Five villagers from Mong Yaw in Shan State’s Lashio Township were found buried in shallow graves close to a Burma Army camp in the area, according to local eyewitnesses.
Photo by: Citizen Journalist- Bodies of Mong Yaw villagers found on June 29, 2016.
Sai Moe, one of the villager elders in Mong Yaw, said the five men were identified as those who were arrested by a government battalion on Saturday after an incident in the village of Long Mon.
He said the murders had been reported to the relevant authorities in Mong Yaw.
“We found their bodies yesterday [June 29],” he said. “We have reported it to the police, but do not know what to do next.”
On June 25, a Tatmadaw [Burma Army] unit with insignia identifying soldiers as from Division 33 were accused of arresting five villagers: Aik Hseng, 23; Aik Lod, 39; Aik Maung, 27; Sai Mon Awn, 17; and Sai Aik Maung, 23. The arrest followed an incident whereby the soldiers had fired for no known reason at workers in a field.
S.H.A.N. reported that at least one villager was killed, while three were injured, in addition to the five men who were detained by the government troops.
S.H.A.N. has now learned that one of those injured has since died, making a total of seven persons apparently killed in cold blood.
The five bodies uncovered on Wednesday were buried in two shallow graves: three bodies in one hole, two in another, according to Sai Leng, a relative of the victims.
“They were just civilians who were working legally and doing their jobs,” he said. “But when we uncovered their bodies, they were wearing soldiers’ uniforms.”
|Photo by: Citizen Journalist- Villagers dig out the dead bodies of five victims on June 29, 2016.|
Sai Wan Leng Kham, an Upper House representative from the Shan National League for Democracy (SNLD) who recently visited the scene, said he had received a report about the killings. He said that his team is investigating, and that the case will proceed to the next step.
According to an official from the Northeast Region Command in Lashio Township, Burmese government forces have been beefed up in the Mong Yaw area as they were intent on pushing out the various independent militias.
However, he declined to comment on the case of the five bodies uncovered yesterday.
A source closed to Lashio-based Infantry Battalion 68 told Shan Herald that the government units did not want to move to the areas of Pang Keng Long, Pang Keng Awn and Wan Mak, so he speculated that they created a ‘false flag’ incident. He said they were afraid that if they were relocated to those areas they would be in life-threatening danger of attack by ethnic armed groups.
In and around Mong Yaw town, only the Manpang Peoples Militia, led by Bo Mon, is active. But about 30 miles out of the town, other ethnic armed groups are actively operating, including: the Kachin Defense Army (KDA) People’s Militia, led by Matu Naw; the Kachin Independence Army (KIA); the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA); and the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA).
BY: Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN)
During her visit to Shan State last week, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, was prevented from traveling to areas in the state where rights violations are thought to have taken place for what officials claimed were “security reasons”.
|Photo by UN: UN Envoy Yanghee Lee visiting IDP in Kachin State last week|
Yanghee Lee, a South Korean academic, had originally planned to visit conflict and war-affected areas in both Kachin State and the northern Shan State during her 12-day visit to Burma but she was prevented from doing this in both states.
“She wants to go to areas like Kyaukme and Kutkai that have many war refugees. The government said this morning that she can’t go due to security reasons,” a person who met with Yanghee Lee said on June 21 when he was contacted by S.H.A.N.
Heavy clashes have taken place between the Burma Army and ethnic armed groups in Shan State in May in the areas Yanghee Lee wanted to visit. Charred human remains have been found in many of these areas. Man Pain village, a Kachin village in the Mong Koe area located east of Kutkai, was also set on fire.
Although she has been restricted from visiting much of northern Shan State, during her visit to Lashio she promised civil society organizations that she would thoroughly study the record of human rights violations submitted by these groups and submit a report to the UN, according to civil society organizations that have met with Yanghee Lee.
“Besides the human rights situation, we also submitted [information] on the situation of education and health,” said Yein Han Pha from the Shan Women’s Action Network (SWAN).
The Shan Youth Network was included among the organizations that met the UN Special Rapporteur and it submitted information about conflicts in the Shan State, the vandalism of signboards that have been written in the Shan language and how human rights violations still exist after the new government took office, explained Sai Aung Myint Oo from the Shan Youth Network Yangon.
