တုိင္းရင္းသားေတြလုံး၀လက္မခံႏွူိင္ဘူး၊ကြ်မ္းက်င္းသူမ်ားအမည္ခံျပီးဗမာေခြးဘီလူးအစုိးရရဲ့လာဘ္ ထုိးမွဳကုိခုိးစားေနသူမ်ားသည္တုိင္းျပည္အတြက္အႏၱရာယ္ၾကီးမာလြန္သျဖင့္ေတြ.သည့္ေနရာမွာ၀ုိင္းရွင္း ရမည္။
Ethnic Leaders Dismiss Talk of Burma’s Collapse Should Junta Fall
By Saw Yan Naing
October 26, 2007
Some Western experts and one Burmese historian suggested the fall of the military junta could bring about ethnic insurgencies, gutted institutions, clashes among leaders with no experience in democracy and continuing aftershocks from the junta’s ruinous economic policies in one of the world’s poorest nations, The Associated Press reported this week.
All of the ethnic leaders, veteran politicians and scholars contacted by The Irrawaddy disagreed.
“The perspective of those experts is groundless and their viewpoints are totally in line with what the junta says,” Mahn Sha, the general-secretary of the Karen National Union, told The Irrawaddy on Thursday. “The conflict in Burma is not a fight among ethnicities. We are only fighting against the military rulers, not against the army.” The KNU is among the oldest rebel groups in Southeast Asia, and one of the few remaining groups which have yet to sign a ceasefire agreement with the regime.
Professor David Steinberg of Georgetown University said in the AP report that given the deep-seated hatreds and continued warfare between the government and some ethnic insurgents like the Karen, Karenni and Shan, a fragmentation is possible should the Burmese military abruptly disintegrate.
Mahn Sha disagreed, saying all people in Burma have a common ground.
“Everyone—even children— knows that a country needs a military,” Mahn Sha said.
The secretary of the Arakan League for Democracy, Aye Thar Aung, who lives in Rangoon, discounted the likelihood of ethnic insurgent groups breaking away to form independent states, saying, “None of ethnic groups will restart the insurgencies and rebellions, if they gain the rights they fight for.”
All opposition and ethnic groups, including the main opposition National League for Democracy, have consistently called for dialogue between the military regime and opposition and ethnic leaders to solve the country’s decades-old political deadlock.
A spokesman for the main ceasefire group, the Kachin Independence Organization, said talk of the country’s fragmentation is farfetched.
Tu Ja, a vice-secretary of the KIO, said, “I don’t know what they [experts] are talking about. We all want peace, autonomy and equal rights. If we get those, I don’t see any problem among us.”
The KIO, founded in 1961, was one among 17 ethnic armed groups which signed a ceasefire agreement with the ruling junta in 1990s.
“Political reform and democratization is now needed in the country,” Tu Ja told The Irrawaddy by telephone. “If democratization and a genuine federal union prevail in the country, we will be very happy. We don’t need to fight against a government such as that.”
A veteran politician, Thakin Chan Htun, a former ambassador to China, said from his home in Rangoon that only the top leaders of the military need to be removed if there is a change to a more democratic system.
Author Bertil Lintner, one of several foreign experts quoted in the AP report, said, “Look at Indonesia. Many feared a Balkanization after the fall of Suharto but, in the end, the transition went much more smoothly than expected. In Indonesia, democracy actually turned out to be useful for solving ethnic conflicts. Now, a liberally minded ex-general is president, so why not in Burma?”
Chan Htun agreed, saying the real problem in the military is the junta’s chief, Snr-Gen Than Shwe. Even some of his aids might be willing to enter into genuine talks with the opposition, he said.
In the AP report, a Burmese historian Thant Myint-U, the grandson of U Thant who was a former UN general- secretary, said that it is unclear whether members of the large, educated Burmese exile community would return to the country if the junta fell and how effectively they might contribute to a new government.
One Rangoon university professor told The Irrawaddy he believed many Burmese would like to return to the country to help it rebuild.
“If Burma changed, I’ll go back and work for the people voluntarily,” he said. “For that, I don’t need a position in the government. I will serve the country any way I possibly can.”
A Burmese scholar in Singapore, said, “It is amazing. Many people (foreign experts) make comments on Burma, but they have never been to our country.”
A veteran Arakanese journalist inside Burma said some experts lack a deep understanding of Burma’s affairs.
“They are just buying the regime’s propaganda,” he said. “Their opinions don’t represent ethnic people who are living inside Burma.”
He noted that even under the government of the later dictator Gen Ne Win, several ethnic leaders held high- ranking positions. Thura Saw Phyu, an Arakanese, was chief of staff and a minister and several other Arakanese, Shan and Karen served in the government.
“I don’t think educated Arakanese want to have a separate state,” he said. “We want to be part of Burma. We are proud to be a part of Burma, and we are Buddhists,” he said. “We would be better off because of democracy—what we want is greater autonomy.”
Under the current regime, he said, there is racial discrimination against ethnic minorities in the armed forces. By having more power sharing among different groups in Burma, that sort of attitude could be changed, he said.
A spokesperson of the Shan State Army-South, Sai Lao Hseng, said that if the current government collapsed a better government would be formed, and there are no real conflicts among ethnicities now. The SSA-South is one of the few ethnic groups still fighting the Burmese army.
“It is time for us to fight together to topple the military regime and try to establish a better government in our country,” he said.