Friday, September 28, 2007

"If there is a will there is a way"

No Interest in Peace Talks

Military dictator General Ne Win long isolated this country of golden pagodas from the outside world, forcing it to pursue an ideology he called the "Burmese Way to Socialism." The international outcry did not come until Ne Win's successors massacred thousands of demonstrators in the streets of the then-capital Rangoon in August 1988, because they had dared to demand democracy. It helped that Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter of national hero Aung San who had returned home from Oxford, was the leader of the pro-democracy movement. She was an ideal hero, a woman of great courage and beauty.
The "Lady," as her supporters call her with deep respect, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and has spent much of the time since then under house arrest in Rangoon. Meanwhile, the government's ethnic cleansing operations in the jungles along the Thai border have continued largely unnoticed by the world public, producing victims like Paw and her family.
When the Union of Burma, a former British colony, gained its independence in 1948 it was Southeast Asia's wealthiest country. The government in the capital Rangoon awarded the country's dozens of minorities -- like the Shan, Kachin, Rohanis and Karen -- autonomous status. Some were even given the right to leave the federation after 10 years, a promise that was quickly forgotten.
Burma's democratic institutions quickly crumbled, leaving a group of kleptomaniac generals in charge. There are about 50 million people living in Myanmar today. The Buddhist Burman, who gave the country its name, make up a majority of about 70 percent of thepopulation.Paw and her family,though,are Karen,a minority of 7 million people,most of them Christians.

Burma's democratic institutions quickly crumbled, leaving a group of kleptomaniac generals in charge. They plundered the country's natural resources, including teakwood, precious stones, oil and natural gas. Their opponents, dozens of small guerilla armies, soon began waging a losing war to gain self-determination for their ethnic groups.,1518,504286,00.html,11-0@2-3216,32-960879@51-947750,0.html

No comments: