Suu Kyi Remains Silent as Burma Burns

Sometimes words can add fuel to the fire of a conflict; but then there are times when silence is like oxygen, feeding a conflagration that desperately needs to be extinguished. Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi needs to realize this, as she keeps herself aloof from the burning issues that wrack the country she hopes one day to lead.

The year just past has been a remarkable one for Suu Kyi, and for Burma. Sadly, however, it ended on a depressingly familiar note, with news of a worsening war in Kachin State, where Burma’s armed forces have stepped up their offensive with airstrikes on rebel targets that could jeopardize the lives of civilians, including some of the tens of thousands of refugees displaced by more than a year and a half of fighting.

And on Friday, there was a reminder of another humanitarian crisis that festers on the other side of Burma. According the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, around 13,000 boat people have fled communal strife that broke out in Arakan State last June, with at least 485 dying at sea in a desperate bid to escape violence and persecution.

Through all of this, Burma’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate has maintained an unseemly silence, refraining from comment lest, as she said during a visit to the United States last September, she “add fire to any side of the conflict.”

This wholly inadequate response to some of Burma’s most pressing problems shows how far Suu Kyi, who will be 70 when the country next goes to the polls in 2015, has come from being the inspirational voice of her nation’s downtrodden masses. These days, it seems, she is content to wait for instructions from the government before stating the absolutely obvious: that the bloodshed must end, or the wounds of Burma’s past will never heal.

On Friday, Burma’s Independence Day, Suu Kyi said in a speech at the headquarters of her National League for Democracy that the country’s people need to rely on themselves if they want to realize their dream of a free and prosperous nation. “Don’t expect anyone to be your savior,” she warned.

Suu Kyi is right that Burma doesn’t need a savior; but it does need a leader. After a year of collecting international accolades, it’s time for her to prove that she is that leader.

As long as Suu Kyi continues to avoid taking any meaningful stance on the very real issues that plague Burma, the “democratically united” country that she spoke of in her speech will remain as elusive as ever. Without decisive words from the woman in whom the country has placed its hopes for a better future, Burma will remain, at best, a slightly less repressive version of the deeply divided tyranny it has been for most of its history as a modern nation.


64 Responses to Suu Kyi Remains Silent as Burma Burns

  1. Bruce Roberts,Chair CRDB (WA)

    Now that the media thinks there is democracy,it has to rear its ugly head and try to put words into her mouth. Daw ASSK has done enough. She will not talk out of tune as she does not have a mandate to comment on the murder and mayhem that is being committed by the Tatmadaw. If Thein Sein cannot control the renegades who are the puppets of Red China,why would she waste her breath as there is not much more she can do. Of course you cannot make out she is in agreement with the junta who put her under house arrest for decades.Where ignorance is bliss its folly to be wise.Leave her alone as this current ethnic problem created by the junta is not her doing and as she is not the President, its not her place to speak as it would just make the situation worse.

    • Then she’s in the wrong job. She’d already dropped second Panglong like a hot potato after dipping her toes in the federalist water. Now she’s playing the three proverbial monkeys, and her silence is deafening, not only over the civil war but land confiscations. What ever happened to defying unjust laws? Rule of law regardless, whatever? She is not even into power sharing yet, just head of a commission, and clearly playing the exemplary collaborator. Perhaps she is in the right job after all.

      People have the right not only to expect her to speak out and speak up on their behalf but to be critical if she doesn’t when she should. They are bound to feel she now lives in the generals’ pocket. And when you react to criticism the way you did, then l’m afraid you are in the wrong job.

      • Consider the other option. Tell us what you think how ‘breaking the silence’ leads to. No institutions have changed substantively. Freedom is nothing if you can’t enforce it. Even if she speaks, it’s a matter of just complaints. We have to look the substantive issues such as fixing the judiciary system. This peddling with ‘silence and general’s pocket” distracts from what matters.

      • Agreed. Such political passivity after years of house arrest shock those of us who believed in her mission. Was she maybe always a Burman ethnic chauviniste?

    • I don’t think you could be more wrong about what ASSK must do. She, more than any other, must put the stamp of righteousness and the stamp of compassion on the name of Burma.

