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Burma's exiled ethnic nationalities seminar held in North America

Readers' Front

Dear readers,

We invite comments and suggestions on improvements to Kaowao newsletter. With your help, we hope that Kaowao News will continue to grow to serve better the needs of those seeking social justice in Burma. And we hope that it will become an important forum for discussion and debate and help readers to keep abreast of issues and news.  We reserve the right to edit and reject articles without prior notification. You can use a pseudonym but we encourage you to include your full name and address.

Regards,

Editor

Kaowao News

kaowao@hotmail.com, www.kaowao.org


Discussion on Population transfer threatens Mon community: By Cham Toik

Dear Editor,

Thank you for this article. It reports details about what's going on in Mon State.  It is a part of systematic invasion and part of the strategy of SPDC regime.

mks (Canada)


Dear Editor,

Thanks for pointing out a very important issue, population transfer of Burmese migrants into Mon areas and threatening our Mon communities.  The writer closed the well written article with "Unless the SPDC makes an effort to work with the ethnic nationalities and democratic forces to solve the country’s political crisis, the cultures of the ethnic nationalities will disintegrate and the diversity of Burma’s peoples will be lost forever." I afraid that this is the only thing SPDC really want it to happen, to kick all non-Burman people out of the country and reserve the vacant land for Burman, if not to assimilate them all. And I don't believe that SPDC will do anything to stop population transfer, because it intends to do so.

What we can do about it? Let's put it into few practical steps;

1. Stop complaining about it and do something. You and I know very well that there is strength in unity, it is high time that the Mon get together and unite, but we have got to have a clear plan on how we can build unity among us and really implement the plans.

2. Ask NMSP to reconsider its unsigned ceasefire agreement. You and I also know very well that the ceasefire agreement was never signed, it is just a trick of Burmese Junta to fool NMSP and Mon people, why the hell do we have to keep it?

3. Form a Mon National Government, because the Burmese Junta will never protect our population, why don't we form our own government to protect our own people instead?

4. Get the UN Security Council to really act. Why don't we put our heart and soul into getting the UNSC to solve the problems in Burma? You and I also know very well that one of the reasons for Burmese Junta to move its capital from Yangon to Pyinmana was to avoid the risks of being attack by US-led UN forces. UNSC is our only hope, but Burmese Junta's only fear.

5. Talk to our Burmese friends that they are not our enemy and that they can help us for the benefit of all people in Burma. They have to pay the debts of their ancestors' bad deeds. The Burmese have got to take the responsibility if Burman is to survive as a race.

With these 5 simple steps, I believe that the situation will positively change. These ideas are just basic strategies; we can work together to have a more effective one.

In unity and solidarity,

Sumit

Thailand


Dear Editor,

I am very impressed with Cham Toik's well written article "Population Transfer Threatens Mon Community" itself, and with responses and comments made by Mon patriots around the globe. It is very encouraging to see that everyone is aware and concerned about the issues that could threaten the survival and the very existence of our Mon even though there are differing views on this issue.

Yes, as the author mentioned in his article, population transfer is an important issue and, frequently used by many governments as a strategy to dominate ethnic minorities areas and territories. As a consequence, an article on this issue has been drafted and ratified in the Internal Law. The article 49 of International law prevents a large scale and systematic transfer of civilian population by the states and governments. If this happened to any ethnic nationalities inclusive of our Mon, all measures have to be taken in order to stop it. However, regarding population transfer to our Mon state, there is still differing views whether it is a "Population Transfer" or, "Population Movement". In its very definition, population transfer is the large scale transfer of civilian population conducted by the governments in order to dominate politically, economically and socially.

With regard to our Mon State, my personal view is that of "population movement" not in a state of "population transfer" yet. Even though increasing numbers of battalion and infantry are sent to our Mon states, it is hard to say that there is a large scale transfer of civilian population into our Mon areas. In addition, in making a large scale population transfer into our Mon state in order to dominate us, the Burmese military government has to have a stronger support, control and cooperation from its own Burmese people. In current political situation, even Burmese people themselves are against Burmese military government and it has no control and cooperation whatsoever from its own people.

Even the Burmese military government has to move and try to secure its power base from Rangoon to Pyinmanar for afraid of revolt by its own people. So, I would rather put that it is an economic migration and a population movement based on economic conditions. In this age of globalization and global economy, there is a population movement across territories and borders of nation states. For instance, Mon from Mon states move to Thailand, Thai people move to Singapore, and Singaporean move to more developed nations in search of a better pays and working conditions. At the same time, people from upper Burma and other states and divisions move to our Mon state in search of works.

