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Futurework and Burma - U Tun Myint

Reply-To: "Timothy Hla"  <hlatim@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: Futurework and Burma - U Tun Myint

> Dr. Hla Wrote;
> *I totally agree with Soon in describing the previous comments from others in 
> *this letter as bordering on racist ideology, perhaps coupled with tremendous 
> *naivete of the modern world.  I think that it is entirely wrong to say that 
> *some people are 100% Burmese and that they are different from the Chinese 
> and 
> *Indian immigrants.
	Dear Dr. Hla:
> 	Welcome to this discussion and thank you for your participation.  I
> hope you have read the previous three posting of mine concerning this issue.
> Again, I have never said in those posting that Burmese are different from
> Indians and Chinese immigrants in term of deserving basic rights in Burma. I 
> said mostly Chinese immigrants enjoy their live in Burma by doing unfair way 
> of
> making money.
I pointed such as the penetration in northern Burma currently. 
> If
> you were ever in Burma in Rangoon, you might had found SOME Chinese in Lathar 
> Lan  and Thein Gyi Zay (Thein Gyi Market) sold goods to people differently. 
> If 
> you speak Chinese, you will get different price and if you don't you will get 
> different price. It was not so obvious, only people who curious could know 
> that.
> I know that because my brother has a shop in Thein Gyi Zay. I every weekend 
> helped him accounting.  Anyway, my sister-in-law is Chinese-Karen and she 
> knew
> that and she does not like it too.
> 	What do you think the ideology that exist in this case?  How can we not
> let happen such thing in the "future Burma."

Dear U Tun Myint:

Thank you for your detailed reply to my comments.  I will try to reinforce my 
previous statements by replying at the relevant points along your letter.  

I strongly believe that it is wrong to generically make a statement like "mostly
Chinese immigrants enjoy their live in Burma by doing unfair way of making 
money."  Yes, the examples you make about some merchants' improper or 
discriminatory behavior in Theingyizay may be true.  But to generalize this type
of behavior to an ethnic group, such as Chinese merchants, is clearly wrong, in 
my opinion.  How can you be so sure that ALL Chinese merchants behaved this way 
?  Thus, this statement is UNTRUE.  This type of ethnic stereotyping, no matter 
how innocent it seems, leads to unnecessary racial tension and animosity. 

I think that we should recognize that these are characteristic of human behavior
that there are some people who act in a less ethical or fair way than you or I 
might like to see.  The way to prevent is to let the market forces decide.  For 
example, the greedy merchants from Theingyizay that you described will probably 
not get as many customers than your brother does.  It is however, up to those 
merchant's to give a discount to whoever that they choose to.  Why are you so 
concerned about that ?

> *Most of the immigrants came to Burma 3-4 generations ago and I am 
> *appalled to hear that they are foreigners and that they are out there just 
> to 
> *make money unfairly.  This type of chauvinistic and racist thinking is 
> *responsible for much of the problems that Burma is facing today.  
> 	It is not necessarily true. The main problem today is the war between
> the oppressor and oppressed.

I must disagree with you on this as well.  Throughout history, we have seen 
again and again, the use of the principle "DIVIDE AND RULE".  The more the 
different ethnic groups are divided, the easier it is to control them by letting
them fight among each other.    