  2. Woh-woh-woh!!!!

    What have the world come to now? Suu Kyi to start with. Where goes those Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Amay Suuuuuu, and all that, eh?

    Or like a fig leave over rotting elephant carcass,is this Thamada Gyi’s Democracy is peeling off in the sun?

    Tough life, isn’t it? Having to suck up the “Thamada Gyi”, chanting “Thamada Gyi Gon Daw” three times in the morning and three times in the evening like Mauriya U Daung, and same with “May May Suuuu” of so many prizes one lost count, being useless as usual and still required to say they are so, so, so clever, farrrrr sighted and honourable, etc, etc. It is the fault of the other ones. Usually it is “Extremists, Agitators and Communists”, really. May be the Communists are the ones flying those aeroplanes, useless for fighting really but so, so hard to camouflage, damn! Somehow one is not supposed to use the word “Hardliners” any more. Not so fashionable now. Not in the season.

    The good one to say now th=is this “pivot” thing. Perhaps this American Pivot thing will have one less death (usually a Bamar youth by all account). Thant Myint-U said it was the communists who were in the way of this wonderful “rich” making Reforms. Must be true. Without these communists people might now be able to eat rather than being driven out of their own land left, right and centre in Kachin and now Norway orchestrated Karen Land, sold out by KNU, Monywa, and all over the country really forcing the Scare crows to move up to towns for lack of farms.

    Still, have no fear. Peace will come when all are dead.

  3. It is easy to blame.I think these are the result of higher policy.

    • Tiny bit higher and the whole blooming country would be dead Mister. Jet fighters against own people. Even the people Syrian army is bombing are foreign imports brought in by the NATO, hence the name Al Qaeda. Here Kachins simply stay in their own land. And Than Shwe wants their land as it has been sold out to the Chinese already. And the whole world agree because they want China to get trade route and gas and electricity for “global” economy, in other words increase the rich-poor gap further but the irony is only a very small portion of this currently clamouring Thein Sein supporters are going to get the money. The rest will be much, much worse off.

      But you and Bruce Roberts are right, Not just blame. Action or inaction of this woman is not worthy of being commented upon whatsoever.

      • I beg to differ. A critical analysis of both her actions and inactions is a matter of urgency at this juncture. Her goal cannot be limited to winning endless international awards and accolades, making her name in history and becoming president at the age of 70 provided she can overturn the Nargis Constitution with any luck. Will she then be Burma’s Mandela, like him founding a new wealthy elite while the rest scratches the earth to eke out a living, if they have not been driven out of their land yet? The one and real prize she has not managed to win so far is the freedom of all our peoples and secure our children’s future not the generals’.

        • Apart from die hard, hard core faithful s, Aung San Suu Kyi reviling camps is now so crowded that she will be totally irrelevant to the true public of Burma soon. That 2015 is pie in the sky for every body. The way the country is going, it would take a miracle to get to 2014 in one piece.

          Her only strong constituency is her American/ English/ Japan/ Korean and the military buddies. All united for opening up the country for “business”.

          Again Burma is poor only in material and that is simply because of corruption and incessant wars. There is not a single incidence of any “ethinc” coming to harm the public of Burma, yet Than Shwe inherited Sit-tut cannot stop until every one sings their song. With the populace now covetous for material riches of nearby Thai’s, Karen will go along with KNU sell out as well as Norwegian “processing” for maximal exploitation of ports, sea and land treasures as well as one dollars a day jobs in worse than Siberia labour camps of fire and health hazards for 24 hour shifts, these little time bombs.. Some of the would-be time bombs are still blissfully unaware, until one day the army of bulldozers turn up and evict them to seek , gratefully, refuge in those hard labour camps called SEZ’s.

          In stead of putting effort in stopping the wars and and corruption, the current course is for further entrenchment and escalation.

          As is the case in time of chaos, these carpet beggars everywhere now in town is real recipe for even more chaos. Rothschilds’ Soros directly dealing with the Kachins and on the opposite end with the same aim, the world’s Richest fascists with gambling (Japan car racing, Macao, Vagas) and prostitution interests Sasakawa crowd, who by the way control the LDP government and the UN as well, in town with Karen.

          When was the last time someone talks about “Ngar Bar Thi La” in Burma while getting drunk in Grand Royal, New Year “celebration”.?

