Latest Highlight

Beggars can't be choosers by Dr. Maung Zarni

Here is one way to analyse the changes in Burma:
"I wonder how you assess the current events:

Do you support the re-registration of the NLD`?

NLD wrote on the wave of the popular uprisings which it did not have any part in fomenting or organizing. there is no popular revolt in Burma to speak of, except sporadic and infrequent small protests by some farmers, urban based farmers' rights advocates and a group of monks in Mandalay. In their place, the regime has launched military operations against ethnic minorities in resource-rich and strategic frontier areas.

Since there is no popular social and political wave to ride, or having no longer roots in the public, despite the Lady's rockstar-like popularity with the public, the NLD has abandoned its mass politics, in favor of only lop-sided compromise with the military elite.

So, in the absence of solid mass backing for any radical activities, the NLD had no better choice than to swallow the bitter pill and embrace the regime's "roadmap".

Of course, if there is one area where every man, and woman, not to mention those in public eyes, excels is self-rationalization and -justification.

So out of this unenviable situation it finds itself in the NLD has been articulating all kinds of justification for playing ball with the generals, more or less on the latter's terms. It has lowered its bar, and reshifted its goal post and redefining itself.

One example: the NLD said, in effect, it was good enough for the NLD leadership that the 1990 election results were recorded in the Government Gazette and ex-General Khin Aung Myint and that one of the parliamentary speakers mentioned the NLD won the election.

NLD's strategy is there for all to see: leverage US support, as opposed to the public at home, to get as much concessions as possible from Naypyidaw, and go with the military's flow into some place of influence within the emerging system.

The context in which the NLD has begun to tango at the military's choice of tune coincides, curiously, with Naypyidaw attempting to do the following 5 things:

1) bring the NLD into its quasi-parliamentary framework as a way of eliminating whatever little potential is left in the NLD to energize and mobilize the grassroots (it's easier to control one single NLD leader in an air-conditioned suite than unruly masses on the street); 2) gain international acceptability almost on its own terms (2008 Constitution, the parliamentary proceedings which are carefully choreographed and controlled from the commanding heights of the 70% USDP seats and 25% direct military seat allocation, the photo ops, the right noises about political relaxation, and a concerted media campaign aided by all manner of technocrats and outside advisers and cronies); 3) re-balance its strategic relations by striking the West at its weakest hour (its accelerated economic decline in the whole of Western capitalist world, except a few countries with strong niche markets such as Germany and commodity-export-oriented Australia, domestically increasingly unpopular US and UK governments); 4) making what it considers to be the final thrust to crush the armed resistance organizations, which are finding their backs against the international and neighborhood business interests - otherwise known as "economic development"; and 5) preempt any Burmese Spring which may be potentially precipitated by the global economic down-turn and its adverse impact on the economic life of the Burmese. (Remember Saya San and peasant armed rebellion in the least expected sector of the colonial society in 1931, 2 years after the Great Crash and the world's depression that ensued?)

Naypyitaw is in effect 1) hitting the softest spot of USA and EU, that is, business and strategic self-interests and temptations; 2) carefully packaging its implied anti-China message; 3) domestically bringing the NLD and ASSK - already tame and base-less opposition vanguard after 23 years of systematic persecution -- into its quasi-parliamentary process.

The parliamentary process and the new "democracy" in the making is 95% form and 5% substance.

The asking price by Naypyidaw in this, with the so-called international community is: its international legitimacy and acceptability of the military's political design.

To put it bluntly, the generals have gotten away with 50-years of murder, rape and loot.

Do you see any indications that parts of the *old regime* try to undermine President Thein reforms?"

There is NO "Thein Sein reforms".

To the extent there are reform measures in Burma - and there are, to be sure --they are coming from the National Defense and Security Council or NDSC, THE REAL POWER behind Thein Sein.

Thein Sein, or President-gyi Thein Sein as the typically sycophantic and slave-like mentality among Bama would compel one to address him, is the front man on the stage, the Mintha, the Prince.

This NDSC body puts him on a longer leash to give the appearance that Thein Sein is the man of the hour, "the hope of Burma" as his adviser Zaw Htay put it in "his" Washington Post article last week.

There may be, and there are, disagreements and personality conflicts - and even contests over material interests - among these guys. But it is a mafia-like organization that runs Burma's politics and economy. It remains as COMMAND A SYSTEM as it started out in 1962, as Revolutionary Council under Ne Win.

In this game Thein Sein has been made larger than life.

He is, in effect, the guy whom all sides - Naypyidaw, the NLD and outside interests - attempt to turn into their strategic proxy, a vehicle, a tool, a political drone.

