In Mandalay Writers Meeting, Suu Kyi Addresses China Concerns

Myanmar, Burma, The Irrawaddy, Aung San Suu Kyi, Mandalay, writers, China, immigration, Myitsone

Aung San Suu Kyi speaks with Mandalay-based writers in Pyin Oo Lwin on Sunday. (Photo: Teza Hlaing / The Irrawaddy)

MANDALAY — Aung San Suu Kyi said over the weekend that the government must respect and protect its citizens from threats posed by illegal immigration, while also urging “harmonious” coexistence with people of all nationalities in Burma.

Suu Kyi was responding to questions on Sunday from prominent writers at a gathering in Mandalay Division’s Pyin Oo Lwin, a meeting organized following the opposition leader’s trip to Mogoke, where she rallied supporters in favor of amending the country’s Constitution.

Asked for her opinion on how best to control the influx of Chinese nationals that have increasingly come to populate the city over the last two decades, Suu Kyi deferred to the responsible officials in Naypyidaw.

“The responsibility to protect citizens is in the hands of the government” she said.

“We have to ask, ‘Who has given the opportunities to those illegal migrants?’ If the government does not protect its own people and the country, no foreign government will think to do so.”

The Mandalay-based writers complained that the busiest parts of Burma’s second city, and the local businesses therein, were increasingly dominated by Chinese immigrants who had entered the country illegally but later managed to secure Burmese citizenship.

The writers also brought up the controversial Myitsone hydropower dam, a Chinese-backed megaproject that was suspended by President Thein Sein in 2011 amid widespread public opposition.

“We all need to live harmoniously with the world, especially with neighboring countries. But we need a good government that respects its citizens and is willing to take up its duty to protect the country’s sovereignty,” Suu Kyi said in response to the writers’ concerns about talk of a resumption of construction on the dam.

The writers accused Chinese nationals, many of whom do not speak the Burmese language, of paying large sums of money to buy homes and plots of land located in the city center, in the process pushing the properties’ former residents to the outskirts of Burma’s ancient capital. Rising property prices in downtown Mandalay are said to have put the prime landholdings out of reach for most Burmese residents in the market for real estate.

The Mandalay writers said they had written many articles about Burmese residents who had sold their homes in Mandalay and then taken up residence on the outskirts of the city.

“Mandalay has silently fallen into the hands of the Chinese—culturally, socially and economically. … The problems of these illegal migrants has become one of the important matters for 2015 [when national elections will take place]. We don’t want the same thing to happen to other cities, and the country,” said Hsu Nget, a prominent Mandalay-based writer, at the gathering.

During the meeting, Suu Kyi urged the writers to unite in encouraging the people through their literature to participate in politics, which she said was the concern of every citizen.

“Since the writers are indirectly or directly engaged with the politics of the country, I would like to request that you encourage the people with your works—without bias—for those who do not understand and are afraid to engage with the country’s politics,” Suu Kyi said.

5 Responses to In Mandalay Writers Meeting, Suu Kyi Addresses China Concerns

  1. Suu Kyi’s comment satisfied me. Military regime was so irresponsible in guarding our borders and our homeland. Chinese people who speak no Burmese are controlling the center of today’s Mandalay. Chinese bought Myanmar Citizenship Card as low as $ 300 from corrupt military officials who had controlled every ministry and department including Immigration. Regime claims safeguarding the nation shamelessly. Suu Kyi slammed the regime and its uselessness which failed the nation in every corner. Now, Bengali people try to call themselves as Rohingya people claiming themselves as ethnic in Rakhine State. In the history of the Rakhineland, there was no such ethnic in Rakhine. Every problem today arises out of reime’s uselessness. If you love peace, democracy and prosperity, you all need to vote NLD and ethnic parties. You can be part of problem-maker by voting USDP in By-election this year and general election in 2015. Corruption will not go away as long as these wolves are on the throne.

  2. The message is for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her advisors. Wishy washy answers are not the qualities of a strong leader. Charisma and strong leadership are 2 different things. We want specific answers. 2015 elections are not a shoe in or the coronation for the LADY and NLD! What are you going to do with the Myint Sone project or the Illegal Chinese from Yunnan that pushed out Burmese, culturally, economically in Mandalay. They even dared to put the sign boards in Chinese. Where is the courage like your father, General Aung San?
    Yes, we have heard enough of great talks. Time for NLD platfom for 2015 elections. Education, Health, Taxation, Economy, Rule of law and corruption. Days of “make me the President first” and “go ask the current administration” are over. Strong supporter for free and fair Democratic Burma.

