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Overripe plum plucked from Socio.cu

Subject: Overripe plum plucked from Socio.culture.Burma "Obsessed by lust?!"

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Posted by  kmtto@xxxxxxx (KMTTO) 
on: soc.culture.burma

Subject: Upadanapaccaya (by "Pe Kan Kaung")
"Obsessed by lust and superstition"

The following refers to Letter from Burma No. 7  By Aung
San Suu Kyi 
(fromMainichi Daily News)


     UNLESS one's eye is damaged or diseased or ones's
vision blurred one  will clearly see things as they are.
     It will be vain for a person in attempts to see things
clearly if his or her eyes are defective. Similarly, the mind's
eye will not see things properly if the  vision is poor.
Hence, one will be able to see things in their right
perspective from any angle of his or her choice only when
his or her eyes and vision are in  normal conditions.
     People usually undergo necessary medical checks
and treatment or  acquire some form of aid. They do so to
see the objects well. I am afraid I   may be wrong. 
     The value and usefulness of the vision and
requirements for gaining the  sight and clear vision can
now be realized.
     If one held a crow in one's hand and said "Its pretty
silver heron",  everyone with good eyes and proper vision
would shake his head. If people  responded in delight "Yes,
it is,  it's really a white one" as if they saw it  differently in
spite of its being a crow, obliging those wishing to see it as
a  heron, there eyes and vision could be out of order or they
were insane. Or else they may have joined the liars group
because they knew it was not a heron.  Or  they have done
so because of a lust for something or of fear.
     Whether they have lightly called it a heron based on
hearsay without  observing it themselves, or they said so
out of wishful thinking due to outside interferences or out
of deceitful attitude in spite of its being a crow and not a 
heron, they all fall in the category of "abnormal" persons.
     These days members of a certain gang or a self -
appointed town crier  group are engaged in instigations in
writing and speech. In so doing they are critical of
renovation of pagodas and stairways, building of roads and
making donations, all out of negative attitude ignoring all
the finer points involved. It is more heart-rending to read
the material written by persons inside the  country than that
written by those outside. Of them our Anauk Medawgyi 
(Western Mum) has been excessive.
     Anauk Medawgyi wrote a self-defeating material
entitled "Inflation is a subject that interests everybody"
(Breakfast blues) in The Mainichi, a Japanese newspaper
issued on 8 January 1996. She opted this method of
fabrications  expecting some form of a prize from the
country. On the other hand, writing of  this sort may be the
only way to earn a certain amount of dollar.
     The main contents of the article were that
commodity prices were rising, inflation was rampant and a
housewife got disappointed when she went shopping. The
article also includes preparing mohinga and a comparison
of  egg prices; and the price jump of mutton: It goes on to
say how Myanmar people were not in a position to have
usual early morning meal of fried rice, prices of pork and
chicken were rising, people could not afford sausages and 
shrimps in their breakfast, and this had become one of the
most popular topics of conversation in Myanmar today. It
goes on that people talked about this indignantly and that
some had to have rice gruel and so on. 
     I wonder when she had gone shopping with a
basket. See, how it had been a conjecture. Our Myanmar
people have got used to eating something in the morning
since the time before the term "breakfast" reached here. No
specific ingredients have been prescribed for the food
Myanmar people usually  take in the morning. They can
have whatever they like depending on their financial
condition or whichever befits them most. They can make
their own preparations of food for morning or evening, or
they can enjoy food outside.
     For instance, one can have leftover rice with
smoked fish paste or warm rice and oil - soaked steamed
beans with hot plain tea or mohinga or coconut noodle or
traditional Shwedaung noodle and similar preparations as
well as delicacies prepared with glutinous rice served with
smoked dry fish. Some take steamed beans and nanbya, or
parata with steamed beans, mutton or  sugar, or other
eatables with tea, coffee, milk, Nes, Ovaltine or Maltova
whatever they can afford. Majority of Myanmar people
readily call them breakfast. The term "breakfast" could not
