Wednesday, April 29, 2009

U Aung Shwe's speech at the NLD Conference

National League for Democracy
No. 97/b, West Shwegondine Street
Bahan Township, Rangoon
28 April, 2009

Speech of the Chair of the Meeting
Meeting between the members of Central Executive Committee and Representatives from States and Divisions Organizational Committees and Members of Parliament elect

(Unofficial Translation)

1. I am very happy to see representatives from States and Divisions. May all of you be healthy and rich. You will find two political papers in light of very important present political situation. One is related to politics and another one is about constitution. I would like to request you to discuss about these two matters in a serious manner.

2. We can decide for the coming election based on the discussion of these two papers. As you all know, NLD declared that we cannot accept the constitution which was one-sidedly drawn by the authorities and the way they attempted to approve that constitution. We also refused to withdraw our declaration although authorities forced the CEC to do so.

3. However, in order to be pragmatic in politics, we need to wait and see the political party registration law and electoral law to decide whether we could participate in the election under this constitution. Moreover, NLD also called for;
1) Unconditional release of all political prisoners including U Tin Oo, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Khun Tun Oo, Sai Nyunt Lwin, Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi
2) Review of the 2008 constitution formed in the Parliament which is formed according to the Pyithu Hluttaw Election Law (Parliament Election Law)
3) Politically substantive initial dialogue between Senior General Than Shwe and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
4) Dialogue with all ethnic nationalities groups in the next step

4. We need to observe the result of the above mentioned four points.

5. According to our geographical situation, how ethnic nationalities live across the country, religions, languages and cultural traditions of our country, as you all knows, our country's problems can be solved only if ethnic nationalities participate in the process. Therefore, in the process of dialogue, representatives of ethnic groups have to participate.

6. So let us decide regarding the coming election based on your discussion about what I have said before. I conclude my speech by saying that I understand your feeling but keep in mind our Burmese saying 'if you hurry, you could have delay'.

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Myanmar villagers still struggle year after storm

OAK-KYIUT, Myanmar — The boat's owner points to a palm-covered bend in the river where dozens of bamboo huts perched on spindly stilts — until Cyclone Nargis devastated this remote region a year ago.

"There were many, many bodies," Tin Maung Thein, 57, says through an interpreter, gesturing toward a lush expanse of green where bloated corpses once gently nudged the high tide mark.

Nature has concealed the scars in this tangle of narrow waterways in the Irrawaddy Delta, where most of the more than 138,000 victims drowned when the storm roared through during the night last May 2. But behind the lush growth, tens of thousands of survivors still struggle to eke out a life.

Many lack clean drinking water. Rice fields remain bare, even as food handouts wind down. More than 2,000 schools have reopened, but some are short of teachers. A half million people live in rudimentary shelters.

International relief agencies have embarked on a three-year recovery plan, but response to a global appeal for $691 million in funding has been slow, the groups say.

"Finding that money to help get people back on their feet is the biggest challenge that we face at the moment," says Andrew Kirkwood, the country director of Save the Children Fund.

Worst off are those in remote areas, such as Tin Maung Thein's village of Oak-kyiut.

Sea water inundated drinking water wells throughout the delta and turned almost 2 million acres (800,000 hectares) of Myanmar's most fertile rice paddies into salt-contaminated wastelands.

Aid coordinators say 240,000 people in remote villages still rely on drinking water delivered in large rubber bladders by boat. In some places, diesel-powered filtration plants work around the clock turning brackish estuary water into drinkable water.

People in Oak-kyiut, a village of 2,000 two hours up the Toe River from the regional hub of Bogalay, augment the local supply by buying water from vendors. A single muddy pond is its main source of drinking water, its two former reservoirs now holding only puddles of brackish rain water.

"Drinking water is our largest problem," Tin Maung Thein says through lips red from chewing betel nut and leaf, a locally grown mild stimulant.

With the rainy season approaching, Save the Children's Kirkwood expects the most pressing crisis will shift from water to a shortfall of 130,000 waterproof houses. About 450,000 homes were destroyed by the cyclone and 350,000 others sustained damage.

"We've got about 500,000 people currently living in makeshift shelters like tarpaulins that have been deteriorating in the sun for the past year," says Kirkwood, a Canadian native who also holds British citizenship.

The xenophobic military regime that rules Myanmar, also known as Burma, was widely condemned for denying foreign aid agencies access for the first weeks after the disaster, almost certainly adding to the death toll.

The government is now working with the international community through the Tripartite Core Group, made up of the military junta, the United Nations and the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

A U.N. report in December said a survey of a few thousand people spread among 100 delta communities found chronic food shortages and malnourishment, with many people still living in temporary shelters with plastic sheeting.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who toured the area several weeks after the storm to demand better access for aid workers, says he is open to returning. But first the international community wants to see progress toward "full democratization," including the release of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other political detainees.

Thousands of registered aid workers now have access, though aid groups worry the government may arbitrarily evict them at any moment, says aid worker Matt MacCalla of the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based medical aid charity Direct Relief International.

"It would be a political decision on when there was no longer a need for humanitarian aid and a response to Cyclone Nargis," says MacCalla, who visited the disaster area in April.

The pace of reconstruction is frenetic in Bogalay, a bustling community of more than 60,000 people. The cyclone destroyed 95 percent of the houses and killed 10,000 residents.

Awba Ta, a Buddhist monk in the town, is familiar with the hardships in outlying villages. "The people need 10 times more rice" than aid groups are providing, Awba Ta says.

Oak-kyiut's paddy fields are bare, but village chief Aye Maung Gyi says aid workers told him the April delivery of donated rice was the village's last monthly shipment.

The World Food Program initially provided food for more than 1 million cyclone survivors. While phasing out food donations proved impossible in the original six-month timeframe, the number of recipients has been falling, to 250,000.

Chris Kaye, the U.N. World Food Program's representative in Myanmar, concedes that remote villages such as Oak-kyiut struggled to receive their share of aid because of difficulties in reaching them. But he insists aid is getting to those who need it.

He says the current poor rice harvest is mostly the result of farmers' inability to borrow money to buy seeds. "The problem is much more to do with the availability of credit than it is a problem with salt-affected land," says Kaye, a Briton.

The fishing industry, the delta's second most important source of income and food after rice, also still struggles.

More than 40 percent of fishing boats and 70 percent of fishing gear were destroyed. The most recent review available, done in November, found that less than 10 percent of the more than 100,000 boats lost had been replaced.

The top U.N. representative in Myanmar, Bishow Parajuli, says more than 2,000 schools have reopened, though many are in temporary structures and teachers are needed.

The only teacher in the village of Gadonkani, who gave her name only as Yaung Ngo, says she struggles to cope with 200 students.

Ma Myo, a woman in the neighboring village of Koenginta who lost her husband and two daughters in the cyclone, says she cannot afford the fees to send her 8-year-old son to school.

Kirkwood says foreign governments have been reluctant to fund education, because it is regarded as the government's responsibility.

"By not doing so, the international community is basically saying to hundreds of thousands of children that they're not going to get an education any time soon," he says.

Despite the shortage of clean water, feared outbreaks of dengue and cholera never happened. One reason may be that Myanmar's people have endured harsh conditions for generations.

"They're tough, their immune systems are relatively strong, having been drinking not the best water, eating not the best food and not having the best health care. So after the last couple of generations, it's the strong that make it," MacCalla says after visiting villages beyond Bogalay.

Though many died in Oak-kyiut, Aye Maung says the population has actually grown from 1,500 before the cyclone to 2,000 today, as survivors drifted in from abandoned nearby settlements.

"People came here because they are scared to live alone," Aye Maung says. Overhead, clouds gather, heralding perhaps the approaching cyclone season.

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ကမၻာ့စီးပြားေရးအေၿခအေနအေပၚ စီးပြားေရးပညာရွင္မ်ား၏ သုံးသပ္ခ်က္မ်ား

အဂၤါေန႔၊ ဧၿပီလ 28 2009 12:27 - ျမန္မာစံေတာ္ခ်ိန္

အေမရိကန္ႏုိင္ငံမွာ ၁၆ လ ၾကာ စီးပြားေရး ဆုတ္ယုတ္မႈ (Economic Recession) ႏွင့္ ရင္ဆုိင္ေနရၿပီးေနာက္ အေမရိကန္ စီးပြားေရးကြ်မ္းက်င္သူ ပညာရွင္မ်ားက သူတုိ႔ရဲ႕ သုံးသပ္မႈေတြကုိ ထုတ္ေဖာ္ေျပာဆုိေနၾကပါတယ္။ သူတုိ႔ရဲ႕ သုံးသပ္ခန္႔မွန္း ေျပာဆုိခ်က္မ်ားအရ ကမၻာ့စီးပြားေရး အေျခအေနဟာ L အညႊန္းျပပုံစံသုိ႔ ေရာက္ရွိေနၿပီး ျပန္လည္နာလန္ထလာဖုိ႔ လေပါင္းမ်ားစြာ ၾကာေနလိမ့္ဦးမယ္လုိ႔ ဆုိပါတယ္။ စီးပြားေရး တုိးတက္မႈေတြဟာ ႏုိင္ငံတုိင္းမွာ အနိမ့္ဆုံးအဆင့္ေတြမွာ ပဲရွိေနဦးမယ္လုိ႔ PBS ႐ုပ္ျမင္သံၾကား Nightly Business News နဲ႔ ေတြ႔ဆုံေမးျမန္းခန္းမွာ သူတုိ႔ရဲ႕ ထင္ျမင္ယူဆခ်က္ေတြကုိ ထုတ္ေဖာ္ေဆြးေႏြးသြားခဲ့ပါတယ္။

အေမရိကန္ စီးပြားေရး ပညာရွင္တဦးလည္းျဖစ္၊ နယူးေယာက္တုိင္းမ္စ္မွာ စီးပြားေရး ပင္တုိင္ေဆာင္းပါးရွင္ တဦးလည္းျဖစ္၊ မၾကာခင္ကမွ စီးပြားေရးႏုိဘယ္ဆုရရွိခဲ့သူ ေပါလ္ခ႐ူမန္ (Paul Krugman) ကလည္း သူရဲ႕ သုံးသပ္ခ်က္ေတြကုိ ၂ဝဝ၉ ခုႏွစ္ ဧၿပီလ ၂၄ ရက္ေန႔က အေမရိကန္ႏုိင္ငံ စင္စနားတီ တကၠသုိလ္ (University of Cincinnati) မွာ က်င္းပတဲ့ စီးပြားေရးစီမီနာ (Economic Seminar) တခုမွာ အခုလုိ တင္ျပေဆြးေႏြးခဲ့တယ္။ 'ဒီေဆြးေႏြးပြဲမွာ ကမၻာ့စီးပြားေရး ပညာရွင္ေတြနဲ႔ စီးပြားေရး ေခါင္းေဆာင္ေတြလည္း ပါဝင္ေဆြးေႏြးခဲ့ၾကတယ္။ ေပါလ္ခ႐ူမန္ (Paul Krugman) ရဲ႕ သုံးသပ္ခ်က္ေတြထဲမွာ စီးပြားေရး တုိးတက္မႈ ျဖစ္ေစႏုိင္တဲ့ အညႊန္းျပ ကိန္းဂဏန္းေတြ၊ ေစာင့္ၾကည့္ေနၾကတဲ့ စီးပြားေရး ပတ္ဝန္းက်င္ အေျခအေနေတြကုိ ေထာက္ျပ ေဆြးေႏြးသြားခဲ့ၾကတယ္။

ဥပမာ- အိမ္ယာေစ်းကြက္ အေျခအေန (Housing Market)၊ ဘ႑ာေရးနဲ႔ ေငြေၾကးဆုိင္ရာ လုပ္ငန္းေတြ (Financial and Banking sectors)၊ ေငြေခ်ဌားမႈဆုိင္ရာေတြ (Credit Availability and Prudent Lending)၊ ပုိ႔ကုန္ သြင္းကုန္ဆုိင္ရာ လုပ္ငန္းေတြ (Exports and Imports)၊ ေငြေၾကးသုံးစြဲမႈ (Consumer Spending)၊ အလုပ္လက္မဲ့ အေျခအေနေတြ (Unemployment Rate)၊ ရင္ႏွီးျမႇဳပ္ႏွံဆုိင္ရာအတြက္ ယုံၾကည္မႈေတြ (Investor Confidence)၊ စက္မႈလုပ္ငန္းနဲ႔ဆိုင္တဲ့ ကုန္ထုတ္လုပ္မႈ (Industrial Production)၊ ကုန္ပစၥည္းေရာင္းဝယ္မႈ (Sales) ေတြဟာ တုိးတက္လာတဲ့ အေျခအေနေတြ ဘာမွ မေတြ႔ရွိရေသးဘူးလုိ႔ ေထာက္ျပခဲ့ၾကတယ္။ ဒီအေျခအေနေတြကုိ ႏုိင္ငံ ေတာ္ေတာ္မ်ားမ်ားဟာ ရင္ဆုိင္ေနၾကရတယ္လုိ႔ ဆုိတယ္။ ဒီစီးပြားေရးပတ္ဝန္းက်င္ အေျခအေနေတြ တုိးတက္လာမႈ မရွိဘဲ၊ ကမၻာ့စီးပြားေရးဟာ ျပန္လည္နာလန္ထူလာဦးမွာ မဟုတ္ဘူးလုိ႔ ေထာက္ျပေဆြးေႏြးသြားခဲ့ၾကတယ္။

ေမာ္ေတာ္ကားကုမၸဏီၾကီးေတြဟာလည္း အလုပ္အကုိင္ ေလွ်ာ့ခ်မႈေတြ၊ ထုတ္လုပ္မႈရပ္ဆုိင္းမယ့္ အစီအစဥ္ေတြဟာ ဆက္တုိက္ျဖစ္ေပၚလာမွာေၾကာင့္ သူတုိ႔ကုိ မွီခုိ ေထာက္ပံ့ေနတဲ့ ေမာ္ေတာ္ကားပစၥည္း ထုတ္လုပ္တဲ့ (Suppliers) ကုမၸဏီေပါင္း ရာနဲ႔ခ်ီရွိၾကတဲ့ ကုမၸဏီေတြဟာလည္း ၂ဝဝ၉ ခုႏွစ္မွာ ဧရာမ အလုပ္အကုိင္ ေလွ်ာ့ခ်မႈေတြ၊ အလုပ္လက္မဲ့ ျဖစ္မႈေတြဟာ အေမရိကန္ အပါအဝင္၊ ကမာၻ႔ေဒသ ေတာ္ေတာ္မ်ားမ်ားမွာ ဆက္လက္ ရွိေနၾကမယ္လုိ႔ ေဆြးေႏြးမႈမွာ ပါဝင္ၾကတဲ့ စီးပြားေရးကြ်မ္းက်င္သူ ပညာရွင္မ်ားက သုံးသပ္ေျပာဆုိေနၾကပါတယ္။

အျပည္ျပည္ဆုိင္ရာ ေငြေၾကးရန္ပုံေငြအဖြဲ႔ International Monetary Fund (I.M.F) ၏ တြက္ဆ ခန္႔မွန္းခ်က္မ်ားအရ ကမၻာ့စီးပြားေရး အေျခအေနဟာ ၂ဝ၁ဝ ခုႏွစ္ထိ ျပန္လည္ ေကာင္းမြန္လာဖုိ႔ မရွိေသးဘူးလုိ႔ ၿပီးခဲ့တဲ့အပတ္က သတိေပးေျပာၾကားလုိက္ပါတယ္။ I.M.F က စက္မႈထိပ္သီး ႏုိင္ငံေတြနဲ႔ ဖြံ႔ၿဖိဳးတုိးတက္ၿပီးတဲ့ ႏုိင္ငံေတြရဲ႕ အစုိးရေတြအေနနဲ႔ ျပင္းထန္တိက်ျပတ္သားတဲ့ ဘ႑ာေရး၊ ေငြေၾကးဆုိင္ရာ အေရးယူေဆာင္ရြက္မႈေတြ၊ စီးပြားေရး က်ားကန္ေပးမယ့္ အစီအစဥ္ေတြကုိ အျမန္ဆုံး အေကာင္အထည္ ေဖာ္သင့္ေၾကာင္း အၾကံျပဳ တုိက္တြန္းထားပါတယ္။ I.M.F က အေမရိကန္ႏုိင္ငံ၊ ဥေရာပႏုိင္ငံေတြနဲ႔ ဂ်ပန္ႏုိင္ငံမွာ ဘဏ္လုပ္ငန္းနဲ႔ ေငြေခ်းမႈ ဆုိင္ရာ လုပ္ငန္းေတြမွာ စုစုေပါင္း ေဒၚလာ ၄ ထြီလီယံ ဆုံး႐ႈံးမႈ ေပၚလိမ့္မယ္လုိ႔ ခန္႔မွန္းတြက္ဆေနၾကတယ္။

ကမၻာ့စီးပြားေရး ဝ႐ုန္းသုန္းကား ျဖစ္ေပၚေနမႈ (Global Economic Chaos) အက်ဳိးဆက္ေတြဟာ တျခား ႏုိင္ငံေတြကုိ ကူးစက္သြားေနတယ္။ ဥပမာ - အေမရိကန္ႏုိင္ငံရဲ႕ အိမ္ယာေစ်းကြက္နဲ႔ ဘ႑ာေရးဆုိင္ရာ လုပ္ငန္းေတြ အ႐ႈံးေပၚ ၿပိဳက်သြားခဲ့ၿပီးေနာက္၊ အေမရိကန္ အိမ္ယာ ေစ်းကြက္ကုိ မွီခုိခဲ့တဲ့ အုိင္စလန္ႏုိင္ငံ (Iceland) ႏုိင္ငံရွိ အၾကီးဆုံး ဘဏ္ေတြဟာလည္း ဘုန္းကနဲ ၿပိဳက်သြားခဲ့ၿပီး၊ ေဒဝါလီခံခဲ့ၾကရတယ္။ ႏုိင္ငံရဲ႕ အၾကီးဆုံးဘဏ္ေတြ ၿပိဳက်သြားခဲ့မႈဟာ အုိင္စလန္ႏုိင္ငံ (Iceland) ႏုိင္ငံရဲ႕ စီးပြားေရးကုိ ၁ဝ ရာခုိင္ႏႈန္း ထိခုိက္ေလ်ာ့က်ခဲ့တာေၾကာင့္ အစုိးရက I.M.F က ေန အေမရိကန္ေဒၚလာ ၂.၁ ဘီလီယံ အေရးေပၚ ေငြေခ်းခဲ့ရတယ္။ စီးပြားေရး အက်ပ္အတည္းေၾကာင့္ အလုပ္လက္မဲ့ ၿဖစ္သူေတြဟာလည္း ေထာင္၊ ေသာင္းခ်ီ လမ္းမေပၚေတြမွာ ဆႏၵၿပခဲ့ၾကလုိ႔ ႏုိင္ငံရဲ႕ စီးပြားေရး မတည္ၿငိမ္မႈ ေတြနဲ႔ ရင္ဆုိင္ေနၾကရတယ္။

