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.

Is Burma Changing?

Daw Suu did say she believed Burma (Myanmar) is changing toward democracy. We can see there is some democratic reform taken place. Comparing with earlier years, 2011 looked quite better - as the first step toward better future for the peoples of Burma. Hopefully, the second step will occur in 2012.

As the first step, Daw Suu was freed from house arrest. Many prisoners of conscience were free and allowed to speak - although cautiously they spoke and wrote. Obviously freedom of media is seen part of the first step. 

Allowing NLD to contest in coming by-election is also seen part of the first step but rather becoming part of the second step - but it must happen the way it is promised, and expected, to happen. Here the freedom of speech and media freedom will be part of reform and they must be as free as necessary to be seen as genuine reform. The remaining political prisoners must be freed too and allowed to involved in political events such as gathering at private places. 

As politics is the core of reform, political developments will be judged whether they are sufficient or not. As part of the political process, the participation of political activists and ethnic minorities will be seen as the broader reform. The depth of reform will be the constitution itself but it will take some time - except the obvious ones that blocking the path toward broader reform. Should we expect the constitution itself being retouched - let it be the minor ones as part of second step. 

Economy and education will be part of second step too because they are also as important as politics. Without expecting a quick fix, some significant policy shift toward reform will be expected. What will the government do? 

The media should emphasize on both economy and education too that there must be some constructive criticism. The obstacle can be the government itself. The culture of tolerance should gradually be built as part of the reform. 

Also what will happen to federalism? Traditionally federalism is seen separatism based on the word 'Burma' (in English) or 'Myanmar' (in Burmese). Myanmar means the nation of a single ethnic Burman - i.e. the empire of the Burman established by the Burman kings. By sharing the power of the Burmans to the minority ethnics, that is the separatism ordividing of the domination of the Burmans. Historically, cultures and languages of the minorities have been suppressed and replaced with the culture and language of the Burman which is Burmese. To develop genuine federalism and futuristic reform, the traditional view of federalism must be changed.  

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