Tag Archives: Myanmar

Myanmar Ministers Meandering In Confusion

The military has ruled Myanmar for over two decades which means anyone wearing a uniform has first choice in just about every aspect of society from jobs to education to good housing. Out of the blue, Senior-General Than Shwe ordered his minister to shed their uniform and adopt civilian dress in anticipation of an election which will be held in the coming months. For the first time in their lives these faceless generals will look just like ordinary people when they stroll in the street or demand special privileges from merchants of the police. An expatriate Burmese website predicts trouble for the men who were bosses yesterday and now are ordinary humans. “Senior-General Than Shwe is facing a mutiny among his subordinates. There are growing signs of discontent among his cabinet ministers who feel betrayed” Military uniforms are associated with power in Burma. Those wearing them get priority.

Under the Constitution written by General Shwe about 25% of parliament seats are reserved for members of the armed forces, but once ministers leave, they are on their own. Shwe is most probably worried that once he leaves office his current ministers will turn against him and what then will happen to the billions he has stacked away in secret bank accounts.

SOUNDS OF SILENCE IN BURMA ELECTION

The Military thugs who run the government of Burma have decided to implement a new version of democracy. Under their code of conduct for elections, opposition members can not march, if they do move their feet, they can not talk, they can not issue bulletins, papers, videos or anything that might be construed as damaging the government. Guidelines for the election, prohibit “giving talks, and publishing and distributing publications with the intent of tarnishing the image of the state.” Democracy, Myanmar style, means the primary responsibility of those in the opposition is to praise the government and urge people to vote for it. For some strange reason a few of those in opposition parties have the idea their task is persuading voters to support their parties. Why would a government hold an election if they could lose it? That makes no sense.

Elections are held to enable one and all to join in support of the government.

Is Burma Nuclear Bound?

Burma, or if you prefer, Myanmar, is ruled by a gang of thugs who exploit the nation for their own greedy desires and needs. As a result the entire nation has been impoverished and higher education downgraded in a society in which obedience is valued over intellectual competence. Therefore, it is rather shocking to learn from a dissident major who left the Burmese army that his nation is experimenting with nuclear and missile technology. The Democratic Voice of Burma, which operates from Norway, reports there is documentary and photo evidence to support allegations from former major Sai Thein Win that some sort of secret program is proceeding in Myanmar to develop nuclear potential as well as guided missiles. If this is true, it most probably is a result of assistance from North Korea which is willing to sell its own knowledge in these areas to the highest bidder. Win claims he worked in secret locations where he was ordered to develop prototypes in nuclear weaponry as well as guided missiles.

Major Win is most probably accurate in claiming that Burma seeks competence in these areas. But, it is at least a decade away from seeking to achieving given lack of top flight scientists in Burma. The problem once again lies with refusal on the part of China to use its influence to temper the aggressive behavior of Burmese leaders.

When Is An Election Not An Election?

Once upon a time in a land faraway from the Western world there lived a group of men whom we will call, “the junta” who ruled over millions of people. They loved the people of Myanmar and did not wish them to encounter any difficulties in deciding who should rule their nation. After all, the kindly military junta which ruled the land and beat and oppressed its citizens only did such acts in order ti protect them from the evil of “making your own decisions.” A people who make decisions can make mistakes so the beloved military threw into jail any citizen who had the crazy idea of deciding what to do.

It came to pass that other nations in the world insisted the junta should hold elections. Well, living in the land was an evil princess by the name of Aung Sann Suu Kyi who sought to confuse the people of her land by urging they be allowed to vote in what was called, “an election.” What else could the kindly military junta do but decide who should run for public office. In this way, the beloved military junta ensured the people would not make a mistake by voting for the wrong candidate.

In the end, there would be an election and the right people will get elected.

And, everyone will live happily ever after, particularly the military junta in their wonderful mansions.

When Thugs Run A Country Named Burma!

A group of thugs are in control of the nation of Burma although they have decided since they can do what they desire the country will be called, Myanmar. UN Envoy Topmas Ojea Quintana arrived in Burma expecting to be able to have talks with leaders of the democratic opposition, but Burmese generals wanted to make certain the world understood who ran this place and they imprisoned Gaw Thita, a monk, to seven years imprisonment at hard labor because he took a trip to Taiwan and in the process used Taiwanese money. Naturally, this translated into possession of foreign currency and, off to jail! Gaw was with a group of monks who were on a religious expedition, but the thugs in charge decided to send a message to the UN and the entire world about their brutality and authoritarian attitudes.

Qunitana said the Burmese government, sorry, the government of Myanmar, was holding at least 2,200 political prisoners. He added there was no indication “the government is willing to release all prisoners of conscience.” Even worse, “the government of Myanmar does not accept there are any prisoners of conscience in Myanmar.”