ဒါ့အျပင္ တခ်ဳိ႕ႏုိင္ငံေတြမွာ ခ်မွတ္ထားတဲ့ ညံ့ဖ်င္းတဲ့ စီးပြားေရးမူဝါဒနဲ႔ ရင္ဆုိင္ေနၾကရတဲ့ ႏုိင္ငံေရး အက်ပ္အတည္းေတြဟာလည္း မီးေလာင္ရာေလပင့္ဆုိသလုိ ဒီႏုိင္ငံေတြမွာရွိတဲ့ စီးပြားေရး အေျခအေနဟာ ပုိမုိဆုိးရြားမႈေတြနဲ႔ ရင္ဆုိင္ေနရတယ္လုိ႔ စီးပြားေရး ပညာရွင္ေတြက သုံးသပ္ေနၾကတယ္။

ကမၻာ့စီးပြားေရး ပရမ္းပတာ ျဖစ္ေပၚေနမႈနဲ႔ တုိင္းျပည္အတြင္း ရင္ဆုိင္ေနၾကရတဲ့ ျပႆနာေတြေၾကာင့္ ကမၻာမွာ စီးပြားေရး အေျခအေန အဆုိးဝါးဆုံး ရင္ဆုိင္ေနရတဲ့ ႏုိင္ငံ ၅ ႏုိင္ငံကုိ ေဖာ္ျပထားတယ္။ အဲဒီ ၅ ႏုိင္ငံကေတာ့ -

၁) မကၠဆီကုိ (Mexico)

၂) ပါကစၥတန္ (Pakistan)

၃) ယူကရိန္း (Ukraine)

၄) ဗင္နီဇြဲလား (Venezuela)

၅) အာဂ်င္တီးနား (Argentina)


မကၠဆီကုိရဲ႕ စီးပြားေရးမွာ ကမၻာ့လွည့္ ခရီးသြားလုပ္ငန္းဟာ အေရးပါတဲ့ အခန္းက႑ကေန ပါဝင္ေနတယ္။ ဥေရာပနဲ႔ အေမရိကန္က ႏွစ္စဥ္ႏွစ္တုိင္း သန္းနဲ႔ခ်ီ ကမၻာလွည့္ ခရီးသည္ေတြ လာေရာက္လည္ပတ္ေလ့ ရွိၾကတယ္။ ၂ဝဝ၆ ခုႏွစ္မွာ ကမၻာလွည့္ ခရီးသြား စုစုေပါင္း ၂၁ ဒႆမ ၄ မီလီယံ လာေရာက္ခဲ့ၿပီး၊ အေမရိကန္ ေဒၚလာ ၁၂ ဒႆမ ၁၇ ဘီလီယံ ဝင္ေငြ ရွိခဲ့တယ္။ ဒါေပမဲ့လည္း ၿပီးခဲ့တဲ့ မကၠဆီကုိ လမ္းမေတြ၊ အပန္းေျဖ ေနရာေတြမွာ မူးယစ္ေဆးဝါး အၾကမ္းဖက္မႈေတြ၊ သတ္ျဖတ္ေနမႈေတြဟာ ဆက္တုိက္ ျဖစ္ေပၚခဲ့တယ္။ ဒီလုိ အၾကမ္းဖက္မႈေၾကာင့္ အေမရိကန္ အပါအဝင္ ႏုိင္ငံေတာ္ေတာ္မ်ားမ်ားက ကမၻာလွည့္ ခရီးသြားေတြဟာ သြားေရာက္လည္ပတ္မႈ ခရီးစဥ္ေတြကုိ ပယ္ဖ်က္ခဲ့တာေၾကာင့္ ဝင္ေငြ ေဒၚလာဘီလီယံနဲ႔ခ်ီ ဆုံး႐ႈံးသြားခဲ့ၾကတယ္။

ဒါ့အျပင္ မကၠဆီကုိႏုိင္ငံမွ အၾကီးဆုံး ကုန္ပစၥည္းေတြကုိ တင္ပုိ႔ေနတဲ့ ႏုိင္ငံျဖစ္တဲ့ အေမရိကန္မွ ဝယ္လုိအားနဲ႔ မွာယူတင္သြင္းမႈေတြ သိသိသာသာ က်ဆင္းခဲ့တယ္။ ဒါ့အျပင္ အေမရိကန္ႏုိင္ငံသုိ႔ တရားမဝင္ ဝင္ေရာက္လာၾကတဲ့ မကၠဆီကုိ လူမ်ဳိးေတြကုိ သန္းနဲ႔ခ်ီ မိမိတုိ႔ေနရပ္ကုိ ျပန္လည္ ႏွင္ထုတ္ေနတာေၾကာင့္၊ အေမရိကန္မွာ တရားမဝင္ လုပ္ကုိင္ေနၾကတဲ့ မကၠဆီကုိ အလုပ္သမားေတြဟာ မကၠဆီကုိႏုိင္ငံရွိ မိသားစုေတြထံ ေငြလႊဲေနမႈဟာ အေမရိကန္ ေဒၚလာ ဘီလီယံနဲ႔ခ်ီ သိသိသာသာ က်ဆင္းခဲ့တယ္လုိ႔ ဆုိတယ္။ မကၠဆီကုိ အစုိးရက I.M.F ကေန အေမရိကန္ ေဒၚလာ ၄၇ ဘီလီယံ အေရးေပၚ ေငြေခ်းခဲ့ရတယ္။

ပါကစၥတန္မွာေတာ့ ဘာသာေရး အၾကမ္းဖက္စစ္ပြဲေတြ၊ ႏုိင္ငံေရး မတည္ၿငိမ္မႈေတြ၊ ဆင္းရဲမြဲေတေနမႈ တုိက္ဖ်က္ေရးေတြဟာ ပါကစၥတန္စီးပြားေရးကုိ တုိက္႐ုိက္ ထိခုိက္ေနၿပီး၊ ပါကစၥတန္ အစုိးရဟာ ကမၻာ့ဘဏ္ကေန ၁ဝ ဘီလီယံ အေရးေပၚ ေခ်းငွားခဲ့ရတယ္။ ႏုိင္ငံတကာ ရင္းႏွီးျမႇဳပ္ႏွံသူေတြဟာ ပါကစၥတန္မွာ ျဖစ္ေပၚေနတဲ့ ဘာသာေရးအစြန္းေရာက္ အၾကမ္းဖက္မႈေတြေၾကာင့္ ရင္ႏွီးျမႇဳပ္ႏွံဖုိ႔ ေၾကာက္ရြံ႕ေနၾကတယ္။ ရင္းႏွီးျမႇဳပ္ႏွံမႈဆုိင္ရာ ယုံၾကည္မႈ အားနည္းေနျခင္းေၾကာင့္ ပါကစၥတန္ရဲ႕ အာမခံတဲ့ ၁ဝ မီလီယံ Sovereign Bond ဟာ တႏွစ္ကုိ ၂ ဒႆမ ၂ မီလီယံ ကုန္က်တယ္။

ယူကရိန္းမွာေတာ့ အုိက္စလဲန္ (Iceland) ႏုိင္ငံမွာလုိ ဘ႑ာေရးနဲ႔ ေငြေၾကးဆုိင္ရာ ျပႆနာေတြ၊ ေငြေၾကးေစ်းကြက္နဲ႔ စေတာ့ရွယ္ရာ ေစ်းကြက္ေတြ ၿပိဳက်သြားခဲ့မႈဟာ ရင္းႏွီးျမႇဳပ္ႏွံသူေတြကုိ ယုံၾကည္မႈအားနည္းေစခဲ့ၿပီး၊ စီးပြားေရး အက်ပ္အတည္းေတြနဲ႔ ရင္ဆုိင္ေနၾကရတယ္။ ရင္းႏွီးျမႇဳပ္ႏွံမႈဆုိင္ရာ ယုံၾကည္မႈ အားနည္းေနျခင္းေၾကာင့္ ယူကရိန္းႏုိင္ငံရဲ႕ အာမခံတဲ့ အေမရိကန္ ေဒၚလာ ၁ဝ မီလီယံ Sovereign Bond ေရာင္းခ်ဖုိ႔ဟာ တႏွစ္ကုိ ေဒၚလာ ၃ ဒႆမ ၉ မီလီယံ ကုန္က်ေနတယ္။ အရင္က ယူကရိန္းႏုိင္ငံရဲ႕ အာမခံတဲ့ ၁ဝ မီလီယံ Sovereign Bond ဟာ တႏွစ္ကုိ ေဒၚလာ ၃ဝဝဝ သာ ရွိခဲ့တယ္။ ယူကရိန္း ေငြေၾကးလဲလွယ္မႈ ႏႈန္းဟာ ၆ လ အတြင္း ၃၅ ရာခုိင္ႏႈန္း ထုိးက်သြားၿပီး၊ စေတာ့ရွယ္ယာ ေစ်းကြက္ဟာလည္း ၂၅ ရာခုိင္ႏႈန္းထိ ထုိးက်သြားခဲ့ပါတယ္။

ေရနံကုိ အဓိက ထားတင္ပုိ႔ေနတဲ့ ဗင္နီဇြဲလား ႏုိင္ငံကေတာ့ ေရနံေစ်းႏႈန္း ထုိးက်သြားခဲ့မႈေၾကာင့္ ႏုိင္ငံမွာ ၄ ရာခုိင္ႏႈန္း စီးပြားေရးက်ဆင္းသြားၿပီး၊ အေၾကြး ႏွစ္ဆ တုိးလာတယ္လုိ႔ Morgan Stanley ဘဏ္ စီးပြားေရး ပညာရွင္ေတြနဲ႔ ရင္းႏွီးျမႇဳပ္ႏွံသူေတြက တြက္ဆၿပီး ခန္႔မွန္းေၿပာဆုိခဲ့ၾကတယ္။ ရင္းႏွီးၿမဳပ္ႏွံမႈဆုိင္ရာ ယုံၾကည္မႈ အားနည္းေနျခင္းေၾကာင့္ ဗင္နီဇြဲလားႏုိင္ငံရဲ႕ အာမခံတဲ့ အေမရိကန္ေဒၚလာ ၁ဝ မီလီယံ Sovereign Bond ဟာ တႏွစ္ကုိ ေဒၚလာ ၁ ဒႆမ ၈ မီလီယံ ကုန္က်ေနပါတယ္။ S & P အညႊန္းျပ ကိန္းဂဏန္းေတြအရ ရင္ႏွီးျမႇဳပ္ႏွံမႈေတြဟာ ေနာက္ ၆ လ ကေန ၂ ႏွစ္ထိ ဆက္လက္ က်ဆင္းေနမယ္လုိ႔ ခန္႔မွန္းတြက္ဆေနၾကတယ္။

အာဂ်င္တီးနားႏုိင္ငံရဲ႕ စီပြားေရးဟာ ၁၉၉၇ ခုႏွစ္မွာ ရင္ဆုိင္ခဲ့ရတဲ့ ေငြေၾကးဆုိင္ရာ ျပႆနာေတြေၾကာင့္ ႏွစ္ေပါင္း အေတာ္ၾကာေအာင္ စီးပြားေရးက်ဆင္းမႈ အခက္အခဲေတြနဲ႔ ရင္ဆုိင္ေနခဲ့ရတယ္။ ၂ဝဝ၂ ခုႏွစ္ စတင္ၿပီး စီးပြားေရး ျပန္လည္ နာလန္ထူလာခဲ့ေပမယ့္၊ ေငြေၾကးနဲ႔ ဘ႑ာေရးဆုိင္ရာ အၾကမ္းဖက္ ဆႏၵျပမႈေတြ ရွိေနခဲ့တာေၾကာင့္ ရင္ႏွီးျမႇဳပ္ႏွံသူေတြ ေၾကာက္ရြံ႕ေနၾကၿပီး၊ စီးပြားေရး အက်ပ္အတည္းေတြနဲ႔ ရင္ဆုိင္ေနၾကရတယ္။ ရင္းႏွီးျမႇဳပ္ႏွံမႈဆုိင္ရာ ယုံၾကည္မႈ အားနည္းေနျခင္းေၾကာင့္ အာဂ်င္တီးနားရဲ႕ အာမခံတဲ့ အေမရိကန္ ေဒၚလာ ၁ဝ မီလီယံ Sovereign Bond ေရာင္းခ်ဖုိ႔ဟာ တႏွစ္ကုိ ေဒၚလာ ၃ ဒႆမ ၂ မီလီယံ ကုန္က်ေနတယ္။

ကမၻာ့စီးပြားေရး ပရမ္းပတာ ျဖစ္ေပၚေနမႈနဲ႔ တုိင္းျပည္အတြင္း ရင္ဆုိင္ေနၾကရတဲ့ ျပႆနာေတြေၾကာင့္ လက္ရွိ စီးပြားေရး အခ်ိန္မေရြး ဆုတ္ယုတ္သြားႏုိင္မယ္လုိ႔ ယူဆရၿပီး သတိၾကီးစြာ ေစာင့္ၾကည့္ရေတာ့မယ့္ ႏုိင္ငံ ၅ ႏုိင္ငံကုိလည္း ႏုိင္ငံတကာ ရင္ႏွီးျမႇဳပ္ႏွံသူေတြနဲ႔ I.M.F က ထည့္သြင္းေဖာ္ျပထားပါတယ္။ ဒီႏုိင္ငံေတြကေတာ့ -

လတ္ဗီးယား (Latvia)

ခ႐ိုေအးရွား (Croatia)

ကာဇာကစၥတန္္ (Kazakhistan)

ဗီယက္နမ္ (Vietnam)

ဘဲလားရပ္စ္ (Belarus)


လတ္ဗီးယား (Latvia) ႏုိင္ငံမွာ ၿပီးခဲ့တဲ့ ဇန္နဝါရီလက စီးပြားေရး အခက္အခဲ ျပႆနာေတြ ရင္ဆုိင္ေနၾကရတဲ့ ေသာင္းနဲ႔ခ်ီတဲ့ ျပည္သူေတြဟာ လမ္းမေပၚမွာ ဆႏၵျပမႈေတြ ျဖစ္ပြားခဲ့ၿပီး၊ အၾကမ္းဖက္ အဓိက႐ုဏ္းေတြ ျဖစ္ပြားခဲ့တယ္။ စစ္ေအးေခတ္ ေနာက္ပုိင္း ကာလမွာ လတ္ဗီးယား (Latvia) ႏုိင္ငံဟာ ေဘာ္လ္တစ္ က်ားႏုိင္ငံလုိ႔ ႏုိင္ငံတကာ စီးပြားေရး ပညာရွင္ေတြကုိ သုံးသပ္ထားၾကတယ္။ ၂ဝဝ၆ ခုႏွစ္မွာ စီးပြားေရး တုိးတက္မႈ ၁၁ ဒႆမ ၂ ရာခုိင္ႏႈန္း ရွိခဲ့တယ္။ ဒါေပမဲ့ ၂ဝဝ၉ ခုႏွစ္မွာေတာ့ စီးပြားေရး တုိးတက္မႈ ၁၄ ဒႆမ ၉ ရာခုိင္ႏႈန္း က်ဆင္းလိမ့္မယ္လုိ႔ လတ္ဗီးယား (Latvia) ဘ႑ာေရးဝန္ၾကီးဌာနက ခန္႔မွန္းထားတယ္။ လတ္ဗီးယား (Latvia) အစုိးရက I.M.F ကေန အေမရိကန္ ေဒၚလာ ၇ ဒႆမ ၅ ဘီလီယံ အေရးေပၚ ေငြေခ်းခဲ့ရတယ္။

ခ႐ိုေအးရွားႏုိင္ငံ စီးပြားေရးရဲ႕ ၂ဝ ရာခုိင္ႏႈန္းဟာ ကမၻာ့လွည့္ ခရီးသြားလာေရး လုပ္ငန္းအေပၚ မွီခုိေနပါတယ္။ ကမၻာ့စီးပြားေရး ဝ႐ုန္းသုန္းကား ျဖစ္ေပၚေနမႈ အက်ဳိးဆက္ေတြဟာ ခ႐ိုေအးရွားႏုိင္ငံရဲ႕ ကမၻာလွည့္ ခရီးသြားလုပ္ငန္းကုိ အၾကီးအက်ယ္ ထိခုိက္နစ္နာသြားေစခဲ့တယ္။ အလုပ္လက္မဲ့ ၁၂ ရာခုိင္ႏႈန္းအထိ ေရာက္ေနၿပီး၊ ၇၈ ရာခုိင္ႏႈန္းေသာ ျပည္သူေတြက တုိင္းျပည္ဟာ စီးပြားေရး အားနည္းေနတဲ့ လမ္းေၾကာင္းကုိ ေရာက္ေနၿပီလုိ႔ ဆုိတယ္။

ကာဇာကစၥတန္္ (Kazakhstan) ႏုိင္ငံဟာ လြန္ခဲ့တဲ့ ႏွစ္ေတြက သိသိသာသာ စီးပြားေရး တုိးတက္မႈေတြ ရွိခဲ့တယ္။ ကာဇာကစၥတန္္ (Kazakhstan) ဟာ ကမၻာရဲ႕ အရန္ေလာင္စာစြမ္းအား ၃ ဒႆမ ၂ ရာခုိင္ႏႈန္း ပုိင္ဆုိင္ထားတယ္။ ဒါေပမဲ့ ကာဇာကစၥတန္္ (Kazakhstan) စီးပြားေရးကုိ မွီခုိေနတဲ့ ေရနံေစ်းကြက္နဲ႔ ႏုိင္ငံတကာကုိ ေငြေခ်းမႈဆုိင္ရာေတြမွာ ျပႆနာေတြ ရွိလာႏုိင္တယ္လုိ႔ ဆုိတယ္။ ကာဇာကစၥတန္္ (Kazakhstan) ရဲ႕ ေၾကြးၿမီဟာ လြန္ခဲ့တဲ့ ႏွစ္က ၇၅ ရာခုိင္ႏႈန္းအထိ တုိးျမင့္သြားတယ္လုိ႔ ဆုိတယ္။ ရင္းႏွီးျမႇဳပ္ႏွံမႈဆုိင္ရာ ယုံၾကည္မႈ အားနည္းေနျခင္းေၾကာင့္ ကာဇာကစၥတန္ ရဲ႕ အာမခံတဲ့ အေမရိကန္ ေဒၚလာ ၁ဝ မီလီယံ Sovereign Bond ေရာင္းခ်ဖုိ႔ဟာ တႏွစ္ကုိ ေဒၚလာ ၈၇၅, ဝဝဝ ကုန္က်ေနတယ္။ ရင္းႏွီးျမႇဳပ္ႏွံမႈဟာ ၆ လကေန ေနာက္ထပ္ ၂ ႏွစ္အထိ အႏၲရာယ္ေတြနဲ႔ ရင္ဆုိင္ေနရလိမ့္မယ္လုိ႔ ခန္႔မွန္းေနၾကတယ္။

