More Dissident Exiles Return to Aid Reform

Moe The Zun addresses a crowd from atop a van outside Rangoon International Airport on Saturday. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

Moe The Zun addresses a crowd from atop a van outside Rangoon International Airport on Saturday. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON—After more than two decades in exile, prominent dissident Moe Thee Zun said he has returned to Burma to help President Thein Sein’s reform process and make peace in war-torn areas.

“I thought of Burma and worked for Burma everyday during my 24-year stay outside the country,” said the former chairman of the All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF) who helped organize the 1988 democracy uprising.

Along with 10 other members of the Peace Delegation for Motherland exiled student activists, he legally returned home after Naypyidaw removed 2,082 people from its blacklist. They are the second batch of exiles to land at Rangoon International Airport after a first prominent group arrived on Friday.

Tun Aung Kyaw, another member of the delegation as well as a former ABSDF leader, told a press conference on Monday that the group’s mission was to facilitate the end of civil war in ethnic areas and help improve education across the country.

“As we used to be involved in the armed struggle movement in ethnic areas, we’ve befriended ethnic leaders and understand their feelings,” he said. “So our contribution to the peace-making process won’t be fruitless.”

“We are here to help you and our comrades who are facing difficulties,” said Moe The Zun. “Not to be involved in politics. Not to become an MP.”

The delegation is on a 21-day visa and have had meetings with two government peace negotiators—President’s Office ministers Aung Min and Soe Thein—as well as 88 Generation Students group leaders since their arrival on Saturday.

“Aung Min warmly welcomed us,” said Shwe Zin Tun, another member of the delegation. “They said changes are in urgent need as the country is deeply impoverished so they heartily invite anyone who has the capacity to address social and economic challenges facing the country to return.”

Moe The Zun also requested to meet Thein Sein. “If we have a chance to see the president, we only want to focus on peace issues,” he said. He added that even though the current reform process is still in its infancy, it makes him really happy to see the changes in the country.

“Guess how happy I will be if the president embarks on radical change,” he said. “I would be on cloud nine. That’s why we are back to help you, the president and ethnic people. We want to serve the people.”

As soon as the delegation left the international arrivals lounge of the airport on Saturday, they were flooded with reporters, onlookers and supporters. Photos on social networks like Facebook show Moe The Zun and his two colleagues standing on the roof of a van and greeting people around them.

Yet despite Moe The Zun’s ambition, there are many who are skeptical of his political standing and background.

“Moe The Zun is nothing. He’s using Burmese politics as a stepping stone for his own interests and fame,” said a middle-aged man at the press conference who asked to remain anonymous. “Tell me what he has done for the country? Staging a protest in front of the Burmese Embassy in New York is not a big deal—Boy, anyone can do that.”

13 Responses to More Dissident Exiles Return to Aid Reform

  1. A Burmese Freedom Fighter

    Freedom of movement, freedom of speech, freedom of mobilization has just started to kick off in the streets of Rangoon with the arrival of 88 generation in exiles. What an uplifting feeling, the new chapter of Burma history has been bridged. The reformist government deserves the credit of this wind of change blowing harder and harder. What Burma need is strong institution and technocrats that can contribute immediate needs of national education reforms, a basic foundation for building the nation.

    Exile students should refrain from making speeches and taking a leadership role in politic; rather, they should give all their undivided attention and focus on development. Ko Htun Aung Kyaw is right when he offers his intention to improve education across the country.

    A Burmese Freedom Fighter

    • Yes, indeed. It would be wise not to interrupt the present status. Exile students should refrain from making speeches and taking a leadership role in politic; rather, they should give all their undivided attention and focus on development and support the group of 88 generation. If not, people who are mostly not in catch up with the time may get confused. They can be of great support and of help in a low profile

  2. How many times this critic had organized people to protest? I do not think he does not really know about Moe Thee Zun. Moe Thee is a real person with love and compassion for the Peoples of Myanmar and the Union of Myanmar. He deserves credit.

    • I was a young freedom fighter in Manaplaw last 20 year ago. I know this guy who he is. I suggest that before he entering Burma politic, he must clean his bloody hands.

  3. Sorry, I can’t believe the authority have invited this son of a bitch and poisonous subhuman to our country!

    Moe Thee always wants limelight, the biggest opportunist who did nothing for the country since even 1988. He is presently an American citizen and Myanmar doesn’t need such kind of person’s help to build the country. What did he learn in abroad? Nothing! He is an ANARCHIST who urged and agitated his followers to light up the buses and plants bombs inside Myanmar. He recently sided with the illegal Bengalese in Malaysia and put all the blames on U Thein Sein and his regime. He urged people to collect this like bows, sticks, spears to use as weapons against the country. He took off his shoes and threw Foreign minister U Nyan Win’s car, but thought it was U Thein Sein who was Prime minister at that time, in front of UN building in New York.