          In this land of Law-ba, Maw-ha and Daw-tha with monks giving away hundreds of thousands of dollars after returning from touring the world in Sedona/ Trader Hotels, “Ngar Bar Thi La” would now be totally out of place.

          Only almost tax free Toyota Alphard and Sasakawa can thrive.

  4. Aung San Suu Kyi can no longer duck these issues. From being an inspiration she has turned into an exasperation who seems afraid to say boo to a goose. The situations in both Arakan and Kachin are so grave that she must speak out even if it means electoral suicide. It is reported that the Dalai Lama has written to her as a fellow Nobel Laureate and it’s easy to imagine what he has said to her about the Rohingya situation.
    Than Shwe must be having a good laugh; by taking her into Parliament he has neutralised her as a source of criticism.

  5. Why must Daw Su direct her mental energy to fulfil all the desires,, needs , demands and lacks of people who are not only good at the blame shame game, but have always worn the badge of victim hood. at the hands of the military dictatorship (past) .and of the majority population (not in terms of land mass or area) , we the bamar or Myanmar-Burmese. Most have ignored the fact that the ordinary people in Myanmar endorse the leadership of Daw Su and the emerging generation of progressive democrats and ethno nationalist ( indigenous nations — first people of specific spaces in the peripheral border regions) who are willing and able to be part of the political transition and attempted economic reforms. Burma and its people, has, as we all know undergone 60 plus years of unnecessary hardships and sufferings under military dictatorship. and misrule The present state and government under the leadership of President U Thein Sein with the sincere co-operation of the loyal democratic-opposition led and guided by Daw Aung San Su kyi I strongly feel are trying its utmost best in promoting peace and reconciliation amongst the majority burman and the minority non-burman nationalities internally. The world and our neighbours are giving due recognition to the economic policy reforms and the formation of organisations and mechanism to achieve economic prosperity at all levels and tiers of governance and for all, irrespective of race, gender ,age and faith.. Yes the coming 2-3 years is a challenge for all patriotic people living in Burma and abroad. . Please do not forget that we as a people, a nation and a culture are resceiliant and will never be dependent on others dictates and agendas. Through dedication to repair, reconstruct and manage what has been destroyed during the past it is the duty of all Burmese to rely on our own capabilities and resources. Democracy is us, we will get there. Myo Nyunt Perth, Western Australia

  6. If the one who is senior and has direct responsibility could not or would not say a word, how could a much junior in position (but not in nationalistic fervor), waste precious air that would also go down the drain. Better keep quiet and concentrate what comes directly under after all there is a time for everything and wait for her nationalistic fervor shines at the right time. Forward Heroine Su.

  7. What about the poor children that we see on the news fending for themselves, some as young as five – hungry and no one to take responsibility for them.

  8. I don’t want to be too cynical but I do observe that the way Suu Kyi is viewed in the Western media is quite different from how most Burmese see her. Nowadays in the West no one really knows or cares that much about Aung San (some people here think Aung San is Suu Kyi’s first name!) but in Burma Suu Kyi’s “idol status” is intimately tied to her father’s role in Burma’s history.
    Most Burmese are naively proud of any kind of “honour” that a Burmese can get in the West. Even U Thant is considered a hero in Burma. (Was he really that much better than Ban Kee Moon or Kofi Anan or that Boutros Boutros guy? UN secretary generals are “politically-correct appointments” and are pretty much powerless anyway)
    One thing I notice last year is that Suu Kyi’s speeches given in the West are quite different (in content) from her domestic speeches (which the Irrawaddy should perhaps translate into English for the international audience although I don’t think her recent speeches are that great!)
    Anyway, Suu Kyi smells the power (Ahna) in Naypyitaw and she is hell-bent on becoming the next President, come hell or high water, copper mines or gas pipelines, Myitsone or Phakant, Kachins or Rohingyas., ….
    She knows that she needs some “brownie points” from the (ex-)generals of the Tatmadaw to become the next president and that’s what she’s been doing recently (you can call it reconciliation in Sino-Orwellian-double-speak).
    I’m not saying that this is all “horrible” for Burma (Mr. Ohn can do that!) If that’s what the majority of the population of Burma wants then that’s what they deserve, but it might not be what Bono (the U2 guy) for example, thinks Suu Kyi stands for, not to mention all the farmers losing their land to Chinese mega-projects (by the way Suu Kyi is also very silent on these issues, MEHL (and MEHS?) rules!)

    • Burmese proverb for any little expectation for the people from that short excerpt of long list of exceptional current inland Rights Abuse locations- copper mines or gas pipelines, Myitsone or Phakant, is “hsin lee khwe myaw”.

  9. Your editorial is absolutely right, candid and to the points for the urgency and dangerous situation of our country. It reflects the feeling and assessments of us, people of the country in general, if not for NLD politburo.
    For a naive & uneducated in politics, I think there could be a sort of secret agreement between President U Thein Sein and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, not to rock the boat while the president and herself paddling across the treacherous water full of military sharks, to wards the promise land.

    U Maung Aung.

  10. Suu Kyi is a naive politician. She may be thinking that the path she has chosen and going on right now is the right one. Reaming silent on hot topic button will solve the problems one day, she might have thought. She doesn’t seem to realize that this simply is not working. But the problem is she doesn’t know what to do. What a petty Nobel winner! It’s such a shame to receive all those international awards/prizes with no talent at all. A real politician is the one who takes decisive actions without thinking so much about risks! If you are that much afraid from the start, it’s better to stay under house arrest and remains silent there for the whole life.

  11. Sadly for the nation, she is no Aung San, nor even Mandela with his fancy shirts who after having led an armed struggle and 27 years on Robben Island became president in his dotage but once he’d seen off apartheid (when white on white pressure became a decisive factor) has done nothing except make a new elite, now black such as Cyril Ramaphosa extremely rich.

    Granted a national liberation struggle is literally black and white, as with her father’s and Mandela’s, but class divisions remain entrenched, recalcitrant and the struggle more ruthless, the gap between the haves and the have-nots widening exponentially. The British after all had their own little island to go back to. Our ruling elite with its tentacles, not least the UMEHL, retreated no farther than Naypyidaw. It now ‘warmly welcomes’ the rest of the world to exploit our human resources, extract our natural resources and desecrate our land at the expense of the populace, driving our farmers, food growers out of their farm lands and homes. A skewed export oriented economy made up of industrial scale farming, mining and SEZs in partnership with foreigners and cronies will have to rely on food imports and foreign aid. Exports will be vulnerable to the whims and boom bust cycles of the global markets, worse risk for tourism the other pillar of our future economy. Investment will rush in and even more easily rush out. We shall then be indebted to the eyeballs once we have become fully paid up members of the New World Order dominated by international capitalists and their instrument of control the IMF or the chief global chettyar.

    If war is the continuation of politics, then politics cannot be limited to one strategy down the path of least resistance, with no meaningful or effective activities, and ignoring, nay foiling the popular struggle in practice instead of leading it, outside the debating chambers proscribed by her erstwhile gaolers turned ‘allies’ for their own reasons and most certainly in their own interests. It’s a tragedy, more so to a nation of such diversity and beauty not to mention its natural wealth. All in the name of progress and prosperity, all concentrating into the hands of a few. Well done.

  12. Obviously ASSK is no more sided with people and no more courage to say against Junta.
    It seems to be that she wants power at any cost and too afraid to be under house arrest again.
    NLD should not be used Fighting Peacock Flag anymore since their leader ,the lady is no more represent Students and people.

  13. 100% support your comment,Zip!This time she should go back to house arrest commited by herself for continous silencing.

  14. The expatriate Burmese media, the overseas Burmese activists and the Kachin Lobbying groups are all clamoring for Suu Kyi to come out and issue statements they would like to hear, and she is refusing to do so. That is the appropriate and correct position for her take as “leader of the Loyal Opposition” in Parliament. Her primary responsibility is to her constituents and to uphold and protect the National Interests of Myanmar. Her days as a political dissident and activist are over and she can no longer make statements like the one the expatriate media and overseas Kachin and Burman Lobbyists want to hear.

    The overseas freelance avtivists, a great many living off hand outs from “all kinds of agencies” are in this kind of business with their set of agendas most often than not set for them by their “sponsors” or “donors” are no longer the crowd that Suu Kyi can be identified with leave alone seen to be associating with in her current position.

