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TRUTH AND FALSEHOOD OF MYANMAR DEMO (r)
- Subject: TRUTH AND FALSEHOOD OF MYANMAR DEMO (r)
- From: slorc@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 13 Nov 1997 09:37:00
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>Date: 08 Nov 1997 17:11:20
>Reply-To: Conference "reg.burma" <burmanet-l@xxxxxxxxxxx>
>Subject: TRUTH AND FALSEHOOD OF MYANMAR DEMOCRATIZATION.
>To: Recipients of burmanet-l <burmanet-l@xxxxxxxxxxx>
>"Voice", Magazine for September 1997
>(By Kohei HASHIMOTO)
>Mr. kohei HASHIMOTO is a General Manager and Senior Research Fellow of
>the Department of International Affairs, P.H.P Research Institute in
>Japan. The Institute itself is one of the top prominant THINK-TANK
>Institution in Japan.
>TRUTH AND FALSEHOOD OF MYANMAR DEMOCRATIZATION.
Everybody must be understand;
WE DON'T LIKE DEMOCRACY BUT WE DO LIKE IT DICTATORSHIP SYSTEM.
Then, We will not interesting to transfer the power.
SLORC (Than Shwe and Khin Nyunt)
>Whenever I heard the words of "Democratization", I always feel gloomy.
>Because, originally, the democracy should be one of "means" to create
>a stable society of freedom, fairness and equality, but recently the
>people started to handle the democracy as if it is the "purpose".
>They ignore various steps which they must pass through to reach a
>democratic society, and rushed to induce a political ideology named
>democracy which has no substance itself. As the result, they gave big
>damage to the stability of their own country. Brundi is a best
>example. A civil war broke out because their political balance was
>broke down by the democratic election which was held only once.
>For past several decades, foreign policy of western countries,
>especially America made some big misjudgements on importance of
>various factors which became causes of both domestic and international
>movements of several foreign countries. As the result, they had to
>takeexpensive political countermeasures often. Because, political
>leaders, policy decision makers or intellectuals of western countries
>ignored the reality of the third world and applied
>unctitical-ly---teir.:political ideology based on their own western
>historical minds. The word of "democratization" is the good example.
>In last October, Massachusetts State and 7 cities including
>San Francisco of America declared the suspension of trade with
>Myanmar. On April 22 of this year, American sanction on investments
>to Myanmar was enforced. Against it, ASEAN side approved the joining
>of Myanmar and Laos in July and now they are making their best efforts
>to realize ASEAN-10 by joining of Cambodia. For these movements, how
>Japan should take the democratization movements ?
>Now, I would like to state my opinion that how we should re-evaluate
>the efforts to democratization of both present government and
>democratization group led by Mrs.Suu Kyi and then what to do with ODA,
>which is the indication of Japanese foreign policy.
>Misunderstanding of Mass-medias.
>Mr. Ne Win who took the power by coup dletat in 1962 promoted the
>closed socialism policy by one-party dictatorship of the Burma
>Socialist Programme Party (BSPP). But, this closed type social and
>economic policy resulted a long economic staggnation and after all
>Burma became a Least Late Developed Country (LLDC) of UN category in
>187. In 188, the discontent of the people by the economic difficulty
>had exploded. Demonstrations and riots by the people broke out all
>over the country as anti-government movements.
>Incidentally, Mrs. Suu Kyi returned to Myanmar after 30 years to look
>after her sick mother. After she saw this situation of the country,
>she was awakened politics and begun to lead democratization movements.
>She was given an enthusiastic welcome by the people, because she is a
>daughter of "Father of the Independence" late General Aung San.
>On September 18, 1988, General Saw Maung took the power by the coup
>dletat and established "State Law and Order Restoration Council"
>(SLORC). It calls itself as a provisional government and declared the
>abovlishment of Burma type socialism. In November of the same year,
>they enacted Foreign Investment Law and started to take open policy
>toward foreign countries and transfered to market economy. (The name
>of the country was changed from Burma to Myanmar in this time.)
