23st Alternative edition of New Light of Myanmar

editor in chief: James Russell Brownwood
Established 2008

Alternative
Volume XVII, Number 243@ 14th Waning of Nadaw 1371 ME Tuesday, 15 December, 2009
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INSIDE
To join or not to join
I think the opinions on the 2010 elections are ambiguous: on one side everyone wants to escape from the dictatorial repression as much as possible and thus may think it is best to participate in the elections. On the other side it is contradictory to have to accept the junta's rules in order to participate in the elections and to accept that the result will never be 100% of what one would desire: 100% elected representatives, no 25% unelected military representation. An additional practical issue is the impossibility to fully participate while many main leaders are politically imprisoned.
Page 2 JAMES RUSSELL BROWNWOOD

HIV Information for Myanmar [him]
HIV Information for Myanmar [him] is a weblog and email list that is updated daily. If you have email access and an interest in the response to HIV in Burma then send a message to HIV.Information.for.Myanmar@gmail.com to become a new subscriber. If you have internet access the weblog version of [him] is at http://him.civiblog.org HIV Information for Myanmar [him] tries to get closer to truth because, as U Thant pointed out over forty years ago, "in times of war and of hostilities the first casualty is truth".

Aung San Suu Kyi

Than Shwe, above the law, escapes conviction for genocide, crimes against humanity, while Aung San Suu Kyi has been convicted for offering hospitality to a stranger; all that because of the junta's excessive, rigid, invalid, unfair and undue laws and orders.
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THE ALTERNATIVE NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR Tuesday, 15 December, 2009

To join or not to join
James Russell Brownwood
04mar+14aug+25sep2009 Rigged elections (04mar2009) What is to be expected from the upcoming 2010 elections? Will they be fair? Won't they be rigged? Won't they be manipulated? I think those elections will be as fake as the 2008 referendum. First of all many opposition parties may not be involved for logical reasons that I already explained in detail in my article "To oppose or to compromise", published in the 13th and 14th @NLMs of 14 and 24 November 2008 (see website below). Hence the results of the elections never will be a representative reflection of the people and what they actually would like to vote. Secondly, knowing the junta by now, they just will fool and deceive everyone again, as they always have done. Before the 2008 Referendum I have declared their results as invalid and I'll do the same with the 2010 elections: its results will be invalid and should not be recognised by anyone. Junta supporters blame the NLD (or the opposition in general) for not wanting to participate in the upcoming 2010 elections. It would show their lack of cooperation, their lack of "pity for the poor citizens", their lack of experience and quality to rule the country democratically, their incapability to improve the country economically and their lack of a feeling of responsibility for the people and the country. The NLD (LA) and other opposition parties would only be interested in their own power and not so much in the fate of the Burmese people. These views of course represent wishful thinking, hoping that the opposition will not compete, hoping that they will be intimidated sufficiently to indeed refrain from participating. In such a case the junta would be able to say that the opposition has no moral right to raise its voice anymore, it had its chance and didn't take it. That situation should preferably be avoided, rigging or not. Broken promises The junta would like to urge the prodemocracy forces to co-operate with the SPDC. Well, it could be put the other way around as well: I rather would urge the SPDC to bilaterally cooperate with the opposition. Until know the SPDC has shown its unwillingness to enter into reconciliation (note the difference with 'reconsolidation') talks with the opposition, where the opposition (e.g. Aung San Suu Kyi) has always shown its preparedness to start those. It is the SPDC that is rigid, stubborn and only wants others to accept its conditions. I want the SPDC to be flexible and bend in the first place. Only then substantial progress can be made. (25sep2009) I wish I would have positive expectations of the 2010 elections. Unfortunately I don't due to the past experience we have with the credibility of the junta. The so-called improvements are rather disputable. Cease-fires with ethnic, armed groups sometimes have been forced or reached using deception. Ethnic groups not having agreed to a cease-fire (returning to the "legal fold", becoming border guards) risk and face being violently attacked by the Tatmadaw. The 2008 Referendum on the Constitution was very much rigged as we all know. What may we expect from the promises of the junta regarding the To join or not to join elections? Does one remember what happened in 1990? Broken promises! (14aug2009) What consequences may all this I think the opinions on the 2010 have to the preparations (if any) of various elections are ambiguous: on one side opposition parties for the 2010 elections? everyone wants to escape from the Making clear that the junta should leave, or dictatorial repression as much as possible at least does not make (a 25%) part of a next and thus may think it is best to participate in government and else not participating? Or the elections. On the other side it is making the best of it, participating in the contradictory to have to accept the junta's elections as prescribed and foreseen by the rules in order to participate in the elections junta, and see what happens? A difficult and to accept that the result will never be dilemma as Burma still is in the phase of 100% of what one would desire: 100% repression by the dictators, who have the elected representatives, no 25% unelected physical power and the arms and can do as military representation. An additional they like. And if wanting to participate, how practical issue is the impossibility to fully to if many good party members are participate while many main leaders are politically jailed? Of course the junta politically imprisoned. deliberately puts its opponents in such a weak and vulnerable position. One might expect the political prisoners to be possibly released after An intermediate solution possibly '2010'. That may be true, but that is 20 years might be to participate in the 2010 elections, too late. The NLM often carries a slogan to prepare for it now, while at the same time "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years continuing to repeat the demand to want a ago, the second best time is now.". I think it government without the junta and, is intended to point to stimulating the especially to the NLD, to want the necessary people's cooperation in building the country, immediate release of all political prisoners. persuading them to follow the government One may also declare to participate under and to stop opposing. But I think it could protest, that is to accept the situation as a also be applied to persuade the junta to status quo for the time being, but that if the admit its past and present mistakes and to situation changes, if the junta in some way release the political prisoners immediately, is ruled out, and that at that time the 2008 they should be released now and not just in referendum, constitution and 2010 elections one or two years. (see page 12)

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THE ALTERNATIVE NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR Tuesday, 15 December, 2009

Duties or crimes
James Russell Brownwood
04mar+14+19aug2009 Main humanitarian crimes of the junta (14+19aug2009) Junta supporters regard the below listed actions of the junta as just the best and necessary legal actions to take in certain circumstances, in order to "maintain peace and stability, law and order", to prevent and combat unrest, rebellion, anarchy, a civil war, possibly disintegration of the country and to control criticism and protest against their policy. Opposition supporters (and the opposition) regard each of the below listed actions more or less criminal acts, unnecessary and unjustified, only to the benefit of the rulers (military leaders and judicial system) for which they have to account some time. It is irresponsible to let this feudal, medieval government continue to exist. Crimes that the junta can be accused of are: 66 different towns and cities across the country. The SPDC responded to the protests with predictable and disproportionate levels of violence despite numerous international calls for restraint. Thousands were arrested, hundreds wounded, and scores are believed to have been killed." <http://www.ncgub.net/article.php?story=20 080309233352689> 4. The (long lasting) detention (mostly without a trial) of Aung San Suu Kyi and the existence of some 2200 political prisoners, including lawyers; 5. The testified, officially reported torture, denial of medical care and murder of political prisoners (genocide); lives could yet have been saved; 10. The lies and deceptions in the state run media about the 1990 elections: Examples of making calculations in the NLMs: 30% = 31% = 38% = 1/3; 15million = 20million = (almost) 21million; 7million = (almost) 8million; "more than 12M were against NLD", whereas only 5.3M valid votes were not NLD; "20% for NLD" based on not eligible, invalid and non- voters too instead of on voters; arbitrary exchange of "eligible voters" (20,818,313), "voters" (15,112,524) and valid voters (13,253,606) in calculations; different calculation methods for NUP and NLD (different 100% amounts) and as a result: "33% NLD vs 20% NUP", while in reality 60% NLD (7,934,622 votes) and 21% NUP (2,805,559 votes), almost 3 times as many for the NLD (resulting in 81% seats). Deception or idiocy. The Big Brother 1+1=3 effect. Responsible people should be fired; 11. The prohibition of personal freedom, freedom of (critical) speech, freedom of press; 12. The child-soldiers recruited by the Tatmadaw. Why can't the junta members be prosecuted in Burma? Doesn't the law have articles to prohibit all that? Isn't the law in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Or only on paper? Criticise and arrest