    So now there is a great deal of “sneering” and even personal attacks that she is sucking up to the “thamada gyi” and currying favour with the top generals. This is typical Burman small mindedness, which is often referred to as “colonial mindset”. When in fact she is being a responsible “leader of the Loyal Opposition” in Parliament. One must be greatly encourage by
    her quick learning-curve to transend to being a responsible and mature political leader and havinmg the discipline to refrain from making unnecessary comments that will do more harm than good. It is the overseas media and the expatriate Kachins and Burman lobbyists that must
    refrain from asking Suu Kyi to comment on every single topic.

    Naphetchun MaungSein

    California USA

    • Is it a part of small mindedness to accuse people of mercenary intent when they criticize the great leader of the Loyal Opposition? Loyal she certainly is nowadays…to the powerful. But even those liberal democracies have opposition leaders questioning and opposing, for instance, the invasion of Iraq. Not a squeak from her even in the legitimate arena of the ‘debating’ chambers at Naypyidaw over either the civil war or the land confiscations, Let’s see if she will receive another gong from the USDP govt in due course for her loyalty and services rendered toward the military’s new lease of life.

      The recurring lame excuse about not rocking the boat is getting tiresome. All she’s ever done is making statements and holding meetings after all. Never organized let alone led any meaningful and effective mass action. Now that she’s become a parliamentarian in this designer set up and head of the rule of law and tranquility (sic) commission, she is even trying to stymie popular struggle and defend the govt which she is not even a part of yet. A tragic betrayal to the peoples’ cause.

    • One of the few educated comment. Well done Ko Maung Sein

  15. Burma is burning !
    Kachins are runnung .
    Burmese army is cunning.
    On the hospital beds, injured monks are still laying .
    China is still digging our pagodas.Infact it is not stunning.
    Moreover ,Myintsone project is about to returning.
    Meanwhile the lady is messing with the cronies who are smiling!.

  16. Suu Kyi is waiting from green light from the government to speak out about the Kachin conflict. Because she worry that the military does not allow her to be next president.

  17. Make no mistake.
    Come the year 2015 the National elections.
    The NLD must take over power by the people.
    The army must go back to the barrack.
    All indicators so far are of reasonable flow.
    We should not disturb the equilibrium and make the dictators happy.
    I will not criticize the leader of Burma, Amay Suu for her deafening silence.
    She is building the Rule of Law.
    No one will ever suffer again in our history. The rule of law will prevent catastrophy.

    • “NLD must take over power by the people” you wrote. How? NLD is nowhere to be found now. If the military put her in power, she is a puppet too like Thein Sein. We do not need that kind of leader because she will not represent the people. She will not represent me.

  18. First of all, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi never sought for all those numerous international awards endowed upon her. The world, including the Burmese respects her and feels proud of her commitments, strengths and her personal sacrifices. However, it would be naïve to think that Daw Suu can single handedly attain freedom on behalf of all the citizens of Burma. The 88 generation and the generation before that along with many political activists have fought and died for this recent shift of the Burmese hard-liners’ policies towards democracy. We must remind ourselves what President John Kennedy said, “Ask not what the country can do for you; ask what you can do for the country”. We must ask ourselves if we have contributed anything for the betterment of our fellow Burmese citizens. Have we given a helping hand to the poor and the needy in Burma? Are we one of those who are corrupt and greedy and get all that we can from the poor citizens? Daw Suu IS only a member of the Lower Parliament. Her voice alone cannot carry much weight regarding all the burning issues taking place in Burma. Silence is golden but I am quite certain that Daw Su will speak up when the time is ripe.

    • Strange it never stopped her speaking up before she became part of the furniture ( a piece in the faux throne behind Thein Sein’s couch) at Naypyidaw. Loads of ordinary Burmese peoples of all nationalities have made the ultimate sacrifice before she appeared on the scene on the crest of a tidal wave that swept the country in 1988 and became an international icon, deservedly so, and ever since…for her to become president?

      Yes, she did us proud, and never asked for the awards, but we are now asked to be patient and to wait until she gets a real chance to speak and do things when in reality we are waiting for the tiger turned vegetarian generals to let her when the time is ripe for them. Great.