But many who play along may know this drone-like nature of the reformist president. He seems like a very personable ex-general. But being nice means nothing, in the larger scheme of things especially in politics where power is the name of the game.

Truth is Thein Sein is NOT the real power. Power and control do matter.

This strategy putting Thein Sein, Mr Nice Reformer, at the center stage best suits both the military as the institutional base of the "new" government, and Senior General Than Shwe. Than Shwe and his clan who can't stand the Lady at the gut level can now use Thein Sein as their drone. They don't have to come into any face-to-face contact with her ever, despite her request to meet the top senior generals.

It also resonates with outside interests which want easy access to the highest level of the government, for their own strategic reasons. Also the typical view of "big men-and-women-make-history" compel these western players typically scramble for "big men" and "big women" in change processes.

Hilary Rodham Clinton going to Burma on 1 December for 2 days is a merry-making act. Everyone will get something. Naypyidaw will be pleased with the "halo" - and all the media attention (not to mention, Beijing's), that former First Lady and the US Secretary of State will bring to them; the "civil society" implanted in Burma with western money and behind-the-scene patronage will be happy to rub shoulders at embassy receptions; the NLD will be happy as Clinton makes a special stop and photo-op at the NLD as a precondition for her visit; the cronies on the sanctions list will be happy to be in the same room with Clinton whose government keeps them on the US visa ban list. Oh, before I forget EU commercial/governmental interests will be happy as Clinton's visit will pave the way for going beyond its policy foreplay with the generals.

But the truth is there are structures of power and interests in Burma that will not be willed away, or changed appreciably without any serious forces that are brought to bear upon them.

The language of "sincerity" in politics, popular in some quarter, and the history as products of 'big men' and 'women" don't have much empirical evidence in the long view of history and in the larger scheme of things.

But again beggars can't be choosers.

  1. That's why I admire you, Dr.Zarni. And try to always be on the right path like this. Don't compromise yourself with anyone the way NLD is doing with Thein Sein Govt.

  2. You are absolutely right,Dr. Zarni.Thank you for your right expression.

  3. ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာနာမည္စာအုပ္၌မေတြ႔ဖူးသူမ်ားဖတ္ျပီး
    ၁၉၇၉ခုႏွစ္ထုတ္ ႏွစ္(၃၀)ျမန္မာ့အသံ စာအုပ္၏စာမ်က္ႏွာ(၇၀) မွ အသံလြင့္ခ်ိန္မ်ားကုိရုတ္တရက္အားျဖင့္
    ဘာသာစကားေလးမ်ိဳးကုိတုိးခ်ံဲ႔ အသံလြင့္ရန္အစုိးရအဖြဲ.၏ဆုံးျဖတ္ခ်က္အရ
    ၁၉၆၁ ခုႏွစ္ေမလ ၁၅ ရက္ေန႔တြင္ မြန္ဘာသာ၊ပအုိ႔၀္ဘာသာ၊လာဟူးဘာသာ၊ႏွင့္ ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာဘာသာအစီစဥ္မ်ားကုိ
    တဘာသာလ်င္ ၁၀ မီနစ္စီ စတင္အသံလြင့္ခဲ့ပါသည္ဟုပါရွိပါသည္။
    ၁၉၅၈-၁၉၆၂ ျမန္မာ့ ႏုိင္ငံေရးတတိယတြဲ ၏ စာမ်က္ႏွာ ၁၂၈ တြင္ အက်ယ္တ၀င့္ဖတ္ပါ။ စာမ်က္ႏွာ ၁၃၀ မွ အနည္းငယ္
    ေပၚျပလုိပါသည္။ အၾကံေပးအဖြဲ႔ အစီရင္ခံစာမွာပင္ ေမယုနယ္ျခားခုိင္
    ၌ေနထုိင္ၾကေသာ ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာလူမ်ိဳးတုိ႔က
    ျပည္နယ္ေပးလွ်င္ ၄င္းတုိ႔အား ျပည္မႏွင့္တြဲ
    ရ်္ ခ်န္လွန္ထားရန္ေတာင္းပန္ေၾကာင္း၊ စစ္ေတြခရုိင္ကမူ ၉၀ ႏုန္းေသာရခုိင္အမ်ိဳးသားမ်ားက
    ျပည္နယ္လုိလားေၾကာင္း၊ေက်က္ျဖဴခရုိင္ တြင္ျပည္နယ္လုိလားသူမ်ားႏွင့္မလိုလားသူမ်ား
    စာမ်က္ႏွာ ၁၆၈ တြင္...ဦးလွထြျဖဴႏွင့္ရန္ကုန္
    သည္အာရကံနီစတန္ ရခိုင္ျပည္နယ္
    ေတာင္းဆုိေရးအတြက္ဆႏၵစုိင္းျပင္းေနျပီး အစည္းအေ၀းမ်ားက်င္းပရန္လႈပ္ရွားခဲ့ပါသည္