6. The continuous killing and abusing (raping) of ethnic people and the destruction 1. Detaining ASSK unlawfully during 14 of of their villages by the Tatmadaw the past 20 years without taking (genocide); responsibility for all the (judicial) 7. Chasing ethnic groups out of the country consequences of that detention. (Rohingyas) (genocide). "Rohingyas are not 2. The abuse of an abolished law (from Myanmars" and must leave, junta: "we don't 1974-1988) to get ASSK convicted and put accept them", shoot them into space, away from the political stage for the 2010 whatever. Race discrimination! Comparison elections. 1988: 1974 Constitution annulled, to EU, US and UK is lacking here: "Jews including the 1975 State Security Law (art. are no Europeans, should be murdered 2). The prosecution had testified that the (done), Black Americans are not the original Restriction Order was imposed to restrict ones, imported as slaves from Africa; (or) withdraw her Fundamental Rights as should be sent home. Indians, Pakistanis, stipulated in the 1974 Constitution of the Burmese, etc. from former UK colonies don't belong in UK, should leave forcedly"; Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma. 3. The violent crackdown of peaceful mass demonstrations against the exorbitant raise of fuel prices (Sep 2007) (genocide). The army shot unarmed demonstrators, killed 31, wounded and arrested many. "In August and September 2007, the people of Burma took to the streets in protest of the continued oppressive rule of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). These protests represented the largest overt public display of dissent against the SPDC in 20 years with hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marching in protest in no fewer than 227 separate demonstrations in 8. The breaking of promises from before the elections in 1990 after them. During 1989 the SLORC statements gradually became somewhat obscure and less pronounced. They came back on their promises after the NLD campaigned clearly for basic civil rights, including freedom of expression, publication and assembly;

(04mar2009) If we wouldn't really expect any change in Burma as a result of protests of human rights activists, as a result of the (failed, past and future) diplomatic UN missions to Burma or as a result of the economic sanctions, then should we yet accept to let all kinds of abuse and oppression to go on, should we stop 9. The genocide by restricting foreign and protesting and leave the victims to private, non-governmental domestic themselves? Should we allow the abuse and humanitarian aid after the cyclone Nargis. A repression to continue because we can do lot of international help refused for a long nothing about it? Should we close our eyes, time or indefinitely. Many thousands of (see page 12)

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THE ALTERNATIVE NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR Tuesday, 15 December, 2009

The junta breaks contracts
James Russell Brownwood
01+02sep2009 (01sep2009) The junta breaks the cease-fire agreements Quite recently I questioned: does the junta care for its people? Does the junta really want peace and democracy? Does the junta really want to fulfil everybody's political desire, uninfluenced, not forced, not intimidated, freely expressed? Until now everything points in the opposite direction: continuing imprisonment of political opponents, one-sided breaking cease-fire contracts with (ethnic) armed groups since June 2009 and chasing, expelling tens of thousands of ethnic people out of Burma (over the Chinese border), pogroms, extermination, genocide, neo-Nazism. "National interest" I have heard many times, junta interest; where did I hear that before? Worshipping collectivism, nationalism, patriotism, self-denial. Collective interest over individual interest, collectivism over individualism, communism over socialism, dictatorship over democracy. People are supposed if not forced to sacrifice their life, even while living, for their country. Armed opposition groups are violently forced "to return to the legal fold" or be killed. Is all that government violence necessary to prevent a civil war? Destroying a nation and its inhabitants, the people themselves can't possibly do it more thoroughly? Do we have to believe that? break the cease-fire agreements with them and forcing them "to return to the legal fold". That is no reconciliation, no compromise, no peace, that is forced surrender and expelling (or else extermination), consolidating and reinforcing the position of the junta in the country, continuing the oppression. Not that I am amazed about it, it could be expected from criminals like them. After all, they are plotting all kinds of tricks to rig the elections and its results beforehand. We still should expect many more like tricks in the coming months, especially directed towards the NLD and its leaders. That is how Than Shwe spends his time. themselves and participating in the 2010 elections still is a disputable issue. Of course it would be nice if the junta created such conditions that it would become attractive to join, but I don't see that happen. Examples of such conditions though would be: the release of all political prisoners and allowing international advisors and observers during the election process. Consolidation (01sep2009) It looks like the junta is orchestrating the ideal conditions around the 2010 elections for themselves, not being bothered by opponents, intimidating every national by the physical power of the giant and strongly armed Tatmadaw, letting everyone fear the junta's physical power and will over one's life and death, convincing and forcing everyone to obey the junta blindly, prohibiting freedom and criticism in the broadest sense, eliminating all armed opposition. Peace and stability, according to the junta's notion of it, no compromise, no dialogue, no reconciliation, but negligence of serious attempts by the opposition to concede, brutal oppression, catching critical, but innocent people by the tentacles of the octopus, a black hole, no way out, a hell of a country like in George Orwell's novel "1984". Chasing and silencing, rape and rob, catch and tie, torture and murder, that is the junta's way to force quietness and stability, their notion of law and order, the fabricated and rigid laws and the warlike situations and conditions they create, provoking and justifying international critic and sanctions. The rigging of the 2010 'elections' already has started. Democracy? Terror! Endless terror! Worse than a temporary civil war. The junta is going its own way, already clearly defined. They don't care a bit about the opposition's or international opinion; they laugh at the UN and the puppets of the US government. They go along as it suits them and not an inch further. Than Shwe shapes his own course and everything, everyone has to make way for him. He does not tolerate critic and disobedience. His thoughts are the law and (see page 12)

I don't regard the armed, ethnic groups with cease-fire agreements with the Tatmadaw/SPDC as traitors. Doing business with the junta in the interest of the people (from a specific region) is not wrong or reprehensible. Just as long as those groups keep their identity, strive for their goals, respect their (civil) people's (human rights) and are not manipulated or forced by the SPDC. It is NPT plotting to take their weapons and freedom, weakening those groups, making them puppets of Nay Pyi Taw, obedient and easily manipulated. NPT does not give in but demands from groups like that to give in. That is no equality, no respect, not fair. I rather would like seeing those groups to stay as and where they are, (02sep2009) preparing for once turning over the junta The problem with (some of) the and until then to protect their people as armed, ethnic groups is that their origin and much as possible and to serve as a symbol actions may be disputable, not always of independence, freedom and power to its having behaved according to human rights people. standards. However, goals and means of I very much condemn the tricks of groups and individuals may change over time and currently most of the armed groups the junta that we've seen and those that we exist as an expression of some independence still will see to weaken the position of their of the junta in Nay Pyi Taw, representing, opponents and to intimidate the (ethnic) and if necessary, protecting the ethnic people even more. I don't see any gain for people in their concerning regions, a status those regional, armed groups in joining the of freedom fighters (not rebels or Tatmadaw, much more a loss of physical insurgents). These indeed could transform power, of identity, of status. They directly can form political parties from that position into (regional) political parties. if they want to, instead of or next to their But I think it is completely wrong of armed wings. But I do not say that they the generals in Nay Pyi Taw to one-sided 'should' do so; they have to decide about it