>SLORC also asserted the abolishment of one party dictatorship system
>and established parliamentary system with multi-political parties. At
>the same time, they promised to hold a General Election in 190 and
>established the Election Committee organized by civilians, and begun
>to register political parties. 237 different political parties
>including the National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Mrs.Suu Kyi
>In addition to that, SLORC announced that they are going to establish
>the National Convention to make a new permanent constitution and
>appealed that representatives from all races should participate it.
>Up to that time, democratization and open market system were carried
>out strictly by SLORC.
>However, the SLORC government made two problems which caused big
>troubles later. One was the house-arrest of Mrs Suu Kyi in July 189.
>Since then, she had to stay in her house for 6 years. This fact
>ignite the fire of movements of western countries to assist her
>Another problem was the General Election. In this election, NLD led
>by Mrs. Suu Kyi got 392 seats out from 485 seats and won the election
>overwhelmingly. After SLORC looked this result, they gave up the idea
>of immediate transfer the power to civil government. Instead of that,
>they gave "Establishment of National Convention to make a new
>constitution" priority and announced that they will transfer the power
>to the new government established by the General Election which will
>be held under the new constitution. This made not only NLD but also
>all democratic groups in the world got angry.
>Regarding to this series of movements, all overseas journalism
>including Japan kept reporting criticism on legitimacy of SLORC with
>the view point of protection of democratization movements. However,
>since they were supporting Mrs. Suu Kyi so enthusiastically, there
>were many wrong informations.
>First of all, about the election in 1990. Most of all Japanese
>journalisms reported that as if it was the election of SLORC vs
>democratization groups, but it is wrong. As a matter of fact, SLORC
>did not concern in this election at all, and maintained neutrality.
>(Otherwise, NLD had no chance to win the election). In this election,
>the real rival of NLD was NUP (National Unitity Party). NUP was a
>political party led by Mr. New Win who fell from the power by coup
>dletat of SLORC. Their slogan was the "Burma Type Socialism".
>In other words, in the election of 190, the most of the people voted
>to NLD, because they were sick and tired with this "Bruma Type
>Socialism". Now, I would like to emphasize here that the military
>government was neither denied nor affirmed by the people at that time.
>Actually we have many testimonies that there were no facts of
>assistance or support to NUP by SLORC in the election.
>Secondly, so far as I know, SLORC never said that they will transfer
>the power "immediately" after the election. But the most of Japanese
>mass-medias reported that because SLORC was defeated in the election,
>so they changed their policy and postponed the time to transfer the
>power. It is wrong too.
>Actually , in May 190, before the election was held, SLORC had
>stated clearly the process of transference of the power after the
>election. They said after the election, they hold the National
>Convention for new constitution. Then after established a new
>constitution, a new government will be made by the General Election
>under the new constitution, then they transfer the power to the new
>government. In other words, it was already clearified that whether
>thw result of election was, the time to transfer the power is after
>the estiblishment of new constitution.
>Is military government devillish ?
>However, it was true that even they held a general election, they did
>not define how to connect the result of election to the national
>administration. At the election in '90, that was the most indistinct
>point. While the SLORC promised to abandon "Burma type socialism",
>open market, abandon one-party dictatorship system, induce
>parliamentary system with multi-political parties, establishment of
>new constitution, etc., they did not show clearly in what process and
>how to join "Election" and "New constitution" together.
>Their message of "We hold an election. But we do not transfer the
>power until new constitution is established. And there are no
>relations between the result of election and National Convention to
>establish new constitution." is showing obvious confusion. In
>addition to that, the National Convention was convoked in '93, which
>was 3 years after the General Election. No wonder NLD and
>democratization groups of western countries got angry with it. Then,
>why such confusion happened ?
>The answer for that question is the internal struggles for power in
>SLORC. Since they took the power by the coup d'etat in '88, General
>Saw Maung had been the position of the Chairman of SLORC. He insisted
>the permanent military rule strongly. Against it, the present
>Chairman Than Shwe and especially the Secretary One Khin Nyunt and
>other young leaders have been taking a broad view of things and
>showing attitude to work actively for democratization of Myanmar.
