Notwithstanding the election farce, Aung San Suu Kyi is “Burma’s one leader” by Tint Swe

The military junta fears her, and undermine her appeal, has launched a defamation campaign against her. November’s useless vote is but another stage in the fight for democracy.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) – The military’s lies, the pullout of the pro-democracy forces, and widespread lack of confidence among ordinary people should not stop the fight for democracy in Burma. The country, which soon goes to the polls for the first time in 20 years, should be united on that day, which the generals have made off-limits to the international community.

AsiaNews spoke to Tint Swe, a member of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB), set up by refugees from Myanmar following the 1990 elections. After fleeing to India, he has lived in New Delhi since 21 December 1991.

Like everywhere, in Burma, there are always pros and cons as well as positives and negatives whenever a move is done from either side. By and large, the military rulers made moves first and the opposition has to react. At times, the opposition started the move ahead the regime has to counter it.

When the people of Burma demonstrated in 1988, ultimately General Ne Win who has ruled for 26 years gave up. But the next two presidents tried to kill and quell the protest.

When the people voted for the National League for Democracy (NLD) in 1990, the then junta in the name of the State Law and Order Restoration Council had to hurriedly act in response to the legitimate call for a new government and the parliament by issuing the historic announcement 1/90 on 27th July 1990 which assigned that all elected Parliamentarians were to merely draft a new constitution. However, when the national convention to draw up the constitution was practically held on 9th January 1993 the elected MPs constituted only 15.24% at outset and in the later sessions, it was reduced to barely 1.38%.

“A dead woman bites not.” When Aung San Suu Kyi was gathering more and more public crowds during her around-the-country tours, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) attempted to kill her on 30th May 2003. Fortunately, she survived and the world outraged. The junta had to respond with announcement of the Roadmap. The upcoming election is the key of that.

A long fight against the dictatorship takes exceptionally lengthy in Burma. Meanwhile both sides lost so-called own men. From the NLD more than a hundred elected parliamentarians have died, three of them killed in the prisons and two assassinated outside the country. Meanwhile a number of intellectuals who have advocated for democracy collaborated with the regime. One of Aung San Suu Kyi’s assistants turned hostile. Before the upcoming election, a few scholars are visiting abroad to lobby for the junta’s election.

The dilemmas also caused the NLD causalities. After the unanimous decision was made on 29th March 2010 not to re-register, some leaders of the NLD left the party and formed the National Democratic Forum (NDF) to field 164 candidates in the election to be held from 7th to 11th November this year. It is more than hearsay that NDF received fund from junta’s party UNDP, which will contest almost all seats.

The regime is not immune. Look at General Ne Win, General Saw Maung, and General Tin Oo who died shockingly and disgracefully. There are also living dead army officers such as Brigadier Aung Gyi and Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt.

So far, the opposition keeps the top leader alive. Although the party has been stripped off the legal attribute, all NLD members disallowed to contest and the constitution has been made as no-woman head of the state possible, Aung San Suu Kyi is still regarded as a person whose liberty might bring the regime down. The junta feared of holding the election before she was freed. Only when she said about boycott election, the election commission made a correction and informed that she had the right to vote. The message to her people is that the people have the right to vote as well as the right not to vote.

Propaganda machinery if effectively used can turn events upside down. Rumour machine also can efficiently mislead and misinform to some extent. Now and again, the military intelligence has printed thousands of leaflets of Aung San Suu Kyi to defame her. There have been numerous mischievous articles about her in the state-run newspapers written by various pseudonyms. Almost all subordinates have been taught or ordered of false accounts of Aung San Suu Kyi. A deserter soldier who fled to India told that Aung San Suu Kyi was the woman who made troubles. Continue reading “Notwithstanding the election farce, Aung San Suu Kyi is “Burma’s one leader” by Tint Swe”

Tokyo embassy joins others in receiving absentee votes

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The Burmese embassy in Tokyo took advanced votes from citizens in Japan for the November 7 general election yesterday, amid street protests urging a poll boycott.

The mission joined Burma’s embassies to Russia, Philippines, Britain and the United States in the past week that also collected absentee votes.

“About 40 people arrived at the embassy between eight and 10 in the morning while I was standing out front … Most of them were studying here, those married to Japanese citizens and senior citizens,” a Burmese citizen told Mizzima.

The embassy was opened from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. but they allowed those who had boycottjapan2brought an invitation letter from the mission to enter and cast their votes in advance, he said.

