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Riposte to Article in EBO Briefing Paper No.

8, dated August 2013

(August 15, 2013) Virulently attacking the UNFC organized Ethnic Nationality Conference, which was held to enhance the National Reconciliation and Peace Building process of the non-Burman ethnic resistance forces and the political opposition, the Euro-Burma Office (EBO) reared its ugly head again. With a sprinkling of twisted facts, half-truths and perverted logic, worthy of Nazi propaganda, in an article titled Analysis of the UNFC Position it slanders the UNFC and accuses the UNFC of trying to represent all the ethnic nationality forces, playing a dangerous game and with imprudence. Previously, by using the media it maliciously attacked the Nippon Foundationi, which is providing humanitarian assistance to the hapless IDPs, seeking refuge in the most deleterious conditions in jungles, in the resistance areas. It was a brazen attempt to curry favor with those who have caused the very humanitarian problems. By using the MPC people and other means, it is still pressuring the Nippon Foundation to limit its humanitarian activities. Since its formation in 1997, the EBO and its craven followers have increasingly attempted, time and again, to highjack the freedom movement of the non-Burman nationalities of Burma/Myanmar, through liberal use of cash and brainwashing with the ideology of Appeasement and Development. The Appeasement and Development political lineii, and divisive strategy of EBO, have caused confusion and weakening of unity within the movement, because the Appeasement and Development political line calls for all the non-Burman nationalities to submit tamely to agenda of the racists and chauvinists, in power. This same political line had helped the SPDC military dictatorship to isolate the KNU and KNPP in 1994 and concentrate its military might to wipe out the two resistance forces for 17 long years, without success. Now, it has helped the military-dominated government to isolate the KIOiii, an organization of one of our fellow oppressed nationalities. The non-Burman nationality resistance as well as the democratic organizations, in exile, initially welcomed EBO as a funding NGO with an agenda to help the ethnic cause, but when it started to pander to chauvinism of some nationalities, divide the unity between the non-Burman nationality and the democratic opposition forces, engage in fear mongering, push for surrender and try to highjack the freedom movement, most opposition forces, the ethnic as well as the democratic, shied away from it, except a few opportunist individuals and some CBO organizations. It is similar in the case of the UNFC. At its formation, the UNFC allowed EBO to co-fund some meetings and conferences, with the active participation of ENC, which is an ethnic umbrella organization based on states, and which still is liberally funded and used by the EBO. However, when EBO and its followers tried to highjack the freedom movement of the non-Burman nationalities by using the WGEC, supposedly a work group for ethnic coordination, the UNFC had to part ways without loss of love on its part. The UNFC position with regard to EBO is Just do not try to own or highjack the freedom movement of the non-Burman nationalities and the democratic forces, and all can cooperate and coordinate for bringing genuine national reconciliation and peace in the country. At one point, the article says, The UNFC Ethnic Conference has rejected the governments offer for talks without seriously offering any practical alternative other than a return to war. It is a dangerous game. This is fear mongering and pure libel against the UNFC, which has always called for resolution of political problems by political means, or through talks. However, the

UNFC adheres to the principles of undertaking meaningful dialogue, collective bargaining for collective rights, systematic approach and security for all. The UNFC has to uphold its policy of One for All and All for One. The Federal Union Army the UNFC has in mind is an entity to serve as a model military establishment for the future Federal Union all of us have in mind. It is to be an army to defend the Union, and part of a concept for lasting peace and stability in the country. An army based of chauvinistic ideology has been the curse of our situation almost since the time of independence. The UNFC is at a loss to understand why EBO wants everyone to respect and protect the 2008 Constitution, which was fraudulently drafted and adopted by the previous military dictatorship. It is designed to perpetuate the military, or rather the racists hold on power. Some constitutional experts view Burmas problem as a constitutional crisis and rightly so. All three Constitutions of the country favor racists and chauvinists to monopolize political power, resulting in political, social and economic instability and the civil war, since the time of independence in 1948. The EBO should not forget that there are such things as legitimacy and legality. We have to question all laws if they are legitimate or just self-serving for a handful in the society. The socalled reform going on in Burma now must include the review and reform of our political culture also. We have to build up our courage and that of the people to repudiate all repressive laws infringing on human rights and democratic freedom. In its criticism, the EBO questions the refusal of the UNFC to go to Rangoon/Yangon for a meeting with the MPWC and choosing to hold talks in a neutral venue, instead. This is also a question of legitimacy, sincerity and not forgetting the recent history. So far, we have not seen the government stop completely its war against the KIO, TNLF etc. and even against some groups which have signed ceasefire agreement, or lift the repressive laws, such as the Illegal Association Act. 17 (1) & (2). We should not forget that all the ethnic leaders and democratically elected government members, including PM U Nuiv, were thrown into prison in 1962, at a time when they were holding meetings on federalism and genuine democracy. The UNFC has strong suspicion that the government is copiously soft-soaping some ceasefire groups, because its investment driven war against the KIO has gone awry. The government troops in the field had openly boasted to wipe out the KIO in ten days, as it was able to wipe out the MNDAA (Kokan) in three days. Now, the war has gone on for more than 2 years, with a tremendous cost in terms of human lives, materials and money. To rub salt in the wounds of the resistance movement, some government agencies are accusing the KIO and its allies as hardliners and not wanting peace. The previous military dictatorship had alleged the KNU of being the same, when the KNU had to fight for survival in isolation, for 17 years. It is a critical time for all the people in Burma, especially the non-Burman nationalities of the country, who have suffered long enough. It is a time to build enough unity, if total unity is impossible, to continue struggling and achieve national reconciliation and peace. If EBO is for genuine national reconciliation and lasting peace, the UNFC would have no problem to work with it. In fact, it welcomes EBO criticism, if it is well meaning. After all, criticism or freedom of speech is part of the democratic culture and system, the right of the minority, and a good way for encouraging positive reform. However, at a time when the divide-and-rule policy is still actively pursued and some of us have to carry on active resistance, no one should engage in criticism with malicious intent and in infighting.