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THE ALTERNATIVE NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR Tuesday, 15 December, 2009

The junta can lift the sanctions!
James Russell Brownwood
27(+28)aug+9oct+18nov2009 The junta can lift the sanctions by themselves During the coming weeks and months we will see whether the junta really cares for its people (or for itself); until now the opposite is apparent. The junta can and should do the first step, not the West. After all the sanctions were largely imposed as a kind of retaliation after not honouring the results of the 1990 elections and making political prisoners, not the other way around. If the junta does not want to cooperate in ending the sanctions they are to blame, they are responsible for the continuation of the poverty and misery in which many Burmese live. Now they should break their isolation from the world. effect the same goals are aimed at via another strategy: dialogue, a means and a goal on itself. I have said before that there are (intended) advantages and (undesired, adverse) disadvantages of those sanctions for the Burmese people. The intended advantages are touching, affecting the despotic rulers, forcing them to respect at least minimal human rights norms, which has hardly been realised. Undesired side effects may be direct and indirect adverse effects on the well-being, the poverty of the common people. Unintended direct effects may be for example unemployment, unintended indirect effects may be due to measures of the government as a result of sanctions or for which the sanctions are used as an excuse. Examples of unintended, indirect side effects are all kinds of goods getting more expensive, tougher oppression (knife on the throat), political prisoners when criticising the government, denial of a large amount of Western humanitarian aid to the cyclone victims. The sanctions, when they began (by the US in 1988 after the violently crushed pro-democracy demonstrations; by the EU in 1996, increased in 2007 after the harsh crackdown of protests) were justified, immediate and clear signs of Western disapproval of the severe oppression in Burma, there is no doubt about that. But in the long term they did not have the intended effect, weakening the position of the generals. Balancing the advantages and the disadvantages, the intended effects and the adverse effects, now has led the US to attempt another approach, which apparently is supported by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. I think that is good for the people and for her and the opposition. It removes an important argument of the junta (and its supporters) against the West and the opposition. Let's wait and see what happens and let's hope for positive developments in Burma, economically and politically, even before '2010'. I support these initial developments. ******** This is a repetition of what already has been said many times, including by me (October 2008): the generals themselves have the power and means to lift the sanctions completely. They are the key to the solution, they can do the right move. Of course the generals did not really put those sanctions into force themselves and they can't lift them directly, but they can indirectly. They created the conditions under which the sanctions were/are provoked and justified and they can change those conditions. The junta should not so much concentrate on the lifting of the Disputing the sanctions sanctions by the West, but the more on the removal of the sanctioned conditions by [18nov2009] themselves. No symptom control but Since the beginning of October combating the source. Aung San Suu Kyi attempts to approach the junta by saying she wants to discuss If the junta really cares for the important matters about Burma with Than Burmese people they should: Shwe or matters around possibly lifting or - immediately release all political prisoners, reducing the economic sanctions with including Aung San Suu Kyi; Western diplomats. Apparently her - resign themselves and transfer power to advances are not received unwillingly and the winner of the latest (1990) elections; she already had talks with Western - possibly reconcile with the opposition to representatives. Her request to meet Than avoid criminal prosecution. Shwe still hasn't been granted. It would involve sacrificing themselves, but they were not elected after all. They only [09oct2009] have to (re)define their priorities: I think it is good that Daw Aung San - the interest of the Burmese population; Suu Kyi (apparently) has changed her mind - the justice for the Burmese people; about the economic sanctions of Western - cooperation with the Burmese people and nations against Burma. It is good if the the opposition; sanctions would be considerably lifted; I - the desire to fulfil the people's wishes, aka think the sanctions involving the denial of democracy; military equipment to the Burmese OR government that could be abused against the - their personal interests in power, wealth, Burmese people, should remain effective. 'adoration'; Furthermore I think Daw Aung San Suu Kyi - their extremely strong desire to suppress knows that she will get attention and be any other competing powers; allowed to talk to Western diplomats if she - their extremely strong desire to prevent announces to reconsider the sanctioning (potential) disintegration and a (potential) measures, showing preparedness to request civil war by way of violent force, fighting relief of the sanctions to the West. It is a one (possible but yet uncertain) evil with means to talk, to be heard, to be active, to another one; promote talks between the junta and the - their fear of being arrested and tried (if West, exactly what is necessary to become they don't reconcile with the opposition, more influential. All of that initially was admitting their mistakes). attempted to be forced the hard way; now What will it be? that does not appear to have the desired

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6

THE ALTERNATIVE NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR Tuesday, 15 December, 2009