These movements are temporary and cannot be categorized as permanent population transfer as Mon will come back to Mon State, Thais will come back to Thailand and Singaporean will come back to Singapore after the termination of employments. However, it will affect, one way or another, our ways of life in our Mon states or else by the presence of people from different cultures and people from other states and countries. We used to hear complaints frequently made by Thais local peoples and Thai authority by the presence of our Mon economic migrants in Thailand. However, as the Thai cannot prevent and stop our Mon economic migrants, they have alternatively to find a solution to register and control it.

So, in our Mon case too, we better find a realistic and a practical solution to tackle the issue of population movement in our Mon state. It does not necessarily mean that it is not an important issue and we do not need to worry and be concerned about a threat to our Mon national identity as a result of the presence of other nationalities in our land. As Mon, we all have to constantly keep it in mind and prepare how to deal with it if it happen to us. However, we should separate our worry from the reality. Worry is based on subjective analysis, our assumption and our feeling. The reality is based on the unbiased situation analysis and then make an informed decision. It should be realistic and practical. The major concern among us are about the domination on our Mon by Burmese or others culturally, socially, economically and politically. So in order to prevent the domination of other people on our Mon, we better build a stronger Mon civil society and encourage the awareness of, and attachment to our Mon culture and Mon identity. We all are well aware that national identity cannot be overwhelmed by the other nationalities as long as we are aware and strongly attached to our national identity. National identity and national culture are not confined to a geographic location or a territory.

Population movement across borders of nation states is very common in this age of globalization. So we have to strengthen our national unity, national awareness and attachment to our national identity wherever we are. As long as we can manage to strengthen the awareness and attachments to our Mon national culture and identity no matter whether we are in our Mon state, in Karen state, Rangoon division or abroad we can maintain our Mon national identity and can survive as Mon in the world.

Siri Mon Chan

(Canberra, Australia)


Dear Editor,

I really enjoy reading your article and agree that the SPDC’s population transfer is a threat for the Mons and other ethnic.  Burma is a diverse and complex state, population transfer is not only between the Burman and non-Burman; as I have heard Wa people in northern Shan State are brought to the south.  Even though the SPDC may not directly involve in the larger scales, all of these chaos are due to the SPDC’s centralization policy.

Min Min (UK)


Dear Editor,

Thank you for letting us know about a joint-statement, which gives us a great opportunity for us to learn the true history of our Mon people and feel inspired by the unity of Mon solidarity groups around the globe. Believe that our movement is not just about one day of one year; it is on going hard works on daily basis. Let's keep up our perseverance!!

In Solidarity,

Min Thura Wynn (Canada)


Dear Editor,

Please include to stop military offensive and demilitarization in ethnic indigenous areas.  We got to raise our voices by saying we don't want Burmese military in our land since they never bring anything good to local people , but only misfortune and starvation.

Mks


On the “20 migrants die in Andaman Sea at border crossing”

Dear Editor,

It is a tragic what happened to migrant workers coming to Thailand.  Extortion, arrest, deportation and death; all risks are what they get despite to fulfill their dreams come true.  Who should be to blame for, the migrant workers, the Thai governments or Burmese regime?

Maung Myanmar


On Kanbawza Win’s “The Bulldog and the ASEAN”

Dear Editor,

As a "once been economist" and "a born again--- substitute any label”, I thank Kaowao News" for the opinions/analysis of Kanbawza Win’s “The Bulldog and the ASEAN”.  There are "protagonists" and "apologists" either for   democracy and/ or dictatorship in Burma.

The struggle for Democracy continues, and reports from places, within and outside Burma (Myanmar), one can, if living outside Burma can access.  Who represents whom, who has been delegated to and by whom, to represent the people of Burma (Myanmar). To me, we can only try as concerned persons, to offer opinions and analysis based on our experience and perception, in the hope that leaders and states men/women would come to a point of political reconciliation.

The end game to me is first --- survival, then security of life/livelihood, whether it is the individual, or the group he belongs or identifies at the moment in his/her life.

Myo Nyunt

Myanmar Studies

Perth, Australia


On “Federal Constitution Seminar held in Kawthoolei”

Dear Editor,

Thanks for the briefing about a future federal union. Out of interest, how did the delegates determine the territorial boundaries for each state within this planned union?

Best wishes for the New Year!