    • You talked about the house-arrested Suu Kyi. We are talking about Hlutdaw member Suu Kyi who is as free as Thein Sein now. She deserves no award now. Because she is a crony today.

  19. She worked hard in the past and her work has paid off. She is busy with hanging her awards on the walls of her house. She deserves all these awards. She reaped all she wanted and she has been well fed. She is no longer hungry for anything. Her harvest time is over. She is taking long nap. Let her rest in peace. Bye bye!

  20. I agree that Daw Suu is pretty silent on the major issues faced by the whole nation. Her path is to be silent. She won a dozens of well known awards on being quiet. People of street respect her as an icon based on Bo Gyoke. Military regime cultured her as a hero after putting in a cage for a couple of years.
    Handling national matters are like a doctor treating patients in her clinic. She cannot be selective on treating only patients who wants to get rid of their pimples, to have some pills to boost libido or to check their blood pressure or blood sugar. She also needs to treat the patients with severe abdominal pain and severe accidental trauma.
    Daw Suu, with all regards, now turning away the patients with severe pain and her reputation is at stake on this post freedom internship years!!!

  21. To lead people, walk beside them … As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate … When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!

  22. ASSK rejected the offer of U Nu to join him during 8888 revolution.
    Consequently no unity was found among several groups and later army cracked down the revolution.
    Now ,ASSK ignores and distances herself away from students ,monks and people.
    Moreover ,She becomes more and more closer to cronies and Junta.
    She may has a lot of reasons for doing this kind of behaviour in the past and currently.
    But this is not good for Democracy and for her own reputation and wost of all not good for her own beloved father.
    Sooner or later history will record who is a true hero and who is an opportunist.

  23. I disagree with you as well. In my humble opinion, she is the world’s consummate politician. She has said what has needed to be said and she continues to act in the best interests of the Burmese people. It is up to the rulers of Burma to change their behavior. It is not the place of Aung san Suu Kyi to criticize their actions or lack thereof. That is the job of the media. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will win the next presidential election in an absolute landslide. The question is; will the military allow the implementation of rule of law and become an arm of the government, or will they continue to run as a separate entity, bleeding the economy and dragging the country along in a shameful cloud of dirt.

    • The job of the media is to criticize everyone and the job of the opposition is to oppose wrong headed policies and unjust laws. You can wait for the rulers to change their behavior until the cows come home. Pigs might fly.

      • @ Moe Aung: If you say ” the job of the opposition is to oppose wrong headed policies and unjust laws”, maybe she needs time to sort out where to start first because all the policies are wrong and all the laws are unjust. But for you and me, it is important not to make the wrong and unjust comments, hehe….

  24. You don’t even know that ASSK is until now not eligible to ba a next president according to the Junta’s law.
    Your optimism is baseless and far from reality.
    We all know that her dream could not be materialized without the help of the students , monks
    and people.
    Infact, thinking of her landslide victory is only a hope and unreasonable euphoria.
    One thing you should know is Burmese Army is still controlled buy Junta and they will never allow her to be their master, as one day it can be be their suiside.They never will have courage to face the real Democracy.
    They seems to be believed that taking such a risk is not safe for their children and relatives.
    For your question you find the answer by yourself by seeing what has happenning in Kachin state to day.
    In short, Burma is not Sought Aferica or United Kingdom.
    Don’t spend your time on dreaming,Mr Rockderk!

  25. We, you, the rest of the world and I, know what Daw Suu will say about this conflict ” Stop fighting; without peace, political changes in Burma will be delay; please stop fighting.” It would be nothing more than these words.
    Do you want Daw Suu go to Kachin state, then to China and back to military Head Quarter and beg all the guys in uniform to stop fighting? She won’t do it and of course, that is not her responsibility.
    Don’t couch Daw Suu what to do. She is doing her best and she knows what she has to do.

  26. Yes– Doing her best to continue the Copper mine project.
    Doing her best for a good relation with cronies to get more donations from them for NLD.
    Doing her best to get power in 2015….
    Congratulation !!!