To capitulate or to revolt
James Russell Brownwood
18+23+25sep+03nov2009 Internal NLD revolution (03nov2009) Rumours are being spread in the Usenet newsgroup soc.culture.burma about an upcoming rebellion inside the NLD. Younger party members would be dissatisfied about the goals and achievements of the older leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi. They soon would commit a coup, dismiss the existing leadership and take over. These rumours are being spread by one of the junta supporters, reporting about secret gatherings to that purpose, that he claims ot know of. It is suggested that the younger generation would be fed up with the allegedly rigid attitude of the older generation and would like to sail a more constructive and conformist course in the direction of the junta's policy. Whether these rumours are true or may be plausible is not substantiated. And even then the question is, whether the younger ones would be more moderate or just more extreme and ready for action. One way or the other (18sep2009) One fact is clear, which is that the junta supporters apparently attribute a lot of power to the NLD leaders, more than realistically justified perhaps, being able, even from jail, despite prohibition of speech, despite their weakness and being confined, to demand reconciliation talks with the junta. That is very brashly at the point of the Tatmadaw's guns, how dare they. Would one want the younger NLD members to correct for the allegedly feeble attitude of the 'pathetic' NLD leaders? Would one want those NLD members to take up their own responsibility? Would one really want the younger members to choose new leaders from among themselves, who can be decisive, powerful and authoritarian, because they are not jailed? Would one want them to follow their hearts and to carry out their own desires? Would one want them to solve the Burmese problems and to save Burma? Would one want an NLD armed wing? Would one want the younger ones to ignore their current leaders and start a violent revolution against the junta, resulting in a bloody civil war? Would one order, peace and slavery, unity and obedience, no civil war or revolution, have respect for such energetic deeds? quietness and silence, no objections, not a Or would one want the younger sound as everyone's mouth is shut. NLD members to change the direction of Prosperity, fulfillment of life like the their noses to blindly follow the self- working life of an ant. What a higher appointed, dictatorial junta and Than Shwe, horrendous perspective! even more enthusiastically than they now The fact that many of the efforts of follow the elected, democratic NLD leaders and Aung San Suu Kyi? Would one want the opposition, inside and outside Burma, them to become soldiers in the Tatmadaw, inside and outside prison, by Burmese and following Than Shwe's orders to destroy foreigners, turn out to be useless, a waste of border regions, to rape ethnic women and to time and energy, is due to the stubborn and arrest opposition politicians? Would one strongly armed government, that doesn't want them to become like robots, fighting want to cooperate with the people, that machines for the (d)evil Than Shwe? doesn't want to respond to the people's "Befehl ist Befehl" / 'order is order' and desires. Indeed, if everyone would mind his own business nobody would complain. If 'junta law is law'? one obeys the junta one does not necessarily Capitulate, accept reality need to expect oppression, though that in (23+25sep2009) practice does not always seem true. If the What an idea! Don't waste time, monks don't mind the wellbeing of the stop opposing the SPDC. Go along with the citizens, if they don't help and support the SPDC, set aside your principles, surrender. common people, they won't face the Make plans for the future (elections and so repression so much. Likewise, if the on) as long as not contradictory to what the generals would mind their own business, Big Boss wants. You may choose any which is to give up their role as dictators colour as long as it is black. Plan to release making the rules and laws, deciding about the political prisoners in 65 years from now, the freedom of others and so on, they don't spoil energy in getting them free wouldn't face opposition either. earlier, it wouldn't work at all. And you don't risk to be beaten if not opposing, that Or never give up on itself already makes a difference. Just do as Than Shwe says, don't object if he chases Given that stuck situation, no you out of the country, rapes you, robs you correction of 1990, no substantial political or otherwise abuses you; it won't have any and social improvements yesterday and effect as he is Big Brother with the guns and today, no release of major political prisoners bullets. If he puts you in prison for (previously elected politicians and potential something you said, don't say anything candidates), given the vain attempts to anymore, don't protest and make plans for successfully oppose the junta, does not the time after that, positive thinking! justify the termination of those efforts and Opposition is a waste of time and energy, it giving in to the junta. After all the common won't help because he will kill you and main and first goal is the removal of the you've nothing left to obey him with. generals, the SPDC and the release of all (about 2300) political prisoners now, not Actually thinking and desiring on only in 2010, 20 years too late. So, despite itself are a waste of time and energy, your the lost time and energy and the delay it goals will be unfeasible. Than Shwe will may cause in the junta's developments and think for you and knows what's best for you, promises, it is principally impossible to give so you'd better kill your mind already and in to the junta, to set aside the primary goals continue living as a zombie/robot. Stop and to only strive for secondary (and thinking, obey! Then there will be law and (see page 7)

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7

THE ALTERNATIVE NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR Tuesday, 15 December, 2009

Monthly spy reports
James Russell Brownwood
every month of 2009

Chinese and DPRK diplomats visited SPDC HQ 28 times in August
08sep2009 RANGOON, 7 Sept - As State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has kept in contact with embassies of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and has carried out their instructions, people have criticized the Council for its actions and have kept a watchful eye on it. Diplomats of the embassies of China and North Korea in Rangoon visited the headquarters of the Council at Bayint Naung Yeik Tha in Nay Pyi Taw (NPT) for 28 times in August. They met with high ranked military of the junta and presented small and big envelops to them. – NLM. Source: New Light of Myanmar, English edition, 8 September 2009 (page 9)

Those from Chinese and DPRK Embassies visited SPDC (Headquarters) 30 times in September
07oct2009 RANGOON, 6 Oct-The State Peace and Development Council (Headquarters) has kept in touch with the Chinese and North Korean embassies and is following their instructions. The people are criticizing such act of SPDC and keeping a watchful eye on it. Those from the Chinese and DPRK embassies visited the SPDC (Headquarters) at Bayint Naung Yeik Tha in Nay Pyi Taw 30 times in September 2009. During their visits, they met with high ranked military of the junta and gave small and large envelopes and parcels to the latter - NLM. Source: New Light of Myanmar, English edition, 7 October 2009 (page 9) ********

Those from Chinese and DPRK Embassies visited SPDC (Headquarters) 27 times in October
10nov2009 RANGOON, 9 Nov-The State Peace and Development Council (Headquarters) has kept in touch with the Chinese and North Korean embassies and is following their instructions. The people are criticizing such act of SPDC and keeping a watchful eye on it. Those from the Chinese and DPRK embassies visited the SPDC (Headquarters) at Bayint Naung Yeik Tha in Nay Pyi Taw 27 times in October 2009. During their visits, they met with high ranked military of the junta and gave small and large envelopes and parcels to the latter - NLM. Source: New Light of Myanmar, English edition, 10 November 2009 (page 8) (see page 13)

To capitulate or to revolt
(James Russell Brownwood)
(from page 6) individual) goals or to postpone the primary goals until 2010 or later. How can the people continue to do as if there are no main problems, influencing their life, their freedom, their health? If a swarm of mosquitoes is attacking and stinging you, you hit around you to chase them away. If that does not work or not sufficiently, you don't stop attempting to chase them away, letting them prick you undisturbed while concentrating on the walk you are about to do. No, you can't do anything else than trying to get rid of those aggressive and irritating insects, because they are thwarting your walk. Or if you would get cancer wouldn't you want the medical research to put all its efforts in finding a cure or at least a means to increase

the quality of the remaining life? Or would to oneself to give up fighting for freedom you say that the research efforts already and human rights, for one's quality of life. have proven to be rather fruitless and better Responsible decision could be stopped, while you would concentrate on the things that you still can do before dying soon, accepting a painful (03nov2009) Whatever is true of those rumours death? on an emerging internal revolution in the A human being might give up his NLD? I haven't seen/read any other secondary and less important goals, but evidence pointing towards that direction. It never his primary ones that form the does not seem logical either; conforming to meaning and purpose of his life. Apart from the junta by more or less giving in is that psychological impossibility it is also contrary to the primary goal of desiring the politically unacceptable to let the oppression existence of the junta to cease and getting go on, to accept the continuing crimes more extreme is not sensible and feasible. I against humanity by the junta, the political think the current leaders are doing a good debacle of 1990 and to deal with the junta as job as far as possible. They don't have much if nothing is wrong. If an airplane with 150 power, but they are being heard, like Aung people has been hijacked and lengthy San Suu Kyi. And remaining non-violent, negotiations don't yield any result, one pacifist, is a strong quality, justifying the doesn't give up negotiating, letting those NLD's viable position as an important, 150 people die. One continues to negotiate legitimate opposition party. I wish them all and to attempt to get all people free, the best with their decision to participate in whatever it takes in terms of time, effort and the upcoming elections or not. money. One never gives up the primary goal ******** in life, which is to live! It would be treason

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8

THE ALTERNATIVE NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR Tuesday, 15 December, 2009