အာရွ ဖြံ႔ၿဖိဳးေရးဘဏ္ရဲ႕ အစီရင္ခံစာအရ ဗီယက္နမ္ဟာ တျခားႏုိင္ငံေတြလုိ မဟုတ္ဘဲ လာမယ့္ႏွစ္မွာ စီးပြားေရး ဖြ႔ံၿဖိဳးတုိးတက္မႈ ၄ ဒႆမ ၅ ရာခုိင္ႏႈန္း ရွိလိမ့္မယ္လုိ႔ ဆုိတယ္။ ဒါဟာ အေရွ႕ေတာင္အာရွ ႏုိင္ငံေတြထဲမွာ အျမင့္ဆုံး တုိးတက္မယ့္ ႏုိင္ငံအၿဖစ္ သတ္မွတ္ထားျခင္း ခံေနရပါတယ္။ ဒါေပမဲ့ ဒါဟာ ရာစုႏွစ္တခုထဲမွာ ဗီယက္နမ္ရဲ႕ အနိမ့္ဆုံး တုိးတက္မႈ ရာခုိင္ႏႈန္း ျဖစ္ေနပါတယ္။ ၄၆ ရာခုိင္ႏႈန္း ျပည္သူေတြဟာ အလုပ္လက္မဲ့ ျဖစ္ေပၚေနမႈကုိ စုိးရိမ္ေနၾကၿပီး၊ စက္တင္ဘာလမွာ ဗီယက္နမ္ အလုပ္လက္မဲ့ ၉ ရာခုိင္ႏႈန္းကုိ ေရာက္ရွိေနၿပီလုိ႔ ဗီယက္နမ္အစုိးရက ထုတ္ေဖာ္ေၾကညာခဲ့တယ္။ ဗီယက္နမ္ စီးပြားေရးစနစ္မွာ ၾကိဳးနီတားျမစ္မႈေတြ ရွိေနမႈ၊ ႏုိင္ငံျခား စက္႐ုံအလုပ္႐ုံေတြ ျပန္လည္ထြက္ခြာေနမႈ၊ ဘ႑ာေရး၊ ေငြေၾကးဆုိင္ရာ စနစ္ေတြမွာ ထင္သာျမင္သာ မရွိမႈ၊ Infrastructure လုိ႔ေခၚတဲ့ လူထု အေဆာက္အဦး၊ အေဆာက္အအုံေတြ အားနည္းေနမႈဟာ ႏုိင္ငံျခား ရင္ႏွီးျမႇဳပ္ႏွံမႈေတြကုိ ဆြဲေဆာင္ဖုိ႔ အခက္အခဲေတြ ရွိေနတယ္လုိ႔ သုံးသပ္ေနၾကတယ္။

ဘဲလားရပ္စ္ (Belarus) ႏုိင္ငံဟာ ဒုတိယကမၻာစစ္ေၾကာင့္ တႏုိင္ငံလုံး ပ်က္စီးသြားခဲ့ၿပီး၊ ႐ုရွားႏုိင္ငံရဲ႕ ၾသဇာသက္ေရာက္မႈ ရွိေနတဲ့ ႏုိင္ငံတခု ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ႏုိင္ငံရွိ ဘဏ္ၾကီး ၃၁ ဘဏ္ကုိ အစုိးရက ထိမ္းခ်ဳပ္ထားၿပီး၊ ဘ႑ာေရး၊ ေငြေၾကးစနစ္ေတြဟာ ခ်ိနဲ႔ေနတယ္။ ႏုိင္ငံအတြင္း စီးပြားေရးဆုိင္ရာ ျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္းလဲမႈေတြကုိ မျပဳလုပ္ဘဲ၊ ႏွစ္ေပါင္းမ်ားစြာ မွားယြင္းတဲ့ စီမံအုပ္ခ်ဳပ္ခန္႔ခြဲမႈေအာက္မွာ ျပႆနာေပါင္းစုံနဲ႔ ရင္ဆုိင္ေနၾကရပါတယ္။ ဘဲလားရပ္စ္ (Belarus) ႏုိင္ငံရဲ႕ စီးပြားေရးဖြံၿဖိဳးတုိးတက္မႈဟာ ၂ဝဝ၈ ခုႏွစ္မွာ ၁ဝ ရာခုိင္ႏႈန္း ရွိရာက ဒီႏွစ္မွာ ၁ ဒႆမ ၄ ရာခုိင္ႏႈန္းအထိ သိသိသာသာ ထုိးက်သြားခဲ့တယ္။ ဘဲလားရပ္စ္ (Belarus) အစုိးရဟာ I.M.F ကေန အေမရိကန္ ေဒၚလာ ၂ ဒႆမ ၄၆ ဘီလီယံ အေရးေပၚ ေငြေခ်းခဲ့ရတယ္။ I.M.F ရဲ႕ ခန္႔မွန္းခ်က္အရ ဘဲလားရပ္စ္ (Belarus) ဟာ ၂ဝဝ၉ ခုႏွစ္မွာ ေနာက္ထပ္ ၁ဝ ဒႆမ ၇ ဘီလီယံ လုိအပ္ေနေၾကာင္း ခန္႔မွန္းထားၾကတယ္။ Moody ရင္းႏွီးျမႇဳပ္ႏွံမႈဆုိင္ရာအဖြဲ႔၏ တြက္ဆခ်က္အရ ဘဲလားရပ္စ္ (Belarus) ရဲ႕ အာမခံတဲ့ Sovereign Bond ဟာ B1 အဆင့္မွာ ေဖာ္ျပထားၿပီး၊ အႏၲရာယ္ရွိတာေၾကာင့္ ေရာင္းခ်ဖုိ႔ ခက္ခဲၿပီး ေငြေၾကးေခ်းဌားမႈ ျပႆနာေတြ ရင္ဆုိင္ေနၾကရတယ္လုိ႔ ေဖာ္ျပထားပါတယ္။

(ေဆာင္းပါးရွင္ ျမတ္စုိးသည္ ၂ဝဝ၆ ခုႏွစ္တြင္ အေမရိကန္ႏုိင္ငံ အင္ဒီယားနား တကၠသုိလ္မွ စီးပြားေရး မဟာဝိဇၨာဘြဲ႔ ရရွိထားသူျဖစ္ၿပီး၊ အေမရိကန္ ေမာ္ေတာ္ကား ထုတ္လုပ္ေသာ လုပ္ငန္းတြင္ ၁၄ ႏွစ္ၾကာ အလုပ္လုပ္ကုိင္ခဲ့သူ ျဖစ္ပါသည္။)

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Human trafficking in Malaysia: The value of a Burmese

The Value The Value msoe9872

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THOMSON : Myanmars murderous myopia

One of the wealthier countries in Southeast Asia, Myanmar (formerly Burma), squanders funds on showpiece projects chosen by its reigning military junta, in power since 1962.

The latest example of not investing in beneficial projects was last May, when Cyclone Nargis impoverished 2.5 million Myanmar people, left 1 million homeless and 130,000 dead. The disaster received virtually no attention for a month from a government bent on denying the cyclone's gravity and refusing outside emergency aid.

Myanmar's legal balance of trade exceeds $3 billion annually from natural gas, teak, gemstones and jade - plus uncalculated major illegal revenue from methamphetamine and opium/heroin. Regime spending priorities include buying about $2.5 billion in arms from neighboring China and building a new capital, Naypyidaw, 250 miles north of Yangon (Rangoon), at a cost of $4 billion.

Nonexistent funding for legitimate projects contrasts with egregious personal spending for maximum leader Gen. Than Shwe, who hosted a lavish wedding for his daughter Thandar that netted an estimated $50 million in gifts.

Meanwhile, the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the Asian Development Bank estimate just 10 percent of the country's 50 million to 55 million citizens are literate. The United Nations and WHO peg Myanmar government medical expenditures at 37 cents per capita, unimaginable in a relatively wealthy country. Recovery and rebuilding from Cyclone Nargis proceed slowly, with international aid groups struggling to act efficiently and donor governments loath to provide funds to an uninterested, corrupt regime.

Perhaps most appalling is the government's inattention to Myanmar's HIV/AIDS epidemic. International health experts estimate 250,000 to 500,000 Myanmar are infected, with 75,000 to 125,000 able to lead normal lifestyles and survive 15 to 20 years if treated with anti-retroviral medications. Neighboring China, with a population of 1.2 billion, has about 700,000 HIV-positive or AIDS-diagnosed citizens and is actively combating the disease.

The Yangon-based journal Weekly Eleven News has reported Health Ministry statistics indicating a 15 percent HIV-positive rate among sex workers.

Just 16,000 Myanmar receive treatment, about 12,000 by a Medecins Sans Frontieres-Holland (MSF-H) program and 2,500 by other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The government cares for just 1,800 infected patients and does not cooperate with NGOs.
In 2008, at least two Buddhist monasteries were harassed and one was closed for providing care to HIV/AIDS sufferers, with more than 100 caregivers jailed or forced into exile.

Exile-published Irrawaddy magazine recently quoted Health Minister Dr. Kyaw Myint (Gen. Than Shwe's personal physician): "Some big countries accuse the country of not giving effective treatment to infected patients and lacking funds for fighting the disease. ... Myanmar set aside [$180,000] to combat ... the disease in 2007."
The United Nations and WHO estimate current expenditures at $200,000, while 77 HIV/AIDS victims die daily.

Fortunately, high U.S. and European anti-retroviral-treatment costs of $50 to $55 per day are cut to 20 cents to 83 cents per day using generic Indian-manufactured medications, but even this is a major drain on limited budgets for, say, 100,000 patients.

Committed U.S.- and African-trained AIDS specialist Dr. Stephen Moore says use of patent-infringing Indian medications is critical to NGO aid programs. Despite international pharmaceutical firms' opposition, he contends the "Indian pharmaceutical company Matrix Laboratories [makes] high-quality products, claiming no patent infringement because they use different manufacturing processes. (U.S. and European patents are end-product-based, not process-based.)

"Using one tenofovir-based generic pill daily, we can treat thousands more patients. Although GlaxoSmithKline have cut their prices on key medications by 75 percent for the 50 poorest countries, their prices remain beyond these governments' budgetary availabilities."

Dr. Moore, who helped establish HIV/AIDS treatment programs in Kenya and China, hopes to launch a government-condoned Myanmar project.

Besides government-sanctioned programs, a unique project using one Matrix pill daily is operating on Myanmar's Chinese border in Kachin state. Thousands of Chinese cross the border into Kachin, where Chinese and Myanmar entrepreneurs have established 50 casinos plus the diversions - including prostitution - accompanying gambling.
In 15 years, HIV/AIDS has increased sharply among both natives and Chinese visitors. A recent survey of rural Kachin border residents revealed a 6.5 percent HIV/AIDS prevalence. Experts say the situation has major epidemic potential for both countries.

The British NGO Health Unlimited received $865,000 from the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Family Foundation and has established training programs for Myanmar health care professionals and treatment for 1,200 AIDS sufferers at two border clinics, with a target patient base of 2,000.

The Health Unlimited project fortunately works in an area of northeastern Myanmar controlled by the anti-government Kachin Independence Organization, which welcomes its efforts. MSF-H is cutting back its AIDS treatment work in the rest of the country because of limited funds and because it says other organizations must share the huge treatment burden.

During the past 10 years, neighboring Thailand and Cambodia halved disease prevalence, while in Myanmar, about 1 percent of the adult population remains infected.

Myanmar's military regime has successfully cowed the popular energy that supported unprecedented 2007 demonstrations by Buddhist monks. Resistance movements exist nationwide, but none threatens regime rule. (One Shan state irregular army of 7,000, founded to seek independence from Britain, recently observed 62 years of inconclusive operations.)

A Thailand-based Myanmar exile summarizes: "In 47 years, every important function has become military-controlled. They happily buy the most modern arms to use against my countrymen. So, we continue praying because, like our brave monks, prayers are our strongest weapon."

The Myanmar people's supplications deserve answers from a world - most importantly including China, the regime's best friend - so far not moved to take strong measures against Gen. Than Shwe and his repressive, inattentive, myopic cohorts.

John R. Thomson is a longtime foreign correspondent who writes on geopolitical issues in developing countries.

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The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with nearly 142 million items on approximately 650 miles of bookshelves. The collections include more than 32 million books and other print materials, 3 million recordings, 12.5 million photographs, 5.3 million maps, 5.6 million pieces of sheet music and 62 million manuscripts.


ယေန႔ေရွးအက်ဆုံး အေမရိကန္ႏုိင္ငံ၏ ယဥ္ေက်းမႈ အဖြဲ႔အစည္း အေဆာက္အအုံတစ္ခုကုိ ၿပပါဆုိလွ်င္ လႊတ္ေတာ္စာၾကည့္တုိက္ကုိၿပရပါမည္။ သုေတသန အၿဖစ္ ေလ့လာႏုိင္တဲ့ စုေဆာင္းထားတဲ့ အရာ၀တၱဳေပါင္း ၁၄၂ သန္း၊ ဒီဂ်ီတယ္မွတ္တမ္းေပါင္း ၁၅.၃ သန္း နဲ႔ ၃၂ သန္း ေသာ စာအုပ္မ်ားကုိ စံနစ္တက်စီရင္တင္ထားတဲ့ စာအုပ္စဥ္မ်ားဟာ စုစုေပါင္း ၆၅၀ မုိင္ရွည္လ်ားပါတယ္။

၁၈၀၀ မွာ စတင္တည္ေထာင္ခဲ့တဲ့ လႊတ္ေတာ္စာၾကည့္တုိက္ဟာ အေမရိကန္အစုိးရ က်မ္းၿပဳစာၾကည့္တုိက္တစ္ခုၿဖစ္သလုိ၊ ကမၻာအရပ္ရပ္က စာသင္သားမ်ားအတြက္ လုိအပ္တဲ့ သမုိင္းအဆက္ဆက္ အေၾကာင္းအရာမ်ားကုိ ဘာသာေပါင္း၄၇၀ ေက်ာ္နဲ႔ ၿပဳစုထားၿပီး၊ စာဖတ္ခန္း ၂၀ ေက်ာ္ပါ၀င္ပါတယ္။ ကမၻာ့အၾကီးဆုံး ပုံႏွိပ္ထုတ္ေ၀ပစၥည္းမ်ား၊ သမုိင္းမွတ္တမ္းမ်ား၊ ဓာတ္ၿပားေခြမ်ား၊ ဒီဂ်စ္တယ္ဖလင္မ်ား၊ သီခ်င္းမ်ား ရုပ္ရွင္ကားမ်ားႏွင့္ ရုပ္ၿမင္သံၾကား ဇတ္ထုတ္မ်ားကုိ ေရွးေခတ္ပေ၀သဏီ မွ ယေန႔အထိ သုိေလွာင္ေပးထားတဲ့ ဌာပနာ တစ္ခုလည္းၿဖစ္ပါတယ္။

၁၉၁၄ ခုႏွစ္ အဂၤလိပ္- အေမရိကန္စစ္ပြဲမွာ အဂၤလိပ္စစ္တပ္ရဲ႕ မီးရွဳိ႕ ဖ်က္ဆီးၿခင္းကုိခံခဲ့ရၿပီး၊ ထုိစဥ္က စာအုပ္အမ်ားအၿပားဆုံးရွဳံးခဲ့ရပါတယ္။ မူလအစက ဖေလာ္ဒဲထဖီးယား
(Philadelphia) ၿပည္နယ္မွာ စတင္ဖြဲံစည္းတည္ေထာင္ခဲ့ၿပီး၊ လႊတ္ေတာ္ ကုိယ္စလွယ္မ်ားမွ မတည္ေငြ အေမရိကန္ေဒၚလာ ၅၀၀၀ နဲ႔ ဒစ္စထြစ္ ေအာ့ဖ္ ကုိလမ္ဘီယာ ( District of Columbia ) ကုိ ေၿပာင္းေ႔ရႊခဲ့ပါတယ္။

အေမရိကန္လႊတ္ေတာ္မွ တုိက္ရုိက္မတည္ၿပီး၊ အၿခားပုဂၢလိက လွဴဒန္းေငြမ်ားနဲ႔ သုေတသန ဌာပနာ တစ္ခုၿဖစ္တဲ့ လႊတ္ေတာ္စာၾကည့္တုိက္ဟာ ကမၻာမွာ အၾကီးဆုံး လူသားေတြအတြက္ ဗဟုသုတ၊ ပုိင္းၿခားေ၀ဖန္စီစစ္တက္မႈ ႏွင့္ တီထြင္ၾကံဆမႈေတြကုိ အေထာက္အကူၿပဳေပး ေနပါတယ္။

အီတလ်ံ ပညာရွင္ မားကပ္စ္ တူးလီယက္စ္ ဆီဆာရုိး ( Marcus Tulius Cicero) ေၿပာခဲ့ဘူးတဲ့ ဆုိးရုိးစကားတစ္ခုရွိပါတယ္။ “ စာအုပ္မရွိတဲ့ အခန္းဟာ ၀ိဥာဏ္မရွိတဲ့ ခႏၶာကုိယ္တစ္ခုပါပဲတဲ့” ။

က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ ဗမာၿပည္မွာ တစ္ခ်ိန္က သမုိင္းမွာ ထင္ရွားသာဓက ရွိခဲ့ဘူးတဲ့ ရန္ကုန္တကၠသုိလ္ စာၾကည့္တုိက္ဟာ ယခုအခါမွာ ေၿခာက္ေသြ႔မဲေမွာင္ၿပီး လူသူသြားလာ လည္ပတ္မႈ ကင္းေ၀းလုိ႔ေနပါတယ္။ ၀ိဥာဏ္မရွိတဲ့ ခႏၶာကုိယ္တစ္ခုလုိ ရန္ကုန္တကၠသုိလ္ စာၾကည့္တုိက္ဟာ အဓိပတိလမ္းမွာ ထီးထီးနဲ႔ လူမေရာက္သူမေရာက္ ရပ္တည္လ်က္ပါ။

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What Burma Needs From the White House

By Desmond Tutu
Monday, April 20, 2009

When President Obama was elected, I was filled with hope that America would regain the moral standing to aid those who are impoverished and oppressed around the world. I have since rejoiced to see him reversing the most obnoxious policies of the Bush administration -- by ending torture, announcing the closure of the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay and engaging the world on climate change, to name just a few. But there is another issue on which America's moral leadership is desperately needed, and here, it must be acknowledged, President Bush was on the side of the angels: the struggle for human rights and justice in Burma.

Last year, when a cyclone struck Burma, we watched in horror as the country's military government refused offers of help to save thousands of people clinging to survival. Not everyone noticed what the government was focused on in those terrible days -- a referendum to ratify a new constitution, designed to entrench its rule forever. As villagers in affected areas fought to stay alive and the rest of the country anguished over their fate, the government mobilized its forces not for rescue but to herd people to the polls. Of course, this was not a real referendum; it was illegal for any Burmese to urge a "no" vote, and the results were rigged in any case. But it was a real manifestation of the heartlessness of those who rule Burma.

Now the Obama administration is reviewing America's policy toward Burma. A thoughtful review is needed; as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently said, neither economic pressure nor diplomacy has yet achieved the change we seek in Burma. It stands to reason that every aspect of U.S. engagement with this country needs to be made more effective, more targeted and more broadly supported by key countries around the world. But as we wait for the results of this thought process, as America's allies wait, as the United Nations waits, as the Burmese people wait, we should remember that the Burmese government is not waiting. Each day, it moves a step closer to its goal of eliminating opposition and consolidating power, with another stage-managed "election" looming in 2010. The administration does not have the luxury of considering its options and then starting to lead; it must somehow think and lead at the same time, before it loses the initiative, and misimpressions about where it stands spread.

As the administration reviews its policy, I hope it will remember that the voices of those with the most at stake cannot easily be heard. My sister Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the heroic and beloved leader of the Burmese democracy movement, remains under house arrest and cannot speak to the world. In recent months, hundreds of prominent activists, Buddhist monks and nuns, journalists, labor activists, and bloggers who want the world to maintain pressure on their government have been sentenced to years, even decades, in isolated jungle prisons, where not even their families can visit. Meanwhile, those who support or have resigned themselves to their government's approach are free to speak out. This repression cannot be rewarded; the voices of those it has silenced must be heard as if the walls of their jails did not exist.

