What Our Readers Say

By The Irrawaddy 11 August 2012

88 Generation Leaders Speak Out on Rohingya Issue

Everyone has the right to a nationality. These Bengalis have been in Burma for so so many years. Somebody who has been in one place for more than 10 years must belong to that place. Life span is not even 100 years. The Burmese must learn to respect the universal human rights. These Bengalis must be recognised as citizens of Burma. They may not belong to the 135 races, but they belong to the land of Burma—nobody can deny it.

—Uraw Gam

Every person has a right to a nationality? What about giving me US citizenship?


Suu Kyi to Head ‘Rule of Law’ Committee

Burma had been going down the road to ruin for almost half a century because of lack of rule of law. All directives and orders came from the machine-gun dictator’s mouth. I am not surprised to hear that some MPs are not sure about the newly formed committee. I would like to encourage them to change their mindset, get out of the shackles of the fascist military machinery and do the correct thing now. Be brave and make the law which does not simply allow anyone to be above the law. Amay Suu is guiding the nation into new democratic state.


Just another trick from the magician’s hat to keep critics, activists and everyone else in one circus. Easier for the circus master to control and manipulate.


The Day a New Burma was Born

A positive attitude is the only antidote known to heal all the wounds received or to be received during our unfinished journey to democracy in Burma. It is so remarkable to see the people of Burma and the 88 generation’s fearlessness in defiance of all the unfairness they have suffered at the hands of the dictatorship. Keep up your good work and we are all with you in our hearts to move Burma all the way to democracy.

—A Burmese Freedom Fighter

The murderers are still roaming free.


Burmese Vice President Visits Arakan State

Burmese people will pay a very high price for the actions of these people. Don’t they understand that people are still fighting for democracy and that there are still many political prisoners locked up in jails, some media have been shut down and civil war is still ongoing? The government can go back to previous military rule at any time they wish and the Arakanese will be treated the same way as Rohingya. When that happens, don’t expect the international community to come and help them again. The Rohingya are now an international issue that needs to be handled with care and in a way that is acceptable to the international community, like it or not. Don’t make Burma an international outcast because Burma needs international support to achieve democracy.
—Nyi Nyi

I think most Burmese (including both dissidents and the government) are very naive about public relations. It’s not about what YOU think is right or fair—it’s more about what other people are thinking about you that matters in international politics. Good PR means knowing how to influence what OTHER PEOPLE THINK to your advantage.

The international media spotlight is on Burma nowadays. Most Burmese were quite proud of the adulation that Suu Kyi received in Europe recently and so they cannot be hypocritical about how people in the West view Burma. Suu Kyi is the “Burmese idol” for human rights in the West (even school children learn about her) and the struggle of “the oppressed” (including the Rohingyas) in Burma is viewed as a struggle for basic human rights for everyone. You can’t just talk about human rights only when it suits you (for example, if you are a political refugee applying for funding and/or political asylum in the West).

My advice: Think Globally and Stop Acting Tribally!


All of you! Be aware that human rights is not about Rohingya’s rights.

—Seng Lawn

US Denies ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ in Burma

Americans and the international community have spent time, money, resources and lives in other countries, from Iraq and Pakistan to Greece, Libya and Africa, without accomplishing anything. Now that the Burmese government is trying to open up without having to fight, why don’t they have the heart to help minority people in Burma? They have wasted everything in other countries but not a penny in Burma. It is unfair how they have ignored the problems and issues facing minority groups in Burma for over 60 years. If the American government and international community together helped Burma to get democratic reforms and minority rights, it would be the best money they could spend, and an example to the Middle East of how they can achieve peace and freedom without spilling a single blood drop.

—John Ung

Bengali Rohingyas’ leaders must stop spreading fabricated news. These Bengali Rohingya leaders are vandalizing our country’s reputation and image on the international stage. The Burmese government’s and Burmese people’s stand on the Bangladeshi Rohingya issue won’t change. The Burmese government has every right to deport illegal immigrants. Bengali Rohingyas are not a Burmese ethnicity—they are Bangladeshis who illegally entered and settled in Arakan State. There’s no ethnic cleansing of Bengali Rohingyas, but illegal migrants must be deported to their country of origin regardless of their religion.

—Sai Lin Kan