    ခဲ့ေသာ( ေမယုေရွးေရး)စာအုပ္ကုိလည္း

    ရန္ကုန္တကၠသုိလ္ ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာေက်ာင္းသား၊
    REGISTRATION No. 113/59 ,
    DATE 3rd DECEMBER 1959 ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။
    ျမန္မာ့စြယ္စုံက်မ္း အတြဲ (၉)စာမ်ားႏွာ (၉၀) မွအနည္းငယ္ ေရးထားသည္။
    ၄သိန္း ၅ သိန္းရွိပါသည္။ ၇၅ ရာခုိင္
    ႏုန္းမွာ ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာမ်ားျဖစ္ၾကျပီး
    ရခုိင္၊ ဒုိင္းနက္၊ျမိဳ၊ ခမြီးစေသာတုိင္းရင္းသား
    ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာ တုိ႔သည္ အစၥလာမ္၀ါဒီမ်ားျဖစ္ျပီး၊ ရခုိင္တုိ႔သည္ ဗုဓၵ၀ါဒီမ်ားျဖစ္သည္။ က်န္လူမ်ိဳးမ်ားသည္ နတ္မ်ားကုိ.ကုိးကြယ္
    ဆည္းကပ္ၾကေလသည္။ ဟုပါရွိပါသည္။ ထုိ႔ျပင္မ်ားစြာဖတ္ရွဳးႏုိင္ပါသည္။
    ေတာ္ပညာေရး၀န္ၾကီးဌာန မွ ၁၉၇၈ ခုႏွစ္ ထုတ္ ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံပထ၀ီ၀င္
    (ေက်ာင္းသုံးျပဌာန္းစာအုပ္)၏ စာမ်က္ႏွာ(၈၆)တုိင္းရင္းသားမ်ားျ
    ျပန္႔ႏွံ့ေနထုိင္ပုံေခါင္းစဥ္ပါ။ ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံ
    ေျမပုံတြင္ၾကည့္ပါ။ ဖတ္ပါ။
    ၁၉၆၁ ခုႏွစ္ၾသဂုတ္လ(၃)ရက္ေန႔ထုတ္ တပ္မေတာ္ေခတ္ေရးစာေစာင္ကုိ (စိတ္၀င္စားရင္ရွာဖတ္ပါ) နဲ႔နဲ႔ေလးေတာ့ေရးေပးထားခဲ့မယ္။
    ေခါင္းစဥ္က (ေပ်ာက္ေသာသူျပန္ ၍ ေတြ႔သည့္ပမာ)ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။
    ယခုေမယုနယ္ဟုသတ္မွတ္လိုက္ေသာ ဘူးသီးေတာင္ ၊ေမာင္ေတာနယ္မ်ားတြင္
    (၉၇) ရာခုိင္ႏုန္းသည္ ရုဟင္ဂ်ာလူမ်ိဳးမ်ား
    ေနထုိင္ၾကသည္။ သုိ႔ေသာ္ ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာဟူေသာအမည္ကုိ ျပည္မ
    ကလူထုုကမသိ၊ ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာတုိ႕႔၏ယဥ္ေက်းမႈကုိ
    ျပည္မ ကလူထုကမျမင္၊ျပည္ေထာင္စုသား
    စစ္ျဖစ္ပါလွ်က္ႏွင့္ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာတုိ႔၏မ်ိဳးရုိးစဥ္ဆက္ႏွင့္ ယဥ္ေက်းမႈဓေလ့ထုံးတမ္းမွတ္တမ္းတုိ႔သည္
    ဆုိတဲ့အမည္နဲ႔ ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာ အမ်ိုးသားထုၾကိးဟာျပည္ေထာင္စုသား
    အျဖစ္ရွိခဲ့တာဟာ ရခုိင္ဘုရင္ေခတ္ကတည္းကျဖစ္ေပသည္
    ဟုေရးသားထားသည္ဖတ္ရပါသည္။ ယခုေရးသမွ်သည္လည္းမူရင္း
    လႊဲမွားစြာ သုိ႔မဟုတ္ မိမိအေဘာ္ျဖင့္ေရးသားျခင္းမဟုတ္ပါ။

Write A Comment

Rohingya Exodus