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Regarding DASSK's Wake - up Call, f

Subject: Regarding DASSK's Wake - up Call, from Soc.Culture.Burma

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Date: 18 Jun 1996 11:17:33 GMT

Aung San Suukyi's June 8th Wake-Up Call ..... Chao-Tzang, June,
Fax:(604) 525-6924     
Tel: (604) 525-6908

  Daw Aung San Suukyi's remark about the people made by a person
to  work  for democracy (or the empowerment of ordinary people), even
if he/she withdraws from the NLD, remains intact, is a profound
philosophical statement -- which we must all ponder seriously, if we are
to recognize ourselves as human beings, and not as simple life forms
that are born, eat, pollute, procreate, and finally, die.
  There is more to life than breathing and passing away. 
  If we are to attain, like other free peoples, the dignity of free
citizenship in a just, democratic, prosperous society, we must, as she
says, live as true human being which involves physical and mental
struggle, and the full use of our mental and critical facilities to
transform ourselves into democrats.
  Democracy is, the empowerment of the people, or in the final
analysis, the empowerment of each and every one of us. As such , the
fact if empowerment is not a mystical something which falls from the
sky, or a thing which can be gifted by Aung San or his daughter, or for
that  matter by the United States, the United Nations, etc.
  The struggle for democracy is, at the bottom, a struggle by ordinary
folks -- you and I, or "Tom, Dick, and Harry", and/or "John and Jane
Doe" -- to possess the power to hold governments (and political power
holders) in check, and to protect ourselves and family members from
those possessing power (political, economic, social, culture), who are,
by nature, inclined to use their money and power in an arbitrary manner
to get what they want.
  It is an uneven struggle because those who do not want the people
to have power are in "ownership" the levers of government (or state
power), armies, goons, gold, and have access to the richer, wider
outside world (or foreign money lords and patronage).
  Nonetheless, the struggle is not a hopeless one. If those possessing
all sorts of power and physical force were invincible, the whole world
would still today be kow-towing supinely before kings and nobles. The
fact that kings  and their "successors" -- Mussolini, Hitler, Idi Amin,
Marcos, Papa and Baby Doc -- have all been dumped into history's
garbage hole, attest to the fact that democratic - spirited people cannot
be forever be kept flattened and silenced.
  The key word in the struggle is "democratic-spirited".  
  Democracy will win when there is a sufficient mass of
democratic-spirited people. 
  And this is the essence of the words spoken by Aung San Suukyi on
June 8th. 
  Contrary to a quite widespread expectations that democracy will be
given us by Daw Suu Kyi or the NLD, the fact is that it is none other
than the quality of our spirit which will decide whether or not we will
be empowered as free human beings, or remain voiceless serfs of
"modern" autocrats or, at best, as hang-ons to the coat - tails of the
powerful, or hunger-crazed scavengers fighting with each other for
meagre bones and crumbs from the tables of our well-fed "masters" and
their sleek foreign guests.
  Judging from the crowds courageously gathered in front of Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi's house, it seems that the people inside the country
have found in the depth of  their souls the democratic - spirit so crucial
for the emergence of a just and democratic society.
  Their spirit should remind us -- those who live abroad -- that we are
the "backward" elements in Burma's march toward its rightful place in a
democratic world. It is paradoxical that those who have lived in
democratic environment, and who were outraged by the 1988 killings,
were the first to straddle the fence, or run to curry favor with the new
"masters" of Burma.
  Therefore, rather than retain the smugness born out of believing that
we expatriates are smarter, more advanced, better suited to lead or
"save" the country, and other such pathetic delusions, we must now face
the hard reality before us: that we are not the full human beings we once
thought we were. We must eat humble pies and learn to emulate our
less materially endowed and brutally oppressed compatriots inside the
  Rather than aspire to lead or "save" Burma, it is our duty now to
cultivate the democratic - spirit which the voiceless, long oppressed, and
impoverished inside the country have now attained (or have always