I hope that the Obama administration will energize global diplomacy on Burma. It should be willing to talk to Burma's leaders, to work intensively with Burma's neighbors and to make clear that there is a dignified way forward for all those in Burma who are willing to compromise. It should support carefully monitored humanitarian assistance directed to help Burma's people, so aid reaches them and does not reinforce corruption or result in other unintended consequences.
So yes -- America should engage Burma, but it should not engage in wishful thinking. Nothing in our experience suggests that offers of aid will cause Burma's generals to change course; unlike some authoritarian regimes, this one seems to care not a bit for the economic well being of its country. It would probably interpret an easing of sanctions as an acknowledgment that it has won the struggle with its people and proved its right to rule. Indeed, all our experience suggests that diplomatic engagement is likely to succeed only when sanctions have truly hit their mark. In South Africa, it was only when sanctions became targeted and were implemented in a sophisticated way that a negotiated solution -- one that seemed impossible for many long years -- finally took shape.

Injustice and oppression will not have the last word in Burma (or Zimbabwe, or Sudan), any more than they did in South Africa, Poland, Chile or anywhere else the human spirit is alive. The brave Burmese people who have struggled for their freedom believe this is a moral universe, where right and wrong still matter. They need to know that the world's most powerful democracy still believes it, too.

The writer is archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.

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ၿမန္မာၿပည္က HIV-AIDS ေ၀ဒနာရွင္မ်ား

"Help: HIV/AIDS patients in Burma need assistance to get to the Clinic to receive their treatment"


ဧၿပီလ ၁၂၊ ၂၀၀၉။

တရက္က Wefightwewin blog မွာ ျမန္မာျပည္က HIV/AIDS ေ၀ဒနာရွင္ေတြရဲ႔ သတင္းေတြ ဘာသာျပန္ တင္ေပးတာ ေက်းဇူးတင္ပါတယ္ဗ်ာ။ ဒီကိစၥနဲ႔ ပတ္သက္လို႔ က်ေနာ္လည္း ေျပာခ်င္ေနတာ အေတာ္ၾကာပါၿပီ။ တေလာက က်ေနာ္ ျမန္မာျပည္မွာ HIV အေရး လုပ္ေနတဲ့ လႈပ္ရွားသူ ၂-ဦးနဲ႔ စကားေျပာျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ သူတို႔ ေျပာျပတာကို ျပန္ဖလွယ္ခ်င္ လို႔ပါ။ က်ေနာ္တို႔ ဘယ္လို ကူညီႏိုင္မလဲ နည္းလမ္းေတြလည္း ၀ိုင္း၀န္းရွာၾကည့္ဖို႔ လုိတာေပါ့ခင္ဗ်ာ။

ျမန္မာျပည္က HIV/ AIDS ေ၀ဒနာရွင္ အေရအတြက္

ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံမွာ အစိုးရကိန္းဂဏန္းေတြအရ ကိုယ္ခံအားက်ေရာဂါရွင္ 240,000 ရွိတယ္လို႔ ေျပာပါတယ္။ ျပင္ပက ခန္႔မွန္း ခ်က္ေတြကေတာ့ ပိုမ်ားတာေပါ့ဗ်ာ။ အဲသည္အထဲမွာ အစိုးရ ကိန္းဂဏန္းေတြအရပဲ ART ေဆးတိုက္ဖို႔ လိုအပ္တဲ့လူနာ 75,000 ရွိေနၿပီလို႔ တရား၀င္ အသိအမွတ္ျပဳ ေဖာ္ျပထားပါတယ္။ တကယ္မွာ ေတာ့ ART ေဆးစားရသူ 15,000 ေလာက္ ပဲ ရွိတယ္ ဆိုပါတယ္။

ေအအာဗြီေဆးဆိုတာက HIV ေ၀ဒနာရွင္အတြက္ ေသာက္ဖို႔ လိုအပ္တဲ့ေဆးပါ။ ဒီေဆးေသာက္တဲ့ အခါ အရင္က မမာတဲ့ လူနာက ျပန္ၿပီး အလုပ္လုပ္ႏိုင္၊ ကိုင္ႏိုင္ ရွိလာပါတယ္။ အလုပ္လုပ္ႏိုင္တဲ့အခါ ၀င္ေငြလည္း ျပန္ရလာဖြယ္ ရွိပါတယ္။ တကယ္မိုလို႔ ခ်မ္းသာတဲ့ ႏိုင္ငံေတြမွာ ART (antiretrovial treatment) ေသခ်ာ ေသာက္သံုးၿပီး က်န္းမာေရး၊ အာဟာရ လိုက္စားၾကတဲ့အခါ သက္တမ္းေစ့နီးပါး လူေကာင္းတဦးလိုပဲ ေနထိုင္သြားႏိုင္ၾကပါတယ္။ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံမွာေတာ့ ေဆး ေသာက္ရဖို႔ကို လူနာေတြက တန္းစီေစာင့္ဆိုင္း ေနၾကရပါတယ္။ အစိုးရရဲ႔ က်န္းမာေရး/ လူမႈေရး အသံုးစရိတ္ကလည္း နည္းလြန္းတဲ့အခါ လူနာနဲ႔ ေဆးမမွ်ပဲ ျဖစ္ေနၾကရပါတယ္။

ေအအိုင္ဒီအက္စ္ ျဖစ္တဲ့လူနာေတြကို အုပ္စုသေဘာ ခြဲထားၾကတာေတြ ရွိပါတယ္။ ဥပမာ-လိင္လုပ္သားအုပ္စု၊ မူးယစ္ ေဆး အေၾကာထဲထုိးသြင္းသူမ်ား... စသျဖင့္ပါ။ သူတို႔က ေရာဂါကူးစက္ဖို႔ အႏၱရာယ္မ်ားသူေတြ မဟုတ္လား။ သို႔ေသာ္ လည္း ေၾကာက္လန္႔စရာေကာင္းသူက အဲသည္သူေတြမဟုတ္ဘဲ သူတို႔ရဲ႔ အိမ္ေန ဇနီးမယားေတြ အုပ္စုက ေရာဂါျဖစ္မႈႏႈန္းတိုးတက္ လာေနတာကို ေတြ႔ရတယ္လို႔ လႈပ္ရွားေနသူ တဦးက ေျပာပါတယ္။ ဆိုလိုတာက သာမာန္လူထု အမ်ားစု ႀကီးထဲမွာ ေရာဂါပ်ံ႔ႏွံ႔မႈႏႈန္း တိုးတက္လာေနတာကို ေျပာတာပါ။

ART ေဆးတိုက္ေကၽြးပံု

ကမၻာ့က်န္းမာေရးအဖြဲ႔ (WHO) သတ္မွတ္ခ်က္အရလို႔ ေျပာပါတယ္။ CD4 Count (T-helper cell count) ၂၀၀ ေအာက္ ျဖစ္တဲ့အခါ ေဆးတိုက္တယ္လို႔ ေျပာပါတယ္။ အျခားေရာဂါ လကၡဏာ (clinical symptoms) စသျဖင့္လည္း ေဆး ေသာက္ဖို႔ ေသခ်ာ သတ္မွတ္ခ်က္ေတြ ရွိေနပါတယ္။ ေဆးတိုက္ေကၽြးဖို႔ သင့္-မသင့္ ဆိုတာကို NAP က ဆံုးျဖတ္ပါတယ္။ NAP ဆိုတာက ျမန္မာအစိုးရ က်န္းမာေရး၀န္ႀကီးဌာနေအာက္မွာ ဖြဲ႔ထားတဲ့ (National AIDS Program) ပါ။ သူက ေဆး ေသာက္သင့္ၿပီလို႔ သတ္မွတ္ၿပီးတဲ့အခါမွ ART ေဆး လက္ခံခြင့္၊ ေသာက္ခြင့္ ရွိပါတယ္။ သူတို႔က သတ္မွတ္ထားတဲ့ အေရ အတြက္၀င္လို႔ ေဆးေသာက္သင့္ၿပီ ယူဆတဲ့အခါ ေဆးေသာက္ဖို႔ တန္းစီ စာရင္းသြင္း ေစာင့္ၾကရပါတယ္။

မႏၱေလးက အေျခအေနအရ မႏၱေလးတၿမိဳ႔လံုးမွာ NAP အစီအစဥ္ေအာက္မွာ ေဆးတိုက္ေကၽြးသူ ၂၀၀၊ IHC (Integrated Health Care) အစီအစဥ္ေအာက္မွာ ေဆးေသာက္ရသူ အေရအတြက္ ၁,၀၀၀ သာ ရွိတယ္ ဆိုပါတယ္။ ရန္ကုန္နဲ႔ အျခား ၿမိဳ႔ႀကီး အခ်ဳိ႔မွာလည္း ေဆးတိုက္ပါတယ္။ IHC အစီအစဥ္ဆိုတာကေတာ့ ေအအိုင္ဒီအက္စ္သာ မက (တီဘီ အဆုပ္နာ ေရာဂါပူးတြဲ ခံစားေနရတဲ့ ေ၀ဒနာရွင္မ်ား) ကို တိုက္ေကၽြးတာပါ။ ဒီအေရအတြက္ကလည္း ျပည့္ေနပါၿပီ။ အဲသည္ေတာ့ ေနာက္ပိုင္း ေဆးေသာက္ရမယ့္လူေတြက တန္းစီေစာင့္ေနၾကရပါတယ္။

အဲသည္ေတာ့ ရင္နာစရာ သတင္းေတြလည္း ၾကားသိလာရပါတယ္။ အခ်ဳိ႔သူေတြက တီဘီရွိတဲ့ေရာဂါရွင္ရဲ႔ သူမ်ား သလိပ္ကို ငွားၿပီး ေဆးေသာက္ရဖို႔ ႀကိဳးပမ္းတာေတြ ရွိလာတယ္ ေျပာပါတယ္။ ေဆးေသာက္ခ်င္လြန္း လို႔ပါ။ အခ်ဳိ႔သတင္းေတြအရလည္း ရန္ကုန္မွာ လင္က ေဆးရေသာ္လည္း၊ မယားက ေဆးမရပါ။ အဲသည္ေတာ့ လင္-မယား ေဆးကို ခြဲေ၀ ေသာက္သံုးေနၾက ရတယ္လို႔ ဆိုပါတယ္။ သူတို႔ရဲ႔ ခ်စ္ျခင္းေမတၱာကို နားလည္ ေပမယ့္ ေဆးၿပီးမႈဒဏ္၊ ေဆး မတိုးေတာ့မည့္ဒဏ္ကို ေၾကာက္မက္ဖြယ္ ေတြ႔ေနရပါတယ္။ မႏၱေလးမွာေတာ့ လင္-မယား အတူတူ ေဆးရၾကတယ္ ဆိုပါတယ္။ အဲသည္ေတာ့လည္း ေဆးေသာက္ခ်င္လြန္းသူေတြက ရၿပီးသား သူတဦးရဲ႔ မယားအျဖစ္ အလိမ္ျပၿပီး ေဆးရဖို႔ ႀကိဳးပမ္းရတာေတြလည္း ရွိေနပါတယ္။

တကယ္က ဒီလူနာေတြက ေဆးကို အလြန္ေသာက္ခ်င္ေနၾကပါတယ္။ ဘာျဖစ္လို႔လဲဆိုေတာ့ ေဆးေသာက္ၿပီး တာနဲ႔ လူက ျပန္လို႔ ထူထူေထာင္ေထာင္ ျဖစ္လာပါတယ္။ ေဆးမေသာက္ရတဲ့အခါ CD4 count 200 က်လာတဲ့ အခါ ရုပ္ပ်က္တာေတြ လည္း စတင္ျဖစ္လာၿပီလို႔ ေျပာပါတယ္။

ART ေဆးကို တရက္ ၂ ႀကိမ္ေသာက္ရပါတယ္။ (မနက္ ၉-နာရီ။ ည ၉ နာရီ စသျဖင့္...) ၁၂-နာရီျခား ေသာက္ရပါတယ္။ အခ်ဳိ႔က ကိုယ့္ဘာသာ အျပင္က ၀ယ္ေသာက္ပါတယ္။ ဒါေပမယ့္ မနက္ေဆးေသာက္၊ အလုပ္လုပ္ၿပီး ညေဆးေသာက္ဖို႔ ေငြရွာေနရတုန္းပဲ ဆိုတာေတြလည္း ၾကားေနရပါတယ္။

ဆင္းရဲလြန္းတာကလည္း ျပႆနာတခုပါပဲ။ အခ်ဳိ႔လူနာေတြက ဘယ္က ၾကားဖူးသလဲ မသိပါဘူး။ ေဆးကို တလေသာက္-တလနားရင္ ေဆးမတိုးတဲ့ဒဏ္ resistance မရဘူးလို႔ ယူဆေနပါတယ္။ ဒီသေဘာနဲ႔ အျခားေဆး တလစာကို အျပင္ကို ေရာင္းစားျပန္ပါတယ္။ ဆင္းရဲလြန္းၾကတာကိုး။ ဒီလို ေဆးေသာက္မယ္ဆိုရင္ အစကတည္းက ပညာေပးတဲ့လုပ္ငန္းေတြ လည္း အထူးလိုအပ္ေနပါတယ္။ ေဆးကို ပံုမွန္ မေသာက္သူေတြကို dafaulters လို႔ ေခၚပါတယ္။

ဂ်ဴရိုဗာ၊ ထရိုင္အိုႁမြန္း 30 စသျဖင့္ ေဆးနာမည္ေတြ ရွိပါတယ္။ ျမန္မာျပည္မွာ အခုတိုက္ေနတဲ့ ART ေဆးေတြကို တိုတယ္ ေရနံကုမၸဏီက လွဴတယ္လို႔ ၾကားရပါတယ္။ ျမန္မာစစ္အစိုးရကေတာ့ အိပ္ထဲကစိုက္ ၀ယ္တိုက္မယ္ မထင္ပါ။ အဲဒါအျပင္ AZG လို အန္ဂ်ီအိုေတြက တိုက္ရိုက္လွဴဒါန္း တိုက္ေကၽြးေနတာ (ရန္ကုန္၊ လားရိႈး) မွာ ရွိပါတယ္။ အျခား အန္ဂ်ီအိုေတြ လည္း ရွိပါေသးတယ္။ လိုင္ဇာဖက္မွာ Health Unlimited စသျဖင့္ အဖြဲ႔ေတြက ကူေနၾကပါတယ္။ ဒါေပမယ့္ ဆင့္ပါးစပ္ ႏွမ္းပက္ ျဖစ္ေနပါေသးတယ္။

ဘယ္လို ကူညီႏိုင္ၾကမလဲ

  • NAP ကို ေဆးတိုက္ေကၽြးမႈေတြကို ပိုတိုးခ်ဲ႔သင့္ေၾကာင္း၊ ႏိုင္ငံျခား NGO ေတြ ပိုမို ကူညီခြင့္ေပးသင့္ ေၾကာင္း ေလာ္ဘီ လုပ္သင့္တာေပါ့ဗ်ာ။ ဒါေပမယ့္ သူတို႔က ဘယ္လိုဆံုးျဖတ္ေနမွန္း မသိ။ ဘယ္သူေတြက ဆံုးျဖတ္ ေနမွန္း မသိခက္တာပါပဲ။
  • ျပည္တြင္းက လူေတြကိုလည္း မူ၀ါဒေျပာင္းလဲေရး တိုက္တြန္းလို႔ မရဘူးလား ေမးၾကည့္ပါတယ္။ ဘယ္သြား ေျပာရမွန္း မသိဘူး ေျဖၾကပါတယ္။
  • ဒါေပမယ့္ က်ေနာ္တို႔ ျပည္ပေနသူေတြက ေဆးေသာက္ရမယ့္သူေတြကို ကူႏိုင္ရင္ ၀ယ္ၿပီး ေဆးတိုက္ႏိုင္ပါ ေသးတယ္။ ဒါကလည္း ေဆးေသာက္ခြင့္ကို အမွန္တကယ္ NAP က ခြင့္ျပဳခ်က္ အရင္ယူၿပီးမွ ေဆာင္ရြက္ႏိုင္ပါ လိမ့္မယ္။ သူတို႔က ေဆးေသာက္ခြင့္ ပါမစ္ကို ခ်ဳပ္ထားပါေသးတယ္။
  • ေဆးကို က်ေနာ္တို႔က ၀ယ္လွဴမယ္ဆိုရင္ေတာ့ တလကို လူနာတဦးအတြက္ အာဟာရ အပါအ၀င္ က်ပ္ ၃၀,၀၀၀ ေလာက္က်ပါတယ္။ (ေဒၚလာအားျဖင့္ ၃၀ ေလာက္ပါ။ ) က်ေနာ္တို႔ ျပင္ပက လူေတြက ၃-လ၊ ၆-လ၊ စသျဖင့္ ကိုယ္ႏိုင္သေလာက္ ကတိျပဳ ကူညီၾကမယ္ဆိုရင္ေတာ့ ေကာင္းပါတယ္။ သို႔ေသာ္ လႈပ္ရွားေနသူ တဦး ကေတာ့ အနည္းဆံုး ၃-ႏွစ္ေလာက္ ကတိျပဳႏိုင္မွ ေကာင္းမယ္လို႔ အၾကံျပဳပါတယ္။
  • ART ေဆးက ရာသက္ပန္ ေသာက္ရမယ့္ေဆးပါ။ က်ေနာ္တို႔ကလည္း ရာသက္ပန္ ဘယ္လို ကူညီႏိုင္ပါ့မလဲ။
  • ဒါေပမယ့္ က်ေနာ္တို႔က ၁-ႏွစ္တန္သည္၊ ၆- လတန္သည္ေတာ့ ကူညီႏိုင္ၾကေကာင္းပါရဲ႔ဗ်ာ။

က်ေနာ္တို႔ ၀ိုင္း၀န္းလႈပ္ရွားၾကရေအာင္လား။


ျမန္မာစစ္အစိုးရရဲ႔ NAP က ဘယ္လိုစဥ္းစားသလဲ ဆိုတာေတြ သိခ်င္ရင္ေတာ့ ဆက္ဖတ္ၾကည့္ႏိုင္ေအာင္ပါ။

  • Myanmar National Strategic Plan on HIV and AIDS: Operational Plan April 2006 - March 2009, 23 September 2006, 22 pp. (Also available at /mm_national_strategic_plan_operational_plan.pdf)
  • Myanmar National Strategic Plan on HIV and AIDS 2006-2010, Draft, 28 June 2006, Government of Myanmar, 2006, 97 pp. (Also available at /mm%20national%20strategic%20plan.pdf)
  • National AIDS Programme, Myanmar, Review of the Myanmar National AIDS Programme 2006, World Health Organization Regional Office for South-East Asia, September 2006, 120 pp. (Also available at

Myat Soe-ART Drug Price Estimation 1


အထီးက်န္ရင္း ေသမဲ့ရက္ကုိ ေစာင့္ဆုိင္းေနရတဲ့ ၿမန္မာၿပည္က HIV- AIDS ေ၀ဒနာရွင္မ်ား

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Freedom Journal (April, 2009) by Free Burma Federation