It announced that it would suspend consular services for Burmese citizens, visa applications and collection yesterday and that these services would resume today.

The Japan-based 2010 Election Boycott Committee held protests against the election outside the embassy, distributing leaflets that contained the message: “Take your free decision only after reading this leaflet” to the Burmese who came to vote.

The committee is an alliance of in total 28 activist and pro-democracy groups in Japan that include the National League for Democracy (Liberated Area – Japan Branch), the League of Democracy for Burma, the Burma Democratic Action and the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (Foreign Affairs Committee).

It distributed 300 copies of leaflets urging citizens to boycott the election if possible, and to reconsider casting their votes.

“We urged the voters not to support the junta directly or indirectly by voting in this election, which will enslave our unborn relatives and children under the military dictatorship,” committee chairman Mai Kyaw Oo told Mizzima.

There are about 50,000 Burmese citizens living in Japan for various reasons.

Similarly, absentee votes were collected in Russia from servicemen studying as guests of one of Burma’s few but powerful allies.

“I have cast my advanced votes on three ballot papers: one is for a party representing our race, and the other two were for the USDP party. Name and address has to be filled in on a counterfoil and ticks for the parties of our choice on the original. Our student leader explained how to vote before leaving for Moscow,” a military officer on study leave in Russia said.

Sources told Mizzima that about 2,000 Burmese military officers were studying in the country.

Burmese embassies in the Philippines, Britain and the US collected advanced votes from Burmese citizens over the weekend.
About 10,000 eligible voters reside in Britain but the Burmese embassy in London allowed only a few to cast their votes in advance, the Burma Liberation Front (BLF), based in Britain, said.

“There are about 10 students who are studying here but they were not allowed to enter the embassy … The embassy told them their names were not included in the electoral roll … so they had to return [home] without voting,” BLF general secretary Ma Thandar said.

In its website report about the voting day on Saturday, the BLF said the Burmese embassy had secretly sent invitations to only a handful of Burmese citizens living in Britain “who are very friendly with the embassy”.

“The Burmese embassy did not make any efforts to notify and alert the expatriate Burmese in London about its plans to secretly hold early overseas voting on October 16 for sham Burmese elections on November 7,” it said.

It added that to make sure only a handful of pro-regime people were able to vote, and to turn away any other potential voters, the embassy had hired “menacing looking” private security guards to stop “uninvited voters” coming to cast their votes, which was actually why the 10 were turned away.

The BLF said it had received information about the “unlawful and unfair” voting arrangements from insiders in the Burmese diplomatic community, “so we sent our own members who hold Burmese passports to demand at the Burmese embassy to allow them to exercise their legitimate citizens’ rights to cast their votes for parties of their choice”.

“But … our members were stopped at the embassy doorstep and searched by securities [security guards] and had their passports checked, and their personal details were taken,” the report said.

The website report said that the BLF members proceeded to hold a demonstration in front of the embassy from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. “to protest at [its] … dishonest, unfair, elitist early overseas voting, which was open only to a small number of hand-picked, pro-regime voters”, it said.


Members of 2010 Election Boycott Committee japan click on

People use posters to show they reject election in Northern Burma

People showed their rejection of the upcoming junta-run election by pasting up posters today in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State, northern Burma, according to civilian activists.

About 50 A-4 sized posters with the words “No 2010 Election” written in Burmese were put up this morning at main markets, along roadsides and at schools in Myitkyina, a local civilian activist by the name of Awng Gam said.

He said the posters did not suggest people boycott the November 7 election.

myitkyina-kachin-manauKachin capital Myitkyina, Northern Burma. Photo: Kachin News Group

He told the Thailand-based Kachin News Group, “We’d like to show our attitude, that we simply don’t like this election”.

Most of the hand written and computer generated anti-election posters were taken down quickly by the authorities, but some posters could still be found in the evening, said a local eyewitness.

The recently announced laws governing the election are based on the 2008 constitution, which analysts argue guarantees the military leaders administrative, legislative and judiciary control of the country indefinitely.

The government controlled Union Election Commission used the constitution to refuse independent political parties, and individual candidates which are not linked to the junta permission to contest the election.

In Kachin State, no independent Kachin parties or individual candidates were accepted to run in the election.

The five political parties selected to run are the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), the Unity and Democracy Party of Kachin State (UDPKS), the National Unity Party (NUP), the Shan Nationals Democratic Party (SNDP) and the National Democratic Force (NDF).

Only the NDF is not affiliated with the country’s military rulers. But, the party’s election campaigns have been disrupted by members of the junta sponsored USDP and military authorities.

The now dissolved Kachin State Progressive Party (KSPP), led by Dr. Tu Ja, was quite popular in Kachin State, but it was rejected by the Election Commission.

Previously, every anti-junta poster movement in Kachin State was led by All Kachin Students’ Union (AKSU), an underground Kachin student organization but today was conducted by ordinary people.


i Vote တဲ့ဗ်ာ … သေဘာကေတာ့ မဲထည့္မယ္ေပါ့ by Irrawaddy Blog

လူငယ္ေတြ တအုပ္ႀကီး ေလွ်ာက္လာတဲ့ လမ္းမွာ အားလံုးက ကြက္ၾကည့္ ကြက္ၾကည့္နဲ႔။ သူတို႔ေတြရဲ႕ အကၤ်ီေတြက ထူးဆန္းေနတာကိုး။

ပါးစပ္က မေျပာေပမယ့္ သြားတဲ့ လမ္းတေလွ်ာက္ အားလံုး ၾကည့္သြားေစမယ့္ အသံတိတ္နည္းနဲ႔ မဲထည့္ဖို႔ တိုက္တြန္းထားတဲ့ i Vote စာတန္းပါ တီရွပ္ အကၤ်ီေလးေတြနဲ႔ လူငယ္ေတြကို ခုလိုေတြ႕ရမွာပါ။

အသက္ ၁၈ ႏွစ္ ျပည့္ျပီးတဲ့ လူငယ္ေတြ လာမယ့္ ေ႐ြးေကာက္ပဲြမွာ မဲေပးမယ္ ဆိုတဲ့ သေဘာနဲ႔ i Voteစာတမ္းထုိးထား တီ႐ွပ္ေတြ ၀တ္ၿပီး ရန္ကုန္ ျမိဳ႔လယ္မွာ သြားလာေန ၾကတာပါပဲ။

No Vote ဆိုၿပီး မဲမေပးဖို႔ တိုက္တြန္းထားတဲ့ သီခ်င္း၊ လက္ကမ္း ေၾကာ္ျငာတာတို႔ကို တုန္႔ျပန္တာ တခုျဖစ္သလို ပိုထိေရာက္ တဲ့နည္းလမ္းတခုလို႔ သိပံုရတယ္။

မဲသြားမေပးေရး အမ်ဳိးသား ဒီမုိကေရစီ အဖြဲ႕ခ်ဳပ္ (NLD) ၏ လႈပ္ရွားမႈ ကမ္ပိန္းကုိ တန္ျပန္ တုိက္ခုိက္ဖို႔ ရည္ရြယ္ထားတဲ့ i Vote (မဲေပးမည္) လႈပ္ရွားမႈလို႔ လည္း ေျပာၾကပါတယ္။

ဆယ္ေက်ာ္သက္ လူငယ္ေတြကို အသံုးခ်ၿပီး ႀကံ့ဖြံ႔ရဲ႕ မဲေပးဖို႔ စည္း႐ံုးေရး လုပ္တာလို႔လည္း ေျပာဆိုေန ၾကေပမယ့္ ဘယ္လိုပဲ ေျပာေျပာ လူငယ္ေတြနဲ႔ ဆင္တူ အကၤ်ီေလးေတြနဲ႔ (သီခ်င္းသြင္းစရာ မလိုေတာ့ အာေညာင္း သက္သာ၊ ေၾကာ္ျငာခ ပံုေပး စရာမလို) နည္းလမ္း ဆိုေတာ့ လူ စိတ္၀င္စားတာေပါ့ …။


ဂ်ပန္ႏိုင္ငံရွိ ျမန္မာသံ႐ံုးသို႔ လူဦးေရ ၉၀ ေက်ာ္ ဝင္ေရာက္ ႀကိဳတင္မဲေပး…

ဓာတ္ပံံု အကိုၾကီး ကိုသန္းဝင္း
သတင္း ျဖိဳးေဝMMP
ႏိုဝင္ဘာလ၊ ၇ ရက္ေန႔တြင္ျပဳလုပ္မည့္ ၂၀၁၀ ေ႐ြးေကာက္ပြဲ အတြက္ ဂ်ပန္ႏိုင္ငံရွိ ျမန္မာသံ႐ံုးသို႔ လူဦးေရ ၉၀ ေက်ာ္ ဝင္ေရာက္ ႀကိဳတင္မဲေပးခဲ့ၾကေၾကာင္း သတင္းရရွိပါသည္။ မဲေပးခြင့္ ရသူမ်ားမွာ စစ္အုပ္စု၏ ေထာက္ပံ့မႈမ်ားျဖင့္ ဂ်ပန္ႏိုင္ငံသို႔ ေရာက္ရွိလာၾကသူမ်ားျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း၊ မဲေပးခဲ့သူမ်ား အေနျဖင့္ ႀက့ံခိုင္ဖြ႔ံၿဖိဳးေရးပါတီကို အဓိကထား လာေရာက္မဲေပးၾက ျခင္းျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း စံုစမ္းသိရွိရသည္။ 