Perhaps, EBO should ditch the idea that the resistance of non-Burman nationalities has been a hindrance to peace. It is an idea introduced by some European NGOs with a superficial knowledge of our country. They most probably assume that the 7 major non-Burman nationalities form only 30% of the entire populationv. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons for some EU NGOs to try to impose forcefully the ideology of Appeasement and Development on the non-Burman nationalities movement. However, the UNFC study has shown that the non-Burman nationalities form more than 60% of the entire population. The UNFC knows that many big and not-so-big powers such as India, China, Japan, US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, Australia, tiny Singapore and even the unlikely Ceylon have an interest in Burma for economic, commercial, security and cultural reasons. Maybe, it is part of the globalization movement, but it calls for all of us to be extremely careful, since we are only small pawns, including the military-dominated government, in the global situation, if we do not want to become colonial subjects again. The EBO followers love to allege that the UNFC has no strategy. They produce a number of studies, most of which are shallow. They are seemingly blinded by greed, aggression and total lack of conscience. A catch phrase they like to use is Politics is Dirty. They fail to realize that power politics, or what is called party politics is normally dirty, but the politics of liberation and resistance is noble and true. In many cases, it is necessary to keep a large part of the strategy secret. The superficial or subjective study of conditions by the EBO followers has led them to reach the false conclusion that the UNFC has no strategy. If they continue to adhere to superficial study, it is possible for them to reach only false conclusions. Probably their allegations are tactics in accordance with their mindset of Politics is Dirty and an attempt to ferret out the UNFCs secret strategy. Road maps, principles and guidelines, however, can be made public. The UNFC has adopted the so-called Political Framework for Dialogue as its Road Map. The UNFC Principles and Guideline for National Reconciliation and Peace are as follows.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Love Your Enemy; Uphold Freedom, Truth and Justice; Harbor No Vengeance; Be Cautious and Wise; Empower the People;

(1) The moral of Love Your Enemy is to enable us to put ourselves in the shoes of the

enemy. Only then, will we be able to know the real character, concerns and mindset of the enemy and find a viable solution to conflict and the problem of peace building. Also, it would facilitate finding a compromise solution and implementation of the idea of fighting the ideology rather than elimination of the human enemy. (2) For peace to last or to be eternal, it has to be based on Freedom, Truth and Justice. In our particular case, the people and each nationality must have the rights to pursue life, happiness and self-development, equality and self-determination, a fair share of political power, wealth and economic opportunity, within the framework of a suitable federal political system. Truth and Justice must be served, or made sure to be served, in the transition period for national reconciliation. (3) The principle of harboring no Vengeance is a corollary to Love Your Enemy. For true national reconciliation to happen, the idea of taking vengeance by all stake holders is out of

the question. All sides have to be in a moral condition to forgive completely those who have committed injustices, knowingly or unknowingly. However, we vigorously have to call for halting all kinds of human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity, when the situation for national reconciliation still has not emerged. (4) Caution and Wisdom calls for mindfulness of lessons learned from the past and taking a principled course of action for gaining the political aims and objectives. Seeking peace through dialogue is war without bloodshed. We have to trust cautiously and act collectively, in order to avoid making the same mistakes of the past. (5) Empowerment of the people is one of the most important tasks of the resistance and opposition forces. There is no possibility of a struggle similar to the Cold War breaking out again in the world, and militarism and dictatorships are on the wane, everywhere. However, empowerment of the people politically and economically will be necessary to wipe out remnants and legacies of nearly half a century of militarism, and prevent the rise of militarism and dictatorship in our midst again.

The Nippon Foundation is a Japanese humanitarian NGO, which is helping IDPs and refugees in ASEAN countries. Its aim in Burma is to help smooth the national reconciliation and peace process. ii The appeasement and development political line has been formulated by some EU political NGOs to substitute socialism and communism, probably with a vision of creating a new World Order, or simply it is a form of neo-colonialism. By the way, for the ideology of development to succeed, experts have found that there must be good governance, strong administrative mechanism and reliable institutions. iii After isolating the KNU and KNPP, the SPDC military dictatorship accused them of being hard-lined and war mongers. Now the military led government is doing the same against the KIO. iv It is relevant to note that PM U Nu and his Union Party won a landslide victory in the 1960 elections. However, that did not prevent power-mad and war-monger Gen. Ne Win and his cohorts to seize State power, launch a colonial like war against all the non-Burman nationalities. v The false population data started with the 1931 census, in which all the Karen on the plains, Mon, Arakanese etc. Buddhists were recorded as Burman by the census takers in the field, who were mainly Burman. It was probably a politically motivated act. In those days, not less than 70%, 95% and 99% of the Karen, Mon and Arakanese respectively were Buddhists. All the census figures published later are projections mainly on the 1931 census figures.