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An Opportunist makes snide remarks (r)
- Subject: An Opportunist makes snide remarks (r)
- From: zni@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 13 Sep 1995 18:52:00
Subject: An Opportunist makes snide remarks about Burma's democratic leader Part II
>Subject:An Opportunist makes snide remarks about Burma's democratic leader
>Cc:win, ncgub@xxxxxxxxxxx, allie, chochowin@xxxxxxx, strider@xxxxxxxxxxx
>Now that he needs academic raw materials from Pagan. The only way to make
>up for what his sister has been doing against the Slorc is to position
>himself against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Huh, sort of like "enemy's enemy is
>friend" strategy. Of course, the Slorc is constantly in search of any
>dirt to discredit, defame, and slander what it sees as its arch enemy, Daw
>Aung San Suu Kyi. This is the regime that would publish on the front page
>of its official newspapers the pictures of such trivial items as
>chocolates, Vogue magazines, etc. which Michael Aris sent to his then
>imprisoned wife, and portrayed Suu as someone who is completely un-Burmese
>and the most privileged prisoner. Aung-Thwin's derisive remarks would
>certainly please the Slorc and an alliance between the Slorc and a
>desperate and opportunistic professional might well ensue.
>Very nice try, Professor Aung-Thwin!
>In this connection, it should be mentioned that the area specialists and
>their career advancement depend in part on having access to the field (for
>research): in this case, Pagan is a sort of raw material for Profesor
>Aung-Thwin. Perhaps an anology may be approriately between the foreign
>corporations that are in search of cheap labor and abundance raw materials
>and natural resources and that are prepared to place their economic
>interests before human sufferings, and those ambitious professionals who
>are apparently prepared to get into bed with dictorships so long as they
>are given access to their fields.
>(The other two well-known academics who have written apologetic pieces
>regarding Burma's military regime are Robert Taylor, the author of "State
>in Burma" (Honolulu: Hawaii U. Press, 1987) and Benedict Anderson of
>Cornell University. The former studied at Cornell University under the
>latter and is now the head of London U.School of Oriental and African
>Studies. When Taylor was doing his doctoral research in Burma, General Ne
>Win personally ordered his henchmen to make Taylor's stay pleasant by
>providing transportation, giving access to archives, etc. Not
>surprisingly Taylor ended up writing an eulogy of Ne Win's authoritarian
>rule and deified Ne Win himself. As an example, "Ne Win has achived the
>status of a founding father of modern Burma, equal only to the
>assassinated Aung San, to whom Ne Win is linked by the comradeship of arms
>(p. 366)." If anyone is interested in the details of academic
>whitewashing of Burma's dictatorship, please see a small book "Burma's
>Killing Fields and the Academic Whitewashers" published by German-Burmese
>Association several years ago.)
>Now let's look at the content of Aung-Thwin's remarks.
>"She always thought of herself as part of the Burmese aristocracy..."
>This clearly indicates Professor Aung-Thwin's utter ignorance of Burmese
>social structure. The chapter of aristocracy in Burma was long closed
>with the descendents of royal family living as ordinary citizens. The late
>Prime Minister U Nu tried to make them earn their own living and tried to
>put an end to teh state provisioning of whatever allowances and privileges
>these royal blood and their associates were allowed to enjoy under the
>British colonial administration. During Ne Win's Caretaker Government,
>the aristocractic traditions in other indigenous cultures such as Shan
>were ended. If Professor Aung-Thwin meant by aristocracy the nationalist
>leaders of post-independence period, he should re-read the Burmese history
>more carefully. Most of the prominent nationalist leaders came out of
>marxist-socialist traditions and they were, by definition, very much
>I have met people who have known, for years, Suu at different periods in
>her life and in different capacities--from Dr. Kyaw Thet, a former close
>friend of Ne Win and a well-known Burmese historian of the
>post-independence period, to Professor Kyaw Tha Paw Oo, a Burmese
>scientist at UCDavis who knew her when she was working at the United
>Nations Secretariat, from Dr. Leo Rose, Professor Emeritus at Berkeley and
>the editor of Asian Survey, who lived in Butan and came to know Suu and
>her family well to Mrs. Anna Allot of School of Oriental andAfrican
>Studies, who is a long time friend of Suu and lives on the outskirt of
>Oxford, England. None of them had ever said anything that would remotely
>imply how authoritarian, how power-hungry, and how aristocratic Suu is.
>Above all, Suu has followed the unfinished path which her father laid down
>for Burma. We know Aung San was no aristocrat nor a power-hungry soul.
>Suu who draws inspiration from her down-to-earth and much-loved and
>revered father is no aristocrat. Nor is she power-hungry, as Professor
>attempted to portray.
>Whatever his current ulterior motives might be, it is my sincere hope that
>Professor Aung-Thwin will in the future stop being an opportunistic
>professional whitewasher and, before long, start realizing that character
>assassination is not part of our Burmese Buddhist culture, which he
>claimed, in his "Myth of Independece" paper, to want to cherish and defend
>against the evil influences of Westernizing trends.
>Department of Curriculum and Instruction
>225 Teaher Education Bldg
>University of Wisconsin
>Madison, WI 53706
>For anyone who wish to express opinions on Professor Aung-Thwin's remarks,
>I'm including the address of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at U.
>of Hawaii where he teaches.
>University of Hawaii
>Center for Southeast Asian Studies
>1890 East-West Road
>Honolulu, HI 96822
"The struggle for democracy and human rights in Burma is a struggle for
life and dignity. It is a struggle that encompasses our political, social
and economic aspirations."
>From Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's opening keynote address at NGO Forum on Women,