Ruslana 


Dear Editor,

The FCDCC's draft has indicated about the principles in determining the territorial boundaries of the constituent states. It was in the provision for formation of new states.  The Draft will be distributed widely  in 2 months time for feed back and input from the grassroots communities, political parties and all spectrum of Burman and non- Burman Ethnic societies of Burma.

Basically, there will be 8 states as was historically accepted at Pang Long in 1947 namely: -

1. Araken State

2. Burman State

3. Chin State

4. Kachin State

5. Karen State

6. Karenni State (Kayah)

7. Mon State and

8. Shan State

Since change is needed based on the desire and aspirations of the grassroots communities of multi-ethnics societies of Burma and the Burman themselves, space has been provided for flexibility to meet the change.

- Burman themselves could create more than one state if they so desire.

- Ethnically mixed areas of present 7 divisions, any division such as Sagaing, Tennesarim, Pago and Irrawady, etcetera could decide whether they would like to create a mixed state for themselves to be a constituent state of the new federal union.

Changes could be made in accordance with the provision of the constitution (draft) which provides consultation, initiation by the local communities calling for a formation of a state, parliamentary enquiry made and decided by a referendum and then promulgated into law.

These are all aimed at Unity in Diversity or non-disintegration of the federal union, self-determination, democracy and equality based on the principle that people of Burma are SOVEREIGN.

I think some more thoughts should be given on this principle of "People are Sovereign" and practically empowering the people all the time. Not just the right to select and vote at election time and give all the legislative powers (sovereignty) to the MPs those were nominated by the political parties (Global mainstream constitutions where political party elite's powers were ensured).

I think the fourth institution, peoples' institution, should be invented to pass the line of mainstream constitutions.  That still has to be considered by the FCDCC drafters.  Recent Thailand's political events are to be a case study to avoid repeating it in future Union of Burma.

Best,

Seng Suk 


Dear Editor,

It was smoothing to read the FCDCC's statement with regard to the recently concluded seminar. I, once, asked a veteran politician and a member of FCDCC advisory board on the modus operandi of choosing delegates for the seminar. He assured that he would bring the issue to the attention of the masterminds at the summit. I haven't heard yet if his words were put into action. My primary concern was how inclusive are we in this exiled political game-plan.

Although the impact of this initiative remains to be seen, I sincerely appreciate every individual for your altruistic endeavors. I am looking forward to reading the outcome of the painstaking deliberation.

Sincerely,

Papao


On “Dilemma in funding Burmese NGOs”

Dear Editor,

It is a great idea for pointing out the NGO business and the professionals spreading around the border.  While our focus is working against the SPDC, we should also view ourselves and find out about our weak point.  Money is not very much needed for our movement but how to use it more affectively is also a good plan.

Mr. Grass

Thailand


Dear Editor,

The scathing criticism by Cham Toik and Saimon against NGOs concerning the allocations of fund provided by Canadian government for Burmese Democratic movement do not pinpoint the actual defect of misappropriation. How a tragic it is to embroil ourselves back in the old tactic of BSPP even among the new generation whenever we are meeting with Mr. Money. If we are not free from unethical war of envy left over by BSPP, how can we build the house of democracy in Union of Burma? We have a very proud history of thirty young men fighting against the British legions and successfully shouldered our sovereignty back to Burma in 1948. Now we are thousand of comrades marching only in name of democracy but trampling one another in the stampede among ourselves.

We all Burmese are still very sick from BSPP and SPDC virus and badly need one medicine to cure- that is Compromise, Compromise, and Compromise.

Sadly,

Ko Ko San


On “Burma: In Search of a Solution For All” (By Nai Ong Mon)

Dear Kaowao,

You are doing a great job. The important thing is the information you passed around. The only thing that all of the civil society organisations in the region should do, is to give pressure to our respective governments to do something positive.

Philip Jionisi


Dear Kaowao,

A really stimulating contribution. no other comment is offered.......but this historical overview is a sleeping timebomb.

Ruslana


On Aung San Suu Kyi and the UN Secretary General (By Nehginpao Kipgen)

Dear Editor,

I have read your statement on Aung San Suu Kyi and UNSG and I felt very impressed. Your views are very much materialistic. However, I would like to point out a few things on the SPDC and the current situation of Suu Kyi.  The SPDC may wish her to get rid her out of the country in order of no reason. On the other hand, SPDC is using her party and herself as a tool of their bureaucracy so that they are sustainable. Moreover, SPDC may abolish her party in case they don't need that with whichever emergency provision act. Therefore, my final opinion is "Don't you think it might be better if she reach out of the country and see new impact?"