>They were setting up a clear distinction from the hard policy of
>General Saw Maung.
>This internal struggle settled by the resignation of General Saw Maung
>on April 23, '92. At that time nobody paid too much interest on his
>resignation. It was said that the General resigned because his health
>condition, but later we found out it was a practical internal coup
>The Chairman Than Shwe and Secretary One Khin Nyunt who removed
>General Saw Maung and other tough elements in SLORC from their posts,
>announced soft policy in next day. They enforced new liberalization
>policies in rapid succession, which General Saw Maung had been
>refusing. They were lifting the martial law and curfew, started to
>negotiate with Karen rebel army, mass-release of political prisoners,
>reopening of universities and others.
>Also, they started negotiation with Bangladesh government about
>Mauslim refugees which developed to a human right problem.
>Furthermore, they arrested the notorious "Narcotic King" Khun Sa, and
>now they are working on abolition of narcotic production actively with
>the cooperation of UN Drug Control Programme (UNDCP).
>In other words, from '88 to '92, confrontation in SLORC on problems of
>power transference, democratization, human rights and others became
>furious and finally the liberal group won it. The reason why the
>confused message from SLORC was this internal confrontation.
>After 192, SLORC led by Than Shwe - Khin Nyunt line started to move
>for establishment of new constituion. It's process is quite open and
>frank. We can understand it well.
>First of all, on the premise that the new constitution should be
>decided by representatives from whole nation and all races at the
>preparatory conference in June '92. And they elected 746 members.
>Naturally, 130 members from NLD are including among them.
>Also, from the view point of all races in the country, they negotiated
>with 135 different minor races. Especially, they carried on the peace
>negotiations with 16 different minor race armed groups actively. In
>August '95, they concluded the peace negotiation with the Mon
>Liberation Front. At present, only negotiation with the Karen
>National Union is left over.
>I believe we should highly evaluate their efforts to the
>democratization relating to the movements for establishment of new
>constitution. Nobody can blame the present government which urge 135
>minor races groups to send their representatives to the National
>Convention and working to construct stronger foundation of democracy.
>In Myanmar (Burma), they had democratic parliamentary system
>once before. It was for 14 years from the right after the
>independence till the military government led by Mr. Ne Win took the
>power by coup dletat. The result of the system was miserable.
>Because the government never stabilized. Each political parties
>united together or splited each others constantly and repeatedly.
>They could not get unification at all. The reason was that they did
>not make any efforts to integrate various racial groups under the
>state system. As the result, each racial groups claimed only their
>own interests and profits and the parliament system could not
>establish the centripetal force of the state.
>How to connect these 135 groups of minor races to the centripetal
>force of the state. That is still most important subject of their
>domestic affairs. Without solving this subject and induce the name
>only democracy, then there are a great possibility that the country
>may split in pieces again.
>The National Convention under Than Shwe - Khin Nyunt line learned this
>bad experience in past, and held the doctrine of "New constitution
>should be decided by representatives from the all people and races."
>The aim of SLORC is that at first settle down the racial problems,
>raise the centripetal force of the state and declare the system of the
>new state by the new constitution, then induce the democracy to the
>country. We should highly evaluate this efforts of the present SLORC
>government for democratization because it will strike root of
>democracy deep into the soil of Myanmar.
>At present, there are many countries enjoying the democracy in the
>world. But before theyinduced democracy to their countries, they made
>their best efforts to strengthen the rule of state by many different
>means and measures, such as revolution, riot, war, purge, liquidation
>and so on. Now, SLORC is carrying on peacefully the amicable
>settlement with all races and urge them to attend the National
>Convention. This is quite reasonable way and I can say that only
>organization which has the ability to accomplish this is SLORC.
>If you say that you still don't like military government or
>democratization led by dictatorship government, I wish to advice you
>to read modern history of China, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thai
>and other countries. Hjw about our own country Japan, which
>successfully democratized by forced of order for the premise of
>strengthen the rule of the state. I can-not agree to accept
>uncritically the name-only "Democracy" which extracted from the
>historical view point of western countries and compel it to others
>without the knowledge of state of affairs in that country.