Let’s fact it. There are thousands of people in Myanmar who enjoy working at hard labor and not being paid because they love the generals who govern their nation.

Can Economic Sanctions Ever Work?

As the United Nations considers instituting economic sanctions against Iran for its nuclear development program, the United States has decided to end sanctions against the government of Myanmar because they failed to have any impact on that nation. Ironically, Burmese opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, backs the American decision to end sanctions and attempt to engage in discussions with the thugs who run Myanmar. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered to continue sanctions for the moment, but “we will be willing to discuss the easing of sanctions in response to significant actions on the part of Burma’s generals that address the core human rights and democracy issues that are inhibiting Burma’s progress.”

In a nutshell, this means, American sanctions are not working because China and India have extensive economic relations with Burma and don’t give a damn about human rights. Sanctions can not work until all major players agree on such a policy. Such is the state of the modern world.

The Trial By Franz Kafka In Myanmar!

The trial begins on a dark night in the country of Myanmar. A woman was asleep in her bed when she heard a knocking at the door. She opened it and discovered a man in a bathing suit who was gasping for breath and stumbled in. She gave him shelter and thus committed among the most grievous crimes possible in the state of Myanmar according to the military junta which rules this country. She gave the man a drink of juice and offered him food. There is no question offering food and drink to a stranger in the state of Myanmar is equivalent to seeking to undermine the foundations of the state. After all, it everyone gave food and drink to strangers how would the police know who is loyal to the decree of not offering food and drink to anyone other than members of your family?

Aung San Suu Kyi, who major crime is believing there is such a thing as democracy in her nation, is on trial for committing a crime. Is the crime opening her door at night? Is the crime offering a stranger food and drink? Is the crime speaking to the stranger without asking permission of the government? In reality, her crime has nothing to do with the stranger, but with the love held for her by the people of Burma.

The state was prepared to have 23 testify against her, but since the military junta believes in fairness they will only call nine to testify. Exactly what the 23 know about the case is most probably the main mystery. A man swam across a lake, knocked on a door, the door opened and a woman offered him food and drink and a place to rest his head. Were there twenty three witnesses to these events? Ask the military junta and their response is a loud, “yes.”

Franz Kafka wrote about this trial many, many years ago. It must be admitted he never heard of the nation of Myanmar, but, his fictional trial occurs every day in this nation run by paranoids.

Myanmar Imprisons Peace Advocate

The military thugs who run Myanmar undoubtedly suffer from paranoia and this is most evident in their latest escapade into fear. They arrested Aung San Suu Kyi because some American man swam across a lake near her house, entered the house and remained there for a day or so. She was picked up, and driven to the notorious Insein prison where she will undergo questioning by government officials who wonder what a man who swam across a lake had on him that might threaten the security of the state– a water pistol?

The entire episode is a storm in a teacup reflecting fear and hostility on the part of the government rather than any act on the part of Ms. Suu Kyi beyond helping a man who had just had a long swim.

Anyone Remember Myanmar?

Yesterday marked the 61st anniversary of Myanmar’s independence from Great Britain and there is scant evidence this unfortunate nation will experience being part of a democratic nation in the forseeable future. Aung Shew, chairman of the opposition National League for Democracy, was very pessimistic about prospects of being able to persuade or force the ruling military junta to surrender any of its dictatorial power let alone give freedom to Nobel Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi or any of the other dissident leaders who are under some form of arrest because they dare to offer different views about life in Burma. In a speech to other members of his party and some diplomats, he said: “Hope for the present and future of the country is totally lacking.” Tough, but honest words from an independent voice who believes in freedom.

Of course, as far as the junta is concerned, “neocolonialists” were out to destroy the reputation of the nice world they had created for the Burmese people in which normal behavior is agreeing with everything said or done by the junta.

There will be protests in the streets of many cities throughout the world this week in response to war in Gaza, but no one will be marching to protest the situation in Burma.

Joking In Myanmar= Jail Time!

The military thugs who run Myanmar waited several months after their disastrous policies which made the hurricane an even worse event in their nation’s history. They waited until attention had shifted to other world issues such as declining economies before revealing their own brutal faces. Several courts in Burma have sentenced a popular comedian and a hip hop star to long terms in jail for joking about the joke that is known as government in their country. Their sentences were part of a large scale round up of dissidents in order to stifle any opposition when the so-called “elections” are held in 2010. The comedian, Zargana, had cracked some jokes last June about the government’s incompetency in dealing with hurricane relief and for his comic attitude, Zargana will spend 45 years in jail. The rap star Zayar Thaw was sentenced to a six year jail term for anti-government comments.

It is estimated about 100 activists including Buddhist monks have been arrested in the past two weeks. They have been sent to squalid jails where they will languish for years since democracies in Asia such as India prefer making money than making democracy flourish.