Myint Thein Kyu
Concerning with your open letter I would like to argue against your second reason for prolonging of democracy movement: weakness of CEC members of the NLD in leadership role.
There might be weakness; they may not be flawless; they may have some fault in both principle and practical work. However, members of the CEC should not be blamed to be reprehensible for the failure of reaching democracy goal. If they really have willingness, fight for democracy and lead the people at their best, they should be appreciated. I do not think it will be satisfactory only if one opposes against the regimes till being put in jail. Some may complain that next captain must step on to his predecessor. Yes, that is right. But, every bud, shoot and bloom of political revolution is destroyed.
More than 1000 democracy activists including prominent leaders are detained. No country, no organization even the UN cannot help them come out from the prison. Most top leaders are scattered around the world. The NLD will not have strength enough to act. It bogged down in the political quagmire. I sincerely cannot guess how it is possible to provide with effective leadership. (The real culprit which causes delaying in process of the democracy movement is just the cruel Junta.) However, only a handful of martyrs and a thousand leaders could not change the course of history without adherents, the masses.
The masses matter most. It is like boiled water in a kettle. It may burst out whenever over heat is applied. Its unity is therefore important. Its aim should not be diverse. Every body must be alert with political sense for the development of democracy. Intelligence of the public is here much effective for the long march. Patience is essential. Therefore please be advised that harsh comments and painful criticisms such as that of NCGUB posted on your website about two weeks ago may hinder the progress.
The mass dutifully cast their votes favoring the NLD. The prudent act of NLD members in some rural areas for having more people to vote in time and their help to issue ballots quickly to people should be appreciated, according to my experience as an in-charge of a ballot station during 1990 election. All is dutiful. Why not transfer power to the landslide victorious party, NLD? The army had said it would return to the army barrack. It breached the promise. The one that deserves punishment is just the treacherous Junta. The party leaders were not blameworthy (I just don’t know them well.).
I saw televised news in 1996/97 of people’s protest in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Presumably several hundred thousand people, as much as or more that of the strike of 1988 in Burma, were walking in the streets peacefully as a gesture of opposing the government. The daily demonstration was I think several weeks long. In most part, there was no soldier. In some areas a couple of polices were seen motionless standing beside the road. Some demonstrators teased them hitting slightly their helmet. Yugoslav people won finally what they want.
What difference was there between the situations in Yugoslavia and in Burma. Are their leaders better? There occurred workers strike, people protest, chaos etc. many times in Burma losing so many lives during dictatorial rule. Isn’t it tactical skill of the leaders to organize successfully huge crowd of mass? However, the dictator retains its power till now. What is wrong? Is it the fault of the members of the CEC, NLD? I don’t think it is owing to incompetence of the CEC. Must they occupy the MRTV or Myawaddy to announce its winning result, to take over the power? The MRTV and the Myawaddy are not only building. There were pro-junta ex-army employees.
Why did not the US, the British and France, which are the masters of democracy, interfere in the situation? Although they support people’s democracy movement, they did not involve directly? There isn’t in Burma much direct link with their economic interest. The US and the British withdrew their existing interests in oil and gas sector of Burma. However, France is still lingering in Burma. Total Oil Company of France has been producing natural gas from the Yadana gas field in the Andaman Sea since 1998. This is nature that ordinary people hardly abandon their benefit.
The UN also have limit of power to execute and settle the member countries’ affair. I do not know about regulation, law and charter of the UN. Among the five permanent members of it, China and Russia always oppose against the other members’ agenda and proposal, sometimes use their veto, over Burmese issues favoring the Junta, talking nonsense because China is worried by possible exemplary of, if succeed, Burmese democracy movement for its people. Moreover, Burma is strategically important for China. Therefore, favoring the incompetence military regimes is beneficial to her.
Every phenomenon has its cause and effect. For prolonging of democracy struggle, which country, society, people is to be blamed? Who must we place reliance on? This is generally the case between only the Junta and its people. The culprit, therefore, is no one rather than the Junta, which robbed democracy from our hands. We must depend on ourselves. So we need unity. Only collective blow could knock out the Junta. How could we confront with the Junta? Is it by arm struggle? It is very easy to say the arm struggle. We are marching peacefully to the goal of democracy. There were many factions practicing armed revolution for more than half century in our country. Why could not they bring democracy for the people?
Every individual should take part in peaceful political revolution with own limit dutifully and patiently till the end. In fact, if the people are rational or wise enough; not selfish, introvert, ignorant and uninformed; do not deliberately and willingly support the Junta; go against it as much as they can; people do not need to take to the street and confront gun barrel. The Junta would have been down since many years ago. The way to democracy should not be so long like that. However, the people have been destroyed both physically and mentally for 40 years by army rulers.
Executives in government service with first class education extend their service after they turn 60, sometimes nearly septuagenarian. Many people, possibly majority of them, are opportunists and try to get close with authorities if necessary so as not to lose their chance. Such kind of behavior reinforces the regimes. To put it in a nut shell, people need to observe and love truth. They should be genuine Buddhists, not nominal or traditional Buddhists, so that they will not do wrong. If so, the Junta can exist no longer.
I therefore observe that the factors hampering the progress of democracy process are cruelty of the Junta, existence of their shameless associate businessmen, selfish executives in government service and uninformed public.
Democracy flower is waiting for time maturity when the whole mass of people deserves and is willing to pluck it.
Dear Saya Myint Thein Kyu,
I partly accept your political analysis, opinions and conclusion, not totally. Concerning with my open letter I think you were misunderstanding to me. I would like to request you to read it again if you have a time. In my open letter, I mainly suggested to our opposition leaders that we need to abandon 'baggerism'. It's just my opinion and goodwill for our movement, not blaming.
Thanks a lot for your open letter.
Dr. Lun Swe
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Myint Thein Kyu