> *Look at the countries with progressive immigration laws such as US;anyone 
> born
> *in the US and all the naturalized US citizens enjoy 100% of the rights of
> *citizenship and are not discriminated in any way. 
> 	Dr. Hla, For the point that I am going to make here, the blame shoud go
> to what you have mentioned "coupled with tremendous naivete of modern world." 
> All nations and nationalities of all nations are trying to preserve their own
> identity and development of their nations. That means they care a group of 
> people who share the same identification as citizens. I here posted this 
> discussion to preserve Burma's identity as a nation of Burma's citizens.  If 
> the world in reality and its nature does not allow the existences of those 
> identities such as American, Chinese, Russian, English or Burmese etc... then 
> we do not have to preserve the identity. We all human and ought to live on 
> the 
> whole world as a coutry. But no leader or no nation would agree to give up 
> the 
> identity of its vision and live like in melting-point.Maybe our 
> grandchildrens'
> days. I would rather like to live like this. But I cannot now. My knowledge 
> and
> my intuition tell me to preserve the identity of my own country. 
> 	Therefore, the core point that I want to make here is that if you 
> think my point as a "chavaunist and raicist thinking," in the way in which 
> you 
> mean as a hard-liner, then you are totally WRONG. I am realist sometimes and
> liberal sometimes. However, what I will never change is that I love the land 
> I 
> was born on and I love the identity of Burma. I was born to preserve thme as 
> other people of different countries do.

I think one can love one's Country just as much, not lose the identity of the 
country, while at the same time accept that Countries are made up of multiples 
of races.  Burma is just as much a melting pot as the US.  For example, there 
are 60 or so different languages spoken in the Country.  Therefore, to make 
statements like - "100% Burmese" is wrong.  What do you define as 100 % Burmese 
?  Over the centuries there have been tremendous mixing of blood between peoples
and races of South East Asia-so I just don't buy terms like this.  Not to do so 
only leads to a state of Xenophobia, a widely-used descriptor of Burma for the 
last 30 years.  

> *Look how much immigrants have and are contributing to the US society.
> *If countries like Burma had more progressive and smart immigration laws as 
> well
> *as social thinking, they would be much more advanced and be able to enjoy 
> the 
> *fruits of the immigrant's labors.
> Yes, I know those points you made. That is why I first in my first posting
> tried to find the laws or policy that can help to treat Burma's citizens 
> justly
> when it becomes democratic state (I am afraid to use "Burmese citizens" 
> because
> as you see my posting was differently intepreted and go to the other 
> direction
> rather than I expected).  I want to get the discussion into the direction 
> that 
> you parallel with U.S immigration situation and its policy.  

> 	Here I have a question, will you agree or do nothing on the
> situation that is happening right now in Burma under brutal oppressive 
> regime?
> That is many Chinese immigrants currently with the wealth they have in China 
> or
> eslsewhere are getting into Burma and cooperate with SLORC and buying land of
> those local citizens while those local citizens are relocated by FORCE and
> FORCE to abandon their land, by the SLORC. 

I agree with you that it is a serious problem that we face today about illegal 
immigration in Northern Burma, especially in cities like Mandalay.  Because of 
the unfortunate situation today,  it is ECONOMICALLY advantageous for many 
Yunanese to settle in Northern Burma.  It is putting a tremendous burden on the 
honest hard-working residents of Mandalay.      
> *As far as I am concerned, every one born in Burma should be considered in 
> *total as a Burmese citizen.  Children born to Burmese citizens living abroad 
> *and spouses of Burmese citizens should also be given the choice of becoming 
> *Burmese citizens if they so choose. 
> *	Tim
> 	I 100% agree with you on that point. I have never said or wrote those
> people who are foreigners born in Burma don't deserve citizenship. I have 
> never
> said to deny those citizenship rights that any human who live in this globe 
> can become a citizen of any country by the law of those country drawn by the 
> consent of people.
> 	Thank you,
> 	I wish you healthy and Happy
> 	Tun Myint
> 	Indiana University 

I am glad that we can agree on one point, which I think is the most important 
for the future.  I think if you do not use terms like "100% Burmese" and if you 
do not stereotype ethnic groups in generalities, others will better understand 
what you are trying to express.  Definitely, I will understand you better.

Best regards

Timothy Hla, Ph.D.
Scientist II/ Associate Professor
Department of Molecular Biology
Holland Laboratory, American Red Cross
15601 Crabbs Branch Way
Rockville, MD 20855
ph: 301-738-0567
fx: 301-738-0465
e-mail: hlatim@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx