By The Irrawaddy 22 September 2012

Kudos to president for signing the law; if we want to attract more investments than our Southeast Asian neighbours, we need to be more welcoming, not restrictive.

—Tantrum Pandian

Can Suu Kyi Stay Silent?

Daw Aung San Su Kyi of Myanmar cannot be intimidated by anyone into making a statement on the “Rohingya issue” that has emerged again recently in Myanmar politics and taken up as a international human rights concern by countries that would like to see Myanmar fail in its attempt to achieve freedom, national political reconciliation, peace, and rule of constitutional law. The Burmese people are 100 percent behind their enlightened national leader’s decision—to remain silent. There is a Burmese saying that one should always be aware and mindful of the context. At certain places and in certain times one should know one’s usefulness and position.

—Myo Nyunt

ASSK did not stay silent. She was asked the citizenship status of the Bengali-speakers found in Myanmar. She honestly answered that she doesn’t know.


KIO Says it Won’t Go to Naypyidaw for Talks

Why the heck should the KIO/KIA go to Naypyidaw to negotiate the peace process? Who started the war? The government has to go wherever KIA wants to hold the meeting because it’s the government that first broke the ceasefire agreement and attacked innocent civilians on a daily basis. If they have a genuine will to make this happen, they won’t be nit-picking like this.



 Ethics of MOGE and Gas Money

I think the main issue with MOGE is lack of transparency within the organization and state intervention. MOGE should become a public company by listing at the stock exchange and it should handle its own P&L rather than the cabinet which is handling the MOGE’s earnings.

Most of the MOGE operations scrutinized by lack of profit due to the oil & gas selling at heavily discounted price to UMEL (Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited) which is partly owned by the military, and the fuel at subsidized rates selling to the public.

Restructuring for MOGE in its top positions is necessary with the younger generation who is smarter, more open-minded and reform-minded brought in.

In addition to that, both MOGE and EPD (Energy Planning Department) should seek help from Norwegian organizations like NORAD, PETRAD and NPD (Norwegian Petroleum Directorate) for open and transparent license round bidding process.

—Alvin Moe

Suu Kyi ‘Neutralized’: Shan Leader

It is regrettable that a leader like Hkun Htun Oo would accuse President U Thein Sein of neutralizing opposition leaders by bribing with parliamentary posts and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi of surrendering her principals for mere a chairmanship of a parliamentary committee. People are fond of accusing
others without any reasonable grounds and hope that something will stick. Even
though he was accusing the world-renowned Nobel Laureate of being corrupt just because she changed her stance regarding economic sanctions, he himself agreed to become a member of U Thein Sein’s delegation to the United Nations General Assembly at the same time.

Citizens of Burma are expecting that there would be a fruitful outcome from this cooperation. Now they should be concerned about his dubious intentions.

Perhaps during her long years in the wilderness of house arrest, the Nobel laureate had the epiphany that co-operation with the generals is the only way for her to be politically relevant again.


A true leader will continue to speak in the interests of the people who are still being oppressed if she or he wants to maintain a great legacy. Obviously, the condition of ethnic people in Burma/Myanmar has still not improved, especially in Kachin State. War crimes are still being committed by the military.

However at the present time, we gradually have learnt that for those who are in oppressive conditions, their voices remain unheard and their voices have no representation at any level of diplomatic dialogue. The ability of those leaders will be judged and graded by the public eventually.

Khun Tun Oo—keep your spirit up and continue speaking for those people. Business people and pro-Burmese government circles won’t transmit and promote your voice through news channels. But that is fine. There is always a way to get it through.


Hero worship in the sense of expressing our unbound admiration is one thing. To obey the hero is a totally different kind of worship. There is nothing wrong in the former while the latter is no doubt a most pernicious thing. The former is people’s respect for her which is noble and of which the great are only an embodiment. The latter is the serf’s fealty to his ruler. The former is consistent with respect, but the latter is a sign of debasement. The former does not take away one’s intelligence to think and independence to act. The latter makes one
a perfect fool. The former involves no disaster to the state. The latter is a
source of positive danger to it.

—Terry Evans