Freedom from Military dictators is the best hope for peace and democracy in Burma by Zaw Naing Wynn, Canberra, Australia

5 September 2009,

‘Freedom’ is one of the most contested concepts. My concept of freedom in this article is about freedom from the Military dictators; freedom to live our daily lives without from interference by the Military dictators; freedom to choose and define our own future without taking orders from the dictators and et cetera.

When our founding fathers and Bogyoke Aung San set our nation of Burma freed from the colonial and fascist rules; they set us freed from colonialism and fascism; they set us freed so that we, Burmese, can define and set our own future.

Based on that freedom they set a new order of the new dawn for Burma. For the first time ever in our history, Burma had Parliamentary democracy. The people had freedom of choice to choose their government and freedom to express and speak the truth.

Burma was known as “Rice Bowl of Asia’ at that time. Education system was one of the tops in all East Asia. Its economy was one of the tops in Asia with the most ever educated population, very well established institutions and infrastructures, and progressive societies. That were all due to the freedom our founding fathers fought for us, the freedom that their fore fathers fought generation after generation.

But that freedom was taken away from us on 2 March 1962 by the then dictator, Ne Win. Since then the new dawn of Burma has steadily been slaughtered by successive Military dictators.

The people defied military orders and rose up against their dictatorial rules since 1962. The 1988 people uprising was the largest and the most brutal crackdown by their own dictatorial rulers in the history of Burma. Thousands sacrificed their lives and many more are still paying their lives behind bars for lost freedom and democracy.

Again in the 2007 Saffron Revolution led by monks, the people rose up against the brutal Military dictators and sacrificed their lives for peace and democracy.

We learnt, through sacrifices and bitter experience, that ‘freedom’ is never willingly given by the oppressors; it has to be fought and won by the oppressed people. And in all uprisings and revolutions, the people were marching on the hope that is freedom and democracy will be realised. We would be the most irresponsible and reckless human beings of all kinds to discard and wash away that hope, which is yet to be fulfilled.

The Military dictators may hold elections after elections (based on their deceptive constitution). But elections are not democracy since they are no freedom at all. It would be foolish and indeed suicidal for freedom fighters and democracy activists to identify elections as democracy.

We have seen dictators around the world hold elections and call themselves democratic. The Burmese Military dictators have learnt a great deal (from Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and many others).

At the same time, the dictators are expanding the military and modernising and industrialising its institutions, including nuclear facilities. They are not for defending the country from external threats (as there are none) but for preparing themselves for the long lasting military rule in Burma.

There are no such things like Military’s disciplined democracy.

Our effort now is to restore that freedom won by our founding fathers and to set a new dawn for Burma in the 21st century based on that freedom.

We are not alone. We have seen the emergence of the Great People Revolutions for freedom and democracy around the world. We have seen and witnessed the falls of repressive dictators and the rise of democracies all corners of the earth.


No matter how many elections will be held by the Military dictators, there will not be freedom and peace in Burma. There will not be genuine and meaningful democracy and hence there will not be prosperity at all.

The rulers may come and go but our struggle for freedom and democracy will remain until the sunrise of that freedom and democracy in Burma.

Zaw Naing Wynn

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