Freedom Journal (April, 2009) by Free Burma Federation

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

ဖိလစ္ပုိင္သမၼတ အာရုိယုိ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ လြတ္ေပးဖုိ႔ထပ္မံေတာင္းဆုိ

သမၼတ ဂလုိရီယာ အာရုိယုိ ဖိလစ္ပုိင္စစ္တပ္၏ ဂုဏ္ၿပဳတပ္ဖြဲ႔ ကုိ စစ္ေဆးေနစဥ္


ဖိလစ္ပုိင္သမၼတ ဂလုိရီယာ အာရုိယုိ က ၿမန္မာႏုိင္ငံရဲ႕ လူထုေခါင္းေဆာင္ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ကုိ ေနအိမ္မွာ အက်ယ္ခ်ဳပ္ အက်ဥ္းခ်ထား ခံထားၿခင္းမွ လြတ္ေပးဖုိ႔ ရန္အတြက္ ၿမန္မာႏုိင္ငံမွာ ရာစု ႏွစ္ေပါင္း မ်ားစြာၾကာေအာင္ စစ္ကြ်န္ၿပဳေနၾကတဲ့ ၿမန္မာစစ္ေခါင္းေဆာင္ေတြကုိ ထပ္မံတုိက္တြန္းေတာင္းဆုိလုိက္ ေၾကာင္း ဖိလစ္ပုိင္ႏုိင္ငံၿခားေရးဌာန က အတည္ၿပဳေၿပာၾကား ခဲ့ပါသည္။ ၿမန္မာႏုိင္ငံမွာ အမ်ိဳးသား ၿပန္လည္ ရင္ၾကားေစ့ေရး၊ တုိင္းၿပည္အတြင္း စည္းလုံးညီညြတ္ေရး ႏွင့္ ႏုိင္ငံေရး ေတြ႔ဆုံေဆြးေႏြး အေၿဖရွာႏုိင္ရန္ အတြက္ ႏွစ္ေပါင္းမ်ားစြာ ေနအိမ္ အက်ဥ္းခ်ခံထားရတဲ့ ၿမန္မာႏုိင္ငံ လူထုေခါင္းေဆာင္ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္း စုၾကည္ ကုိ လြတ္ေပးသင့္ေၾကာင္းေဖာ္ၿပပါရွိတယ္။

ဖိလစ္ပုိင္သမၼတ အာရုိယုိ ဟာ ထုိင္းႏုိင္ငံမွာ က်င္းပတဲ့ အေ႔ရွေတာင္အာရွႏုိင္ငံမ်ားရဲ႕ အစည္းအေ၀း ကုိ တက္ေရာက္ခဲ့စဥ္က ၿမန္မာစစ္အုပ္စု ၀န္ၾကီးခ်ဳပ္သိန္းစိန္ကုိ အစည္းေ၀းၿပင္ပခန္းမ မွာ ယင္းသုိ႔ပန္ၾကား ခဲ့ေၾကာင္း ေဖာ္ၿပထားပါတယ္။

ၿမန္မာႏုိင္ငံမွာ ရာစုႏွစ္ ႏွစ္ေပါင္းမ်ားစြာ စစ္ကြ်န္ၿပဳေနၾကတဲ့ စစ္ေခါင္းေဆာင္ အာဏာရွင္မ်ားၿဖစ္ၾကတဲ့ သန္းေရႊ ႏွင့္ ေမာင္ေအး ဟာ ၁၉၈၈ ခုႏွစ္ စစ္အာဏာသိမ္းမႈမွာ ပါ၀င္ခဲ့ၿပီး၊ သူတုိ႔ကုိယ္တုိင္ က်င္းပေပးခဲ့ေသာ ၁၉၉၀ ခုႏွစ္ အေထြေထြ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲ ၾကီးရဲ႕ ရလာဒ္ကုိလည္း အသိအမွတ္ မၿပဳခဲ့ၾကေသာ ၿမန္မာ စစ္တပ္မွ အာဏာရွင္ေခါင္းေဆာင္မ်ား ၿဖစ္ၾက တယ္။ အီရတ္ အာဏာရွင္ေဟာင္း ဆဒန္ဟူစိန္ လုိ စစ္တပ္အတြင္း မိမိတုိ႔၏ မိသားစု၀င္ေတြကုိ ရာထူးတုိးၿခင္း၊ ေနရာေပးၿခင္းၿဖင့္ မိသားစု စစ္တပ္သဖြယ္ၿပဳလုပ္ေနေၾကာင္း၊ ႏုိင္ငံေရးေခါင္းေဆာင္ေတြကုိ အက်ဥ္းခ်ထားၿပီး၊ ၂၀၁၀ ခုႏွစ္မွာ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲ ကုိ ႏွစ္ထပ္ကြမ္း ထပ္မံၿပဳလုပ္ဖုိ႔ ရွိေၾကာင္း ႏုိင္ငံတကာ သတင္းေတြထဲမွာ ေဖာ္ၿပထားပါသည္။

ၿမန္မာႏုိင္ငံမွာ အႏွစ္ ၂၀ ေက်ာ္အတြင္း ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲတစ္ခုသာ က်င္းပႏုိင္ခဲ့ၿပီး၊ ယင္းေရြးေကာက္ပြဲ ရလာဒ္ ကုိလည္း အသိအမွတ္ၿပဳ ၿခင္း မခံခဲ့ရေသးပါ။

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

ဆုိင္ကလုန္ ဘီဂ်လီ ( Bijli) ၃၆ နာရီ အတြင္း ၿမန္မာၿပည္ လာမည္


ဆုိင္ကလုန္ ဘီဂ်လီ ( Bijli) ၃၆ နာရီ အတြင္း ၿမန္မာၿပည္ ကုန္းတြင္းပုိင္းေတြ ကုိ စတင္တုိက္ခတ္ေတာ့မည္

-ေနာက္ဆုံးရ သတင္း-

ဘဂၤလားပင္လယ္ေအာ္ မွ ၿဖစ္ေပၚေနတဲ့ ဆုိင္ကလုန္ ဘီဂ်လီ ( Bijli) ဟာ ၃၆ နာရီအတြင္း ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္ ႏွင့္ ၿမန္မာႏုိင္ငံ ကုိ ၿဖတ္ေက်ာ္၀င္ေရာက္တုိက္ခုိက္လိမ့္မည္။ ၿမန္မာႏုိင္ငံ ရခုိင္ၿပည္နယ္ ရွိ ကုန္တြင္းပုိင္းကုိ ၀င္ေရာက္တုိက္ခုိက္ လွ်င္ ၿပင္အား တနာရီ ၇၅ မုိင္ႏွဳန္းၿဖင့္ စေနေန႔ မွာ ၀င္ေရာက္လာမွာၿဖစ္ၿပီး၊ တနဂၤေႏြေန႔ထိ ၿပင္းၿပင္းထန္ထန္ ၀င္ေရာက္တုိက္ခုိက္ လိမ့္မယ္ လုိ႔ ခန္႔မွန္းေၿပာဆုိေနၾကပါသည္။ ပင္လယ္လႈိင္းလုံးဟာ ၁၄ ေပထိ ၿမင့္တက္လာဖြယ္ရွိေနတယ္လုိ႔ ခန္႔မွန္းေၿပာဆုိေနၾကတယ္။ ဆုိင္ကလုန္ ဘီဂ်လီ ( Bijli) ဟာ ဘဂၤလားပင္လယ္ေအာ္ မွ ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္ ႏုိင္ငံကုိ ၿဖတ္ေက်ာ္ၿပီး၊ ၿမန္မာၿပည္ ကုန္တြင္းပုိင္းေတြဆီ ထိၿပင္းၿပင္းထန္ထန္ တုိက္ခတ္လိမ့္မယ္လုိ႔ ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္ မုိးေလ၀သ ပညာရွင္ေတြ ကုိ တြက္ဆ ခန္႔မွန္းေၿပာဆုိေနၾကတယ္။

ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္ အစုိးရ မုိးေလ၀သဌာနက ဘဂၤလားပင္လယ္ေအာ္ ကမ္းေၿခတေလ်ာက္တြင္ရွိေသာ ငါးဖမ္း သေဘၤာမ်ား၊ ကုန္တင္သေဘၤာမ်ား၊ လူမ်ားကုိ သတိေပးထားၿပီး၊ လုံၿခဳံတဲ့ ေနရာေတြ ေ႔ရြေၿပာင္းၾကဖုိ႔ ၿပင္ထန္းစြာ သတိေပးထားၿပီး၊ ကယ္ဆယ္ေရးလုပ္ငန္းေတြအတြက္ ေစတနာၿဖင့္ ကူညီေပးမဲ့လူေပါင္း ၄၃,၀၀၀ ကုိ အသင့္ၿပင္ဆင္ထားတယ္လုိ႔ ေၿပာဆုိခဲ့ပါသည္။

ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္ ကယ္ဆယ္ေရး အဖြဲ႔ ဟာ လုံၿခဳံတဲ့ ေနရာေတြကုိ ေၿပာင္းေ႔ရႊဖုိ႔ အခက္အခဲရွိေနၾကသူေတြကုိ အလ်င္အၿမန္ သြားေရာက္ေနရာခ်ထားေပးမႈေတြၿပဳလုပ္ေနၾကတယ္။

ၿမန္မာၿပည္ရွိ မုန္တုိင္းစက္ကြင္းေဒသမ်ားတြင္ေနထုိင္ေနၾကေသာ ၿပည္သူမ်ားကုိ အၿမန္ဆုံး ထိေရာက္စြာ အေၾကာင္းၾကား ႏွဳိးေဆာ္ေပးၾကဖုိ႔ က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ We Fight We Win မွ စာဖတ္သူေတြကုိ ေမတၱာရပ္ခံ အပ္ပါသည္။

မုန္တုိင္း ၾကိဳတင္ ကာကြယ္ေရး အခ်က္မ်ား

မုန္တုိင္းအနၱရာယ္မွ ၾကိဳတင္ကာကြယ္ေရးအခ်က္မ်ားအား လိုက္နာႀကရန္ နွဳိးေဆာ္အပ္ပါသည္။ ျပည္သူမ်ားအားလုံးအေနျဖင့္လည္း အဆိုပါေဒသမ်ားမွ ေဒသခံျပည္သူမ်ားထံ မုန္တိုင္သတင္းမ်ားႏွင့္ ႀကဳိတင္ကာကြယ္ေရးအခ်က္မ်ား ၀ိုင္း၀န္းအေႀကာင္းႀကားေပးႀကပါရန္ ေမတၱာရပ္ခံအပ္ပါသည္။

အခုခ်ိန္မွ စတင္ေရတြက္လွ်င္ မုန္တုိင္းအနၱရာယ္ကုိ ကာကြယ္ရန္အတြက္ နာရီသုံးဆယ္ေလာက္ အခ်ိန္ရသည္။ ထုိေၾကာင္႕ ျပည္သူ႕မ်ား၏ အသက္အုိးအိမ္စည္းစိမ္မ်ားကုိ ကာကြယ္နုိင္ရန္အတြက္ လူတုိင္းတြင္ တာ၀န္ရွိသည္။ အထူးသျဖင္႕ မုန္တုိင္းက်ေရာက္မည္႕ ေနရာမ်ားမွ လူမ်ားတြင္ ပုိမုိတာ၀န္ရွိပါသျဖင္႕ေအာက္ပါအခ်က္မ်ားကုိ လုိက္နာၾကပါရန္ ႏွဳိးေဆာ္အပ္ပါသည္။

(၁)။ ထုိေန႕မွစ၍ ကမ္းနီးကမ္းေ၀း ငါးဖမ္းေရယာဥ္မ်ားအားလုံး ရပ္နားထားၾကရန္။

(၂)။ ထုိေန႕မွစ၍ ကုန္တင္သေဘၤာမ်ား၊ ခရီးတင္သေဘၤာမ်ားနွင္႕စက္တတ္ေရယာဥ္နွင္႕ ေရယာဥ္ငယ္အားလုံး ရပ္နားထားၾကရန္။

(၃)။ မိမိတုိ႕ေရယာဥ္မ်ားအားလုံးကုိ မုန္တုိင္းလြတ္ရာေနရာမ်ားသုိ႕ ေျပာင္းေရြ႕ထားၾကရန္။

(၄)။ သက္ၾကီးရြယ္အုိမ်ားနွင္႕ကေလးသူငယ္မ်ားကုိ မုန္တုိင္းဒီေရလြတ္ေသာေနရာနွင္႕ လုံျခဳံမွဳရွိေသာေနရာမ်ားသုိ႕ အခုကတည္းက ေရြ႕ေျပာင္းထားရွိၾကရန္။

(၅)။ သက္ဆုိင္ရာျမိဳ႕နယ္ေဆးရုံ၊ ေဆးေပးခန္းအားလုံး အဆင္သင္႕အေနအထားတြင္ ထားရွိၾကရန္။

(၆)။ မုန္တုိင္းတုိက္ခတ္ေနစဥ္အတြင္း ျပိဳလဲရန္လြယ္ကူေသာ အိမ္မ်ား၊ သစ္ပင္ၾကီးမ်ားေအာက္တြင္ မေနၾကရန္။

(၇)။ မုန္တုိင္းတုိက္ခတ္ေနစဥ္အတြင္း အေၾကာက္မလြန္ၾကရန္ႏွင္႕ အနၱရာယ္ရွိသူမ်ားကုိ ႀကိဳးစားျပီးကယ္တင္ေပးၾကရန္။

(ဂ)။ မုန္တုိင္းတုိက္ခတ္ေနစဥ္အတြင္း လွ်ပ္စစ္ဓါတ္မဟာလုိင္း၊ ရုိရုိးဓါတ္အားလုိင္းမ်ားအားလုံး ပိတ္ထားၾကရန္။ မလုိအပ္ပဲ ဓါတ္တုိင္မ်ားေအာက္သုိ႕ မသြားေရာက္က်ရန္။ ျပတ္က်ေနေသာဓါတ္ၾကိဳးမ်ားကုိ သြားေရာက္ကုိင္တြယ္ျခင္း မျပဳၾကရန္။

(၉)။ သက္ဆုိင္ရာျမိဳ႕နယ္မ်ားမွ မုန္တုိင္းသတိေပးခ်က္ကုိ ျပည္သူမ်ားသိရွိေစရန္အတြက္ အၾကိမ္ၾကိမ္ အထူးသတင္းအျဖစ္ သတိေပးေၾကညာေပးရန္ လုိအပ္သည္။

(၁၀)။ မုန္တုိင္းတုိက္ခတ္ေနစဥ္အတြင္း မလုိအပ္ပဲအျပင္သုိ႕ လုံး၀မထြက္ၾကရန္။

(ယခုလို သတိေပးေဖၚျပေပးေသာ ကိုဟီရိုးႏိုင္အား အထူး ေက်းဇူးတင္ရွိပါသည္)။

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သကၠရာဇ္သစ္၊ လူသစ္၊ စိတ္သစ္၊ လူ႔ေဘာင္ေလာကသစ္

ဓာတ္ပုံ- ေအာင္ၿမတ္သူ
ပန္းခ်ီ - ေသာင္းဟန္
၁၃၄၆ ခု တန္ခူးလ (၁၉၈၅ ခု ဧၿပီလ)၊ စႏၵာရုပ္စုံမဂၢဇင္း မ်က္ႏွာဖုံး

“ ႏွစ္ဆန္းငယ္သၾကၤန္၊ သစ္သစ္သာ ဖန္ေတာ့တယ္၊ ႏုိင္ငံေၾကာ့ ၿပည္သူမွာ၊ ပန္ဆုယူ တာေရသြန္းခ်န္မုိ႔”
လူ႔ေလာကၾကီး ဟူသည္ အစဥ္ အသစ္သစ္တုိ႔တုိးတက္ကူးေၿပာင္းလ်က္ရွိသည္။ အသစ္အသစ္တုိ႔မွာ ေကာင္းေသာတုိးတက္ၿခင္း၊ မွန္ကန္ေသာ ေၿပာင္းလဲၿခင္းမ်ား ၿဖစ္ဖုိ႔လုိသည္။

စႏၵာရုပ္စုံမဂၢဇင္း ( ၁၉၈၅ ခု- ဧၿပီလ)

ၿမန္မာသကၠရာဇ္ေဟာင္း ကုန္ဆုံးၿပီး သကၠရာဇ္သစ္သုိ႔ ေရာက္လာေသာ လမွာ တန္ခူးလ ၿဖစ္သည္။ ႏွစ္သစ္ကုိ တဖန္ေမြးဖြား လုိက္သည့္ လတန္ခူးပင္။ ႏွစ္သစ္၏အစ တန္ခူးလကုိ အခ်ိဳ႕ ပညာရွင္မ်ားက အတာကူးသည့္ “ တာကူးလ” ဟုလည္းဆုိၾက သည္။

အမွန္စစ္စစ္ တႏွစ္တာလြန္ေၿမာက္၍ ေနာက္ႏွစ္အစသုိ႔ ေရာက္လာၿခင္းၿဖစ္သည္။ သကၠရာဇ္အားၿဖင့္ ကိန္းဂဏန္းတစ္ခု တုိးလာၿခင္းၿဖစ္သည္။ သကၠရာဇ္တြင္ ကိန္းဂဏန္း တုိးလာရေသာ အခ်ိန္ကာလ အပုိင္းအၿခားကုိ ေဗဒင္ အလုိအားၿဖင့္ ဤသုိ႔တြက္ခ်က္ သတ္မွတ္သည္။

တနဂၤေႏြၿဂိဳဟ္ေနမင္းသည္ တစ္ႏွစ္လွ်င္ ၁၂ ရာသီရွိ၍ ထုိ ၁၂ ရာသီခြင္ကုိ လွည့္ပတ္သြား ေနသည္။ ေနမင္း၏တစ္ေန႔ခရီးမွာ တအံသာ ( တစ္ရက္) ၿဖစ္သည္။ ရာသီခြင္တစ္ခုတြင္ ပ်မ္းမွ်ရက္ေပါင္း ၃၀ ၾကာ၍ ထုိကာလကုိ “ေသရမာသ” တစ္လဟု ေခၚသည္။ ေနမင္းသည္ ၁၂ ရာသီခြင္ေစ့ေအာင္လွည့္ပတ္မိရန္ အံသာ ၃၆၀ ( ရက္ေပါင္း ၃၆၀)လွည့္ပတ္ရသည္။ ထုိကာလကုိ တစ္ႏွစ္ဟုေခၚသည္။ “သူရိယမာသ” ဟုလည္းေခၚသည္။ ဤကား ႏွစ္ကုိ တြက္ယူၿခင္း ၿဖစ္သည္။ သကၠရာဇ္ကိန္းဂဏန္းတစ္ခုကုိ သတ္မွတ္ၿခင္းဟုလည္းဆုိႏုိင္သည္။

