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VOICES FROM BURMA: Junta rules the


Junta rules the people with terrors

By Aung Khaing, Mandalay
May 28, 2000
(Translated by Mizzima News Group)

I am neither a writer nor a politician who can skillfully use political
terms. One may not appreciate the vocabularies I use in expressing my
views. As I am so eager to write the following article, I request the
reader to try to understand the basic theme and essence of it.

Let me start with the question of "who is the real terrorist".

Irresponsible, shameless and one sided utterances of the ruling military
junta that we the democratic elements are terrorists prompted me to
write this rejoinder with all frankness. That the democratic
organizations and the democratic forces fighting for democracy are
branded as terrorists is baseless.

In fact, the junta now names as State Peace and Development Council
(SPDC) is the terrorist organization indulging in following terrorist
activities in Burma.

1. Terrorism against Religious Bodies
2. Terrorism against the Buddhist Sanghas (Monks)
3. Social Terrorism
4. Violence on Modesty
5. Intellectual Terrorism
6. Propaganda Terrorism

1. Terrorism against Religious Bodied

They terrorize the trustees of pagodas in Burma. For example, a Burmese
indigenous medical practitioner U Aung Nyunt (father of township youth
organizer Ko Htun Kyi of Mandalay South West who is under detention for
9999 strike) who is a trustee of Kyauk Taw Gyi pagoda, on the foot hill
of Mandalay Hill has served the pagoda for the last 20 to 30 years
spending his own money for the upkeep of the religious edifice was
sacked from the board of trustees for his refusal to welcome the
military rulers with folded hands.

Another evidence of the abuse of religion is demanding money by force
form the people unmindful of their economic hardships in the name of
"contribution to religious shrines". Everybody in Burma knows this
religious terrorism of the junta.

2. Terrorism against the Buddhist Sanghas

The military junta imprisoned and tortured venerable monks including
Tipidakadhara U Thu Mingala, Mandalay Ma So Yein Taik Haung monastery
abbot U Kaw, Ma So Yein Taik Thit Monastery abbot U Rajadhamma and Khin
Ma Gan monastery abbot U Rewata and young monks over the past twelve
years. They even shot many monks dead during and after 1988 uprising.

Tipidakadhara U Thu Mingala was first imprisoned by the regime at Myit
Kyina (capital of Kachin State, northern Burma) Jail and subjected to
torture. After he was released, the junta shamelessly offered a new
monastery building and TV sets in appeasement.

The venerable monk, who wants peace accepted overtures. However he had
to face the wrath of other monks who accuse him of becoming a stooge of
the military junta.

This act of the military junta is tantamount to committing 'parazikam'
i.e. breaking the unity of the Sangha which is one of the four gravest
sins according to Buddhism.

The junta also imprisoned and tortured Sayadaw U Rajadamma, the abbot of
Mandalay Ma So Yein Taik Thit monastery in Mandalay jail. The Venerable
monk is highly respected by 1500 inmate monks of the monastery and all
monks residing in Mandalay and very influential.

The military rulers offered the Aggha Maha Pandita tittle to the monk.
As he did not want other monks misunderstand him, the venerable monk did
not want the title and declined to give his bio-data to the junta as
required for the conferring of the title. However the junta stole the
bio-data of the monk and conferred the title to the monk with an aim to
subjugate him.

Nowadays, the ruling SPDC is conferring varieties of titles to well
known monks and making them members of the Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee
(Junta-appointed apex body of Buddhist monks to control the Sangha) and
forcing them to spread pro-SPDC propaganda. This act of the junta can be
branded as terrorism against the Buddhist Sangha for abusing the
religious institutions to promote its political interests.

3. Social Terrorism

Red Cross Societies, Volunteer Fire Brigades and local social
associations were voluntary organizations devoted to the benefit of the
local people by rendering selfless service before the military junta
came to power. Now the junta is trying to merge these voluntary
organizations with its stooge, Union Solidarity and Development
Association (USDA) by force to subjugate them. Some of the volunteers
resigned from respective organizations. Only those who are extremely
keen to serve the people under any dispensation stayed back. But they
are totally disgruntled with the junta.

Some years back, arguments broke out between U Myo Nyunt the leader of
Voluntary Fire Brigade of Kyauksit locality in Mandalay and members of
the local administration. The administration wanted to engage volunteers
of the Fire Brigade in scavenging work and welcoming functions for
visiting VIPs. U Myo Nyunt declared that his volunteers were organized
only for security of the locality.

Still the local chief sticked to his gun and demanded that the
volunteers be placed at his disposal for such jobs. Then U Myo Nyunt
asked the chief whether he would take responsibility if fire broke out
in the locality in the absence of the volunteers. The chief could not
make further arguments and left with a grudge.

4. Violence on Modesty or physical Terrorism

The regime claims that they love the country and the people from the
rooftop. But, many high ranking military officers in reality seduce the
young and innocent girls of ethnic minorities from border areas and
spoil their honour. These girls then find their way to brothels in the
neighboring countries. They fell victims to the physical terrorism of
the soldiers of the junta.

Besides, the junta employed forced labour of the common people of towns
and villages and extort money from well-to-do persons in lieu of forced
labour. This is an evidence of physical terrorism practiced by the

5. Intellectual Terrorism

The junta offered perks and privileges to retired officers, retired
doctors and retired school teachers and ask them to denounce National
League for Democracy (NLD) which got landslide victory in 1990 general
election, and democratic elements and to praise the military. It also
forced the artists, singers, theatricians, painters, etc. to join
respective associations formed by the junta itself.

The artists and other fine art professionals have to follow suit for
their livelihood despite their disillusion with the junta. Forcing the
writers and editors to write disparaging articles against the
pro-democracy forces is also an evidence of intellectual terrorism in

6. Propaganda Terrorism

The SPDC is spreading slanderous propaganda against the democratic
forces through their controlled-Voice of Myanmar, Myanmar TV, Kyemon
Daily and Myanma-Alin Newspaper without break. Their propaganda
machineries are not meant for intellectual development of the people but
for spewing venom against the democratic forces.

In October last year, being conscious of such terrorism adopted by the
junta, Venerable Pegu Kyahkhatwine Sayadow and Venerable Maha Gandhayon
Sayadaw of Amarapura town had to appeal to the people of Burma and the
comity of nations to strive for dialogue between the government and the
opposition of Burma to restore peace in the country.

Whatever the junta says, I am sure that the people of Burma and the
international community know who are the real terrorists. This is high
time that the real terrorists stop their various acts of terrorism.

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Daw Aung San Suu Kyi-led NLD and democratic
forces only want implementation of the result of the 1990 election and
dialogue for democracy transition in the country. People in Burma knows
that democratic forces do not support any type of terrorism and they
condemn the junta who rules with terrors.

(Contributed this article to Mizzima News Group)

Mizzima News Group