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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2041

The Burmese Army (Tatmadaw) is Anathema to, Peace, Democracy or Federalism

By Kanbawza Win

The world should face the truth and say that the Tatmadaw does not want Peace, Democracy and Federalism. Instead it wants a thinly disguised pseudo democracy giving in exchange for the international community right to invest and start business.

In a world where “business always overrules the conscience,” the international business community has willingly issued a General Amnesty to the Burmese Generals for all the war crimes against humanity.

In former Yugoslavia, Cambodia, several African countries war-criminals have been arrested, prosecuted and sentenced but not in Burma? The Tatmadaw has carried out several genocides similar to Rwanda lines, and everybody knows that the Tatmadaw soldiers are murderers, rapists, tortures, looters, arsonists and many others that have committed all these gross human rights violations and systematic War Crimes. They have gone free without being held responsible and punished for their heinous atrocities against the people of Burma, particularly the non-Myanmar ethnic nationalities in exchange for the right to invest.

The current scene in Burma is that the country has become an essentially the scene of a massive Land Rush, the likes of which the world has not seen since it swept across Oklahoma grabbing up the lands of Native American Indians who were in the way of “progress”. Burma as Southeast Asia’s “Land of Sighs” is now everyone’s Cash Cow and cause célèbre to promote their causes, agendas and destinies. Long-oppressed ethnic nationalities will likely be the casualties even now at the peace talks there were major disagreement.

It is understood that even though the ethnic armed groups and Burmese government negotiators have earlier agreed to work toward a “federal system” at their last meeting in August, the Tatmada w remained unhappy about the government conceding to ethnic nationalities’ longstanding demand for a federal system in the country and would not allow the smaller ethnic groups such as Kokang, Wa, Arakanese, Lahu, Naga and many others to be part of the 21-member United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC). A clear “Divide and Rule” strategy by the Myanma Tatmadaw. Earlier, it was able to wean out the KNU lead by the turncoat Mutu Say Po and his henchmen and have try to weaken the UNFC and is now eying smaller ethnic nationalities to obliterate them as what they are doing to the Rohingyas . Even, Nai Hong Sar the ethnic leader leading the UNFC said that, “It is very possible the Tatmadaw do not want to have peace talks,” and expressed doubts over the military’s willingness to sign a nationwide ceasefire, after Burma’s commander-in-chief reportedly rejected a call by ethnic groups for a more inclusive accord than the government has been willing to allow. They simply could not comprehend of the Union of the country and did not recognized the Panglong Accord. This is a major default line in the Burmese crisis and cannot treat other races other than Myanmar as an equal.

This also reveals that the Tatmadaw has not get rid of its Mahar Myanmar spirit of one country, one religion and one language and that Myanmar must dominate over all the other ethnic groups because they are not only fewer in number but also inferior to them. It seems that they come to the conference with a superior mode and is actually looking to the UNFC team not through the eyes but with the nose, just to indicate that they are above them. Hence they put up the six points all of which they are committing:-

(1) To have a keen desire to have peace (It was the Tatmadaw that does not have a keen desire to have peace and the is that they have been fighting the ethnic nationalities over half a century since the first military coup of 1962).

(2) To keep promises in peace talk (The Tatmadaw motto of “Lie-ing the very concept of truth” was made bare because they are the one that always broke the agreement e.g. on the day President issued an order to stop the offence is that day when Tatmadaw launched its major offensive against the Kachin).

(3) To avoid capitalizing on the agreement. This phrase caught the Tatmadaw red handed simply because they are now exposed to a free press. Previously the news was very much controlled and they released only what they want, a one sided story and now there are two sides of the coins and become under the glare of local and international free press in Burmese we say Kho Sar Dar Mi Thwa Be

(4) To avoid placing heavy burden on the people< b>. It is really a joke to put in this phrase when they are the ones to place a heavy burden on the people e.g. forcing the villagers to be porters in their military operations due to lack of mechanized divisions and forcing the villagers to walk in front of the soldiers so that they will be the ones to be blown off in case of a land mine. The world knows that Tatmadaw soldiers are the ones committing gross human rights violations.

(5) To strictly abide by the existing laws (first and foremost there is not law and order in the country as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi often said). The laws are only for the elite including the Tatmadaw while the mass of the populations is under the military boots, there is a Burmese saying meaning that if you are not in their good books harsh law will be applied but if you are friendly they will use another law.

(6) To March towards a democratic country in accord with the 2008 Constitution. This is the most important aspect of their demands which explicitly demonstrated that they will adhere to the fraudulent and manipulated Nargis Constitution of 2008, barring Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the nation's most qualified, competent, sincere, dedicated and popular politician and preserves the military's untouchable status of reserving for itself 25 percent of the seats in parliament. This point proves beyond doubt that the Tatmadaw does not want genuine democracy

All these six points which the Tatmadaw puts up in the peace negotiations talk demonstrate that they don’t want Peace, Democracy or Federalism? Hypothetically the rubber stamp parliament approved a proposal urging the government and ethnic armed groups to work together to agree on a nationwide ceasefire. What more surprising is that the Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing with no rhyme or reason faulted United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) for being an obstacle to the ongoing peace process? The current Burmese hypocrite.

But the unkindest cut of all is that the Tatmadaw going back to their earlier agreement. Senior NCCT (Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team) member Dr.Salai Lian Hmong Sakhong, (head of the Chin National Front), said the government negotiators – a delegation known as the Union Peace-making Work Committee, (UPWC) headed by Minister Aung Min – had backtracked on issues that had been discussed at previous meetings.

“The UPWC team have backtracked on certain key issues that had already been discussed, such as the road map for political dialogue. We basically had to restart negotiations from scratch,” he commented. This proves beyond doubt that the Tatmadaw did not intend to honour its own words. They have done these to the ethnic nationalities of Burma for more than half a century and now they are trying to hoodwink the international community. Will the West led by the US bestowed their blessings on the quasi-military government of Burma and its ever marauding Tatmadaw?

Foot Notes

Michel; My My<./b> in Hush Hush Publications 24-9-2014
Heinemann;Tim, War’s Inevitability in Burma in WIN

Weng;Lawi, Exclusion of Smaller Groups Emerges as Ceasefire Sticking Point The Irrawaddy 23-9-2014

Tatmadaw outlines 6-point policy for peace talk Myanmar Eleven, AFP 23- 9- 2014

Ceasefire accord hits barrier on road map to peace Democratic Voice of Burma 25-9-2014

Mizzima News 22 & 23-9-2014

Ceasefire accord hits barrier on road map to peace Democratic Voice of Burma 25-9-2014

- Asian Tribune -

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