ေန ႏွင့္ လ တုိ႔သည္ မိမိတုိ႔၏ အၿမန္ႏွဳန္းၿဖင့္ ၁၂ ရာသီ စက္၀န္းကုိ လွည့္ပတ္သြားေနၾက သည္။ ေနက အသြားႏွဳန္းေႏွးၿပီး၊ လ က အသြားႏွဳန္းၿမန္သည္။ ထုိ႔သုိ႔လွည့္ပတ္ၾကယင္း တစ္ပတ္ ပတ္မိသည္ႏွင့္ ေန ႏွင့္ လ တုိ႔ ထပ္မိၾကသည္။ ထုိမွ ေနာက္တၾကိမ္ထပ္မိေသာအခါ တစ္လၿပည့္ေတာ့သည္။ ထုိတစ္လကုိ “စၿႏၵမာသ” ဟုေခၚသည္။ ထုိစၿႏၵမာသ “လ” ကုိ “တိထီ” ေခၚ အစိတ္ေပါင္း ၃၀ စိတ္ပုိင္းသည္။ တစိတ္ကုိ တစ္ရက္ဟု ေခၚ၏။ စၿႏၵမာသ အားၿဖင့္ ၁၂ လ ကုိ စၿႏၵမာသႏွစ္ဟုေခၚသည္။ ထုိစၿႏၵမာသ မွာ လ ကုိ တြက္ယူၿခင္းၿဖစ္သည္။

ေနာက္…ေနသြားခရီးအား ပုိင္ၿခားမွတ္သားၿခင္းကုိ “သာ၀နမာသ” ဟုေခၚသည္။ ယေန႔ညဥ့္ သန္းေခါင္မွ ေနာက္ေန႔ ညဥ့္သန္းေခါင္အထိ ကုိ “သာ၀န” တစ္ရက္ဟု ေခၚသည္။ ပိဋိကတ္အလုိ အားၿဖင့္မႈ ယေန႔ အရုဏ္တစ္ခုမွ ေနာက္တေန႔ အာရုဏ္ အထိ တစ္ရက္ၿဖစ္သည္။ ဤသုိ႔ၿဖင့္ ရက္ ၃၀ ကုိ ၃၀ တလီ ၂၉ ရက္တလီပုိင္းၿခားၿပီး၊ သာ၀နမာသ(လ) ဟုေခၚေလသည္။ ေန ႏွင့္ လ တုိ႔ ၁၂ ၾကိမ္ၿပည့္ေသာအခါ တစ္ႏွစ္ဟုေခၚသည္။ သာ၀နမာသမွာ ရက္ကုိတြက္ယူၿခင္းၿဖစ္သည္။

ေနမင္းသည္ မိႆရာသီခြင္မွ စၿပီး တန္ခူးလဆန္း ၁ ရက္ေန႔ မွ ထြက္ခဲ့ရာ မိန္ရာသီ တေပါင္းလကြယ္ေန႔ ေရာက္ေသာ္ တစ္ႏွစ္ၿပည့္ေလသည္။ ထုိအခါ ရွိရင္းသကၠရာဇ္တြင္ ကိန္းဂဏန္းတစ္ခုတုိးလာၿပီး ႏွစ္သစ္ထဲသုိ႔၀င္လာခဲ့ေတာ့သည္။

ကမၻာ့ႏုိင္ငံၾကီးမ်ားတြင္ မိမိတုိ႔ႏုိင္ငံသမုိင္းကုိၿပဳစုရာ၌ေခတ္ႏွင့္ အခ်ိန္ကာလကုိ တိက်မွန္ကန္စြာ သိရွိမွတ္သားႏုိင္ရန္ ကိန္းဂဏန္း မ်ားၿဖင့္ မိမိတုိ႔ဘာသအေလ်ာက္ သကၠရာဇ္ ကုိ သတ္မွတ္ထားၾကသည္။ မိမိတုိ႔၏လူ႔သက္တမ္းကုိလည္း သကၠရာဇ္ကိန္းဂဏန္း ၿဖင့္ သတ္မွတ္တြက္ခ်က္ၾကသည္။

“သကၠရာဇ္” ဟူေသာ ၿမန္မာေ၀ါဟာရ၏ အဓိပၸါယ္ကုိ ၿမန္မာက်မ္းေဟာင္းမ်ား၌ အမ်ိဳမ်ိဳးကြဲၿပားေနသည္ကုိေတြ႔ရသည္။

ဗုဒၶ၀င္ ေရးသားၿပဳစုၾကေသာ ပညာရွင္က၀ိမ်ားက သာကီ၀င္ၿဖစ္ေသာ ဘုိးေတာ္အဥၥန မင္းၾကီး၏ ၁၆၄၅ ကုိ ၿဖိဳ သည္။ သာကီ၀င္မင္းတုိ႔သည္ “ သကၠရာဇမင္း” ၏ အမ်ိဳးအႏြယ္ေတာ္မ်ားၿဖစ္ေသာေၾကာင့္ “သကၠရာဇ္” ဟုေခၚေ၀ၚေၾကာင္းဆုိသည္။

ပုဂံေလာက နႏၵာ ေက်ာက္စာအရ သေရေခတၱရာၿပည့္ရွင္ သုမုၿႏၵီမင္းသည္ “ေဒါေဒါရသကိန္း” ၆၂၂ ကုိ ၿဖိဳရာ၌ သိၾကားမင္း လာေရာက္၍ ေက်ာက္ဖ်ာထက္၌ ေရးထားေသာ ၆၂၂ ကုိ ၿဖိဳ၍ ၂ ခုကုိခ်န္ထားခဲ့သည္။ သကၠရာဇ္ ၂ ခုက စသည္။ ထုိ႔ေၾကာင့္ သိၾကားမင္းကုိ အစြဲၿပဳသၿဖင့္ “သကၠရာဇ္” ဟုေခၚတြင္ေၾကာင္းဆုိသည္။

အခ်ိဳ႕ ေက်ာက္စာမ်ား၌ မဇၥ်ိမ ေဒသ၌ “ သာလိ၀ါတနသက” မင္းသည္ ကလိယုဂ္ ၃၁၈၀ တြင္ မင္းၿဖစ္၏။ ထုိမင္းလက္ထပ္ တြင္ ကလိယုဂ္ ၃၁၈၀ ထဲမွ ၃၁၇၉ ကုိႏုတ္ပယ္ၿပီး တစ္ခုၾကြင္းမွစ၍ေရတြက္ရာ “ သာလိ၀ါတနသက” မင္းကုိ “သကမင္း” ဟုေခၚၾကသၿဖင့္ ထုိသကမင္းကုိ အစြဲၿပဳ၍ “သကၠရာဇ္ “ ဟုေခၚၾကေၾကာင္းေတြ႔ရသည္။

မည္သုိ႔ပင္ ဆုိေစ ၿမန္မာတုိ႔တြင္ မိမိတုိ႔၏ သကၠရာဇ္ ကိန္းဂဏန္းကုိ ကမၻာ့ႏုိင္ငံၾကီးမ်ားနည္းတူ တိတိက်က် သတ္သတ္မွတ္မွတ္ ရွိခဲ့သည္။ ၿမန္မာခုႏွစ္ သကၠရာဇ္ကုိ ကမၻာသုံးခရစ္ႏွစ္ ခုႏွစ္တုိ႔ႏွင့္ ကုိက္ညီေစရန္ ညွိႏွဳိင္းထားသည္မွာ ၿမန္မာသကၠရာဇ္ ၁၁၀၁ ခု ခရစ္ႏွစ္ ၁၇၃၉ မွ စ၍ညွိႏွဳိင္းခဲ့သည္။ ၿမန္မာတုိ႔သည္ သကၠရာဇ္ အသစ္ကိန္းဂဏန္းကုိ ေမြးဖြားေသာ ႏွစ္သစ္ကူးကာလကုိ အတာကူးသည့္ တန္ခူးလဟု ေခၚၾကသည္။

ထုိအတာကူးသည့္ ႏွစ္၏အစ တန္ခူးလတြင္ သၾကၤန္ေရသဘင္ပြဲကုိ တေပ်ာ္တပါး ဆင္ႏြဲခဲ့ၾကသည္။ ဟုိး..ေရွးပေ၀သဏီကပင္ ထုိလသုိ႔ေရာက္တုိင္း ၿမန္မာ့ရုိးရာယဥ္ေက်းမႈပြဲသဘင္အၿဖစ္ဆင္ႏြဲခဲ့ၾကသည္။ အထူးသၿဖင့္ ၿမန္မာတုိ႔၏ေရွးေခတ္ဟူသည္မွာ ပေဒသသရာဇ္ၾကီးစုိးေသာ ေခတ္ၿဖစ္သည္။ ထုိေခတ္ေရသဘင္ပြဲတုိ႔မွာလည္း မင္းမိဖုရား၊ မင္းညီမင္းသားတုိ႔သာ အထင္အရွား ဆင္ႏြဲကာ ေပ်ာ္ပြဲက်င္းပၾကမည္ၿဖစ္ေပသည္။

ထုိစဥ္က သၾကၤန္ပြဲသဘင္တြင္ ေရကစားပြဲက်င္းပယင္း ပေဒသရာဇ္တုိ႔ပီပီ ၀တ္ေကာင္းစားလွ စိန္ေက်ာက္ရတနာ လက္၀တ္ တန္ဆာမ်ားကုိ ဆင္ၿမန္းၿပီး တစ္ဦးႏွင့္တစ္ဦး န႔ံသာေရ အေမႊအၾကိဳင္တုိ႔ သြန္းေလာင္းကာ ေရကစားၾကေပလိမ့္မည္ကုိ ေတြးၿမင္ ၾကည့္ႏုိင္သည္။ ေအာက္ပါသၾကၤန္ေရသဘင္ပြဲေတာ္ ဘြဲ႔ၾကိဳး သီခ်င္းကုိ ၾကည့္ၿခင္းၿဖင့္ ထင္ရွားလွေပသည္။

“သၾကၤန္မာသကူးသမ္း၊ ႏွစ္ဦးဆန္း၊ ခုိင္ညႊန္႔ေ၀ ခက္ စိမ္းလန္းေနနန္း၊ လနန္းၾကယ္ အႆ၀တီ၊ စိၾတၿပိဳင္ယွဥ္မွီ၊ ဒီပါၿပည္၊ သီတာရည္၊ ဒီပါၿပည္လုံးမင္းေပါင္း၊ ေမႊးထုံေရသြန္းပက္ေလာင္း၊ စိန္ေကာင္း၊ ေက်ာက္ေကာင္း၊ ဆင္ယင္ကာ ၿမဴးၾကြေပ်ာ္ရႊင္စြာ”။

ဤသုိ႔မင္းႏွင့္တကြ ေဆြေတာ္မ်ိဳးေတာ္တုိ႔သည္ မင္းခင္းမင္းနားၿဖင့္ ၾကီးက်ယ္စြာ သၾကၤန္ေရသဘင္ပြဲကုိ ဆင္ႏြဲခဲ့ၾကသလုိ တုိင္သူၿပည္သား ဆင္းရဲသားမ်ားကလည္းရုိးရာႏွစ္သစ္ကူး သၾကၤန္ေရသဘင္ပြဲကုိ တေပ်ာတပါးဆင္ႏြဲခဲ့ၾကသည္။ ဤသုိ႔ဆင္ႏြဲၾကပုံ ကုိ အဂၤလိပ္စာေရးဆရာ ဆာေဂ်ာ့စေကာ့ ( Sir George Scott) က ၎ေရးသားေသာ (Burman) စာအုပ္တြင္ ေအာက္ပါအတုိင္းေရးသားထားသည္။

ၿမန္မာတုိ႔ သၾကၤန္ပြဲကုိ ဆင္ႏြဲၾကရာတြင္ အထက္အရာရွိမ်ားကုိ အမႈထမ္းမ်ားက ေရေလာင္းလုိသည့္အခါ ေရွးဦးစြာ“ေရကန္ေတာ့ပါရေစ” ဟုေတာင္းပန္ယင္း လက္အုပ္ခ်ီကန္ေတာ့ၿပီး ခြင့္ၿပဳမွ ေလာင္းၾကသည္။ ေရေလာင္းရာမွာလည္း လည္ကုတ္ေအာက္ပုိင္း၊ ေက်ာပုိင္းကုိသာ ၿဖည္းညင္းစြာေလာင္းၾကသည္။ သက္ၾကီးရြယ္အုိမ်ားကုိလည္း ခြင့္ေတာင္းၿပီးမွ ေရေလာင္းၾကသည္။ ေလာင္းရာတြင္ ညင္ညင္သာသာ ရုိရုိေသေသေလာင္းၾက၏။ သက္တူရြယ္တူ က်ားမ မေရြး ေရကစားရာတြင္လည္း ပထမ ခြင့္ပန္ေလ့ရွိသည္။ သုိ႔ရာတြင္ “ေရေလာင္းေတာ့မယ္ေနာ္” ဟု ေၿပာေၿပာဆုိဆုိၿဖင့္ ေလာင္းၾကသည္ကမ်ားသည္။ တေပ်ာ္တပါးေရကစားၾကယင္း တဦးကုိတဦး ခ်စ္ခင္ရင္ႏွီးေၾကာင္းကုိ ၿပဆုိေနၾကေပသည္”။ စသည္ၿဖင့္ ၿမန္မာ့ရုိးရာသၾကၤန္ပြဲအေၾကာင္းကုိ ဆာေဂ်ာ့စေကာ့ က ေရးသားခဲ့သည္။

ၿမန္မာ့ရုိးရာ သၾကၤန္ေရသဘင္ပြဲဆင္ႏြဲပုံယဥ္ေက်းသိမ္ေမြ႔ေၾကာင္းကုိ ႏုိင္ငံၿခားသားမ်ားက မွတ္တမ္းတင္ေရးသားခဲ့ၾကရာတြင္ ကပၸတိန္ ဆုိင္း(မ္) ဆုိသူလည္း တစ္ေယာက္အပါအ၀င္ ၿဖစ္သည္။ ကပၸတိန္ ဆုိင္း(မ္) သည္ ခရစ္ သကၠရာဇ္ ၁၇၉၅ ခုႏွစ္တြင္ အေ႔ရွအိႏၵိယကုမၸဏီ၏ သံကုိယ္စလွယ္အၿဖစ္ ဘုိးေတာ္ဘုရားထံအသြား၌ ရန္ကုန္ၿမိဳ႕တြင္ ကၾကၤန္က်ရက္ႏွင့္ ၾကံဳခဲ့ေလသည္။ ထုိအခါ ၎၏အေတြ႔အၾကံဳကုိ ေအာက္ပါအတုိင္း မွတ္တမ္းတင္ခဲ့သည္။

“၁၇၉၅ ခုႏွစ္ ဧၿပီလ ၁၂ ရက္ေန႔တြင္ ရန္ကုန္ၿမိဳ႕၀င္၏ဖိတ္ၾကားခ်က္အရ ကပၸတိန္ ဆုိင္း(မ္) ႏွင့္ အေဖာ္ သုံးေယာက္တုိ႔သည္ ၿမိဳ႕၀န္အိမ္သုိ႔သြားခဲ့ၾကသည္။ ၿမိဳ႕၀န္ကေတာ္က ေရအၿပည့္ထည့္ထားသည့္ စဥ့္အုိး သုံးလုံးႏွင့္ အရုိးတပ္ထားေသာေငြဖလားတုိ႔ၿဖင့္ အသင့္ေစာင့္လ်က္ရွိေနၾကသည္။ ၿမိဳ႕၀န္ၾကီး၏သမီးက အေမႊးနံ႔သာမ်ားႏွင့္ ေရာစပ္ထားေသာေရႊဖလားထဲမွ န႔ံသာရည္ကုိ ဖခင္ၿဖစ္သူၿမိဳ႕၀န္ကုိ ဦးစြာပက္ၿဖန္းၿပီး ေနာက္ေရာက္လာေသာ ကပၸတိန္ ဆုိင္း(မ္)တုိ႔အား အနည္းငယ္ဆီ ပက္ဖ်န္းသည္။”

“ထုိ႔ေနာက္ ငယ္ရြယ္သူ အမ်ိဳးသမီး ၂၀ ေလာက္က စဥ့္အုိးသုံးလုံးမွေရမ်ားၿဖင့္ ကပၸတိန္ ဆုိင္း(မ္)တုိ႔အား ရႊဲရႊဲစုိေအာင္ေလာင္း ေတာ့သည္။ ကပၸတိန္ ဆုိင္း(မ္)တုိ႔ကလည္း စဥ့္အုိးမွေရမ်ားၿဖင့္ပင္ အမ်ိဳးသမီးမ်ားအား ၿပန္ေလာင္းသည္။ ဤသုိ႔တေပ်ာ္တပါး ေရပက္ ကစားၾကသည္။”

ကပၸတိန္ ဆုိင္း(မ္) တုိ႔ ၿမိဳ႕၀န္အိမ္မွ ၿပန္လာၾကသည့္လမ္းတေလ်ာက္၌ ေရကစားေနၾကသည့္ ၿမန္မာလူငယ္ကေလးမ်ား ကုိေတြ႔ရ သည္။ ကပၸတိန္ ဆုိင္း(မ္) တုိ႔အား ေရေလာင္းခြင့္ေတာင္းၿပီးမွ ေရပက္ၾက၏။ ၿမန္မာသၾကၤန္ေရသဘင္ပြဲဆင္ႏြဲၾကရာတြင္ တပါးသူ စိတ္ၿငိဳၿငင္ေအာင္ ၿပဳၿခင္း အလ်ဥ္းမရွိေပ။ မသန္႔ရွင္းေသာ ေရမ်ားၿဖင့္လည္းမကစားၾက။ အမ်ိဳးသားမ်ားက အမ်ိဳးသမီး ကေလးမ်ားကုိ မဖြယ္မရာ ကုိယ္ထိလက္ေရာက္ လုံး၀ၿပဳမႈၿခင္းမရွိေပ။ အမ်ိဳးသမီးေလးမ်ားက စတင္ၿပီးေရေလာင္းမွသာလွ်င္ အမ်ိဳးသားမ်ားက ၿပန္၍ေရကစားၾကသည္။ ကုိယ္၀န္ေဆာင္အမ်ိဳးသမီးမ်ားကုိ ေရေလာင္းကစားၿခင္းမရွိေပ”။

စသည္ၿဖင့္ ကပၸတိန္ ဆုိင္း(မ္)၏ မွတ္တမ္းတြင္ ၿမန္မာသၾကၤန္ေရသဘင္ပြဲႏွင့္ပက္သက္၍ၿမန္မာတုိ႔၏ ယဥ္ေက်းသိမ္ေမႊ႔ပုံကုိ သူ႔ကုိယ္ေတြ႔အား အထက္ပါအတုိင္းေရးသားထားေပသည္။

တကယ္ေတာ့လည္း ၿမန္မာႏွစ္သစ္ကူး ခါသၾကၤန္သည္ စည္းႏွင့္ကမ္းႏွင့္ ရုိးရာယဥ္ေက်းမႈေဘာင္ကုိ မေက်ာ္လြန္ဘဲဆင္ႏြဲၾကသည္ မဟုတ္ေလာ။ ေရွးပညာရွိ က၀ိမ်ားကလည္း ထုိသၾကၤန္ခါသမယ၌ေရွာင္ၾကည္ရန္ကုိ ဤသုိ႔သတ္မွတ္ေရးသားထားခဲ့သည္။

“ကုိယ္ေသြးထုတ္ၿခင္း၊ဆီနႏြင္းႏွင့္၊ ေသာက္ၿခင္းေသစာ၊ အိမ္ရာမမွား၊ သားငါးသုတ္သင္၊ သစ္ပင္ခုတ္ၿဖတ္၊ ပုတ္ခတ္ငုိေၾကြး၊ ထုတ္ေပးဥစၥာ၊ တၿဖာေရာင္း၀ယ္၊ ေအာင္သြယ္တမန္ မၿပဳရန္ကုိ၊ ပုရာဏ္က၀ိ၊ မွာၾကားဘိ၏” ဟူသတည္း။

