Re: "Can non-Burma Unite?, SHAN, 19 July 2013

My answer to this question is of course, they can, and they must if they are to survive. But, if they should leave it any longer, it will be too late and they will lose everything. Some superpower, like the UK seems to be legitimizing and accepting the Burmese dictatorial army as the legitimate army of Burma, instead of treating it as the enemy of the people, and perpetrator of heinous human rights violations against the citizens, since 1962 until now.

Human beings have differences and similarities, and if they can accept this then they can learn to respect each other's differences, and still unite to work together on things that are similar to  their needs, e.g the Karen and Shan are of two different ethnicity, different in the language they speak and the religion they worship, but they also have similar needs:  to live peacefully in their own homelands, ethnic rights, freedom from the control of the dictatorial regime, equality, self-determination, and genuine democracy and federation. When working for similar needs, they are voluntarily fighting for a common cause. The goal is reached when the cause has been accomplished.

We have seen that Unity doesn't mean uniting in everything, race, religion, culture and thoughts. But the dictators believe that unity can be achieved only when people living in Myanmar are similar in everything, one Myanmar race, one language, one culture and one religion. During the fifty years of their rule they have forced and brain-washed citizens to have the same ideology as themselves. Those who differed from their belief were punished; while the non- Burmese who do not comply to become one of them were killed and murdered, including ethnic cleansing and genocide. Although using brute force did not get them what they wanted, they have not yet given up. The civilian government is using the army to do the job for them.

The ethnic nationalities could have been stronger and even beaten the dictators at their own games if only they had realized that all of them wanted the same things, and resisted the regime rule for the same reasons. Instead, of taking their common cause as a priority to unite, they chose to make their differences more important, and allowed them to become a barrier to unite and fight as a unit..

I hope all the ethnic nationalities have realized by now that they cannot expect foreign governments to become involved in solving the political crisis of Burma. Most of them are interested only in what they can get out of Burma for their own economy and benefit.

First and foremost unity must come within the people in each of their own state, Shan State, Karen State, Kachin State etc., and then amongst inter-states. All citizens should know what they are fighting for, why and who the enemy is. There isn’t any point in shouting “We must unite” or grumbling “we are not united”, when most people don’t know where, what and why they should unite.

All leaders of the Resistance armies should have continual connection and consultation with each other, and also with the politicians and civil societies. Together they should draw up a good plan and strategy. One should know what the other is doing at all times. Openness and trust go together.

Unity is working together as one unit, and speaking with one voice and one aim for the benefit of all concerned.. Only if the ethnic nationalities can rearm themselves with a new found courage, unity, strength, hope, and aspiration will they be able to achieve their goal. The survival of their homelands and people depend on the unity of all non-Burman ethnic nationalities.

If they work separately, they will lose their way and perish, and all the suffering, and hard work they as well as those who have passed away, have put in will all be for nothing.

Good luck and may the non -Burman ethnic nationalities decide to do the right thing soon. Unite for the common cause, and please fight to win.

From S.N. Oo


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