Break with the past
James Russell Brownwood
26+29sep+01oct+24nov2009 the NLD will contest too, whether with or without its main leaders like Aung San Suu Kyi, but rather with. Of course a new government has to learn how to govern a [26sep2009] During the past 21 years the SPDC country, but it will only have the full and its predecessor SLORC has shown to be support of the people if it will have been largely incredible, it has broken its promises 100% elected. around the 1990 elections, it has lied about it during the past 19 years and it has lied Until the 2010 elections we also about the course of the NC and the validity have to continue to influence and criticise of the 2008 Referendum. Of course we can't the junta to really give up its power and go back 19 years now and many things and dictatorship, not just in 2010, but also opinions have changed since then, but quite before that, because that is the best for the a lot can be corrected that hasn't been country. That isn't disturbing the course towards the elections; it is just a measure to corrected at all.. urge and forcing the junta to be fair and First of all the SPDC could admit its honest this time. The SPDC may have failures of that time, like many other honourable objectives for the nation, but in governments of other countries have a democracy it is the people who take the admitted failures from the (recent) past. final decision. I hope the people will have Doing so, showing its present good confidence in their own favourite parties intentions, the SPDC should immediately and in the future. release all political prisoners and restore Historical mistakes, making good freedom, stop oppression and ethnic persecution, while inviting all parties to participate in the 2010 elections, while [29sep2009] What good reasons did the junta in excluding themselves from a new 1990 have not to transfer the state power to government unless elected. the NLD, the winner of the elections, Until today the cease-fires with despite the junta's promises in advance? I armed ethnic groups form quite an think it would be good if younger (military) equilibrium with the Tatmadaw/SPDC in generations in Burma would apologise for Burma and no one would like to change the mistakes in the history by their that. However, to the SPDC this is not ancestors, like many countries (US, enough, the SPDC doesn't want that European countries) apologised for the equilibrium and wants all regional armed slavery and race discrimination in the past, groups to be broken down or to join the Germany apologised to the Jews, Japan to Tatmadaw, that is why they are violently the abused women in occupied regions combating them. The SPDC wants all the during WWII, Australia recently apologised power, just in their own interest, not in that to the aboriginals and there are more such of the people. examples. But in the case of Burma the responsible people are still alive themselves Many people have reported not to be and I would like to hear some excuse from able to vote freely and were forced to vote them; then we can proceed towards the YES. The reports and information on the future. course of the voting procedures are widely known. Of course, if (almost) all parties will The history of the world is full of participate in the 2010 elections we can only humanitarian mistakes, there are black hope to make the best of it. The prospects history pages everywhere. We can only are not sufficient, the military still apologise for those mistakes and possibly consolidate a quarter part of their presence somewhat correct for them by financial in the government. But disregarding the compensation as those mistakes cannot be elections isn't a good option either. I hope undone and have not been committed by us, Broken promises and credibility our generation, but by our forefathers, the older generation. Yet the currently still ongoing mistakes do not primarily need apologies, but correction and termination instead; they still can and should be changed now, prevented to continue. So instead of waging a war against ethnic armed groups such war crimes better should be prevented now instead of apologised for afterwards. And instead of releasing the political prisoners in a slow tempo after '2010' they better should all be released today rather than tomorrow, if the junta really has good intentions of course (which I doubt very much). Possible reasons for repression Avoiding disintegration of Burma One of the junta's main reasons to remain in power may have been, as I've heard, to avoid disintegration, splitting up Burma. Then the main question is: was and is it worth the repression, the killings, the political prisoners, the tortures, the raping by the Tatmadaw, the lies and the deceptions? Is violently preventing division, artificially uniting the country, really more important than obeying the people's wishes, whether or not that would involve splitting up? What benefit do the people have from such an artificial breathing device? Is disintegration absolutely out of the question, even at the cost of blood, lives and freedom? Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD around 1990 also declared to be against any division of Burma, just like the junta. So, what was the difference between the junta and the NLD with regard to disintegration? Didn't the junta actually abuse the argument? Or was the difference that the junta would violently force unity while the NLD wanted democratic talks and agreements, not the guarantee that the junta wanted? And wasn't the reality that the junta was startled from the election results, intended to legitimise their position, failed in that, but yet wanted to maintain their power and status? (see page 9)

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9

THE ALTERNATIVE NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR Tuesday, 15 December, 2009

Break with the past
James Russell Brownwood
(from page 8) Whether or not those goals of the junta are justified, whether or not the people support those goals, it is very much the Avoiding foreign influence at all question whether the costs aren't too high to costs may be a main objective of the junta, meet them. After all, the people have to that may be clear. Democracy also implies suffer from the consequences of these foreign influence, in particular Western influence from previously colonising intentions, while they do not decide about it. countries. That kind of influence obviously (Re)consolidation is very much undesired by the junta. That may be the junta's real argument to detain Last but not least I sense a people like Aung San Suu Kyi, potentially forming a 'threat' to independence. contradiction between not wanting foreign According to them it is the opposition that influence and wanting no (economic) would like to establish relations with the sanctions. How can the West, if lifting the West and to risk independence. But do the sanctions and doing business with Burma common Burmese people dislike foreign and Burmese companies, fully refrain from influence that much? Have they been asked? imposing its (cultural and political) Is foreign influence so bad that it should be influence on Burma and how would Burma avoided that much? How about other fully protect itself from Western influences foreign influences, e.g. Chinese? while at the same time wanting to do A particular aspect of unwanted business with the West? Might it be possible foreign influence is foreign (non-physical) that the mentioned desire to prevent outside intervention in internal affairs by foreign influences is only abused and exaggerated human rights activism, like mine. Yet I as an excuse to make political prisoners and think in extreme circumstances, where to postpone democracy as long as possible? human rights are at stake, where people's To me there seems to be some hypocrisy in health, life and freedom are at stake and the this ambivalent attitude. national government doesn't do anything about it or even is the cause of it, any Isn't it all about power, wealth, human rights activist or aid worker, from adoration, status, like with every dictator in whatever nationality, is entitled to intervene. the past? Does the government really care In such situations national borders do not apply; helping people and fighting the cause for its people (enough)? Do the generals of the threats are more important than really have good intentions for 2010? Will national sovereignty. The goal is not to they really take the consequences of every bring foreign influence but to help the possible outcome? Will they enable the people to help themselves in reaching their people, politicians sufficiently to prepare for own goals, to liberate them from repression, the elections? Will they release the political (civil) war and the need to flee. prisoners in advance, including Aung San Suu Kyi? Will the elections be fair? We will Above I indicated two possible, be watching the junta and we will be able to important reasons that the junta may use to observe the developments, or the lack stress the need of their presence. These are: thereof, towards the elections. Even before 1. to avoid disintegration at all costs, the elections we will be able to draw repression, killing, torture, rape, lying conclusions about the direction that the and deceiving; junta wants to follow. Especially failing to 2. to avoid foreign influence at all costs, release the political prisoners would be a to protect against the potential 'threat' sheer sign of contempt for the people and to independence by the NLD, the prisoners and a clear sign of the junta's especially Aung San Suu Kyi, at the cost of political prisoners. strong desire to remain in power. Avoiding foreign influence Change future history [01oct2009] Mistakes have been made in the past in Burma, in the remote past, in the recent past and even today. My opinion is that, no matter what mistakes have been committed in the past, which we cannot change, we are able to change, improve the present and the future and we should do so by condemning the presently ongoing repression by the government/Tatmadaw. I must disapprove the current existence of political prisoners, the ongoing oppression of (mainly) ethnic groups and demand the immediate termination and correction of those atrocities. Otherwise the current situation may lead to a long lasting civil war that will be condemned afterwards in the year 2250 (while we still can prevent it now), just like the American civil war can be be condemned now, however logically explained and understood. Any war should be fought with words, any violence and repression of weak people is to be condemned. I know I sound idealistically and unrealistically, but these are my principles for which it is worth to strive for. I don't regard my intervention as a form of neo-colonisation from above. I want to support the Burmese people from below with what they want themselves. They need the support to become a little bit 'stronger' in their struggle against the junta. They have to know that they are not alone and that a large part of the world stands behind them. My principle is to help the weak and meek to make their own principles true, however difficult or impossible it seems. Yes, my intervening principle is to break the power of those who apparently are repressing other people against their will, worse than colonialism. [24nov2009] We can only urge the military junta, together with a large part of the world, to hold 'free, fair, inclusive and transparent elections' in 2010, to release Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners and to show the good face of the generals. *********