The UN Special Rapporteur began her trip on June 20th and will depart on July 1st.
BY: Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN)
Burmese government forces on Monday attacked the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), according to an official from the RCSS/SSA.
An RCSS/SSA official who requested anonymity told Shan Herald that a unit under Division 33 of the Tatmadaw [Burma Army] launched an offensive on RCSS/SSA forces in the Namtu sub-township areas of Mong Tat and Mong Maw in northern Shan State’s Kyaukme Township. He said that the offensive led to casualties on both sides.
“The Tatmadaw knew that the RCSS/SSA troops were in the area,” a source close to the RCSS/SSA said on condition of anonymity. “The RCSS troops were unaware that the government unit would attack them, so there were a few casualties on their side.”
He added: “Fighting lasted a while before both groups reached a compromise.”
On the same day, the RCSS/SSA also clashed in a nearby area with the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), an ethnic armed group who were denied status to sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement by the government in October last year. The RCSS/SSA is a signatory to the NCA, and was the first ethnic armed group to sign a bilateral truce with the government, in November 2011.
Fighting between TNLA and RCSS/SSA first broke out in November last year, only a month after the signing of the so-called NCA between eight ethnic armed groups and the government led by President Thein Sein.
The Burmese military has announced that the TNLA must disarm before joining the peace process.
BY: Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN)
When outsiders ask, “How many principalities were these in the Federated Shan States (1922-1947)?” elderly people would answer differently: some “33” and others “34”.
Both were right and wrong answers. Because while the FSS started with 33 principalities, it ended with 34.
The following memorandum explains how the Kokang State came into being.
GOVERNMENT OF BURMA
FRONTIER AREAS ADMINISTRATION
Dated the 25th August 1947.
Memorandum for the Executive Council.
Subject: - Kokang State
Hon’ble Ministers are probably aware that the question of Kokang has been figuring prominently since the return of the British forces. The origin of this State is obscure but from the information received from the Sawbwagyi of North Hsenwi of which for the present Kokang State forms a sub-state, Chinese levies who took part in the siege of Ayudhiya did not return to China but sought permission to take up their residence in Kokang. This sub-state borders onto China and the population is 90 percent Chinese:
In the past it probably accepted direct administration from North Hsenwi but for some time past the State has been more or less staying aloof although it regularly submitted its contribution towards revenue collection to North Hsenwi.
It appeared however that for some time past Kokang had not made it possible for administrators of North Hsenwi State to enter the territory and up to very recent times British Assistant Superintendents were specifically told not to enter Kokang.
In 1942 with the Japanese invasion the people of Kokang took up resistance and harassed the Japanese. At that stage the present Sawbwagyi of North Hsenwi was told by the Japanese to stay out, on the ground that he had been an officer in the British Army and it appears that a brother of his, Sao Yape Hpa, was put in by the Japanese as Administrator of the State. Throughout the Japanese occupation North Hsenwi was not considered part of the Federated Shan States and was administered directly by the Japanese Army.
In 1943 with Sao Yape Hpa the Japanese took out an ex-peditionary forced and entered Kokang with the result that the Myosa of Kokang and his family had to run away to China where they were made much of by the Chinese and by Marshal Chiang Kai-Sheik. From China they were flown into India and apparently extracted promise from the British authorities.
With the liberation the Sawbwagyi of North Hsenwi was called in by Major-General Pearce and was told that he would have to give up Kokang. He was ordered not to make representations either to Government or to Lord Louis Mountbatten.
The Burma Military Administration treated Kokang as a separate State and this position has prevailed up to the present date although legally the secession was not affected.
Edward Yang aka Yang Zhencai (Yang Chi Sai)
In giving evidence before the Frontier Areas Committee of Enquiry, Yang Chi Sai, son of the Kokang Myosa, made it clear that the wanted to be free from North Hsenwi but the unanimous report regarding this particular question was that Kokang should remain a sub-state of North Hsenwi. As a result of this decision that position between Kokang and North Hsenwi became rather strained and a with a view to settling the matter, a meeting was arranged between the Sawbwagyi of North Hsenwi and Yang Kyi Sai. They had preliminary talks among themselves and at the meeting before me a full discussion took place and I append below a memorandum recorded at the meeting. The position in short is that the Sawbwagyi of North Hsenwi taking into account all the facts prevailing in this case has agreed that Kokang should form a separate state, the only condition being that the Kunlong ferry be maintained by the Kokang state and that it should be auctioned in the presence of officials from both North Hsenwi and Kokang. The profits of the ferry will be shared equally by the two states.
Point for decision. Should Kokang be permitted to form a State separate from North Hsenwi and to be an individual state in the Shan State?
Everybody who knows the Shan States feel that a dissatisfied Kokang would indeed be a very vulnerable spot along the Chinese border. As pointed out 90 percent are Chinese and what they really want is not amalgamation with China but to remain in the Shan States Federation as a unit independent from North Hsenwi.
I have consulted various people who know the situation and also my brother chiefs and the unanimous opinion is that recognition be accorded to Kokang as a separate state within the Shan States Federation.
With the exception of Mongpai whose position has not yet been clarified I can think of no other territory which can have similar claims for secession from a State. Kokang’s position is unique in that the people are not Shans but Chinese.
(Sao Khun Hkio)
Frontier Areas Administration
GOVERNMENT OF BURMA
FRONTIER AREAS ADMINISTRATION
Date the 25th August 1947
The question of instituting a separate Kokang State was discussed in the presence of the Hon’ ble Counselor by the Sawbwa of North Hsenwi (Sao Hom Hpa) and Yang Kyi Sai, son of the Myosa of Kokang. The Tawngpeng Sawbwa, Thamakan Sawbwa, U Tun Myint, U Tun Ohn, U Kya Bu, U Kyaw Dun, Sao Boon Waat and U Myint Thein were present.
It is agreed that Kokang has a population of 90 percent Chinese and the Sawbwagyi taking into consideration all the circumstances prevailing in the case has no objection to the secession of Kokang from the State of North Hsenwi.
Two proposals are put up by him:-
(1) That Kokang remains within the North Hsenwi/State as a sub-state with full powers of governing itself.
(2) That Kokang surrenders the three areas circles west of the Salween and that it becomes a separate state independent of North Hsenwi in respect of the areas east of the Salween.
The condition however is that the Kunlong ferry be maintained by the Kokang State but that is should be auctioned in the presence of one official from North Hsenwi and one official from Kokang. The Kokang State will be responsible for the maintenance of the ferry, the proceeds to be shared equally by the two States.
The second proposal is accepted by Yang Kyi Sai.
The Sawbwa further mentions that he should be compensated for the loss of his territory which involves revenue and his suggestion is that a portion of the Wa States be added on to Monglun and that the western portion of Monglun should be ceded to South Hsenwi and that the Northern portion of South Hsenwi be ceded to North Hsenwi. Alternatively the Sawbwagyi would like to be considered for financial compensation.
But bearing in mind the prevailing circumstances the Sawbwagyi, although he would like to be compensated, does not insist upon such compensation but merely wishes to point out that he deserves compensation. He does not wish to stand in the way of the desire of the people of Kokang to set up an independent state as the population as already stated above is 90 percent Chinese. He would like to avoid any international complications and if the situation could be saved by acceding to the wishes of the Kokang people he is prepared to do so. And further the Sawbwagyi would like to have it recorded that if the Kokang State should at any time desire to give up their right of administering their State he would welcome them back.
Note: Minutes as recorded above read out and acknowledged as correct by those present.
At least one villager was killed, while three were injured and another five arrested by the Burma Army on Saturday in northern Shan State’s Lashio Township, according to a local source.
According to the resident of Mong Yaw sub-township, who wished to remain anonymous, a unit of Tatmadaw [Burmese military troops] pulled into the village of Long Mon in about five trucks and suddenly opened fire.
“They fired near the maize fields while villagers were still working,” said the source. “When people heard the sound of shooting, they tried to run away.”
He said that three female villagers were injured by gunfire, and were taken to the local hospital in Mong Yaw.
“After unloading their guns, the soldiers began stopping and questioning drivers as they passed by,” he said. “One man was shot dead at the check point. However his body is still missing.”
The Burma Army allegedly ordered farmers who were trying to run for cover to line up by the side of the road for questioning. Most were later allowed to go home, but five villagers were reportedly taken into custody. They were named as: Aik Hseng, 23; Aik Lod, 39; Aik Maung, 27; Sai Mon Awn, 17; and Sai Aik Maung, 23.