>Unreasonal and not understandable activities of NLD.
>As I mentioned before, SLORC made two mistakes. They were the
>house-arrest of Mrs. Suu Kyi and problem of election. The former
>problem was settle down by release of Mrs. Suu Kyi in July 1995.
>Also after they release her, they are still prohibiting gatherings of
>NLD members and sympathizers and arrest some NLD members sporadically.
>We can not understand it. They show no considerations to the
>international society. So far as they keep doing such things, SLORC
>will be isolated from the international society. Concerning about
>this matter, I have no intention to defend or protect the SLORC
>On the other hand, it is true that there are a lot of things,which I
>am disappointed in speechs and behaviours of Mrs. Suu Kyi after her
>Wth the view point of the result of election in 1990 was valid, she
>demanded immediate transfer of the power to NLD. And also she
>demanded suspension of investments and ODA to Myanmar, together with
>the economic sanction to Myanmar too. In other words, she wish to say
>"Do not give any support or aid which may lengthen the life span of
>In addition to that, she withdrew all participants of NLD from the
>National Convention for establishment of New Constitution and
>announced the boycott of the Convention. The reason was "lt does not
>guarantee the right of free discussions in the convention"
>But, 3 chapters out of total 15 chapters of the constitution had been
>deliberated and discussed in the Convention by representatives from
>NLD. Meanwhile, there were no facts that the free discussions were
>restrained. This means it was the one-sided boycott of the Convention
>by NLD. It is nothing but a definite abandonment of their right.
>There are no will of cooperation or compromise at all.
>In past, there were a case which antigovernment group appealed
>economic sanction to foreign countries successful results. That was
>the Negro group in South Africa. In order to fight against the
>suppression of human rights by the government, which had the policy
>so-called "Apartheid", the group used oppression from foreign
>countries. But, the situation of Myanmar is completely different from
>The government of South Africa refused any participation of Negros to
>politics. But in case of Myanmar, SLORC government appealed the
>participation of NLD to the National Convention for the New
>Constitution, and actually discussed the matter with NLD at the
>Convention for nearly 3 years. In spite of that, Mrs. Suu Kyi
>boycotted the National Convention and abandoned their right to
>participate in policy making. Also, through a mediator she had
>dialgoues with SLORC side twice in 1994, but in 1995
>she announced a statement one-side and said that she will not make any
>negotiation with SLORC anymore and closed the way to further dialogue
>There are many other strange activities of recent NLD. One is they do
>not submit application for permission to hold gatherings, which needs
>permission from the government by law. They do not apply it
>intentionally. By the way, up to this time every NLD gatherings that
>they submitted for permission were all permited by the government and
>there is no case that the military forces ever intervene. Professor
>Yozo Yokota of Tokyo University reported this fact. He is visiting
>Myanmar every year as a special rapporteur of UN Human Rights
>Another thing is, NLD often register persons who are under detention
>with some other reasons as NLD members. The purpose of these cases
>are nothing but propaganda to foreign countries as evidences of
>"Oppression to democratization group" It seems to me that she does not
>care any other things but just working on to boost the voltage of
>oppression to SLORC from the overseas.
>In the field of economy too, there are many behaviors which we do
>not understand of her. The previous centrally planned economic policy
>changed to market oriented economy by SLORC in 1992 brought a good
>result and present Myanmar economy is growing up smoothly.
>Especially, during the 4 year economic plan announced in 1992 by Than
>Shwe - Khin Nyunt, the average annual growth rate reached to 8.2%
>which is the highest rate they ever had. Number of foreign
>investments to Myanmar from 1988 to 1992 was only 37 cases but at
>present it increased to 181. Myanmar economy is now growing up
>But the opinion of Mrs. Suu Kyi is still "Refuse the foreign
>investment. Refuse economic aid." Is really Mrs. Suu Kyi wish
>democratization for the people of Myanmar ? Or just democratization
>for "democratization" ? I cannot understand her at all.