  3. Aung Zaw: why put the comment box here if you try to edit readers comments? You and your staff have become NaAhPha cencorship board. Pony tail is for women!! I know some of you will read this comment. Can’t say anything about ASSK? She is making one bad decision after another. Accepting bribes from cronies like ZawZaw for her foudations was like aiding theft in action. LOL

  4. There is border trade between China and Burma. Many own Burmese ethnics are richer and richer from the border trade and some or most of them can not speak Burmese dialect because they are not interested to study in Rangoon universities. Instead, they send their Children to China for further studying and they will not learn Burmese. They have no chance to study professional education ( medicine , engineer and etc) in Burma because of bamanization and bama discrimination. Those ethnics are rich so they bought land and properties in Mandalay, near their native birth place. They are not good to settle in Rangoon or Nay-Pyi_daw because of your writer’s jealousy or bamanization. They are not permitted to buy properties in China as well. US are printing their money with their reasonable economy. Fox than shwe is also printing the money casually with the habit of enjoying free-lunch. All ethnics lost the trust from fox so they invest their money in Mandalay with overprice. If you, writers do not want to sell your land and properties, you should control your men or bama. All ethnics make a local economy in Mandalay. So what? Why do you, those writers point the finger to ethnics’ prosperity in Mandalay. If fox than shwe and you all want to divide Burma into 2 pieces from ethnics and bama, all ethnic will welcome you. Most of the ethnics are Chinese descendants so how can you say those are illegal immigrants by knowing that they can not speak Burmese. How many bama immigration offices are available in all ethnics areas in the world most poorest country, Burma for properly issuing bama ID card respectively. From time to time, fox than shwe’s private army need to depress/kill all ethnics in the aspect of downgrading their military power. Then, who ( all ethnics) will go to bama immigration office to disclose their personal information.
    Please, see kachin army resistant to child soldier ming aung hlaing who needed jet fighter to kill Kachin because Kachin has 17 year cease-fire agreement from than shwe’s private army for time (tempo) for preparation.
    How can you, the idiot bama writers to define who is the illegal immigrant and who is not. If someone can not speak in Kachin or Shan or Karen language, traveling or residing or doing border trade with China, can i say they all bama are illegal immigrant from the view points of all ethnic? How many bama immigrants are in oversea? Now, those writers want to put DASSK into the angle(triks and traps) again, like some idiot Arakenese nationalist who want to kill/discrimiate Rohyingya from fox than shwe and psy wirathu’s trick and traps. DASSK should tell or reply those idiot writers that those rubbish are created by fox than shwe so fox should clean those mess. Fox should open more bama school and bama immigration offices in all ethnics’ areas. All ethnics living in the drawback remote areas should have priority to get Rangoon University, particularly in medicine and engineer subject. All ethnics can admit military training in China as well for their self defense from bama invasion.
    In short, point your finger to yourself first if you are lazy or poor or naive or learning the psy wirathu’s sex symbol 696 or jealous on all ethnics, particularly Chinese descendant ones. Learn the civilised Thai people who accept full Chinese blood, beautiful Yingluck as their respectable, democratically elected PM.
    If you all want to downgrade the property price in all Burma, ask your fox than shwe. The world people also know property is more worthy than your printing money. However, you, writers do not know how to invest your money in the world except your shouting potato, low graded politics to us. You deliberately make angry at future giant China, i can say you are trying to divide the Burma into 2 pieces. Can i want to ask you, writers how good it is in Mandalay, compared to other cities ? Hot weather, air pollution, own motorcycle transport, mosquitoes and flies. All ethnics want to buy properties in Rangoon and other better cities but they are humble and they know their position (discrimination from You). However, you and wirathu do not know their position as they are arrogant.

  5. Around the world, Chinese are buying properties and land so all naive and outdated some Burmese writers should go to oversea(US,UK, Canada,Australia) to learn why and how Chinese are investing their money in the aspect of fox than shwe’s casual printing Burmese kyat(money). There is no racial discrimination claim from those countries.
    USA is super power as well as super economy (60% of world economy is by US spending)so USA can print their money with full records for the sake of own US citizen. Fox printing money is for the sake of himself and his private army.
    Local ethnic Chinese are buying overprice lands and properties in Burma with creating local economy to make bama richer and richer. Most of the ethnics can not speak and write in Burmese because there is no enough bama school in ethnic areas as well as no enough immigration offices for ID registration in all ethnics areas. U nu , Ne win and than shwe are continuing to kill all ethnics so ethnics are not dare to register to get ID before being able to buying lands and properties in Burma.
    Those naive writers try to put DASSK into the angle to clean those mess created by fox than shwe again. Those should use their pencils to point/blame themselves and other bama do not sell their lands and properties to local ethnic Chinese. Ethnic Chinese do not rob your bama lands and properties but fox than shwe rob and rape all ethncis until now.

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