The eyewitness said that the shooting happened at about 2 p.m. He said that the battalion responsible was from Lashio, and that they sported a logo of a gun and sword on their uniforms, with the words Ja Ma Ya 10 on the other side.
Reached for comment by SHAN, Sai Wan Leng Kham, an Upper House representative from the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), said that it was reported to him that fighting took place in that area on June 25. Therefore, he said, his team went to investigate the area the following day.
Sai Wan Leng Kham said he had reported news of the five arrests to a senior level of the Burmese military. However, he had not received a response to date.
“The Burma Army has apparently denied arresting those people. They said they released everyone,” said the Mong Yaw source. “But those villagers have still not returned home.”
A number of armed groups are actively operating in the Mong Yaw area, among them: Manpang Peoples Militia, led by Bo Mon; the Kachin Defense Army (KDA) People's Militia, led by Matu Naw; the Kachin Independence Army (KIA); the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA); and the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA).
BY Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN)
|Khun Kya Bu|
The Memoirs of Khun Kya Bu of Hsipaw
Signatory to the Panglong Agreement.
These memoirs, originally in Burmese, took a period of two years to write. They were completed in 1978, when Khun Kya Bu was already 81 and nearing the end of his life. He died on May 31, 1980.
|Khun Kya Oo|
I had initially wanted to translate the
wholo work, but after re-reading it. I
realized that it would be an enormous task, not least because of my deficiency
both in English and Burmese. Nevertheless, I thought many things written in it
ought to be told to the Shan People, and particularly to those who are
interested in Shan affairs, both abroad and at home. I have therefore tried to
present it in the form of a summary, which I hope will satisfy some and fire
others with enthusiasm to learn more from this truly important work.
|Khun Kya Nu|
I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the late Khun Kya Bu for his invaluable parting of knowledge and experience, and to his sons, Khun Kya Oo and Khun Kya Nu, for their comments and encouragement.
March 1, 1993
Khun Kya Bu begins his memoirs with the words “Shanland is a separate entity from Burma. It has existed without being part of Burma. However, we became British slaves at the same time as the Burmese—while they fell under British sovereignty, the Shans fell under British suzerainty.
He goes on to say that through the British annexation, the Shans lost two-thrids of their territories to the Burmese, including Mawlake, Sawngsob (Thaungthut), Wiangsurh (Wuntho), Kardsar (Katha), Banmaw (Bhamo), Mongyang (Moe Hnyin) and Mongkawng (Moegaung) in the north, and an area to the east of the Sittaung named Salween Division which stretches as far as Martaban and Kyawknyat, Shwekyin, Pay (Prome)and Taikkyi on the Irrawaddy delta.
The British, and later the Japanese, knew well that the Shans were a separate entity. That was why under the British, Burma had become a colony and the Shan States a subordinate ally and protectorate, a fact supported by Clarence Hendershot in his The conquest, pacification, and administration of the Shan States by the British (1886-1897). The Japanese, especially Premier Tojo, and the officials involved in Burma affairs, Col Nagata and Mr Ichi, had recognized the Shans status. At a speech made by Tojo on January 28, 1943, on the occasion of granting independence to Burma, he said: “With regards to the territorial composition of the New State of Burma, it is to include the whole territory of Burma with the exception of Shan and Karenni areas.” However, the theater commanders, bowing to the vigorous lobbying of the Burmese, went on to include the Shan States and the Karennis in Burmese territory, with the exception of Mongpan and Kengtung, which were transferred to the Thais for the duration of the War.
Several comments by foreign travelers concerning the Shans, are also quoted:
“The Shans have no desire for worldly riches though they are rich in minerals.”
“Shans are the most peace-loving people, who trust everybody and envy nobody.”
Shan festivities were attended by youths armed with muskets and swords. Foreigners were struck by the fact that they were watched over by a mere handful of policemen, who were each armed with only a whistle and a baton and yet managed to keep ugly incidents at bay.
The Shans were also mentioned as good fighters, especially under able commanders. One example was the successful repulse of the 1449 Chinese invasion at Banmaw (Bhamo) under the generalship of the Prince of Mongkawng.
