By Prof.Kanbawza Win
The bullet holes at the Rangoon General Hospitals that snuff out the lives of doctors and nurses tending the wounded have long been fill up and the pools of blood in front of the American embassy has been washed away. The White Bridge at Inya Lake has cleansed, while Kyandaw crematorium where the Junta troops burnt both the dead and wounded has been renovated and green vegetation has grown tall over the mass graves. But for the Burmese people they are still hearing the silent moan of the wounded, the epic calling of the dead and the clarion call of the persecuted crying out for help or at least to do something so that the atrocities which they have suffered at the hands of the Burmese army will not repeat again to their younger generation.
One and a half decades have passed and still the men in uniform who have committed these indescribable atrocities are still in power and still continuing its brutalities as the Depayin episode indicates. There is no remorse, no request for forgiveness, no attempt to explain things because they believe in the theory that the power comes out of the barrel of the gun (Chairman Mao's theory that the regime steadfastly follows), and that is why they let the Chinese to dominate our country. But this 8888 is an indisputable fact that the people of Burma have unmistakably expressed their wish for democracy and human rights and have attempted to overthrow the shackles of the tyrannical military rule.
But "a lot of water has flowed under the White Bridge," the paramount dictator has died in disgraced, so also the shinning gentlemen of Rangoon, the leading narco baron suffering from cancer is not permitted die in Homong, while most of the autonomy fighters have entered the cease fire. In their places new military dictators and new narco barons have emerged as the autonomy leaders seek for greener pastures. But the most troubling aspects are that some Burmese Diaspora intelligentsia have switched their identification from the persecuted people to that of the persecutor. Such is life. Globalization as in any other mankind has caught up with the Burmese and it seem that Machiavelli's theory of "the end justifies the means" seems to be true.
For many more years to come, it seems that the people of Burma will continue to suffer silently, children will die of malnutrition, life span would be short, students will have little or no education, the Na Wa Ta disease (AIDS) will be rampant, girls will be sold to prostitution not to mention the forced labour, forced relocation, ethnic cleansing, environmental degradation etc. It seems we have reached of what Lord Buddha has predicted in "the sixteen points dream of King Kawsala." But we will struggle on for hope springs eternal in human breast. Is there any hope for a genuine Pyidaungsu Myanmar Naingan Daw (Union of Burma) other than the Junta led version of tyrannical disciplined democracy? This question is the crux of all the problems in the Burmese minds. Are we hopeless? Life is hope and without hope life is nothing. There is still a dim light flickering in the dark encouraging us to carry on the fight without fail and that is none other than our noble Nobel Laureate Daw Suu.
How many times has she been arrested? What psychological torture she must gone through when the Junta did not allowed her dying husband to see her? Staying all alone and even and has not been allowed to make a memorial service for her slain father she has barely recovered from the injury she received in her attempted assassination, yet she continues to whisper in our ears to carry on. Just imagine a widow separated from her children forced to live all alone in her house not being able to see friends and foe alike and incommunicado. If she did not give up why should we? Both the father and the daughter have not faltered in their believe and conviction come what may. Let us follow their example and carry on the good traditions as the motto of our emblem says for even though our heads our bloody yet we are unbowed
We will die fighting rather than live on our knees. We will have to plan our strategy meticulously, revamped the leaders in the Diaspora group and call it "a spade a spade". We must always bear in mind that in our goal to reach democracy is that we must have unity in diversity. Many people will work in several different ways and we cannot blame other people who do not work our way only. The only point is that the goal of our epic struggle must not be lost. If we were to look at international supporters we cannot lump altogether and say that they are all members of NATO, i.e. no action talk only. America has just come up with sanctions on Burma very lately while all the time US is just contend with preventing new investment. Looking at the Junta's response we can gauge that this is the language, which affect the Junta very much. At least the rogue and thugs knows the punitive language even if it refuse to comprehend dialogue, compromise, conflict resolution or what ever the civilized way may be. If so why can't we all support sanctions? Besides, Daw Suu and the NLD has supported sanctions, this explicitly means that those who do not support the sanctions have crossed the line into the Junta's camp. This is a clear line that must be drawn.
However, we cannot be satisfied with this. What are we going to do in the long term? What are our plans for the future generation in comparison with the Junta? If we don't move fast and grab the opportunities as they arise, we will end up like previous failed waves of resistance. CTY is gone; Tin Maung Win had said good-bye long ago. The old man Bo Mya is in dotage, most of the NLD executive commit members are septuagenarian or octogenarian while some have to come to the meeting on wheel chair, and every day we are all getting old. On the other hand the Burmese military has layers and layers of young leaders and they are training them vigorously penetrating our democracy forces. The authentic prove is that we predicted that once Ne Win is gone there would be democracy has proved to be wrong. Looking back to our contemporary history we will have to admit that in half a century of ethnic nationalities struggle very few of them could produced young ethnic nationality leaders while in the biggest group nepotism is distinct. Now as we reflect on the 8888 group on this anniversary of August 8th we should clearly think of what are we going to do. Shall we allow history to repeat the same mistakes again? Let us judge not by our emotions but by science of reasoning.