with a clear intention to walk on till Burma reaches democracy. Our disagreement requires clear evidences which will develop along the way we go on as we find the problems in both their approach and our approach. Although we can’t foresee what might happen in the future, we will be able to adjust our strategy and adapt new ideas that might work better.
We want the Americans not to lose track on our issue. We have to see how they can work for the best outcomes as far as their foreign policy can go. We must not let them feel isolated and alienated the way our leaders had to face in the past. We must be cooperative and supportive as they won’t try a game which they find disagreeable or impossible. The American administration with necessary information would be able to develop some undisclosed ideas. Sometimes people could find victory in the impossible missions – that means to us.
The White House knows many countries that have kept engagement policy on the junta have had no progress – but the regress is the junta has been fed well and hence grown up to be extremely arrogant. We all know we need alternative approach and to give some clear ideas.
And the West is with the Americans on the sanctions against the junta.
ASEAN was successful in bringing all its ten nations – then it had a different belief and a different ambition of the then ASEAN leaders. If new leaders who still hold the single policy of constructive engagement are sincere for a better ASEAN, then they will have to show they have the ideas, commitment and a working plan – even if not publicised. Or they may have ambition without desire for success.
On the other hand, we have to be more critical how we complaint about the actions of the junta as half of the world count on our views. Our credibility is how we show how reliable our brains are. Our stance has to be workable with and agreeable with.
Sometimes we need experimental approach and occasional flexibility. We can demand reasonably but we must not be demanding. We must be part of the international movement of like-minded people – we should play as a team in which we are the permanent members bound with the ethical duty as the ones born in Burma. It’s important our strategy is within the international strategy necessarily. We must be the ones who are first agreed and accepted before the junta – this only happens with how we respect ourselves, how we view ourselves and how we can reinforce our strengths.
We can demand reasonably but we must not be demanding. As long as we keep asking the junta to do this to do that, they will have ideas to do different. Then what should our leaders say? One thing they can do portraying the future of Burma on the real ground they can draw their plans which the world can look at and compare with the junta’s misrule and the future power hijacking roadmap.

Although we the people from Burma need to retain our natural rights and human dignity, we cannot be so desperate. Desperation is not the path to solution – especially our case. We need harmony and we need to start listening to what the world has to offer. We need good negotiation skill and must be able to build a harmonious movement of anti-military tyrannical misrule in Burma.

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