To President Obama: Wrong message if you only meet your counterpart and The Lady

They say there are two sides to every question. But when it comes to Burma/Myanmar, there are three sides: military supremacy, democracy and state rights.

Barack Obama
Many people like to think democracy is the heart of the matter. Support reform and support democracy and the problem of state rights will be resolved by itself. That the premise is false is proven by the historical fact that Burma was, from Independence in 1948 to 1962, a democracy before the military took over.

If President Obama, therefore, is planning to meet only President Thein Sein (who represents the reformist military) and Aung San Suu Kyi (who represents democracy), he will only be conveying a message wide off the mark.

The President, with all due respect, should also meet one of the prominent representatives from the non-Burman states, even if for 5 minutes. That will send a powerful message that a federal democracy like the United States, and not just a parliamentary democracy that the country is following, is the answer to its problems.

The United States’ federal democracy had unified the 13 former British colonies. It has withstood the test of time and trouble for more than 200 years. Moreover, many other countries have successfully followed the example of the United States. Burma can be the same if its leaders are not afraid to be open-minded and are willing to learn from past mistakes.

Our urgent suggestion therefore is that you ask your advisers to pick up a name from among the non-Burman public figures who are not from either President Thein Sein’s party or The Lady’s.

Shan activist Charm Tong with President George W. Bush on 31 October 2005 at the White House. (Photo: TN)

It doesn’t matter whether this non-Burman representative is an eloquent speaker like Ms Charm Tong, a Shan activist whom your predecessor had met twice or a tongue-tied guy like (I won’t say who). Your message will already have been given to all those concerned, loud and clear.

What remains is they all act upon it.


Allwebsitetools © 2014 Shan Herald Agency for News All Rights Reserved