  27. She wants to live peacefully the rest of her life, does not want wast any second of her life in the jail. She was drugged with the Idlicagent in one of the numerous dinner hosted by the Government. Since then she has no ability to check balance but to support her former jailers and Assassins. The same drug was used to the KNU Leaders too.

  28. Maung Min Nway, may I ask if you’ve done anything for your homeland? Me? Other than sending donations to a couple of orphanages in Burma now and then, I haven’t really done much for my home country. So, I do applaud all those including Daw Suu for decades of struggles and their sacrifices so that the citizens of Burma will one day live in a free democratic country. Daw Suu has given us hope. Without hope, all is lost. If you haven’t forgotten, Daw Suu is not the President of Myanmar and does not have the ultimate power and authority over the governance of the country. Each and every citizen of Myanmar has equal responsibility in the democratization of the country.

    • Dear Taxi driver, Maung Min Nway, Ordnry1, and Rockderk
      We all are in the same boat for the sake of Burma. DASSK is our icon or idol as well as holding of Burmese people power. We all want to listen just her lip’s service on Kachin issue and Panglong agreement which are decade and decade long and well documented. DASSK clearly state about the obligation of rule of law and her opposition to 2008 Nagic- than shwe constitution. We need her consistence and persistence on every aspects. Therefore, i do not think it is a difficult questions for her. For injured Buddhist monks , DASSK visited them and ask military government to get apology from the government. There is a obvious double standard now from her on those same issues. We all know that than shwe is trying to put military powerless DASSK in the difficult position from time to time with the creation of Rohingya, hydro power and copper mining and kachin and all ethnic issues.
      DASSK should go out to say that it is not suitable time for her to give opinion and remarks on those difficult issues sincerely at least and she must also add that she is powerless in military as well as is just observer in military parliament. She can say she will be imprisoned in order to prevent from her serving for democracy actively. Than shwe never transfer his military power to others as well as than shwe has a lot of documented his military General wrong doing ( corruptions, killing and raping ethics , killing politicians, dirty money and assets in oversea) for his control.
      Do you all think that it is difficult for DASSK to say that she will honor Panglong agreement as well as General Aung San’s kyat slogan on all ethnic and bama for equal right in each others. The border guard force , totally controlled by than shwe is not fair and came out from the 2008 nargic-than shwe constitution. DASSK can go out to say that she will ask for people forgiveness on those military generals who now obey all Burmese people wishes ( Panglong agreement and real democracy).
      Upon DASSK silence, Kachin as well as all Burmese people will feel helpless, suspicious and DASSK will be more in the trap or trick of than shwe. We, Burmese are thinking now that DASSK might have secrete agreement with tricky than shwe for becoming next president of Burma with the establishment of bamanization.
      In short, DASSK should say something on those important issue from her lip service due to her lack of military power. Silence is golden for herself , but not for me as well as not for gaining of people power. If she feels that she is surrounded by former bama military men, spies, traitors and incapable advisers, she should openly declare and take action. We just need her outspoken manner, bravery, consistence and persistence as our capable leader. Than shwe is copying Communist China success but than shwe does not know there is different in individual countries in term of culture, economy , education, religion, ethnicity, and politics. China is really worried or jealous about the rapid change of full democracy in Burma. It is unwise and idiot idea and unnecessary fear. Because Chinese are more, more rich and educated whatever communist or democracy in China now. DASSK can keep silence in than shwe military court but not in the all Burmese people court. Don’t forget the important of UNITY, in the same boat (donation money or time or brain and opinions) against rapist than shwe whatever and whenever it is.

  29. U Norman Hla, please leave Daw Suu alone for goodness sake. Why do you want lip service from Daw Su? What good would it do? Besides, Daw Su will never offer lip service to anyone and she wouldn’t say anything unless she really believes in what she says. Here’s my two cents. Kachin State Representatives in Myanmar Parliament should file their grievances on behalf of their constituents (the Kachin people) with President U Thein Sein. They could also approach Daw Su and seek for her advice, then go from there. Who knows, Represenatives of the Kachin State might have met with U Thein Sein and Daw Su already about the government bombings in their State. I’ve read in the news that U Thein Sein is very receptive of new ideas from citizens. Perhaps, U Hla, you should go and see U Thein Sein in person at Naypyidaw or write to him personally about your angst against the mistreatment of the Kachin people. We must not be afraid to speak up. Daw Su is not always going to be there to speak on our behalf. Didn’t Daw Su say that we must not expect others to save us? I do believe that God helps those who help themselves. I am sure the Kachins will persevere and will survive all the hardships they are facing today.