    So, what are his credits?
    He is villain, sycophant, adulterer, liar, good for nothing low animal and an ANARCHIST.
    To sum up in one word -. He is a POISON!; in other words, everything he touches is going to be poisoned like Midas touch.
    If the State uses him, the State will be infested and ruined.
    He who gives him a chance will have to take full responsibility!

  4. The more the merrier, and all the more infighting and confusion. The regime knows only too well the Burmese are all chiefs and no Indians. They’ll make a surfeit of civil society groups happen, then divide and rule, throwing a few scraps to some from the lord’s table as and when the occasion arises.

    Those successfully co-opted will tone down their opposition, go with the flow and get merrily corrupted by office, even a bit of influence rubbing shoulders in public with the generals in or out of uniform to help in a splendid PR performance, putting on a good show, scoring brownie points for the ‘reformist regime’ from the international community which is badly wanting to make a nice fat profit out of Burma and its peoples, even getting them out of their own financial/economic crisis.

    Never mind ongoing land confiscations, industrial disputes, remaining political prisoners, communal strife in the Arakan or the ethnic wars still raging with ceasefires and talks on and off, thousands more still on the infamous blacklist. Happy days are here again, playing happy families with the regime pulling all the strings.

  5. Welcome back Moe The Zun and all exiles to Myanmar. I hope that they will definitely help us to rebuild the country leading to a democratic society. It is very important for them to keep in touch with the grassroots; not the high profiles such as President U Thein Sein. In fact, in term of protocol, they should not ask to meet the President. They should go directly to the villages and rural areas where they have not been for long time and they do not know what are the real problems of these people. If I were tem, I would, firstly, see the farmers, labors and the common people not the ministers and the Head of the State.I would like to see Moe The Zun as I had met him during 8888 people power revolution.

  6. Like Hitler, Than Shwe has made a power grab.

    After the 1933 General Election Hitler proposed an Enabling Bill that would give him dictatorial powers. Such an act needed three-quarters of the members of the Reichstag to vote in its favour.

    After the fraudulent referendum in Burma during May 2008 a tangle of 104 clauses mean that major charter changes can not be made without the prior approval of more than 75% of all MPs.

  7. I’ve seen a video clip of MTZ brandishing our present government and instigating for unrest just after the Arakan Rohingyar conflict, standing for the Rohingar Muslim.I’m confused with what is he saying now!!!!!

  8. President Thein Sein government should not make to copy and follow the mistakes of the past governments. She should go ahead for the reforms swiftly within out delay. Time is short, country is day by day sinking in various field. Now peace in the frontiers, Arakan is hot spot, Kachin is fighting with Tatmadaw, KNU is still under negotiation table, where is the peac. No doubt dissidents can come and go, but the government has to be in the right direction. The direction of reconciliation is totally ignoring, if sail without direction, the third forces will take over power. Be careful of that.

  9. George Than Setkyar Heine

    As long as Than Shwe’s point man Thein Sein is in control at the helm at the Napyidaw things wouldn’t change for the better for Burma trust me.
    He is under orders and obligation as well to COVER the MASS/MONK MURDERER’S ASS and BACK at the same time no doubt.
    Than Shwe’s constitution is the PRIMARY INSTRUMENT to KEEP him and his cronies in good health and circulation obviously.
    The game is to keep the people under the lid while they grab the lands and money including foreign investments for themselves only.
    Healthy and hopeful reforms are still out of sight much less in question until today.
    Shuffling cards and changing positions on the board would not make things better for the people of Burma and the country on both the short and long terms as well.
    Guys like Moe Thee and others have their own agendas for going home as well lest Thein Sein forgets.
    SOME have eyes on OPPORTUNITIES (like Zaw Oo and his gang) and MANY (like Htun Aung Gyaw and others) on CHANGING THINGS/SITUATIONS for the BETTER in the country no doubt.
    Well, HISTORY WAS MADE by MEN – Washington, Lincoln, MacArthur, Patton, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Gorbachev, Marx, Lenin among the good guys and Hitler, Stalin, Putin and Hu Jin Tao led Reds in Beijing and of course Than Shwe led lot at the Naypyidaw including as well – since the beginning of time they say.
    And I am waiting to go back home as well and CONTRIBUTE MY BEST to IMPROVE the LOT (PEOPLE) in BURMA and CHANGE the SYSTEM – military dominated pseudo-civilian rule to democratic representative rule in Burma – as well trust me.

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