ဤၿမန္မာတုိ႔၏ ႏွစ္ဆန္းသၾကၤန္၌ သကၠရာဇ္ေဟာင္းမွ အညစ္အေၾကးမ်ားကုိစြန္ပယ္ကာ သကၠရာဇ္သစ္တြင္ အသစ္သစ္ေသာ မဂၤလာအၿဖာၿဖာၿဖင့္ ၿပီးၿပည့္ေစရန္ႏွင့္ ႏုိင္ငံအ၀ွန္း ၿပည္သူတရပ္လုံး ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းသာယာတုိးတက္စည္ပင္ေရးအတြက္ ဆုေတာင္းပြဲ အၿဖစ္ ရည္စူးက်င္းပဆင္ႏြဲၾကသည္ကုိ “ မဟာ အတုလမင္းၾကီး” က ဤသုိ႔ဖြဲ႔ဆုိခဲ့ေလသည္။

“ ႏွစ္ဆန္းငယ္သၾကၤန္၊ သစ္သစ္သာ ဖန္ေတာ့တယ္၊ ႏုိင္ငံေၾကာ့ ၿပည္သူမွာ၊ ပန္ဆုယူ တာေရသြန္းခ်န္မုိ႔” လူ႔ေလာကၾကီး ဟူသည္ အစဥ္ အသစ္သစ္တုိ႔တုိးတက္ကူးေၿပာင္းလ်က္ရွိသည္။ အသစ္အသစ္တုိ႔မွာ ေကာင္းေသာတုိးတက္ၿခင္း၊ မွန္ကန္ေသာ ေၿပာင္းလဲၿခင္းမ်ား ၿဖစ္ဖုိ႔လုိသည္။

ဤအေရးမွာ “ ေလာက” ဆုိသည္ကုိဖန္တီးေနၾကသည့္လူမ်ား သာလွ်င္ အဓိကၿဖစ္သည္။ လူသာလွ်င္ပဓာနၿဖစ္သည္။ လူေတြ အတြက္ လူေတြကသာ ဖန္တီးႏုိင္စြမ္းသည္။ ဇမၺဴတြင္ တလူၿဖစ္ေသာ လူသားေတြသည္ မိမိ၏တန္ခုိး ကၠုဒၶိၿဖစ္သည့္“အသိဥာဏ္” ၿဖင့္ ကမၻာၾကီးႏွင့္ လူသားေတြအတြက္ မွန္မွန္ ကန္ကန္ အက်ိဳးၿဖစ္ထြန္းေစမည့္ အသစ္သစ္ တုိးတက္ေၿပာင္းလဲၿခင္းမ်ားကုိသာ ဖန္တီးႏုိင္ၾကပါေစသတည္း ဟူ၍ ဤႏွစ္သစ္အခ်ိန္သမယတြင္ ဤေဆာင္းပါးၿဖင့္ ဆုေတာင္းပတၱနာၿပဳလုိက္ရပါေၾကာင္း။ ။

(က်မ္းကုိး )

ၿမန္မာ့ရုိးရာ ကိန္းဂဏန္းသခ်ၤာ
Burma ( Sir George Scott)
ၿပည္သူ႔တပ္မေတာ္စာစဥ္။ ( အတြဲ ၅၊ အမွတ္ ၄၊ ၁၉၆၈ ခု)

မွတ္ခ်က္။ စႏၵာရုပ္စုံမဂၢဇင္းမွ စႏၵာ အမွတ္စဥ္ ၁၉၃ ၾကိမ္ေၿမာက္ အၿဖစ္ ၁၉၈၅ ခုႏွစ္ ဧၿပီလ မွာ စႏၵာ သက္တမ္း တစ္ဆယ့္ေၿခာက္ႏွစ္ ၿပည့္ အထိမ္းအမွတ္ ထုတ္ေ၀ခဲ့တဲ့ေဆာင္းပါးၿဖစ္ေသာ္လည္း၊ ေဟာင္းေနေပမဲ့ ေကာင္းေနဆဲမုိ႔ စာဖတ္သူေတြကုိ က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ We Fight We Win မွ ေ၀မွ်လုိက္ပါသည္။

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ျမန္မာ့႐ိုးရာသႀကၤန္အထိမ္းအမွတ္ သီးေလးသီး အၿငိမ့္ေဖ်ာ္ေျဖပြဲ

Thee Lay Thee

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Monday, April 6, 2009

2010 Elections and Prospects for Reform

Jeff Kingston

These are tough times for the people of Burma. They have endured decades of economic mismanagement, low living standards and brutal political oppression under an incompetent and negligent military that shows no signs of relinquishing its grip on power. Indeed, as the country approaches elections in 2010, the regime has cracked down on those it targets as opponents, imposing prison terms of up to 65 years on relief workers, comedians, writers, intellectuals, monks and others engaged in peaceful demonstrations or relief activities. No challenges to the junta are allowed and even local disaster relief workers are subject to arrest for embarrassing the regime. Those who joined peaceful demonstrations in the Saffron Revolution of 2007, or tried to help the survivors of Cyclone Nargis in 2008, have been singled out by the military junta for sentences that in many cases ensure the imprisoned will die behind bars. Moreover, political prisoners have been sent away to remote prisons where it is difficult for relatives to visit or to monitor their condition. Although the junta released about a dozen political prisoners in February 2009, the number of political prisoners has more than doubled since 2007 and stands at an estimated 2,100.

The junta has sent a message to pro-democracy activists that they should not confuse the upcoming 2010 elections with an opportunity to build democracy in Burma. Unlike in 1990, when the military was surprised and embarrassed by a landslide victory for Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, a result it has steadfastly ignored, this time around expert observers expect the results to be rigged. The model for this sham-in-the-making is the constitutional referendum staged in May 2008 when an unbelievable 92% of voters approved a document that almost nobody had seen. There were widespread and credible reports of gross irregularities and no Burmese, ethnic representatives or international observers interviewed for this article believes that the referendum was remotely free or fair. As a result, the new constitution imposed by the regime that preserves political power for the military and excludes Aung San Suu Kyi has zero credibility, further undermining the legitimacy of a government that is despised by most of it citizens. [1]
And why wouldn’t they despise it? In September 2007, cracking down on the Saffron Revolution—a monk-led, grassroots response to dreadful and declining living standards—the military murdered, imprisoned and tortured many monks, a transgression that trampled cultural taboos, triggering outrage and a smoldering resentment. People were nevertheless totally unprepared for the government’s mind-boggling response to Cyclone Nargis. In early May 2008, Nargis ripped through the Irrawaddy Delta region, claiming an estimated 138,000 lives, displacing some 800,000 survivors, and leaving some 2.5 million people desperately in need of food, shelter and medical treatment. Any government would be hard-pressed to respond effectively to such a massive natural disaster, but instead of focusing on relief efforts the government prioritized the constitutional referendum. As a result, it was slow to respond and even impeded relief efforts by international agencies by withholding approval of visas for additional relief workers while devoting scarce resources to a sham referendum and ignoring the needs of desperate survivors.

Win Min, a Burmese political commentator and professor in Chiang Mai, Thailand suggests that the junta’s response reflects its risk-averse, security first approach. [2] They saw international relief workers as potential democracy activists who had to be kept out. However, the shame of appearing overwhelmed by the magnitude of the disaster, rather than sympathy for the people, eventually led the regime to open a narrow space for relief efforts that he believes is temporary.

Whither Reform?
In the wake of Nargis, there has been renewed debate about how the international community should respond and whether punitive sanctions and isolation are working to promote reform. Indeed, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her recent Asian tour spoke of the need to review US policy towards Burma, saying that the current policies have not worked.[3] The US has not yet made any moves to lift sanctions or travel bans, but she has made it clear that the Obama Administration is reconsidering its options and policies, a shift that mirrors elements of international discourse concerning reform in Burma. Any moves towards softening the US policy will face tough opposition in the Congress where there has been bi-partisan support for hard-line policies, including most recently the sanctions on trade in hardwood, gems and mining projects included in the Block Burmese JADE (Junta's Anti-Democratic Efforts) Burma Democracy Promotion Act of 2007.[4]

Michael Green, Bush’s nominee for special envoy to Burma—Congress has yet to act on this nomination since it has not yet been endorsed by the Obama Administration—notes that Senator John Kerry advocates large increases in humanitarian aid to Burma, but he does not expect lifting of sanctions any time soon.[5] Indeed, he strongly supports “coercive diplomacy” and if approved as special envoy he would seek to strengthen international cooperation on sanctions and isolation aimed at pressuring the regime to reform and allow the democratic opposition to participate in fair elections in 2010. Articulating the hard-line position he says, “We are good at the smart sanctions targeting bank accounts and tracking the flow of money. What we need is better cooperation. Singapore was very helpful with North Korea and I am certain they will help us on Burma. We are hoping that Austria and Australia will tighten up on enforcement. It is important for us to get our “sticks” in a row, close loopholes, tighten targeted sanctions and improve our gathering and analysis of intelligence by the NSA. This is how we will get the junta’s attention…hitting them where it hurts.”

The International Crisis Group (ICG) provides in-depth analysis of conditions in Burma, but is often criticized for being overly solicitous of the junta. The principal author of the ICG reports on Burma, Morten Pedersen, argues that the current strategy of imposing sanctions and isolating the military junta is not working, creating a stalemate that shows no signs of resolution.[6] He asserts that sanctions and isolation actually strengthen the junta’s grip on power, allowing them to pose as defenders of the nation. In his view, the military leaders will not bow to pressure for political reform and are well insulated from economic sanctions, especially with rising LNG revenues. The problem is that the people of Burma are not insulated from the usual problems of endemic poverty—the UN estimates that 30% of the population faces acute poverty—and many are swept up in a gathering humanitarian crisis. However, despite appalling conditions, international aid to Burma is only about 5% per capita of what comparable developing nations typically receive. This is one of the costs of isolation that harms the people. The ICG advocates broader, sustained engagement and a sharp increase in aid to fund “sustainable humanitarian development”.

Pedersen acknowledges the brutality and venality of the military regime, but does not think that regime change is a viable or sustainable option because government institutions have withered during four decades of military rule, meaning across-the-board capacity deficits that amplify the difficulties of coping with Burma’s staggering challenges. The military may run a loathsome regime, but it is the strongest institution in a country known for its pervasive dysfunctionality and as such, he asserts, must play a key role in any efforts aimed at improving development, governance or human rights.

In October 2008 the ICG upped the ante, arguing that the Nargis relief experience demonstrates the need to normalize aid relations and suggests a way forward out of the stalemate.[7] The ICG points out that after the initial fumbling response, a normal relief operation was apparent by July 2008 and goes on to argue that the donor community now has an opportunity to build on this enhanced cooperation to transform and expand the aid agenda. Credit for this turnaround goes to the Trilateral Core Group (TCG), a problem-solving task force that had one representative each from the Burmese government, the UN and ASEAN. The TCG, according to the ICG, proved effective in addressing operational problems and cutting through red tape, allowing aid organizations to conduct their projects as they would in any similar situation and monitor how development aid was used.
The TCG conducted the Post-Nargis Joint Assessment (PONJA) in June 2008 to assess needs in the affected areas. The ICG defends PONJA from critics who argue that it was little more than a government-manipulated public relations exercise, maintaining that its statistical findings are reliable while pointing out that government representatives did not take part in the interviews or serve as translators. The needs assessment by PONJA has been followed by TCG monitoring initiatives regarding relief operations and use of aid. Neither PONJA or the ICG found evidence suggesting large scale diversion of relief supplies and, based on TCG assessments, ASEAN’s Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan has called for an additional $700 million in relief aid over the next three years. One Bangkok diplomat closely involved in this effort suggests this may be too ambitious a target as major donors remain concerned about the pace and direction of political reform.

Yuki Akimoto, Director of BurmaInfo in Tokyo, disputes the ICG’s seal of approval, arguing that PONJA was deeply flawed and asserts that there are credible reports of aid being diverted. Indeed, Dr. Nyo Nyo Thinn, a researcher at UN University in Tokyo, visited Burma in the cyclone’s aftermath and heard reports of significant diversion of relief supplies from people active in the relief effort. He also witnessed relief items for sale in Yangon markets. [8]Akimoto adds,
“The ICG assessment lacks credibility because it misrepresents the reasons why Burma is suffering socio-economically and not receiving development assistance. It is one thing to advocate for increased engagement with the regime, but it is an entirely different matter to defend the military regime, as the ICG assessment effectively does. ICG avoids holding the military regime accountable for the situation the regime itself has caused through its brutally self-interested actions and policies, which have enriched the generals and their cronies while impoverishing the nation.”[9]

Thant Myint U, former UN diplomat and currently researcher with the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, believes that the Nargis relief operations have helped build a better working relationship between the junta and international donors, saying, ”The Nargis relief efforts have led to a big shift in attitudes. Now many in the government understand that there is no great danger in providing access to international aid workers while on the reverse side many donors see the possibilities of working in Burma while meeting international standards of transparency and accountability."[10]

Thant Myint U, author of River of Lost Footsteps argues that it is imperative to build on the Nargis relief experience.

"Cyclone Nargis created a sense of urgency in the donor community and it responded with great generosity in addressing the emergency humanitarian needs of millions of people all over the delta. But there is a lot more work to be done and urgent humanitarian needs elsewhere in the country as well. What's important is to find a way to respond that is acceptable to everyone.“

The ICG, in calling for normalizing aid as a strategy for promoting change, maintains that the TCG can be the model for broader engagement elsewhere in the country. A task-based, problem-solving approach to engagement and development, it argues, offers reassurances to the various stakeholders and has, at least in the Irrawaddy Delta, worked to the benefit of the people. It is also, according to the ICG, a process of urgently needed capacity-building involving human resources, governance, transparency and accountability. The ICG also argues that, “… aid can not be used as a bargaining chip, but should be seen as a valuable instrument in its own right for improving governance and promoting socio-economic change.”
Thant Myint U, grandson of UN Secretary General U Thant, is less optimistic about copying the TCG model for expanded aid efforts elsewhere in Burma. He observes,
"What is certain about the TCG is that it has been an invaluable mechanism for delivering emergency aid to people in the Nargis-affected areas. The international aid community has been given unprecedented access and it appears that space for ongoing relief and recovery operations can be sustained. Whether it can be expanded to other parts of the country is unlikely. We need creative solutions and shouldn't be tied to the TCG model. What's important is not the mechanism per se but finding ways to deliver aid in a way that meets basic international norms.“

Yuki Akimoto agrees, adding, ”The TCG has a built-in limitation in that one of the three parties is the military regime whose priority has been to sustain and enrich itself, not to help Burma's people. Therefore it would be difficult for 1) the TCG to develop programs and projects that are designed genuinely to benefit those most in need; and 2) independent parties (international organizations or the press) to monitor the implementation of such programs and projects. I think the TCG was useful in channeling urgently needed relief and recovery assistance. But for longer-term engagement, however, including reconstruction assistance, I believe donors should explore other options.”

Green also dismisses the TCG model and faulted the ICG report as, “Terrible. They always manage to find the silver lining in despicable regimes and support softening sanctions and pressure, undermining everything we are doing to promote reform.”
Bertil Lintner, a veteran journalist who has written numerous articles and several books on Burma since the mid-1980s, is one of the most eminent critics of the ICG analysis. He dismisses the ICG report for what he views as a fundamental misunderstanding of the military and Burmese politics. He rejects as “… naïve in the extreme the proposition that adopting a more respectful tone toward the junta, understanding their worldview and not making an issue of past misdeeds will make it more likely to act rationally and engage in substantive dialogue.” [11] According to Lintner,”The generals are not listening no matter what, they are doing what they want and ignore pressure, sanctions and engagement. Neither isolation nor engagement has worked and there is no reason to believe that engagement and expanded aid will change their ways. They are happy to have the ICG doing their bidding. In Burmese they have a derogatory word for such people…they are not taken seriously.”
In Lintner’s view, the TCG does not offer a promising model for expanded engagement elsewhere in Burma, a point supported by several Burmese exiles in Thailand. Aung Zaw, editor of Irrawaddy, the leading source of critical analysis and information about Burma, called it an, “…ivory-tower perspective written for people who want to increase aid programs. In reality it won’t work and advocates should be ashamed of themselves for looking for any excuse to work with an authoritarian regime. But let them come and [Senior General] Than Shwe [the junta’s leader] will teach them a lesson just like the Red Cross. He is good at using and manipulating international organizations and they are good at fooling themselves. He created a small opening in the delta, but can shut them down anytime he wants.“

Aung Zaw also scoffs at the ICG’s assertion that the junta is able to exploit sanctions to portray themselves to the public as defenders of the nation against foreign enemies, suggesting that the ICG has a condescending and inaccurate view of how gullible the people are. He says that Burmese do suffer from the sanctions and isolation, but see them as symbolically important, boosting people’s morale because they know the junta is humiliated and that other countries care.

One Burmese economist who requested anonymity points out that the TCG was effective because there were only three ministries involved and each had talented representatives.

“There is limited competence in the government and this makes it impossible to see how the TCG model can be expanded elsewhere. And, the government has made sure to insulate the rest of the country from the TCG opening. There is no political backing for an expanded TCG process, it is only for the delta. I can’t imagine, for example, the government allowing such a process in Chin state where there is a famine and desperate need for relief.”

Lian Sakhong, an ethnic Chin who is General Secretary of the Ethnic Nationalities Council (ENC) also doubts the government will allow relief operations in his homeland and thinks the TCG process will not be extended to any of the ethnic areas where development aid is urgently needed. In his view, the regime is interested in pacification and assimilation, trying to impose a mono-ethnic, centralized model that fails to recognize Burma’s rich ethnic diversity. [13] The military remains allergic to a federal model, but Dr. Sakhong, winner of the Martin Luther King Prize in 2007, insists this is the only way to create lasting stability.

Win Min notes that the ICG has developed cozy relations with mid-level officers and bureaucrats, but doubts this will lead to political reform because there is no top level political backing. He echoes the concerns of many experienced Burma-hands that the ICG is being manipulated and worries that expanding engagement and aid, “…is unlikely to lead anywhere while conferring legitimacy and stature on a regime that deserves neither. “

In contrast, Aung Naing Oo, a Burmese political analyst living in Chiang Mai, says
“I agree with the ICG about a long-term gradual process of opening and reform and it is worth trying. The problem is that Burmese political culture tends towards extremes. There are no quick solutions and the problem is that the government and opposition have become mirror images of each other, unwilling to compromise. Sanctions have prevented change because the regime sees the West standing behind Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy. These are targets they can hit. What you have to understand is that many military officers do want better relations with the US. They want to have a modern military and know they can not rely on China.” [13]

The Burmese economist, fresh from running a project management workshop for Burmese monks, suggests an engagement strategy that emphasizes technical assistance programs aimed at capacity building. He notes that monks play a critical role in providing social welfare services in Burma, including running orphanages and clinics. In his view, the Nargis response exposed just how inefficient and weak the government is. “International disaster relief specialists who arrived found just how little institutional infrastructure there is to mount an effective operation. The lack of capacity is endemic and a major obstacle to raising living standards.” Everywhere in Southeast Asia over the last 20 years, he observes, except in Burma, living standards have improved.

