Thursday, November 1, 2007

Reality and Hope in Burma (Part II)

The people of Burma were forced to move out from their home land, so as to find better lives and to get jobs supporting their love ones back home. 4 millions of illegal Burmese immigrant workers are in Thailand now; several millions of Burmese had also fled to Asia, Europe and North America for economic and political reasons over the past two decades.

International and regional communities have been trying to accept the military regime’s political roadmap, after the NLD was brutalized and its leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for twelve years. For a long period of time, the Burmese had no hope to restore democracy and freedom in Burma under the world’s longest constitution drafting.

Nonetheless, economic failure and political suppression were linked with SPDC’s price hike on basic fuel and natural gas in August 2007. The regime increased 500% of energy price ignited people’s anger, and student activists openly challenged the regime by demonstrating in Rangoon. The protest had spread around the country soon in late August, and major demonstrations thus took place in September 2007. To respond, the SPDC regime arrested students and NLD leaders, but it did not expect that religious institutions would turn a new political page.

Finally, Buddhist monks took a lead in the demonstration, chanting “Loving Kindness or Mitta Sutra” during peaceful demonstrations in Rangoon and other cities. People therefore joined monks’ protest under heavy rain for about one week during the second week of September. Buddhist monks also decided to call for three demands, asking the government to free all of the political prisoners, to seek for national reconciliation, and to create economic equality and stability.

Sadly, the reaction from military regime was simple—including firing at demonstrators, beating monks and killing many students on the streets. Furthermore, the regime used predawn attacks on Buddhist monasteries and arrested monks. Meanwhile, the Burmese government also used scary door-to-door search to look for demonstrators and political activists at night.

However, what the military regime failed to realize is that nowadays the information technology plays a very important role in supporting democracy and people’s uprising worldwide. This time, new generations of young Burmese have been using digital cameras, cellular phones and cam-recorders to send the world through the internet the information regarding the regime’s brutality and killings. The whole world witnessed this regime’s barbaric behavior and saw how its security forces abused monks and people.

The U.N.’s Security Council then intervened and condemned the regime’s crackdown, and it also pressured those generals to have dialogues with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and with other political actors. The whole world did not stay quiet and had called for democratic reform, asking the junta to share power with those political activists. The regime’s strong supporter, namely China, also called for the regime to use civil means to solve the domestic problems. Thus, international pressure against the regime has been maximized. Although the regime tried to resist these pressures from both internal and external domains, it seemed fail to do so.

In my view, the military regime’s ruling for almost two decades will come to an end eventually due to failing economy, corruptions, wrong economic policy and political suppressions against political reformers. During the past 20 years, the military regime used its military domination and intentionally created ethnic conflicts. The junta appears to be the main political actor at the political roadmap that it invented, and a new constitution seems to be no longer available. This year finally, the Burmese people expressed their support of a new political system; their action was witnessed by the international community, and even interest countries called for political reconciliation. There is no doubt that 54 millions of the Burmese certainly have the right to seek for better lives, in the hope that democracy and freedom will come in reality.

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