DASSK, NLD, SANGHA _ FALLING IN TRAP?
CREDIT EMG Written by Thurein Hlaing Win
For the time being, many rude assaults were found on online social networks against Sangha or the community of ordained Buddhist monks, mainly due to U Withura who seems to be a nationalist.
You can see easily on the networks that those who called themselves “liberals” made a lot of those attacks without any control. The most sadly is that they are namely Khun Deram and Demo Fatty believed to be from a group close to NLD and its leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (DASSK), and they used to post inside information and photos related to them online. Now people have assumed that they are the voices of NLD and its leader confronting with the national issue and making the rude attacks, as they mostly used to post DASSK’s voices online. These acts of inside persons have made the moral value of DASSK fall down.
There are only two institutions which seem “nationalistic” in Myanmar. The first one is the military. The latter is the Sangha. The Sangha became the nationalists as they have the duty to protect the religion and the national because they are religious leaders themselves. They cannot vote in an election as they are monks, but they can influence the people who represent about 70% of the country’s population. The monks are teachers and mentors to many people in rural areas. As before, the Sangha still wants and accepts the leadership of DASSK. That’s why NLD won landslide in 1990 and 2012. But now, NLD and its close community found themselves confronted with the Sangha, because of U Withura and the liberalism.
There are more than 500,000 Buddhist monks in Myanmar. There could not be more than 10% of them who failed to obey the Buddha’s rules for a monk. That’s why Myanmar is still a Theravada Buddhist country till now. These attacks made mainly due to the acts of a few monks, against the whole Sangha may not be a good prospective for NLD.
The opinions made by some supporters for NLD are once more against the response of Buddhist majority regarding the Time Magazine cover story which attacked the Buddhism incorrectly. Myanmar is a country where more than 85% of the population is Buddhists. The story dishonored not only U Withura, but also other Buddhists. That’s why most of the Buddhists expressed their disagreement on the story. But this time again, NLD supporters made another confrontation by supporting the Time and even condemning the recent campaign against it. The action against the Time was made not only for U Withura. There are reasons behind it. The story dishonored the Buddhism, but did not show enough reasons behind it. Myanmar is a country located between populous countries with strong beliefs. Now is the time when the country’s politics cannot be too far away from the nationalism and the religion. The NLD supporters who took themselves as “liberals” are holding total secularism. They made those strong attacks against the nationalists as they lack the political deftness. NLD may lose people’s support largely as a result. The “liberals” confronted with the people unwisely, rather than they stay away from some cases.
The opposition was caught in a trap as regards with the ethnic issues. They fell into the trap again regarding to the government projects. Again, they were trapped when the Bengali issue arose. Until now, the opposition is resistant to these traps. They still stand as a political party supported by the majority of people. However, it is witnessed the people’s trust and support for Aung San Suu Kyi and NLD have dropped each time it went into traps. NLD should take caution if it wants to win the nation-wide votes in 2015 election. In fact, all these traps were laid because it is clear that NLD cannot be defeated in a fair way, after it won the landslide votes in 2012 by-election. Now has come another biggest trap for Aung San Suu Kyi and NLD. It is apparent that nationalism has been used as a tool to make Aung San Suu Kyi and NLD to become unpopular. There is growing hatred between NLD liberals and the nationalists. Nationalists’ support for NLD has now fallen. By this time, NLD should not go into the trap just because it is strong. However, NLD is still voluntarily going into the trap of nationalism. NLD’s components attack nationalists, rather than negotiating with them. Their insult to Buddhist monks is further pushing NLD into the trap. I feel really worried that underestimating the dictators’ nationalism will lead to the fall of NLD. Since my childhood, I have become a strong supporter of NLD. I am not a political expert, nor a religious expert. These are the things I see as a young man. What I cannot understand is why NLD is going into these traps that even a young man can see clearly.
There is nationalism in every country. If the United States of America is regarded as a democracy icon, it can be easily seen most of the US Republicans are the nationalists. But, they do negotiate for their country. Similarly, although there are two sides in Myanmar, they should set aside the differences and negotiate in the interests of the country. If NLD’s components, holding a stance to eradicate the other side, attack the nationalists including the Buddhist monks and attempt to portray them as extremists, NLD’s image will be damaged. NLD will have confrontation with the people. Then, NLD’s expectations for 2015 election will be impaired. I hope NLD will not go into the trap.
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