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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2702

Why Another Insane Government?

By Prof. Kanbawza Win

The New Year declaration of the National Council of Burma (NCUB) has convinced the international community that the saying of "Putting two Burmese together will produced three political parties." The majority of the international observers who has been scrutinizing the people of Burma in the peripherals and in Diaspora of how they would fare, once democracy is achieved, is now beyond doubt that the people of Burma get the government they deserve. The headquarters of this new government should be side by side with the Independence Shan Government, so that they can be back and call of each other to prove true to the Junta’s theory of Balkanization of Burma and that only the Burmese army can keep the country together. No doubt the Junta will be hilarious and will be clapping its hoofs.

There is no denying that the incumbent National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) a pro democratic Burmese provisional government with its self destructive management is very busy doing nothing, staying in the niceties of the West and jetting around the world with the dole out of some donor, should make a graceful exist. But, the way that a new parallel provisional government is conceived is not only dubious but seems to be dictatorial and defeats the very purpose of Democracy which must be constructed on understanding and consensus. Perhaps, the secretary of NCUB admire the National Unity Party (NUP) that acquire 10 seats in the 1990 elections, who is also the brain child of another Maung Maung (except that he put the word Dr.) from inside Burma, following the demise of BSPP (Burmese Socialist Programme Party). That seems to be the logic of why he is waiting the approval of NUP (National Unity Parliament) to be convened in Dublin on the 19th instant. So if things come out as they plan we will soon see the struggle of the NUP (overseas) versus NUP (inside Burma) which will bewilder a casual observer.

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong to have a new vigorous and dynamic provincial government if they imitate PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) or ANC (African National Congress) to compete with the Junta but their actions seems to be more like a Hamas that is loggerhead with Al Fatah and take on Israel. The point is how do they approach the whole problem concerning the most important aspects of the ethnic nationalities when all the de facto leaders are all Burman/Myanmar? Do they confide with ENC (Ethnic National Council) of their plan and get their blessing and consensus or just send a formal invitation which tantamount to “Oh you little brother come and join me and be my squire for I am going to be St George taking on the fiery Dragon.” Or even do the NCUB discuss with their stake holders as Aung Tin has pointed out in his R2P article (in Burmese) before making a unilateral announcement on New Year Day? The actions of this so called action orientated, new government seems to be imbued with the spirit of that "I am the only pebble on the beach" and that the ethnic nationalities except the Karen are somewhat lesser than us, while the rest of the other pro democracy Myanmar/Burman are not worth discussing.

One will not follow leader until and unless they trust the leader and know what the resources are? The second aspect is that NCUB (National Council of the Union of Burma) which is just an alliance with no mandate must also be a follower. It is not our will, but the will of the people and let us walk together should be the approach.

Any way we would like to see a Wa representative (if we were to have a well equip army of more than 20,000 battled harden men) as even now the Junta’s representative Kyaw Pyoe, the Kengtung based regional commander is in dialogue with the representative of UWSA, Wei Xueying, the younger brother of the Wa regional commander Xuegangr. We would also like to see a Shan representative who is still battling the Junta’s forces with might and main, not to mention the Karenni representative or even a DKBA, KPNLF and the likes in the up coming government.

One should also recollect that only the Wa has the territory of their own while the rest of the ethnic groups are rag tag guerilla army since the fall of Manerplaw. Hence if the proper approach has been made to pave the way and give the chance to the ethnics that they are likewise brothers in oppression and should work hand in glove to throw the yoke of the Junta’s tyranny, we are quite positive that not only the international community but the whole of the Burmese in Diaspora would support.

It is evident that FTUB (Federation of Trade Unions–Burma) and the (NCUB) can give some heartburn to the military generals but none of these organizations is well organized or well funded to effectively change the existing system. We are solely afraid that the funds that will trickle down be used for the body guards and psychopaths.

It seems that the whole concept of this approach is the wrong spirit and mentality harbor by the NCUB who seems to construe themselves as Bo Teza (Bogyoke Aung San father of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi that liberated Burma) unwittingly ending up as Bo Shu Maung (General New Win, the architect of Burmese dictatorship). Claiming credit for the saffron revolution in order to be eligible for some funds not only upset the opposition but also those inside the country and the international community as he is trying to reap what he did not sow shows its true color, not to mention of taking the consensus even among its executive committee (Khun Marko Ban the 3rd president of NCUB) before the announcement.

The only common denominator among the democratic opposition is to knock out the Junta either by hook or by crook. Come full stop. They could not comprehend the lessons of Afghanistan once the Russian withdrew and there was infighting among the Afghans so much so that Taliban came to power and it took Uncle Sam a great effort to restore law and order. So also studying the personality and actions of those who are at the helm of this umbrella pro democracy struggle, one could draw a parallel and as it seems have taken a leaf from the Junta’s book of "I am the monarch of all I survey."

Once the Junta is gone (which we doubt) then it will be like U Nu days where the Myanmar/Burman are pitted against the non Myanmar and the ethnic nationalities will be marginalized again. If so no one will join them. We still have not seen their manifesto on the economic policy, domestic or foreign policies not counting the rehabilitation of agricultural policies, so crucial to the farmers hit by cyclone Nargis. What about the monetary system never mind about health and education and so forth has to be laid out? One recollect that when the first provincial government was formed it got the support of the outstanding Burmese academics and intelligentsia but as years goes on NCUB leave them in the cold and the majority of the Burmese got fed up later. We should not forget that in every revolution there are intelligentsia and intellect behind them who are core advisers.

Dictatorial or the semblance of the chauvinist approach should be shunned as copying the Junta or whatever. The hypothesis that Dr Sein Win and Dr. Thoung Htun will never give up their position even though Boutros Gali, Kofi Annan, Presidents Clinton or Bush have served their terms and exist, will be the same as Maung Maung will be the perpetual Secretary of FTUB and will cling on to NCUB. Every patriotic Burmese did not have to dig deep of how NCUB is functioning all these years, the way its committee members have to survive on the whims and fancies of a single person who have beaten the Thaksin Government in purchasing votes to be elected to the post of the General Secretary as according to the Thai Intelligence. But still it is worth trying after almost two decades as the NCGUB is almost as good as defunct only if we change some personality among its existing members and take the terrorist visage out in order to be more presentable to the people residing from inside Burma. Perhaps a graceful exist for a peaceful retirement is some Western country with JL (unlike Dr. Sein Win cannot smuggle his better half out of the country) will be a far better option for the new government.

Many people in the opposition works hard and are devoted to overthrowing the Junta but we also need leaders who work smart, have a clear vision with the right spirit, right mentality, ethics and sincerity, if democracy and federalism are to make a start in Burma. We specifically need a broad approach, with a new Premier of whether it is run by the former comrades just like as an old wine in a new bottle or an entirely new vigorous persons, for we don’t want, as according to the Burmese saying Hin Lay Oo Hte Ma Sin Ta Zet Ma Kya Sae Chin Bu meaning, to witness a drop of excreta falling into a good gracious curry or otherwise it will be another insane, government, which is Burmese call UB A Soe Ya for the acronym NUG should be Noble Unbeatable Government instead of Negligence Uncomprehending Government which is Not Up-to the mark Government.

- Asian Tribune -

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