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The Relevance of Aung San Suu Kyi
- Subject: The Relevance of Aung San Suu Kyi
- From: brelief@xxxxxxx
- Date: Sun, 12 Jan 1997 02:05:00
Subject: The Relevance of Aung San Suu Kyi by Myint Shwe
The Relevance of Aung San Suu Kyi
by Myint Shwe
Of late, I have received a lot of unsolicited news and information from
(yangon@xxxxxxxxx) which I believe to be the account of an officer of the
Burmese military government in Rangoon. Let me add, however, that I
appreciate his sending me these postings.
According to "Mao Thought," which I read years ago in Insein Prison, one
must know the strength and weakness of his enemy if he really wants to
defeat him. From (yangon@xxxxxxxxx) I have read a lot of slander, lies,
obscenities, and cowardly accusations against self-respecting individuals in
Burma which tell me a lot about those who are undeservedly sitting on the
throne in Rangoon. Such low conduct, hitting as it does below the belt, is
undeniable proof of their weakness. Now I know why these foul abusers call
I remember a verse from Loka Niti, the Book of Morality, which I was taught
in my childhood monastic education. In reads:
"The son's uncivil speech indicates his maternal baseness.
His uncivil conduct indicates his paternal baseness.
Both his uncivil speech and conduct indicate his parental baseness."
Now I know why these bastards are so low, acting in this Slorcic manner,
tormenting involuntary readers with their misinformation.
From their news I realized that they are trying to isolate Aung San Suu
Kyi. They are also trying to prove that ASSK's presence in Burmese polity
is no longer relevant. By their logic, the only thing Burma needs is
development, to get rich oneself in the newly opened economy, instead of
harbouring immaterial political fancies. They are also trying to prove that
she is receiving instruction from "long noses," permit me to use their
terms, in order to disintegrate the nation. They watch, shadow, follow,
take photos, bug telephones, in short, they spy on all her movements to
prove that she is really just an agent of foreign countries. They may even
know how many times she visits the bathroom and how often she changes her
scarf in a day.
It is easy for them to spy on her for two reasons. First they do not need
to be afraid of anybody inside Burma because this country belongs to them,
not to the forty-seven million people who live there, who are basically
treated as their enemies, their subjects to be killed, robbed, raped,
tortured and at the least, lied to.
The second reason it is easy is because she (ASSK) is acting with a free
conscience, openly, boldly, in public, with decent people in broad daylight.
Naturally, they feel embarrassed by her fearless behaviour.
On her part, she lets them know that there is at least one person who
dares, on behalf of the silent majority, to openly show the people's
displeasure at their misconduct. She also exposes their crimes to the
outside world. She proves that Burmese are neither pleased with SLORC's
doings nor completely afraid or cowed by them. She lets them know that the
people are just waiting for an opportune moment for the next round to begin.
The political meaning of the 1990 election in Burma is understood by all
democrats in Burma. From the onset they realized that it is not possible to
seriously claim office by winning an election, any more than you can hope to
regain your rightful property by making claims alone in a place run by
thieves and robbers. Instead, the goal was to win universal support by
building a legal and unified leading force to continue the fight and to make
tyrants aware that they have no choice but to go eventually.
The continuing relevance of ASSK can hardly be ended by wishful thinking.
Those trying to prove her insignificance in Burma are the very people who
find themselves irrelevant. Her existence in Burmese polity vexes them very
much. For them she is an aggravation. Her presence threatens their
illegitimate existence within the same polity, so they try to eliminate her
influence by various means. They call her Mrs. Aris, West Maedawgyi and
other names that are not worth mentioning here, yet, the more they attempt
to discredit her, the more she wins support both inside and outside Burma.
The source of her popularity is nothing else but the universal hatred of SLORC.
These pathetic, ignorant soldiers in Burma seem unaware of the fact that to
determine the significance of a historical figure is the work of history,
not of anybody else. In every polity, when a person becomes irrelevant,
he/she will fade into oblivion despite any struggles to stay on stage.
Although Aung San died half a century ago, he is clearly remembered because
he is still relevant for the Burmese polity. His sincere political will to
build Burma into a true federal Union is still wanted today. Even now the
peoples of Burma are fighting to make his dream to come true because it is
their dream too.
On the other hand, although U Aung Gyi was one of the initiators of 1988
nobody remembers him today. Why? Because his relevancy has vanished. At
one point, he boasted that if 8-8-88 were not successful, he would burn
himself alive. When Saw Maung came to power, some people called his bluff
by taking gasoline cans to his home and asking him to keep his promise.
As for ASSK, her case is like her father's. With each passing day, she is
getting more and more support both inside and outside the country. Why?
Even if she is not able to accomplish much at this time, her adversaries,
those undeserving monkeys on the throne in Burma, are hated, despised, and
shunned. The people want desperately to be rid of them; as long as they are
there, clinging to power, the people will support her and cooperate with
her. It is that simple. She is the fighting arm of the people, their fist,
at this moment. She is, to use Vaclev Havel's word, power of the powerless
in Burma. As long as she lives and fights, the fire of revolution will not
be extinguished and Burma's fight for democracy will not be lost, even if it
cannot be won soon.
It is true that ASSK did not ignite the uprising in 1988, yet she continues
to tend the fire today, because she knows that the people want her to
continue their battle in order that it not end in defeat. As long as evil
has the upper hand, the struggle to overcome it will always be relevant.
She is asked to do this work by modern Burmese history.
Finally it comes down to her marriage, because SLORC thinks it is her soft
spot. They think they can use that against her by misleading patriotic
Burmese people. They are wrong. Cross cultural marriages are not new to
Burmese culture. Like other competitive cultures around the world, Burmese
have married outside their group and religion since ancient times. Burmese
society also tends to accept foreigners if they show good will. For
example, in the Pagan Dynasty, King Anawratha adopted two foreign Muslim
heroes, Byatwi and Byatta, as his sons. Byatta's sons, Shwe Phyinn Gyi and
Shwe Phyinn Lay, became his grandsons. According to Burmese folklore, these
grandsons became members of the Thirty Seven Nats, Burmese spirits, after
their execution. Even today, millions of Burmese women, despite being
Buddhist, worship these spirits and refrain from eating pork.
Absurdly, messengers of SLORC are even now touring the world, some in
saffron robes, telling overseas Burmese not to support ASSK because she
married a foreigner. Her marriage also disqualifies her for any political
office in Burma because they have decreed that it would be bad to have
someone married to a non-Burmese in government.
I remember a popular tale told on the eve of the 1990 election. ASSK was
under house arrest. Behind her back, organizers from National Unity Party
(NUP was simply the BSPP reincarnated after the bloody September Coup.)
travelled to the most remote corners of the country to drum up votes for
their party. They alone could do so because they had the full support and
protection of the local SLORC army units. Other candidates, from
pro-democracy parties, did not dare to go to such far flung areas.
At one point, some NUP organizers reached an isolate area in the northern
tip of the country bordering India, inhabited by Naga people. Nagas
traditionally live semi-naked and are regarded as comparatively primitive
tribal people even for backward Burma. The story is said to be true. True
or not, it was popular with public in those pre-election days.
In the story, the NUP campaigner spoke very basic Burmese to make Nagas
understand his message. He said: "Aung San Suu Kyi is not good. You know,
she is married to a foreigner who let his blood in her body."
The Naga chief replied with dignity, "That does not matter. We do not need
the lower part of her body. We only need her head (brain)."
The NUP campaigner and his men hastened back home to Rangoon, discouraged