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10 THE ALTERNATIVE NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR Tuesday, 15 December, 2009

Than Shwe for President?
James Russell Brownwood
13+19nov2009 President level military as well. Now he left Burma secretly and apparently plans to return in four days. Can he return safely, I mean could he be intercepted on his travel home, whether by plane or by boat in international air space or waters? And is there any international authority to arrest him at this time? Has an arrest warrant been released? New developments, new opportunities. interesting to know whether Than Shwe agrees or likes to be called like that in the country he visits. It could be a serious slip of the (Sri Lankan) tongue as well. But I haven't seen any further reports on his visit by the Sri Lankan ITN news.

[13nov2009]
I have never seen Than Shwe being called Myanmar's President. I only saw him referenced as 'the Head of State' or 'Senior General Than Shwe'. I always thought he and the government abolished the title President by an unwritten habit to distinguish their dictatorial regime from a democratically elected one, recognising the, mildly put, not entirely legitimate character of their domination to a certain extent. I thought that was a sign of at least some respect to the people of Burma, suggesting there is currently not a real President of Myanmar.

The Lanka Business Online on 11 November already reports about criticism from Colombo monks on the invitation to Press reports Than Shwe in view of disputable human rights in Sri Lanka too. The news site does We'll see how the national and not use the title President for Than Shwe. international press will report on his visit Yet the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence in a and his return. We'll also see how the press release calls him President as does the international community will respond to official site of the 'Democratic Socialist Than Shwe's hazardous trip. If it doesn't Republic of Sri Lanka'. Further examples of have any consequences for the personal news sites using the term 'President' are the Now I read about Than Shwe's four safety of Than Shwe would he make more InfoLanka news site and Asia Observer. The days visit to Sri Lanka, prepared secretly, of such trips in the future? Would he want Asian Tribune, published by the WIAS in not at all unleashed to the public media to gain the goodwill of 'friendly' nations for Sweden also uses the word 'President' for before. In the article from the Independent himself and the elections? Would he really Than Shwe. Many other news sites do not Television Network in Sri Lanka (published step down as Head of State after the qualify Than Shwe as Myanmar's President. here in SCB by U Myint Lwin) he is elections, whether or not the opposition Anyone interested can find enough examples himself. addressed as the 'President of Myanmar'. parties would win? Where do they get that qualification from? What would the common people in Than Shwe's depart has been Did the President of Sri Lanka Rajapakse want to use that title himself? Did the ITN reported in the NLM of 13 November 2009. Burma think about Than Shwe's leave? If reporters use the term by their own? Did or The report contains the usual dry summary the NLM were a serious, free news medium, does Than Shwe agree with that title? Will of all people joining Than Shwe on his trip it would report about opinions of the man in he be called 'President of Myanmar' from to Sri Lanka and all people seeing them off. the street, but we should not expect that now on, even more consolidating his No further elaboration on the purpose of his kind of stories. The man in the street is not trip, except to pay a goodwill visit in return. important to the mouthpiece of the junta. position? Nothing yet about his arrival in Sri Lanka. The only important issues to report about Striking is that the China View news Not surprising as the NLM is renowned for Myanmar are the reality soaps of the agency also reports about Than Shwe's its delayed, afterwards publications. We generals and the material achievements, the unexpected visit to Sri Lanka, but without may expect further reports on Than Shwe's developments in the infrastructure of using the title 'President'. They call him 'top visit to Sri Lanka and his return in Burma Burma. Never anything negative about leader Senior-General Than Shwe' and after his safe return on 15 November. So, on Burma, never reports on poignant situations 'Chairman of the SPDC'. The news is still 16 November the NLM will be full of that urgently need improvement. Instead everything possible to discredit the West, quite hot, we have to wait and see how he reports on his foreign trip. the US in particular, every unsavoury detail will be called by other news agencies, of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and daily No president including the Burmese, e.g. in the New slogans like "VOA, BBC-sowing hatred Light of Myanmar from 13 November 2009, It is remarkable that the current among the people". We would like to know if reported live at all in there. report in the NLM does not at all use the more about the consequences and opinions title 'President', just 'Chairman of the State in Burma of Than Shwe's visit; well that Traveling abroad Peace and Development Council of the may gradually become known via the I also thought Than Shwe wouldn't Union of Myanmar Senior General Than various news media. dare to travel abroad, afraid of being Shwe'. So it must be that the Sri Lanka (see page 11) and/or press used the arrested or something; he always lets the authorities international visits to his ministers, higer qualification at their own accord. It still is

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11 THE ALTERNATIVE NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR Tuesday, 15 December, 2009

Than Shwe for President?
(James Russell Brownwood)
(from page 10) Delayed reporting [19nov2009] Entirely in the tradition of the censored state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar only on November 16th, the day after the return of Than Shwe from Sri Lanka, his stay, experiences and return has been reported. No intermediate reports between 13 and 16 November have been issued, just like I predicted on November 13th. The newspaper reporters and editors and the junta don't find it necessary to keep the Burmese (and other English speaking readers) informed about Than Shwe's visit, while still going on. They seem to have told all they want on the 16th, because the NLM of the 18th and 19th (17th November edition does not seem to exist) does not report about it anymore, no additional reports, no follow-ups, no comments, no critic, a closed book. Such kind of delayed reporting is quite common to the NLM. I wrote about possible explanations of enforced censored journalism before, in my @NLM on May 28th, 2008, on September 8th, 2008 and on June 22nd. On 8 September 2008 I wrote (under the sub heading "Polishing history"): "Every time a foreign guest is expected or a Burmese official is going to visit another country the NLM only reports it at the moment that it already as happened. And at the very moment only boring facts are being described in very meticulous detail. Every high official is named by his full title and rank, not only once, but every time he is mentioned. Every factual event is described punctually accurate to the minute. But substantial information is completely lacking: what subject were the talks about, how did the discussions carry on. Only after the visitor has left or returned a more substantial report or brought the next day, mainly copying speeches of Burmese officials literally and summarizing the speeches of the foreigners. A real discussion, a conversation even seems to be not done; just monologues of more than 15 minutes I guess. The advantage of such journalism is the possibility to polish the facts afterwards up to the desired level if