>Conditions for the resumption of Japanese ODA.
> Because Japan concerned deeply with the independence of Burma
>we have been maintaining friendly relations for long time with Myanmar
>after the war too. At the zenith, 70% of total aid to Myanmar was
>Japanese ODA. With this figure, we can understand how closely both
>countries have been associating together.
> By the coup detat in '88, Japanese government frozen ODA to
>Myanmar completely. In '89, when SLORC government was acknowledged
>internationaly, Japan resumed ODA, but because of house-detention of
>Mrs. Suu Kyi, Japanese government again suspended new aid except
>humanitarian aid and emergency cases. At present, with the view point
>of humanitarian aid, we are giving technical aid for the preservation
>of forest, grant aid for nursing school, aid for the increase of food
>production and accepting trainees.
>The conditions to resume ODA was ready when Mrs. Suu Kyi was released
>in 1995. As a matter of fact, Japanese government made a great
>mistake. Japanese government informed SLORC that ODA will be resumed
>if Mrs. Suu Kyi is released. But as I have said before, Mrs. Suu Kyi
>announced the negative opinion on the resumption of ODA and so the
>Japanese government recoiled from the promise with SLORC. This kind
>of action may break the relation of trust and confidence between
>government to government. By giving this experience as a good example,
>Japanese government should decide ODA policy with fearless attitude in
>Recently, some people,started to suggest resumption of ODA to Myanmar,
>since Myanmar became a member of ASEAN.
>As I mentioned before, SLORC's process of democratization includes
>careful consideration on political situation of Myanmar and for that
>it should be evaluated highly. Actually, the process is completely
>different from what Mrs Suu Kyi and the group claimed, "the name only
>democracy". Regarding to the political concern of military forces
>provided in the draft of the new constitution, NLD should discuss the
>matter if they do not agree with it. Also, when the country is
>politically and economically stabilized then they may amend the
>constitution to reduce the power of the military forces in politics.
> South Korea and Thailand are not the only countries but also there
>are many countries where military forces are involved in politics
>during the transitional period for democratization. Naturally, when
>the country became stable, the engagement of military forces is not
>necessary anymore, and they should not interfere in the politics. As
>I have said, the purpose of SLORC government is strengthening the
>centripetal force of the country and settle the unstable factors
>namely racial problems. So in this transitional period, I can say the
>power of the military forces is necessary and essential.
>The only problem is the time when the framing of the constitution will
>be completed. It is not pointed out specifically by SLORC yet. This
>fact raise distrust and giving bad impression to the SLORC government.
>In the National Convention,it is said that 5 chapters out of 15
>chapters of the Constitution was successfully laid down but still
>nobody knows when all the chapters will be completed.
>I do not know when it was started but recently, Japan treats coldly to
>friendly countries or countries under obligation and on the contrary,
>flatters to the countries having hostile feelings to Japan. Japan
>trumpled the debt of gratitude of Chiang Kai Shek and left the
>friendly Taiwan in lurch. At the same-time, flattering and giving a
>large scaled aid to China which always insult and throw cold water to
>Japan. Now, Japan is trying to abandon Myanmar,the most friendly
>country in the world. Don't you ?
>Of course, it is necessary that we must always make efforts to build
>up good relationship with the hostile countries or countries that do
>not get along well, but on the other hand it is natural to treat
>friendly countries nicely. The one who neglect goodwill of others may
>not get favour from anyone.
>Naturally, the ostensible and contradict democratization done by Saw
>Maung government should be blamed. But comparing Mrs Suu Kyi who threw
>away the right of participation to the State politics by herself and
>became just like a fretful child with the movement plan of the present
>SLORC government, especially the Secretary One Khin Nyunt`s plan, the
>latter is far more reasonable and is walking on the road together with
>democratization and the open market economy for Myanmar. Therefore,
>Japanese government must be aware that helping their efforts means
>giving a great assistance for democratization of Myanmar. I hope from
>now on Japan should carry on the diplomacy to Myanmar in a dignified
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