Yours faithfully

Aung Nann

Norwich, England


Dear Editor,

Thanks for being impressed by my writing on "Aung San Suu Kyi and the U.N. Secretary General" and the pertinent feedback. It was not a statement, but analysis. It is not only you; there are many analysts and observers who opt to see your way happen. By the way, the article caught the attention of several news media in Asia particularly. If you may like to reread it, here is a quick link from the Kuki International Forum website at;

http://www.kukiforum.com/whatsnew/suu_kyi_and_unsegral.htm.

In it, I had cited one example why she would choose to remain in the country despite the continued incommunicado state. Also to reiterate, there are a number of reasons why she is not likely to become the next UN Secretary General.

One simple aye side of your assertion is that she will freely have extensive contact with the international community. The nay side of the story is the sympathy and solidarity she now enjoys may wane down. The overwhelming support she has is largely because of the cause she stands for. My personal opinion is that it is better she remains inside the country. It is a matter of time when realistic changes take place, and so is to Burma. We now have her two children living abroad, her cousin Dr. Sein Win, the Prime Minister of exiled NCGUB government and us, pro-democracy groups, around the world. We can all collectively or individually advocate what we like her to do if she be out of the country. Instead, let us anticipate a day to see her representing the country, traveling around the world thanking our supporting friends and governments.

This is one of my many analytical articles been published. Some of my recent articles can be found from the worldwide web by typing my first name "Nehginpao" at any search engine such as google, yahoo, etc.

Sincerely,

Nehginpao Kipgen


Solidarity Message: 59th Mon National Day, 2006

Dear Editor,

On the occasion of the Mon Kingdom Honsawaddy founding day, we from the core family in Manipur, India extends heartiest congratulations and best wishes to the Mon people over the world!

We join you all in your celebrations and extend our strongest solidarity to the demands of the Mon people for fundamental freedoms and human rights.

Roy Laifunbam

Director

CORE Centre for Organisation Research & Education

(Indigenous Peoples' Centre for Policy and Human Rights in India's North East)

NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations


Dear Editor,

There are many ways to support our common goal and to show unity.  The following joint statement provides a good example of national unity.   This kind of statement shares common goals, respect to each other, and draw everybody's attention to our differences.

With regards,

Mahn Kyaw Swe (Canada)


Dear Kaowao,

Thank you for posting it up.  (“Celebration of freedom: thousands participate in Mon National Day”) Because of Kaowao Newsgroup, it helps people to know updated info. It's good news and I am glad to see a huge crowd of Mon people. This is amazing and I feel proud of being a Mon. Wish that we can celebrate Mon National Day inside Burma very soon.

In Solidarity,

Min Thura Wynn (Toronto, Canada)


Dear Editor,

This is a valuable piece of writing (“Understanding the SPDC General” Bo Kyaw Nyein).  Too bad, it is not accompanied by brief two-liner to say who Kyaw Nyein is and what his credentials are for writing something like this.

Eric Snider

Victoria, Canada


Dear Editor,

The idea of Nai Thet Lwin’s “Mon-Burman reconciliation may help break the political stalemate in Burma, the Land of Pagodas” in Kaowao Issue No. 102 is too radical and too far behind.  We should focus our present situation rather than looking back the past that will never return.  All people of Burma should be united to topple down our common enemy, the suppressive military regime.

Min Nai

KL, Malaysia


Dear Editor,

It is a great essay (“Rethinking a Parliamentary-Federal Proposal for Burma” by Salai Za Uk Ling). Well written and organized.  Very professional, thanks to have such writing.

Kwae Mon

Canberra, Australia


Dear Editor,

I just wanted to point out something about treating chicken pox.  This was a norm for Canadian children to get chicken pox and it is better than getting it when you are older as the symptoms worsen with age.   You tend to develop lifelong immunity once you have had the illness.  There is no medication for this.  You treat the fever and keep the skin clean.  It is important that health workers educate themselves and not spread panic as stress can impact the immune system.  When I was at the Halockhani Refugee camp I saw a lot of practices that were in desperate need of improvement and education.  That is the major reason why I am studying nursing right now so I can go and volunteer.  Thanks guys for listening and passing this information around.  Let’s not be like Americans and spread panic when it is not necessary.

Tara

Vancouver, Canada


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Kaowao Newsgroup is committed to social justice, peace, and democracy in Burma. We hope to be able to provide more of an in-depth analysis that will help to promote lasting peace and change within Burma.
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