By The Irrawaddy 6 April 2012

Heaven forbid. We have enough massage parlors and karaoke bars already in Yangon. Why would we want to create a decadent ‘nightlife’ just to attract tourists? We are better off attracting the right sort and not the riffraff or paedophiles like Gary Glitter. ‘Warmly welcome’ (in quaint Burmese English) to those Thais and Chinese who stick to the ‘Three Gems’ and actual gems. Andrea Valentin’s timely warning must be heeded notwithstanding Maung Maung Swe’s very sanguine attitude coming from, let’s face it, a vested interest group which, granted, is more welcome to most Burmese. Burma is in danger of getting the worst of both worlds if we are not careful and vigilant over how private enterprise tends to develop. No society is completely immune to such cultural and more importantly financial corruption. This issue is bound to pit traditionalists against modernizers and will prove to be a difficult balancing act. Beware!
—Moe Aung

Burma Launches Managed Float of Kyat

“… including tax breaks of up to five years, the right to lease real estate from the state or private hands for up to 30 years, allowing 100 percent repatriation of profits, and the right to distribute products locally …”
Can this most cruel, most inhumane military government get more supine than that? And the so-called “Opposition” more silent and colluding?
“Get Quick Money At Any Cost To Be Like Singapore” seems to be the aim in life for both the government and the so-called “Opposition.”
IMF will have the best, the most obedient client ever to the applause of all the financing governments and institutions. Shame, otherwise occupied with this all-important and impotent election, no one had time to tell the 60 million Burmese of what is involved in this “floating of the Kyat” business and what is the likely outcome by the government, the “dissident” journalists or the people’s champions.
Maybe it doesn’t matter these illiterates don’t know. They wouldn’t understand anyway. They can simply wait for the shoe factories after their lands are occupied. “Bulldozers” will tell them.

Burma’s By-elections—Tiptoeing Towards Democracy

This is absolutely true. Without the stick the reforms will come to a halt. Make sure you have plenty of carrots, as well as plenty of sticks—big ones!
—Nyi Nyi

Final Results—NLD Wins 43 of 44 Seats

According to the results it is clear that 100% of people in Burma are against the present military government. So U Thein Sein is not the legitimate leader of the country. As per the public mandate, there are two ways to save the country:
1. to allow Daw Suu to form a minority government through understandings with the MPs in the ruling party.
2. to dissolve parliament and clear the way for a new general election.
It is 100% clear today that the 2010 election was 100% illegal and fraudulent. How can the country go on until 2015 with this wrong administration? The political activists should raise this question today, and Daw Suu must talk with U Thein Sein about this.
—Maung Kyaw Nu, a former political prisoner of conscience

Who’s the Real Winner in Burma’s By-elections?

To me the winner is the Junta. It’s all goes as they’d planned and it was a perfect game plan. They want the whole world to see it that way. Their main goal for is to lift sanctions, since they had nowhere to go. All their possessions were frozen. They were looking for an escape and now they are free to go. In parliament it’s too early to tell what’s going to happen since the military-backed USDP is holding more than 80 percent of seats. It’s very premature to say something—right now our country is in a very critical situation and needs to be very careful. You have to wait for the upcoming general election. Only if the NLD wins by a landslide, then everything can change. For now, this is just for the junta, so please don’t get too excited. I would like Daw Suu and the people of our country to be the real winners, but the actual winner is the Junta.
—Suu Maung

US to Start Easing Sanctions on Burma

Since the program of reforms was initiated, a good many signs have been displayed by the Thein Sein government, so the US must take steps by lifting sanctions. Sooner or later Obama will lift some of the commercial sanctions so that the Burmese government can work alongside Aung San Suu Kyi inside and outside parliament. The most important issues we now face are the ethnic groups fighting with the Tatmadaw and the release of the remaining political prisoners. There are also many issues concerning the judiciary, administration, social life, religious discrimination, etc. Burma’s 49 years of dictatorship has created hatred among citizens. Communities must make dialogue and also have interfaith dialogue so that they can understand each other and create a better understanding among different religious faiths. This will lead to national unity.
—Oo Maung Gyi