Saturday, 14 December 2019

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The Burmese people have spoken

(Commentary) – The landslide win of Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD party in the by-election echoes what happened 22 years ago during the 1990 general elections when the NLD won 80 per cent of the vote. It just shows that the fervor and yearning of Burmese people for true democracy has not waned, however the nation had been repressed under the iron rule of the past military dictatorship.

Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy (NLD) may not have enough clout to quickly influence parliamentary reforms, but the fact that the present so-called elected government is compelled to accept the verdict of the people is a landmark victory for the people.

The voice of the people was heard resoundingly not just in Burma but also around the world. How was Suu Kyi able to hold sway over the millions of ordinary Burmese in spite of being under house arrest for so long; and not just Suu Kyi, but Min Ko Naing and the ‘88 student leaders, too? Simply put, these democratic leaders had captured the hearts and souls of the Burmese nation for over two decades.

The Burmese people used to have enormous admiration for the army as the savior of the nation from colonial rule. But after half a century of running the country like a military boot camp and the massacre of thousands of it's student demonstrators time and time again during its 50-year reign, the army has lost its past glory.

Now the military at its best is tolerated, but not loved. For around 60 million Burmese, fear of the army has led to distrust.

It’s no secret that the military-dominated government crave legitimacy and for the sanctions to be lifted. And that's why some of them are in a quandary. But they should realize that once they declared that the country is going to be democratic, they have pushed themselves into a corner by their own doing. They will have to deliver if they want the world to give them legitimacy and lift the sanctions.

The world is now wired up and connected by the Internet. There is nowhere for the ex-military parliamentarians to hide. Burma is now under the microscope and being scrutinized for its every single move. And for posterity's sake, the world is not going to let up its scrutiny until Burma has attained true democracy.

The army can train 400,000 troops to toe the line and whip them into shape, but they could not train 60 million to behave like soldiers.
It is of utmost importance that the powers that be in Burma realize where they stand in the history of the nation at this juncture and in the eyes of the Burmese people.

For the Burmese military to win back the hearts and minds of the Burmese people, they need to listen to the voice of the people, who have spoken loudly and clearly. They must keep their promise to bring full and unconditional democracy to Burma.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 April 2012 15:22 )  
The Kachin’s last stand
Since October this year, Burma has been in a state of civil war, with fighting between Burmese military and armed ethnic rebels. The ruling junta started a crackdown on these armed groups.

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