ဂ်ပန္ႏိုင္ငံရွိ ျမန္မာသံ႐ံုးမွ မၾကာေသးမီက ေအာက္တိုဘာလ၊ ၁၉ ရက္၊ အဂၤါေန႔တြင္ ႀကိဳတင္ဆႏၵမဲ လာေရာက္ေပးၾကရန္ ဖိတ္စာမ်ားပို႔ေပးခဲ့သည္။ ႀကိဳတင္မဲေပးခြင့္ မရတာနဲ႔ ပတ္သတ္ၿပီး “ဖိတ္စာေတြသံ႐ံုးက လူတိုင္းကို မပို႔ေပးဖူး၊ ဂ်ပန္ႏိုင္ငံကို ေရာက္ရွိေၾကာင္း သံ႐ံုးကို လာသတင္းေပးသူေတြပဲ လက္ခံရတယ္။ ျမန္မာျပည္သူ အမ်ားစုကလည္း အစိုးရနဲ႔ ေဝးေဝးေနခ်င္ၾကတယ္ေလ ျဖစ္ႏိုင္ရင္မပတ္သတ္ခ်င္ၾကဖူး၊ အဲဒီေတာ့ သံ႐ံုးကို သတင္းပို႔တာေတြ ဘာေတြလုပ္မေနေတာ့ဖူးေပါ့ဗ်ာ၊ ဒါေၾကာင့္ မဲေပးခြင့္မရတာ လိုထင္ပါတယ္”ဟု လာေရာက္မဲေပးသူ တစ္ဦးက ရွင္းျပသည္။ သံ႐ံုးသို႔ ေရာက္ရွိ သတင္းေပးျခင္း အခြန္ေဆာင္ျခင္းမ်ား မပ်က္မကြပ္ ျပဳလုပ္ေနသူမ်ားထံသို႔ပင္ ဖိတ္စာမ်ား မေရာက္ရွိေၾကာင္း စစ္အုပ္စု အသိုင္း အဝိုင္း ႏွင့္ နီးစပ္သူမ်ားကို သာ ဖိတ္ၾကားျခင္း ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း သိရသည္။ Continue reading “ဂ်ပန္ႏိုင္ငံရွိ ျမန္မာသံ႐ံုးသို႔ လူဦးေရ ၉၀ ေက်ာ္ ဝင္ေရာက္ ႀကိဳတင္မဲေပး…”

ANALYSIS-China to win as Myanmar heads to the polls

“The Burmese need Beijing for international protection, and the Chinese need the Burmese for raw materials, and perhaps more importantly for strategic access to the Indian Ocean,” said Maung Zarni, a Myanmar expert at the London School of Economics’ Centre for the Study of Global Governance.

“Whoever comes to power it won’t make any difference … It’s not like the Burmese generals are fond of the Chinese. They are not. It’s basically a marriage of convenience.”

In some regards, Myanmar is already gaining more power over China, thanks to the political clout bought by strategic pipelines being built that will bring oil and gas overland into southwestern China in the next few years.

Myanmar has been working hard to allay Chinese fears.

Than Shwe reassured Beijing during a rare visit last month that China was a vital ally and that the election and planned power transfer would not affect relations.

“The current military government will continue to control Myanmar’s politics,” Wang Zichang of Guangzhou’s Jinan University wrote in the latest issue of the Chinese journal Southeast Asian Studies.

“No matter what the outcome, the elections will not affect Myanmar’s foreign policy. The West’s sanctions will continue or be increased … China and India will maintain their policy of engagement,” Wang wrote. “Because of China’s position, the U.N. Security Council cannot really put sanctions on Myanmar.”

China has pumped billions of dollars into Myanmar, mostly in energy projects, with Chinese firms taking advantage of Myanmar’s desperation for hard currency and the unwillingness of Western firms to do business in a country condemned for rights abuses.