According to Khun Kya Bu, the Shans were treated with esteem by the British. He mentions the invitation by Queen Victoria to Sao Khun Hseng, the Prince of Hsipaw, in 1898 to visit the court of England and how he was received with courtesy as befitted a ruler of an independent state. British officials in the Shan States also took care they remained only in an advisory role. “Although they had the upper hand, in order to win the Shans hearts they never imposed their authority.”
The interstate motor roads were completed in 1896, barely ten years after the annexation. “Most of the roads we are using today are handed down from that period,” he added with feeling.
The British had also honored the Shan written language. In their coins, paper currency, steamers and railway stations, Shan letters could be seen alongside those of English and Burmese. These were however omitted after independence. Still, the odd thing was Shan was not taught at government operated schools. Only English and Burmese were taught. The British were in a way helping the Burmese cause by trying to integrate, rather than segregate as many believe, the Shans and the other non-Burmese into Burmese society. “Nevertheless, through the conscious efforts of the Shan monastic order, 65% of the local population was reported to have learned to read and write.”
He describes with relish how a Frontier resident, Mr Franklin, was transferred immediately after the local people filed a complaint to his superiors that he forcefully pulled down the Shan national flag in the silver mining town of Namtu on March 5, 1947. (It was first designated on February 11, 1947.)
In this way, the British won the Shans’ admiration and loyalty. Many Shans went to fight alongside British soldiers during WWⅠin France, Egypt and then in Asia Minor – an area which nowadays includes most of Turkey, Iran and Iraq. However, he remembers only two of them: Captain Khun Oong and Sergeant Zampa.
During the British retreat from Burma, the Shan contingents had been given the toughest mission – to guard the rear. Their courage was proved in the battles of the Sittang crossing, Pyinzalok-Penwagon, and Oketwin Railway Station. The late Sao Htun Yin of Nawnngmawn, who participated there, was decorated for his distinguished valor shown during the later Battle of Imphal-Kohima.
He also quotes a newspaper report about anti-Japanese Shan fighters which is reproduced here:
MOVEMENT AGAINST FASCIST JAPAN IN SHAN STATES
(New Times of Burma, in its issue of 23 November 1946, published the following accounts of what Force 136 did.)
GUERRILLA WARFARE BEHIND JAPANESE LINES
Capt. J. E. Smallwood, in an address to the Roya, Central Assian Society in London, on the 20th November 1946, spoke thus:
“They (Force 136) proved a real thorn in the side of the Japanese and the Siamese lines of communications in Northeast Burma. Rank and file were mainly made up of Shans and Kachins for whom the British officers in charge has the highest praise.
The levies as an urganized forced were no match against regular troops, but operating as guerrillas in the native jungle, there were no troops to touch them.
Although we armed our levies, as they were called, with rifles or sub-machine guns, they were much happier with a dah or long-bladed knife, usually used for clearing the jungle, and it was with these weapons that they did most of the damage.”
Shan weaknesses were not glossed over either. He quotes Sao Saimong Mangrai:
“Shans are ready and willing to accept a powerful arbitration from outside, but would perish rather than submit to their own kind, even for the sake of unity.”
“Shans lack cohesion. Their intense individuality has prevented the formation of a strong Tai state.”
In their relationships with the Burmese, he has credited the Shans as being loyal friends, willing to fight and die for the Burmese using their own resources. History proves, he says, that the Burmese managed to lose their kingdoms through their own traitors despite Shan willingness and readiness to help.
It was the Shans who had successfully broken down the defenses of Siamese capital of Ayutthaya (in 1767), which were passed over to the Burmese troops. The Shans were just glad that it was over and they would be back home with their families soon.
It was the Shans again who had, after the election of the new Shan States Council, which in effect became the Shan parallel government, called for the Panglong Conference on their own initiative and paid for its expenses. This fact is often overlooked by people who benefitted from it.
It was also the Shans with their Levies, and with their Foreign Minister, Sao Khun Khio, who came to the rescue of the Burmese Government besieged in Rangoon by their own rebellious people in 1949.
However, the history of Burma --“full of legends and lies,” according to some foreign historians—failed to appreciate this (the Shans’ role). In fact, the downward turn of the history of the Shans began with their admission of Brahmas (i.e. the Bamars or the Burmese) from India.
