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Letter to the Editor, The Daily Yom

Subject: Letter to the Editor, The Daily Yomiuri, in response to Yasuda's article

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January 27, 1996

Letters To The Editor


Aung San Suu Kyi, according to Osamu Yasuda (Jan. 18 P7),
said, "If the sun is too hot, the people have no choice but to
divest themselves of their clothes." She might have added that if
you stay out in the sun too long, it can affect your thinking.
That must have happened to Yasuda since he seems to have
some rather implausible notions regarding Myanmar.

For example, he believes that Suu Kyi's request that foreign
countries not resume economic aid has kept the Myanmar
people from obtaining their "dream about the country's eco-
nomic growth." In case Yasuda has not noticed, it has been the
incompetence of the military that has ruled the country since
1962 and destroyed the economy that has kept Myanmar from
achieving affluence, not Suu Kyi's request that foreign
investment be delayed.

Next, he faults her lack of political experience and for not
showing "that she has organizational ability and ... viable
policies." How exactly does Yasuda expect her to have done
this when she has been under house arrest for six years and her
political advisers and allies have been imprisoned, driven into
exile, or cowed into submission by the military?

Of course, all this speculation about Suu Kyi's ability to bring
about economic development in Myanmar ignores the simple
fact that the military regime and its current incarnation,
SLORC, is responsible for Myanmar's lack of development.
The military took a country that was a leading rice exporter and
turned it into a country where there is a rice shortage. They
have shut down universities and turned Myanmar into one of
the world's ten least developed countries. No matter how
economically inept Suu Kyi is, or turns out to be, it is hard to
imagine how she could do any worse than the idiots currently
running the country: the same idiots to which Yasuda
recommends giving foreign aid and investment.

I suggest that before Yasuda recommends resuming official
development assistance and investment, he do a bit more
research into the situation in Myanmar, or at least not spend too
much time in the sun.

Kent Sanmann
Norman, Oklahoma