He finds the ICG analysis flawed because, “… it fails to acknowledge that the regime kept international engagement at arms length. The relief operations were sequestered and the Nargis relief operation was a one-off exception reflecting the regime’s desperation. The junta has made sure the TCG has not set the tenor for regime policies. It has done everything possible to insulate the nation from this model.”
He further asserts that replicating the TCG model elsewhere in Burma is “way too ambitious” and there is no basis for believing that the same results could be achieved elsewhere given the lack of capacity and the fact that the regime will not permit the same civic space needed. He also doubts that the UNSC will lift sanctions and believes that the World Bank and IMF will remain locked out for the foreseeable future, further undermining the ICG engagement scenario.

Nonetheless, in this economist’s view more happened in terms of engagement and capacity building in the second half of 2008 than in the past 6 years combined. He suggests a brick-by-brick approach to reform, using technical assistance projects as a basis for incrementally ramping up capacity while contributing to improvement of living standards. Expanded technical assistance programs, he believes, would help shape the internal dynamics of the junta and improve prospects for the post-Than Shwe era. In his view, the current predatory economic model is unsustainable, based on the military monopolizing LNG revenues as a way of consolidating its power and eliminating rivals.

“Whoever succeeds Than Shwe faces a steep learning curve and will need to find out where the money is stashed. The big difference over the past 20 years is that before there was shared poverty and now there are huge disparities caused by institutionalized corruption. Everything on the surface looks the same, but now there is a new rich elite. Contrary to my expectations, the economy seems to be thriving in urban areas and there are lots of goods available, but relatively few seem to be sharing in this.“

Elections and Beyond

Bo Kyi, co-founder of Burma’s Assistance Association of Political Prisoners, expects little from the 2010 elections and argues that if the junta is serious about democratization they can start by releasing all of the pro-democracy activists they have rounded up. He contends that, “The military does not want to listen to the will of the people because they know it is against them.” [14]
David Scott Mathieson, Human Rights Watch’s Burma expert, argues that the recent crackdown on dissidents was a mistake because it undermines the credibility of the elections.

“Apart from being incredibly brutal the regime was incredibly stupid in sentencing more than 300 dissidents to long prison sentences. Had they not done so it might have been able to present this sham process as a legitimate, “disciplined” approach to democracy, giving the outside world grounds for working with it. Under the circumstances, HRW will not endorse the elections because they offer no glimmer of change. They are a dead-end.” [15]

His fear, shared by many other observers, is that several governments are eager to use the elections, however deeply flawed, as a fig-leaf justifying resumption of normal ties. Mathieson believes, however, that major donors will now find it much harder to, “…ignore the absurdity of the elections.”

Michael Green warns, ”The junta has been adept at sowing division and exploiting the lack of coordination.” He worries that the elections have high potential for dividing the international community even if they are a sham because they would provide cover for some countries eager to normalize relations with Burma. Given this risk, Green asserts it is crucial to quickly clarify and build an international consensus on what is minimally required for the elections to be recognized as legitimate by the international community mentioning monitoring and political participation by pro-democracy groups and ethnic-based parties. He says it is essential that, “the junta will have no doubt about the ‘carrots and sticks’ it can expect.”

A prominent Burmese observer suggests that forging this consensus will be difficult because the US emphasis on human rights and democracy is at odds with the Indian and Chinese emphasis on maintaining stability in border regions. He also has a slightly more optimistic view about the elections, arguing, "In 2010 the junta will do as it says, hold elections and allow for the creation of a new government by the end of 2010. This will not represent a clean break with the past and the new government may well include some of the current leadership. But it is important not to underestimate the significance of this transition. There will be a generational change in the political leadership and there will be a slight broadening of the political base of the government as it attempts to bring more people and groups under its tent.“

He worries less about the elections providing an excuse to engage than as a reason to continue isolation, saying, “It may well turn out that the elections are deemed unacceptable by some Western donors and this would lead to a continuation of current policies and the stalemate. It would also mean a decline in Western involvement and influence in shaping outcomes in Burma and this would be regrettable for the Burmese.”

The democratic opposition has given up, in his view, on the 2010 elections.
"The NLD remains opposed to the referendum and the elections and still clings to its victory at the polls in 1990. The chances of those results ever being recognized are virtually nil. If it decides to run in the 2010 elections it will be accepting much less than it could have had at several points in the recent past. It is like an investor who has seen his stocks lose 90% of their value. They are holding on because they don't have much more to lose. So far it looks like they are not in a bargaining mode and are sticking to a hard line position on the elections and won’t participate, and are hoping for a huge, unexpected political change."

He adds, however, "If there were free and fair elections any party lead by Aung San Suu Kyi would win a sizeable vote and probably a clear majority.” Alas, nobody thinks she will get this opportunity and thus the Burma tragedy will persist unless various stakeholders think creatively about exploiting opportunities the elections may create.

Aung Naing Oo says, “After the 2010 elections Burma will need and seek lots of help. This is an opportunity for the West. Not just throwing money at the opposition, but in terms of capacity building across-the-board. The nitty-gritty of training programs is the basis for long-term engagement that will help the people.”
Nobody interviewed for this essay believes that the 2010 elections will lead to significant reforms although some observers are more optimistic than others about the potential dynamics that may emerge. The elections appear to be a gambit by the junta to appease international critics, but even if new faces emerge, the military retains a constitutional veto power over elected governments, retains key portfolios, has reserved representation in the parliament and, ultimately, has the guns to carry the day.

Indonesia and Vietnam represent regional models for reform. The Indonesian model (military returning to the barracks and returning political power to civilian politicians in exchange for immunity) is attractive, but unlikely. In Indonesia, the military formally withdrew from politics after the fall of President Suharto in 1998 and since then the country has been led by democratically elected civilian presidents although the current president Bambang Susilo Yudhoyono is a retired military general. Agus Widjojo, a retired Indonesian general closely associated with reformists in the military who decided to withdraw from politics, has visited Yangon and believes there is little interest in such reforms in the Burmese junta even though they are interested in resumption of military ties with the US, including training programs. [16]

The US Department of Defense, according to Green, is looking at the possibility of resuming IMET (International Military Education and Training) programs with Burma if circumstances improve to the degree that this is feasible and desirable, suggesting the ball is in the junta’s court. IMET represents an attractive carrot for the military and interest among relatively senior officers has been conveyed. The DOD is also looking at improving disaster relief coordination in the region, possibly reflecting the frustration of US forces conducting military exercises in the region when Cyclone Nargis hit. The junta refused permission to land in the delta and deliver relief supplies.

The key in Indonesia lay in officers like Widjojo who had overseas training and experience who came to understand the need for the military to protect its institutional interests by ceding politics to civilians. Bertil Lintner, however, has little hope for the younger officers in Burma, saying they are poorly educated, more indoctrinated and more blindly obedient than the current leadership. In his view, they represent scant hope for reform and are more likely to pursue similarly draconian policies.

According to the Burmese economist, “There has been a steep decline in military education and mid-career officers and below lack a cosmopolitan perspective. They are much more indoctrinated and are not a likely force for reform. Burma’s problem is that we can’t expect regime change from within the military and we can’t expect the democratic opposition to negotiate a transition towards democracy.”

Thant Myint U is also pessimistic about an Indonesian scenario, pointing out that,
"The West often focuses very narrowly on politics at the top while neglecting the other numerous challenges facing Burma. If there had been no trade sanctions and boycotts over the past 20 years and if international financial institutions and Western donors had been engaged there would at least have been greater economic development and arguably a far better landscape for reform. The Indonesian landscape of the 1990s doesn't exist in Burma. Indonesia had a reasonably good record on economic development and had received lots of international support and assistance. There was a much bigger middle class. The Indonesian army had a good relationship with the US and didn't feel they were facing a hostile international environment and the possibility of outside intervention. They trusted skilled technocrats, and had allowed fairly strong civil society organizations to develop. Millions of tourists had opened up the country. All that is absent in Burma. Thus the back to the barracks scenario is very unlikely."

According to the Burmese economist who at times advises the government,
”The military is impressed by the Vietnam model of doi moi because economic reform has not entailed political change. To improve living standards, there is an urgent need to improve food security. This will require technical assistance in the agricultural sector combined with the introduction of market reforms that give farmers an incentive to produce more. This has worked in China and Vietnam without causing political reform.”

In his view, doi moi thus represents a more attractive option to the junta than the Indonesian model.

In off-the-record comments a senior Bangkok-based diplomat opined, "If Burma was a priority for the Obama administration I think they would come to the same conclusions about the need for more extensive engagement, but I don't think it is a priority and there may well be no one willing to stand up and take the heat to promote a shift in the US policy of sanctions and isolation. It seems that none of the lessons from the 1990s about dealing with failed states have been learned. There was a missed opportunity in the 1990s with the beginning of the ceasefires and the regime signaling that it wanted to open the economy and open up to the outside world. The West should have responded positively and locked that in, but it maintained a hard-line policy. The fundamental flaw in western policy towards Burma is the narrow focus on democracy, ignoring the economy, the armed conflicts, and the different priorities of Burma's giant neighbors India and China. India and China understandably prioritize stability on their borders. This perspective seems lost on the West. The nightmare scenario for China is a resumption of armed conflict on its southern border. China is happy with the ceasefires achieved by the regime and is seeking to maximize stability after 50 years of civil war between the government and dozens of armed groups. Any realistic approach towards Burma must take into consideration the interests and priorities of India and China.“
Even, he argues, at the expense of democracy.


The possibility exists that the junta will stage elections in 2010 that meet minimum international standards, possibly including some form of monitoring and participation of democratic opposition groups. Indeed, at the recent ASEAN Summit held in Thailand, Burmese Prime Minister Thein Sein reportedly said he would allow United Nations officials and developed countries to monitor the 2010 elections. It is not encouraging, however, that the junta has not yet promulgated the ground-rules for the elections, hundreds of pro-democracy activists remain imprisoned, Aung San Suu Kyi, the still popular and influential icon of the democracy movement, remains under house arrest and is also barred from holding office by the new constitution. Under these circumstances, the junta has dug itself a very deep hole in trying to convince the international community, much less its own citizens, that it is embarking on substantive political reforms.

If the NLD, landslide winner of the last elections, decides to boycott the elections as it now seems inclined to do, it risks political irrelevancy. However, its aging leadership and threadbare organization already run that risk and a boycott would cast a pall over the outcome, making it a very hard sell to even those nations eagerly seeking some fig-leaf to resume fuller engagement. Some NLD supporters in Tokyo and Chiang Mai advocate participation, maintaining that it can better expose the shortcomings of the election, and lobby against international acceptance of the outcome, if it participates.

In any case, following elections in 2010, the junta’s western opponents will have to decide whether to stay the course on isolation or develop a new strategy that conforms to a desire to improve living standards, human rights and accountability. The wild card is the US, a nation that has long taken the hardest line against the military junta. It has browbeaten and cajoled allies to support sanctions and isolation, but to little effect. The ICG-view on ramping up humanitarian aid and development assistance is gaining broader international support, especially within Europe, while in Washington prioritizing regime change has given way to support for democratic reform, increased humanitarian assistance and improved governance. Cyclone Nargis did give Washington an opportunity for regime change, but it decided not to intervene. Asked to confirm reports that the US considered a military invasion aimed at toppling the junta in the wake of Cyclone Nargis, Green smiled and said that an assessment indicated that anti-aircraft batteries could be suppressed and the delta region could be easily controlled, but that the risk to aid workers and other foreigners in the country was unacceptable.

The trouble with the Bush Administration’s policy towards Burma, one broadly supported by Burmese in exile because of its forthright condemnation of human rights abuses, was the difficulty in translating moral opprobrium into effective policies to achieve desired outcomes. It was a “feel good” policy with minimal cost and minimal impact.

Secretary of State Clinton has sent a signal to Naypyidaw, the generals’ new capital, that there is scope for dialogue, but there seems little likelihood that the junta will take this up. Congress may agree to relaxation of bans on top level contacts, increase humanitarian aid and, if there are encouraging developments, lift some of the blanket sanctions like bans on the import of garments manufactured in Burma that are seen to harm ordinary Burmese more than the junta. However, such a shift will only happen if the junta adopts dramatic reforms that presently seem unlikely.

Some optimists suggest that these elections are the first step towards reform, one that will produce inadvertent and unanticipated forces of change in a country that has languished in stagnation. They see possibilities for transforming the dynamics within the junta and also have an eye on the post-Than Shwe (age 76) era. In their view, it behooves supporters of democratic reform, improved governance and human rights to nurture this process through expanded and sustained engagement. Development programs and technical assistance projects are most often cited as the means to nurture Burma’s capacity to build on this process, gradually and incrementally.

China and India have a decisive role in Burma and from their perspective stability trumps democracy, and the slow and steady scenario outlined above is vastly preferable to regime change. This suggests that they will accept the outcome of the elections even if they are a sham and continue their policies of expanding engagement. Burma is in the enviable position of being geo-strategically important and endowed with key natural resources, ensuring that it is much more likely to be wooed than isolated by its neighbors. For Burma’s leaders, support and accommodation by regional powers will insulate it from international pressure and lessen unwanted western influence and meddling.

The Burmese people, however, might just change these dynamics favoring the status quo. After all, who would have imagined that the military would be so humiliatingly repudiated in 1990? Who would have imagined that so many monks and others would take such risks during the 2007 Saffron Revolution, knowing as they did the horrific fate of the 1988 anti-government activists? And, the 2008 Nargis relief efforts organized by ordinary Burmese and monks suggest there is more to civil society in Burma than meets the eye. Indeed, Dr. Thinn believes that the capacity of civil society to address Burma’s many challenges is overlooked and calls for international aid agencies to nurture greater local empowerment in order to tap into this dynamism. She adds that the monks have the moral authority, social networks, skills and sense of duty to make a huge difference if given more scope for action.

Certainly the junta is stacking the odds against the people and has demonstrated how ruthless it can be in dealing with pro-democracy activists, but 2010 could bring some inspiring, and possibly tragic, surprises. There is much to despair in Burma, but the people have demonstrated time and time again a capacity for heroic actions that indict and undermine the authoritarian edifice, both in the colonial era and now under the military. Should they make a stand yet again it is hard to imagine much of the world lining up behind a bloodied fig-leaf. Such a scenario would compel the international community to hit the reset button on broader engagement and yet again focus attention on an odious regime and the need for accountability.
Much is at stake for the Burmese people and for Burma’s neighbors. Bearing in mind that India and China prioritize stability in border areas, it is imperative that the elections shore this up by gaining the participation, and trust, of ethnic groups in these regions that constitute 40% of the population occupying 60% of the nation’s territory. The cease-fires negotiated by the current regime are a major accomplishment, creating a fragile peace in areas that have been devastated by prolonged civil war. These ethnic regions are subject to a gathering humanitarian crisis, however, and are desperately in need of assistance on a scale that only international donors can deliver. Credible elections can make this possible and thus shore up political stability and improve human rights while disenfranchising the ethnic groups and ignoring their call for greater autonomy imperils stability.
The 2010 elections are the culmination of the junta’s 7-step roadmap to “disciplined democracy” and as such constitute an important barometer for reform. There are at least three election scenarios the junta can contemplate. First, under the fig-leaf scenario it can run reasonably fair and peaceful elections and launch a new government that looks somewhat different than the current regime and regain just enough credibility to facilitate a resumption of somewhat more engagement by much of the international community, meaning gradual and incremental improvement over the current situation as donors test the pace and direction of reform. Second, the junta can persist in targeting pro-democracy activists, tightly restrict the space for political activity, impede monitoring, muzzle the media, rig the elections in an obvious manner and claim a hollow victory. Under this pariah scenario, the situation could turn ugly, deteriorating into yet another bloody crackdown that further undermines the roadmap, alienates the international community and prolongs the stalemate. Third, under the dream scenario the junta can call on the UN to play a role in the elections, allow monitoring and media coverage, permit the democratic opposition and ethnic groups to run and count on its superior organization and resources to enable its’ proxy party to win most of the seats while the fragmented opposition and ethnic vote gain a respectable representation that confers legitimacy on the elections. Under this scenario, Burma can count on robust engagement by the international community and the resources necessary to launch the ICG plan for sustainable humanitarian development. This scenario could facilitate expanded ties with the US, lifting of sanctions and access to military hardware and training programs. The generals would welcome this development because it would offset China’s growing presence and influence. Transforming the current nightmare into this dream scenario remains a very remote chance, however, because the junta fears the peoples’ will and is risk averse.

Jeff Kingston is Director of Asian Studies, Temple University (Japan Campus) and a Japan Focus associate. He wrote and photographed this article for Japan Focus. He is the author of “Burma’s Despair,” Critical Asian Studies, 40:1 (March 2008), 3-43, several recent articles on East Timor and Japan’s Quiet Transformation: Social Change and Civil Society in the 21st Century (Routledge, 2004).
Posted at Japan Focus on March 4, 2009

Recommended citation: Jeff Kingston, “After the Whirlwind: Post-Nargis Burma, the 2010 Elections and Prospects for Reform” The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 10-1-09, March 4, 2009.

[1] Burmese I met randomly while travelling in Burma and others I interviewed in Thailand and Tokyo openly criticize the military junta in the harshest terms and assert that the overwhelming majority of Burmese oppose the military junta. They also maintain that many of the millions of Burmese who are members of USDA (Union Solidarity and Development Association), an organization with close links to the military, are reluctant participants who feel compelled to join. For a sense of the anti-junta mood in Burma based on fieldwork conducted not long after the Saffron Revolution was quashed see, Jeff Kingston, “Burma’s Despair: Critical Asian Studies, 40:1 (March 2008), 3-43.
[2] Interview Chiang Mai,Thailand Dec. 2008. Subsequent quotes attributed to him draw from this interview.
[3] Glen Kessler, “Clinton Signals Possible Shift in US Policy on Burma”, Washington Post, Feb 18, 2009.
[4] BLOCKJADE ACT, HR 3890 RFSEAS, 110th CONGRESS In the Senate of the United States, 1st Session December 19, 2007.
[5] Interview Tokyo Dec. 17, 2008. Subsequent quotes attributed to him draw from this interview.
[6] Interview Nov, 2008, Tokyo. Subsequent quotes attributed to him draw from this interview.
[7] International Crisis Group (ICG), Burma/Myanmar After Nargis: Time to Normalise Aid Relations, 20 October 2008. Asia Report N°161.
[8] Personal communication, Nov. 2008. Subsequent attributions to her draw on this communication. Subsequent attributions to her draw on this communication. For a detailed critical assessment of the Nargis relief effort see here.
[9] Interview Tokyo Feb. 7, 2009. She is the author of “Post-Nargis Analysis-The Other Side of the Story” (October 2008).
Subsequent quotes attributed to her draw from this interview.
[10] Telephone interview Feb. 8, 2009. Subsequent quotes attributed to him draw from this interview.
[11] Interview, Chiang Mai, Dec. 2008. Subsequent quotes attributed to him draw from this interview.
[12] Interview Chiang Mai Dec. 2008. Subsequent quotes attributed to him draw from this interview.
[13] Interview Chiang Mai Dec. 2008. Subsequent quotes attributed to him draw from this interview.
[14] Interview Chiang Mai Dec. 2008. Subsequent quotes attributed to him draw from this interview.
[15] Telephone interview Feb. 9, 2009.
[16] Telephone interview Feb. 8, 2009.
[17] Interview Jakarta Dec. 1, 2007

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