What Our Readers Say

By The Irrawaddy 27 October 2012

Burma’s Fastest Growing Business: Drugs

Drug-driven economy? Who will invest in such an illicit economy? Incomes derived from opium, heroin and methamphetamine can be laundered without difficulty through investment in legitimate businesses. Who can compete with them? No serious local or foreign investors will come if the drug barons and their offspring are rubbing shoulders with the law-enforcement officials and their cohorts.

Most pathetic of all is the growing numbers of drug addicts among our young people. At a time when we need the participation of 30-40 percent of our population in national reformation and economic transformation, we cannot afford to waste vital human resources. All law-enforcements agencies must mobilize to control and eradicate this scourge of our society.


Burma’s Political Prisoner Issue Pivotal to US Policy, Says Congress

It has been over 18 months now since the military leaders opened the window of secrecy to the opposition by inviting them to the Parliament. The alibi of the U Thein Sein administration that it doesn’t know the exact number of political prisoners in Burma’s jails is an outright lie and an insult to the whole nation. It is a waste of time to play hide and seek with the lives of humans being locked up for their beliefs.

Don’t wait until the patience of the Burmese people runs out. Release all political prisoners now!

—The Burmese Freedom Fighter

Burmese Muslims Cancel Eid Festivities

I am very sad that Muslims in Myanmar have decided not to celebrate the Eid. I am a Buddhist Burmese living in the US and I remember that when I was younger, Muslims in Yangon sent curry beef stew to their Buddhist neighbors at the end of Eid.

—Keith Win

The way that many self-styled intellectuals shift so easily from intolerance of “illegals”/Bengali to talk of “resisting Islamization” is saddening, especially for a nation which has been a torchbearer for human rights and principled resistance. A similar belligerence towards Muslims arose in the USA after 9/11, and again there was an ease with which this went from “only those who hate us, some of whom happen to be Muslims” to “all Muslims are a potential threat”—but this was restricted to right-wing idiots and racists.

The fact that the same phenomena has happened in Myanmar thanks to so-called human rights defenders is thoroughly depressing. Everyone needs to stop, take a breath, stop the vitriol and the hatred against all, and think carefully about where all this heading. Recall that Anders Brevik, the bomber and mass killer in Norway, read, agreed with and found support in the anti-foreigner, anti-Muslim writings by well-known commentators in Europe’s newspapers. Show how big and brave you really are, human rights defenders, by rising above and thinking critically about all of this.


Price of Cars to Continue Falling, Says Minister

If you think carefully, how on earth can a minister afford four Land Cruisers on his salary without corruption? No wonder the bill to declare public all the assets belonging to the ruling thieves got rejected in the Parliament. As long as the top echelon remains as corrupt as ever, Burma will never reach its full potential.


Pathein Fish Farm Protesters Sued by Local Govt

“Rule of law” robber baron style. Fishermen, farmers, miners, everywhere the big guys have muscled in and driven the little guys out of their lakes and their ancestral land. This so-called “development and progress” comes at the expense of the people, who will not just roll over and be a doormat. The “democratization process,” whatever the real agenda and aim, will be continually tested.

—moe aung

Thousand Homes Torched in Fresh Arakan Strife

Sometimes religion motivates violence, and sometimes it is used, even manipulated, to justify violence.

—Terry Evans

Permanent Residency Not for All Foreigners: Minister

Amending the Myanmar Citizenship Laws in accordance with those of the West will attract aliens with exceptional talents, who will develop Myanmar into a strong modern nation. All people in the Union should embrace multicultural pluralism and give up racism. Develop all minorities to their fullest potential. Amend the Constitution to grant dual citizenship to talented people. Wake up Myanmar. Wake up to 21st century.


Land Battles Surface in Burma as Reforms Unfold

Democracy is not supposed to be lawlessness. However, many poor peasants and farmers have been treated unfairly. Government needs to respect every citizen regardless of power and rank. When the government needs land, negotiate with the landowners, who are mostly farmers. Offer them the best compensation. The farmers do have the right to receive the highest level of compensations. Now, we see and hear sadness and tears everywhere. The people suffered enough in the past, but it is not ending under the rule of so-called democratic government. When will the people have a government that stands up for justice for the oppressed? Where is compassion? Where is love and kindness?


500 NLD Members to Quit in Pathein

Neither Nyan Win nor Suu Kyi care, because they have already abandoned the NLD’s original beliefs and stand, and now they are part of the USDP. We were in need of an opposition party, but the NLD and Daw Suu have abandoned us and joined the USDP. In a democratic nation, there must be at least one opposition party. But in Burma, there is no opposition party right now. I hope the 88 Generation will rise up to challenge the USDP.

—Ngal Hriang

President Vows to Continue Push for Peace

You can never build a permanent peace, Mr President, when you go before the international community and lie that your Burmese troops don’t commit human rights abuses, rape, forced relocation, land confiscation and so on. And don’t blame the KIA for destroying bridges and the power grid—you should remember that your troops attacked the KIA first. If you really want a true peace, you should admit that your troops committed human rights abuses and make an official apology to ethnic nationalities. Then the true peace will come.