[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]


                                  INFORMATION SHEET
No. A-0201(I)			                        		Date 9-11-97
Undertaking to Do Utmost for Welfare of Myanmar, the Motherland
(By Win Naing)
		(The warm rays of sun light are more suitable than the chill wind from the
north for the better future of Myanmar, the motherland.)
(a)		An advice invaluable for the entire life time
		I, Win Naing, now 38 years old, first arrived in Japan where the weather
was extremely cold, on 6 November 1980. I had been able to visit Japan as a
private scholar with the help of members of the Japan-Myanmar Friendship
Association Mr Saburo Sakura (deceased) and Katsumi Goto, my parents, my
uncle and aunt. Mr Yutaka Nakatsuse (deceased), who was an executive
Committee member of the Japan-Myanmar Friendship Association greeted me at
the Narita Airport. I stayed at his house for about one week. He also takes
Myanmar name U Ba Than Nyunt. Then, I proceeded to Gifu District where I
would study. I studied photography at a company under Fuji Film Co in Gifu
District from 1980 to 1983. From 1984 onwards I went on studying the Image
Science in the masters course of the Chiba University. I was conferred a
doctorate degree on Information Science by the Chiba University on 25 March
1989, my 30th birthday.
		From that time onward in Japan up to the completion of my university
education, I had opportunities to meet many Myanmar and Japanese teachers
from whom I learned through lectures, seeing and hearing. A word of advice
which I cannot forget up to this day is a philosophy given by a professor of
the Chiba University when I began my studies at that university. The topic he
lectured was the difference between the Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of
Science. He said that in the field of Faculty of Science the objective is
achieved when a theory stated in a book is also proved in the book. In the
field of Faculty of Engineering it was not so, he said. A theory, however
perfect it may be, will not be so unless anything in the service of human
beings can be produced based on that theory. The word of advice of Professor
Dr Yoichi Miyake of the Chiba University is invaluable for my life till
(b)		Change of attitude and present position
		The longer I stay abroad the more I love my motherland. As I stay on in a
foreign land, my desire to make my country like other developed nations and
to enable each and every compatriot of mine has become stronger. Based on
this attitude I concluded that there was no alternative except confronting
the government in power for a better future of Myanmar, the motherland. Then,
I initiated anti-government activities in Japan in 1988. My life as a
researcher came to an end. I severed my contacts with my relatives including
my parents in Myanmar. I steadfastly led anti-government activities in Japan.

		In my capacity as Chairman of the Burmese Association in Japan I took part
in the activities of the Opposition such as formation of Japanese Association
of Members of the House of Representatives on Myanmar Affairs, and submitting
applications to get refugee status for some Myanmar nationals in Japan in
accordance with the UN treaty on refugees. During that period I had been in
close contact with Japanese members of the House of Representatives, seniors
in the business circles, legal experts, researchers etc who are much more
experienced than myself. My contact with the personalities leading
extraordinary life and possessing rich working experience, my experience in
initiating Opposition activities and endeavours made by the Myanmar
Government from 1992 onwards compelled me to review my stand on reaching
"settlement with Myanmar Government through confrontation."
		" The method of reaching a settlement with the government in power through
confrontation has less prospect to produce good results for future Myanmar."
I drew my conclusion decisively in the late 1994. Being a graduate of the
Faculty of Engineering course, I totally relinquished the theory of
"settlement through confrontation" which is not conducive to the prevailing
conditions and to the advancement of Myanmar. On 11 November, 1996, I
resigned from the Burmese Association in Japan and other groups in which I
had taken part.
		After discarding the old theory of "settlement through 
confrontation" I studied more about documents on economy and publications
released by the Myanmar Government, publications on Myanmar by political and
research organizations of Japan, facts about the Meiji Period of Japan and
modern age of Japan. Then I came to realize the situation in which the
leading personalities of Myanmar are engaged having to eccounter various
difficulties. I have found that there do exist dignitaries in Myanmar
Government who are endeavouring for the sole objective--better future of the
nation. After studying the history of Japan I understand that Japan's future
was shaped through collaborative efforts through understanding in spite of
the differences of opinion. I also understand that a genuine and prosperous
democratic society will not emerge by shouting for "democracy", "human
rights" but it can only be built when economic, social education and social
security requirements are fulfilled. Based on my understanding, I am now
trying to realize the attitude and stance of the government in power and at
the same time I am prepared to do my duty for the country's better future.
		Taking the new position stated above and based on the saying that an empty
sack cannot stand upright, I started to work along with the Japanese and
Myanmar friends holding the new theory requiring efforts to secure greater
number of genuine and correct investments that are essential for the welfare
of future Myanmar. Present opposing groups inside and outside Japan which put
in the fore the issue of human rights only have strongly protested my change
of attitude and my activities. Being an ordinary person, I, Win Naing, uphold
human rights and value them much. However, if the entire population of the
country's 45 million is taken into account, human rights issue alone is not
important. Economy is highly important for meeting the basic needs of each
and every citizen of the nation. The theory of giving first priority to human
rights and second priority to economy may be right theoretically. In
practice, it may not. There is a Myanmar saying the equivalent of which is
"An empty sack cannot stand upright' and a Japanese saying which roughly
means that a big army, in spite of its strength, will not achieve victory if
it has no supplies and goes hungry. I believe both indicate practical
weaknesses of human beings. On 27 September 1997, I attended a debate on
Myanmar at the Japanese Office in Tokyo of the Amnesty International as the
sole speaker. Old friends ( currently opposing groups) were also present. An
old colleague of mine raised a 
question that he believed the results of the 1990 election should be
implemented without fail and asked what my opinion was. My opinion is that if
interests of the nation and the people are to be harmed followed by
sufferings in the long run because of implementing the results of the 1990
election forcefully, then the work should be suspended. Priority is to be
given to physical and spiritual well-being and welfare of the future Myanmar
(C)		The root cause of endeavours for securing genuine and correct
investments in great numbers
		The Myanmar Government began practising market economy after promulgating
the Foreign Investment Law in September 1988. The present government has been
implementing the 13-year plan from 1989-90 to 2000-2001. The GDP in 1995-96
was registered at +6.9 per cent compared with the -11.4 per sent in 1988-89,
thanks to earnest efforts of the Government and the people. Individual income
of the people also increased to K 13,132 in 1995-96 from K 1,749 in 1988-89.
I am well aware of the fact that certain changes need to be made in the
economy of Myanmar in view of trade deficits resulting from greater cost of
imports than exports due to the rise in commodity prices and inflation. I
have read most of the Western economics have the view that success can not be
achieved if the government involvement in the market economy is great.
However, such a view can not be true cent per cent for a nation like Japan. I
believe that like Japan, the Government in Myanmar should play a leading role
in effectively implementing the economic plans for a certain period (till the
Myanmar nationals-owned enterprises are in a position to do business along
with foreign enterprises in the fields of monetary matters, technology ect.)
If we study the root causes of the economic advancement of Japan we will find
that the change-over from traditional manual methods of commodity production
to industrialization is an important one. The value of agricultural produce
of Myanmar constitutes 38.5 per cent of the GDP while the value of industrial
products stands at only 8.7 per cent. There will be greater earnings if there
is more industrialization in Myanmar's manufacturing sector. Sincere and true
foreign investments are vital for development of domestic production. I would
like to define the meaning of sincere and true foreign investment as the
capital invested by a foreign country which wishes to help for the prosperity
of Myanmar's future and not only on profit motive. I believe that more
effective combination of such investments and the present Government's
leadership will lead to improvement in quality of Myanmar's products and
increase in production value, remedying inflation and trade deficit the
nation is facing today to a certain level. Based on this conviction, I am
organizing Myanmar and Japanese friends in Japan to promote such investments
in Myanmar.
(D)		The attitude the opposition groups should have
		"We (the National League for Democracy) are working for the welfare of
Myanmar. The present Government is also striving for development and
prosperity of Myanmar. There is no reason not to cooperate", said Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi on 11 July 1995 the day on which she was lifted from
restrictions. However, the acts (rejecting the invitation extended by
Secretary-1 Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt) of NLD in September are much different from
Daw Aung Sun Suu Kyi's words. NLD should not make bargains to invitations
from anyone with any attitude. They should be ready for any dialogues and
should attend without fail. I understand that such commitments are the
actions of a real political party. The present Government after assessing the
national condition and overcoming many difficulties is dealing NLD, making
utmost compromises. I have assessed that Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt and other
high-level officials have overcome many difficulties in striving for Myanmar
to enter the ASEAN family. I assume that setting up preconditions to achieve
their demands cent per cent will only lead to obstacles rather than a
constructive dialogue. Basic principles for a true dialogue are understanding
each other and complying with each other. If NLD truly wishes development and
prosperity of Myanmars in the future, they should change their hard-line
stance of a flexible attitude. They should not insist upon the precondition
that they will come to the table only if their demands will be achieved cent
per cent. Opposition groups including NLD should temporarily set aside their
individual views and seriously seek means to cooperate with the present
Government if they truly desire the betterment of Myanmars' future. Like the
saying 'The other person is your mirror', opposition groups including NLD
should soften their stance and should desire only toward prosperity of future
Myanmar. I firmly believe that the present Government will welcome with
pleasure their flexible attitude.
(E)		Committed to the welfare of the motherland 
		Future prosperity of a nation lies not on its government alone. It is my
conviction that every individual citizen has the responsibility for this
task. .It has now been 17 years since I have been in Japan. I would like to
take part for the prosperity of my mother country based on the school
education acquired, life experiences I have gained and friends I have won as
an opposition member and the factors that have changed my conviction during
the 17 years in Japan. It is my current desired. I hereby pledge to
participate with all my efforts for the betterment of my mother country. 
		I would like to express my thanks to an executive of 
Japan-Myanmar Friendship Association, Mr Kuwabara, who has rendered
assistance to feature this article in the association's publication. With
this I conclude my article.
(The columnist (Win Naing) had acted as the Secretary of Burmese Association
in Japan (BAIJ), which was formed in Hamamatsu Town, Shi Zuoka Prefecture,
Japan. He usually took part in anti-Myanmar Government activities, which were
staged in front of Myanmar Embassy in Tokyo, and distributed letters of
demands and protests. He was also a member of Burma Democratic Council
(International), which was formed in Chicago, USA, on 8 July 1989. These have
organized Myanmar expatriates and are always opposing the State Law and Order
Restoration Council, blacking out the true information on Myanmar and
exaggerating her disadvantages. Although he is one of the members of these
associations, he has continuously studied Myanmar's international affairs.
This article has been distributed in English, Myanmar and Japanese.)