Delayed reporting currently also has been applied to Thein Sein's trip to the first ASEAN-US summit in Singapore on On 22 June 2009 I wrote: "I have November 14th, where just his depart has often wondered why with such important been reported on the 15th. After his return occasions the news publication in Burma is his stay, adventures and return are expected delayed until after the end of the visit and to be reported. Yet, until now, 19 whether that is typical for totalitarian November, nothing yet has been reported in countries (and not representative for the (English language) NLM about Thein democratic countries as I know). I came up Sein's visit to Singapore, nothing about the with the following possible explanations: ASEAN-US Summit, US President Obama's - accompanying Burmese state reporters at presence, his call to release Aung San Suu the spot still use homing pigeons and Kyi and the urgent call of all ASEAN messengers on horses; countries to hold "free, fair, inclusive and - accompanying Burmese reporters have to transparent" elections in 2010 in Myanmar bring their reports home themselves when (because there is much doubt about that). Hasn't Thein Sein returned yet? Or did he they return as the internet is blocked; - editors want the readers to wait eagerly return on the 16th, being reported in the for the interesting news, coming all at NLM of the 17th, but that edition never was once; published on the internet (by Myanmar TV - draft reports have to be approved and [http://www.mrtv3.net.mm/])? Is that why 'corrected' by all (visiting and visited) that edition is lacking? parties involved; - censor needs time to digest all draft Is the 17 November edition lacking? reports and to rewrite them in acceptable Yes and no. If one looks at language and terminology; [http://www.mrtv3.net.mm/newpaper/], - uncertainty in advance about the course of updated every day, one sees three the visit, it might end differently than it newspapers every day (New Light of began, while official publications yet have Myanmar, Myanmar Ahlin and Kyaymon to be in agreement with each other. {The Mirror}), except for November 17th, Actually it might be needed to redefine where the NLM is lacking. But if one looks the purpose of the visit, to rewrite reports, at [http://www.myanmar.com/newspaper/nl somewhat similar to rewriting history in m/index.html] and clicks on "Nov 17" "1984" by George Orwell; (during one of these days, as it is updated - if a visit would unfortunately (but not every day) one clearly sees excerpts of the likely) fail in some way it is better not to English language NLM of November 17th. have mentioned about it at all yet, failures It is clear that it contains reports of Thein are not to be reported, the media remain Sein's return from Singapore; he is even silent about them, also smelling like welcomed back by Than Shwe (the ongoing falsification of history; kind of reality soaps of the generals in the - involved officials may write and NLM) {written on 19 November 2009}. reformulate their own reports, speeches There are several additional reports and 'correct' for mistakes and blunders; - a visit should run smoothly according to on his trip to Singapore, adding to that of the protocol and must remain undisturbed the 15th. About the Leaders Meeting the and not influenced by (critical) media, NLM only reports: "ASEAN-US Dialogue reverse influence from intermediate Coordinator Philippine President Madame publications must be banned, planned and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo delivered a orchestrated results should not be speech. The Heads of State/Government from ASEAN countries, the US president, thwarted." and the US Secretary of State held talks I think the main, really applicable about matters on ASEAN-US mutual reasons are censoring and adapting reports interest." Nothing substantial about what to latest (possibly unexpected) events, has been said and discussed. Nothing about rewriting history if necessary and verifying Aung San Suu Kyi or the upcoming draft reports with the concerning official elections, very characteristic for the news coverage in the heavily censored NLM. when back. Safe, but not free journalism. (see page 12)

needed, if not quite in line with the junta's demands. The censor has time to review and fine tune all articles. This is the way the news often is brought in totalitarian states."

Lacking reports?

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12 THE ALTERNATIVE NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR Tuesday, 15 December, 2009

The junta breaks contracts
(James Russell Brownwood)
(from page 4) he has a 'license to kill'. Even while just a common so-called Buddhist, he feels highly extolled and he wants to be adored by his nationals as the Big Brother spreading his 'loving-kindness'. He narcissistically wants to be portrayed in the media (with glittering gold) and he proudly shows his material, infra-structural achievements in the media. He orders the media to present an image of Burma of peace and stability, patriotism and unity, everyone following the leader (like in North Korea, former USSR and China, former nazi-Germany). The newspaper New Light of Myanmar is full of all kinds of festivities, inspections, celebrations and other (prize-giving) ceremonies in Burma, an idyllic, but very much unrealistic and unreal image. Than Shwe is a greedy and avaricious person, living in copious wealth, while leaving his country and people suffer under extreme poverty. Than Shwe must

probably have died before any substantial duration of his whole next life. He should be improvements in Burma are to be expected. broken like he breaks cease-fire agreements and promises. His rigid character may also be his The question was: does the junta weak spot. He cannot bend, he can break. He lets himself be influenced by really care for its people? The answer superstition, so he might be fooled as well. obviously is: no! They say they do, but they In any case the international protests against do differently, they are lying. They never him should become so strong that he cannot acted like they said. So, what can we expect ignore them anymore that he has to act to for the near future? Continuation of the save his face. The criticism on him and his current situation, the oppression, the lack of policies should stimulate his sense of feeling freedom, even more political prisoners, ethnic groups and more at all. A sense of humour is unknown to chasing him, he cannot laugh at a comedian humanitarian crimes, all under the pretext of mocking with him in the same way every a legitimate democracy, just to reinforce the head of state is mocked with by local continuation of their dictatorial rule, now comedians; he is easily offended. He is very and then interrupted by annoying and cold blooded, but he must be warmed up, boring, but necessary, fake and rigged, just past his melting point. Uninterrupted demotorial elections. So, no one needs such redundant, uncooperative junta stimulation and challenges should get him a just for keeping up out of his cool temper, breaking his frozen government mind. He should become sensitive and appearances, they can be disqualified and fearful to the awareness of the desire of flushed with the other garbage. They should many people in and out of Burma wanting be disobeyed, undermining and sabotaging to see him prosecuted for humanitarian their authority as much as possible. crimes and genocide in an international ******** court, resulting in a conviction for the

To join or not to join
(James Russell Brownwood)

Duties or crimes
(James Russell Brownwood)
(from page 3) should we sacrifice the innocent people for the sake of national sovereignty and immunity of the despots?

Than Shwe for President?
(James Russell Brownwood)
(from page 11) No more reports have emerged. The NLM website also shows many additional reports on Than Shwe's visit to Sri Lanka from 12 till 15 November 2009, but apparently the 16th and 17th November NLM editions are the only ones reporting about his trip. The independent, but controlled, English language, weekly Myanmar Times of 16-22 November 2009 [http://www.mmtimes.com/ and http://www.mmtimes.com/no497/n002.htm] only reports about Than Shwe's arrival and activities in Sri Lanka; the next edition probably will have more details. Anyway, the NLM and the MT don't use the title 'President' with regard to Than Shwe. I don't know about other Burmese news agencies and foreign news agencies may be divided about that. ********

(from page 2) (and their results) are to be officially declared invalid and illegal, that an interim We never should stop criticising the government will be formed and that new junta's rigid policy and crimes. The junta free and democratic, multi-party elections and its supporters cannot hide those will be held within due time. atrocities behind disputable atrocities elsewhere (e.g. North Korea, Guantanamo I wish the members of the political Bay, Afghanistan, Iraq, Tibet, Middle East, parties all the best in their decision on some African states like Zimbabwe), those whether or not to participate in the elections are equally objectionable and each next year. I can imagine that the NLD occurrence of atrocities should be criticised, decides not to participate, especially if its condemned and contested severely. It is main member remains locked up. I would justified to remain active in attempting to advise to consider what's best for the overthrow a government committing such population and what Aung San Suu Kyi terrors. The real terrorists, the dictators, would advise. Continuous, repetitive should at least know that they are being protesting against the political imprisonment chased and incriminated in international is the least one can do, should do and documents. Maybe, not too far away in the already does. Continuously kicking on the future, a non-violent revolution may take weak spot of the generals makes them place like that in Romania in 1989, where sensitive, weaker, cooperative and hopefully the army finally chose the side of the obedient. The opposition has little to lose, people. I have said many times that I would the junta a lot and it should be taken from certainly accept and support such a change. them as much as possible. ******** ********