In 1881, the Burmese set up their garrisons in Lashio, Mongpai, Mongnai and Kengtung to oversee the Saofahs. Every commodity was taxed, and requisitions for the military supplies had to be fulfilled. Porters of both sexes were continually demanded. Also to satisfy their greed, gambling had been encouraged. (Commentator’s Note: This practice is still continuing today.)
It seems difficult, if not impossible, for the Burmese and especially the Shans to regard each other as fellow nationals. Khun Kya Bu tells us of his reading of Thakin Kodawhmaing’s biography, which tells of how he invited the Prince of Yawnghwe to become his Chief Minister. The Thakin, still one of the most revered among the Burmese, however declined the offer because he was determined not to serve “under foreign rule.”
During WWⅡ , many Chinese civilians in lower Burma had fled to the north in anticipation of the Japanese thrust from Thailand. These were many incidents of their being robbed, raped and murdered on the way by the lawless Burmese. When the Chinese troops marched down, they look their revenge on the Burmese populace. People were stopped on the way and questioned as to their nationalities. All the “Pai-yis” (Shans) were allowed to move on, but the “Lao Mien” (Burmese) were summarily executed. The only magic charm against these mishaps seemed to be the word “Pai-yi”, and Khun Kya Bu, with barely concealed glee, tells us how the Burmese populace memorized these words in order to save extricate themselves from their predicament.
If July 19, 1947, is the blackest day for the both Burmese and Shans alike, the next day was no less blacker. Sao Sarm Htun, the Prince of Mongpawn, who was among the wounded during the assassination of Aung San was taken with the others to the General Hospital in Rangoon. His Karen personal assistant personally carried him there. Apart from being unable to speak, because of the bullet wound in his chin, he was conscious and in good spirits when last seen. “But no one was allowed to see him. They just told me he was all right, that there was nothing to worry about him. Then the next day, it was announced that he died from his wounds.”
Khun Kya Bu is really bitter here. He does not reveal the Karen PA’s name for obvious reasons, because he was submitting his memoirs to the Burma Socialist Program Party. Nor does he disclose what is on his mind, when he tells us about this incident also for obvious reasons, but all the implications are there for us to see.
He recalls that the situation in the post-Independence days was so bad that one non-Burmese colonel came down to Rangoon in anger and told a meeting:
“I suggest that to get things right, each of the nationalities do only what they are good at. Let the Chins and Kachins, who are good at fighting, handle defense matters. Let the Shans and Karennis, who are honest rulers, handle administrative affairs. As for you Burmese, as you are good at fine arts, you should just be responsible for that. Everything will then be straightened out and return to normal.”
The above may be too much for some Burmese. However, Khun Kya Bu has reserved his wholehearted praise for one Burmese – Aung San. He tells us how Aung San on his arrival in Taunggyi, after his return from London, admitted to the Shans gathered at the town soccer field his fault in not including Shan representatives in his delegation. Khun Kya Bu gives full marks to Aung San for his courage. (The Shan States Council had set a telegram to London that the Burmese delegation did not represent Shan interests, which almost jeopardized Aung San’s negotiation with the H.M Government.)
Aung San, he says, was an advocate for Federalism. At the Anti Fascist People’s Freedom League (AFPFL). Conference in May 1947, prior to the convening of the Constituent Assembly, Aung San told the Conference he was opposed to the unitary system of Government. Khun Kya Bu then gives us a copy of Aung San’s full speech when he laid down the Seven Directives for the drafting of the Constitution. At one point, he definitely said it should not be a “unitary constitution.”
Khun Kya Bu also mourns the death of Brigadier Tin Htut, Commander of the Hill People’s Force, who was killed by a bomb blast during the turbulent post independence rebellions. Apart from Aung San, he was the only Burmese who won the Shans’ trust. Referring to the Burmese leadership in general, Khun Kya Bu states: “This is what happens when people who have never gotten hold of money, power, weapons and position, get hold of them.”
Towards the end of the narrative, he lectures his Burmese readers: “You have to be responsible for your actions and their outcome. One ought not to pass the blame onto others.”
He then, concludes with a moving Greek poem probably composed during the resistance against the Turkish invasion:
The mountains looked on to me
And I myself looked upon the plains
And musing there an hour along
I dreamed that we might still be free
For slanding on the aggressor’s grave
I could not deem myself a slave