    • Dear Ordnry 1
      Read carefully again my writing just before yours. There is double standard from DASSK who pay more attention on injured monks than dead Kachin.
      DASSK breaks her silence upon Kachin issue ( please , see news) and i cheer her for her outspoken manner. DASSK warns us there is reinstate of economical sanction from UK. Now China ( lip service ) is asking immediate solution for those fighting between Kachin and bama army. Do you think my lip service to thein sein is effective than those of noble winner and hero DASSK? I am begging busy DASSK for her lip service ( peaceful demonstration) for the sake of Kachin and all ethnics. Let see how effective it is with her just small investment of voice.

  30. i absolutely agree with ordnry1.above all ah may suu is just an MP in parliament and we must realise that she isn’t head of the country…OMGGGGG…….give her times to act all these issues.I BELIEVE IN AH MAY SUU….LONG LIVE AH MAY SUU.

  31. I’m aware that the current constitution [ a document which basically says ‘Than Shwe controls everything, so don’t complain or he will send a truckload of drunken peasants around to beat you with sticks’ ] forbids DASSK from contesting any presidential election. So why would the military amend the constitution to let her run? They never would. They’re fully aware that she would trounce everyone once again. Maybe she is thinking to build a functioning judiciary and bring law and order back into the equation first. And then try to get the numbers for a constitutional amendment, I don’t know. One thing I do know; the contributors to this forum would make for an interesting group dinner guests.

  32. People are voicing out because Daw Suu is their only hope. It is good to voice out so that they do not lose awareness. Especially when foreign aids flowing in, make sure those aids go to the poor instead of cronies and corrupted militarily families. At the same time, there is so much Daw Suu can do. The power stays with the government. Please voice out respectfully. I respect and like Daw Suu. But I do need to voice out if I disagree with her in a respectful way. I will not say ‘yes’ to every thing she says. I hope people can differ that. It is good for everyone if we don’t take things personally. A lot of things in life require a common sense. The only thing I am disappointed with NLD or Daw Suu is a lack of strategy. It will take a couple of generations for Myanmar to get a true democracy.

    By the way, how did military family members win a lottery or as a student visa (did they buy it?) to come to the US and transfer money ($$$$$) from Myanmar to the US to buy a house in America (money laundry)? Then, got a citizenship later and went back to Myanmar. Living in Myanmar with rental income from the US. What an unethical strategy, flipping their dirty money? The US government should not tolerate this kind of business. The US tax payers who follow the rules and work so hard to pay tax to the US government deserve every right than these people.

  33. Too mush criticizing will never let you escape from the circle of criticism. Keep it in mind if you are part of it.

  34. Go and ask U Thein Sein what to do, not DASSK.

  35. It seems like Irrawaddy is behind this racial clash also. I think they already write this article before the clash started. And very quick to criticise DASSK instead of current gov who is holding power.. So funny IRRAWADDY.

  36. In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within you that no sign of it appears on the surface, you are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When you neither punish nor reproach evildoers, you are not simply protecting their trivial old age, you are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations. Shame on you ASSK.

  37. I am assuming from the comments most people agree DASSK has an almost idol status in Myanmar. Her excuse on staying silent so as not to add fuel to the fire is beyond a joke. Fine if she doesn’t want to speak out against Major issues like mining, dams, freedom, ethnic independence but its disgusting she has said nothing about the sectarian violence that occurred over a gold bangle or the likes! I am quite sure if she did tell the people especially in the townships and poorer suburbs to stop differentiating over skin colour (*pls dont insult me by saying it has nothing to do with the colour of your skin), ethnicity and religion (some Burmese are so ignorant and racist they won’t differentiate between Indians and Muslims as for them they are all *kalar*) they would actually listen to ‘A May Suu’. Please don’t forget years ago,she wasn’t very silent when discouraging businesses to invest or asking the International community to set sanctions against Burma.

    At the end of the day she should practice what she preached in the past.

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