be elaborated as those Westernized people mingling with
foreigners speaking foreign language do. Just take pride in
the words of father Bogyoke Aung San who said, "Kyi , my
dear, I would like to have steamed beans and nanbya"; the
words have become classic. It amounts to thinking highly
of herself and forgetting own race to give the title 
"Breakfast blues" in derogatory way after finding the
difference between  breakfast of Myanmar people and that
of the West.
     Everybody usually enjoys good food. Some say that
no one sees what one eats but all see what one wears, and
then they practise frugality in food. Those who have a
balanced budget of earnings and expenditure visit
restaurants. -- Restaurants like Oriental House on Myoma
Kyaung Street, -- M3 Food Centre at the Bahan Sports
Ground, -- Mingala Tea Shop at the corner of Sule Pagoda
Road and Anawrahta Street,    -- Theingi Shweyi Tea Shop
on Maha Bandoola Garden Street, -- Shwe La Min Food
Stall near the Padomma Sports Grounds, -- Mutton soup
shop at Ma Po Street, Myenigon,    -- Kyaw Kya Mohinga
Shop at "Yankin 12 Buildings", and crowded with
customers every morning. Gyeedaw (dear aunt) would be
amazed to see  them.
     Gyeedaw might have heard of shop keepers of fish,
beef, mutton, pork,  chicken and other items getting lost
today in their business for they have to  throw away their
commodities because they were too expensive. The shop 
keepers can be seen active daily wearing smiles, gold
bangles and chains. But our dear Gyeedaw has never gone
shopping. It would not be proper just to observe the rising
prices. The income of a casual daily wage earner who earns
lowest should be enquired. No one has ever died of
starvation throughout Myanmar. She should be repentant of
missing targets when ever she has taken a move believing
in certain people talking about Bosnia, Sri Lanka, this and
that and touching democracy  whenever possible; such
people are dissatisfied with the price rises while doing
nothing to get food they lack at home. 
     Our Gyeedaw said she had no grudge against
anyone but she did not say good of anything. In her
interview will the Danish daily "Sunday Politics" she said
foreign investment did not benefit Myanmar public. She
would say so since there are no entrepreneurs among the
relatives of her father - in - law and  mother - in - law who
can invest here. 
     She wrote articles critical of Myanmar and sent to
the Japanese  newspaper. But truly her article could not
rebut that of Managing Director of Kaidanyen economic
organization Mr. Kaguo Nukazawa on his study trip to 
     Some facts of the article in the Japanese "Time"
newspaper are stated  below for comparison with the
opinion of the Gyeedaw. 
     Once, Myanmar was economically one of the most
favored lands in Southeast Asia. At present, its economy is
stagnant, suffering from the aftereffects of closed door
policies ---- now abandoned ----- that were followed  for
many years. Myanmar's potential, however, is considerable
as the country is generously endowed with many natural
resources, such as oil, gas and minerals, and its agriculture,
forestries and fisheries industries show great promise.
Myanmar also has the advantage of a low-cost labor
     "Despite the fact that Myanmar will have to grapple
with the difficult political issues of human rights and of the
transfer of power to a democratic government, Japan's
business community has a strong interest in Myanmar's
economic future.
     "This was shown by the participation of as many as
50 representatives of major Japanese companies and
business associations in the Myanmar mission, including
myself. Being there had a special personal meaning, as my
late father spent four years there from 1942 as a civilian
assistant to the Japanese military.
     "Leaders of Myanmar accept without hesitation, as
do those of other  Asian countries, that democracy with all
its imperfections is better than any alternatives system of
government. Inevitably, however, individual nations vary in
how they propose to pursue democratization. The postwar
Japanese experience was a case apart; democratic reforms,
in fact, were imposed by the victor on the vanquished
enemy. Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur is remembered for his
warning that the Allies would democratize Japan with force
if necessary."
     The article concluded that democratic changes
would gain momentum along with improvement in
economic changes.
     When I, Pe Kan Kaung, look for facts about why the
Gyeedaw who was born in Myanmar and has graduated at
the world famous university, could not see things correctly,
I find out that she has been obsessed by lust and

Pe Kan Kaung