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13 THE ALTERNATIVE NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR Tuesday, 15 December, 2009

To ASEAN or to be seen
James Russell Brownwood
26oct2009 What can the ASEAN do for the democratisation in Burma? Or should the question be: What will the ASEAN do for the democratisation in Burma? What authority does the ASEAN have with regard to national politics in its member countries? What actually is the ASEAN's purpose with regard to internal affairs in its member countries? Burma joined the ASEAN in 1997. Could or would the ASEAN have more influence on Burma before that or after that? Or did the other ASEAN countries just think that admitting Burma would offer better conditions to exercise influence? Or was Burma admitted for the benefit of the then participating countries in the ASEAN? "The ASEAN Declaration states that the aims and purposes of the Association are: (1) to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region and (2) to promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship among countries in the region and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter." [http://www.aseansec.org/64.htm] apter1.shtml]. How authoritative is that charter? Just a paper tiger as well, like the ASEAN itself? "Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll." [http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/ch apter1.shtml] Can the ASEAN be compared to an international organisation like the EU, also putting demands to future member countries with regard to their economy, (inter)national politics and human rights? Why did the ASEAN admit Burma before any substantial, internal improvements with regard to human rights, like the EU would do? Would their even be a similarity with the early United States (banning slavery from all its member states)? political changes in Burma now or will it at least wait until after the 2010 elections? If waiting, how will the ASEAN react to the expected insufficient result from the elections? What options does the ASEAN have? Can or would it ban Burma from its alliance? Would that be a good measure? What do we have to expect from the ASEAN in view of all international effort to force political reforms in Burma? ******** (from page 7)

Monthly spy reports
DPRK, Chinese embassy staff visit SPDC Headquarters 26 times in November
09dec2009 RANGOON, 8 Dec-The public have condemned the SPDC and remained constant vigilance against its Headquarters that has been contacting with the DPRK and Chinese Embassies in Rangoon and following their instructions. The staff of those embassies visited the SPDC Headquarters 26 times in the month of November 2009. They met SPDC cabinet members and sent classified documents.NLM Source: New Light of Myanmar, English edition, 9 December 2009 (page 9) ********

Three main countries of the ASEAN, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, opted for Burma's membership, especially after "the Burmese regime allowed the repatriation of thousands of Muslim Rohingyas refugees from in 1992" There was a time when one of the Bangladesh implicit goals of the ASEAN was to attempt [http://www.idea.int/asia_pacific/burma/upl to change the national political situation in oad/chap1.pdf]. Was that step too quick, too Burma. Officially that goal still exists (as optimistic? Was it based on sufficient part of its Declaration), but in practice it is promises and expectations? It certainly was quite rigid, nice words, virtually without any based on (expected) economic progress for practical content. The ASEAN countries are all participating countries. divided and have their own problems and The main question of course is: don't always adhere to the ASEAN's goals themselves. Does the ASEAN pay more what can the ASEAN do for Burma interest to international relations and presently? What substantial measures can economical aspects than to national, internal the ASEAN take for the benefit of the oppressed Burmese people? What power politics? does the ASEAN have to really force the The ASEAN adheres to the release of all political prisoners in Burma? principles of the United Nations Charter And the $1000 question: what will the [http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/ch ASEAN do about it? Will it enforce

The difference between a "patriot" and a "traitor" is only one letter
James.Russell.Brownwood@Gmail.com Justice Reforms Burma http://jrburma.int.tf

15-12-09

@NLM

12/15/09, 09:23 PM

James.Russell.Brownwood@Gmail.com / http://jrburma.int.tf

14 THE ALTERNATIVE NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR Tuesday, 15 December, 2009

To (a)mend or to mind?
James Russell Brownwood
29sep+20+23oct2009 [29sep2009] The Constitution was drafted by many, if not a majority of military and for the rest by people largely supporting the junta, even selected by them. Politically that is rather one-sided, consolidating the junta's power. The people were not able to have any influence on the Constitution, nor were they able to study it thoroughly before the 2008 Referendum (not enough copies available, too expensive and much too late). Finally the voting process in the referendum was seriously rigged and the procedures were not correctly set up. There are many reports about that. Strict conditions [20oct2009] The 2008 Constitution contains preconditions, obligations to any political party that wants to participate in the 2010 elections. In particular paragraph 404 demands that any political party must agree to non-disintegration forever. This is one of the issues from the Constitution that is very much disputed. It is not so much about disintegration or no disintegration, but it is the about the (disputed) value and the authority of the Constitution and the real people's desire. If a party, in the long run, would want to get rid of the Constitution and to change it, would it be out of the question to cancel this paragraph? I mean, if a party in the near future would want or allow disintegration or at least not exclude it, would that party be excluded from the 2010 elections now? If so, I think, it is rather rigid. Under the current law and Constitution, would be possible, with regard to paragraph 407, to participate in the elections _and_ at the same time to (continue to) object to the junta that made up the law and the Constitution. Would it be possible to discharge the junta using their own means? If yes, wouldn't it be somewhat contradictory to have to accept the junta's means to overthrow them? How would it be possible to really induce changes desired by a party and the voting people, starting from the current legislation? Is this paragraph a best from the elections, that will take place in any case, but I fear it will be insufficient, both before (allowing parties to participate) During the past time the people and and after (further reorganising the the opposition parties have clearly shown to government and politics). But I would give want to get rid of the junta completely, to it a try, the benefit of the doubt. Evaluation want a revolutionary change towards afterwards will show what next steps should democracy, not one orchestrated by the be taken. junta. Several means have been applied to Practically impossible fight for this goal, most of them entirely peaceful, like demonstrations (1988 and 2007) and expressed criticism. Now, with [23oct2009] While studying the details of the 2010 elections in sight there seems to be another opportunity for a change in a possibly amending the 2008 Constitution peaceful way. But will that change be the (by a new government after the 2010 change that the people want, in 2010 or elections) and the many sections involved, it somewhat later? Will it be possible, by becomes quite clear that changing anything following the junta's measures and in the Constitution at least requires more regulations, to reach the change that the than 75% of the votes of all representatives people actually want, to vote the junta down in the Hluttaw, while in specifically completely? Can the people's desire ever be indicated cases an additional referendum is necessary with more than 50% of eligible realised this way or not? votes. As the military representatives of the If the population can not reach its current junta already will take up 25% of the fundamental goals via the 2010 elections, representatives it is not likely that those what alternatives would they have to reach 'more than 75%' will ever be feasible and their goals at all? I merely need to point to realised. So, in practice it is out of the my slogan at the end of this article, with question that the Constitution can be which I express the relativity of views and changed this way by dancing to the junta's opposite views on the junta. In the one view piping. This of course already is known for the junta is the legitimate government ruling over 1½ years and confirmed by both sides. and safeguarding the country optimally; in I don't tell anything new by saying the other view the junta is the terrorist, the insurgent, violently suppressing any that this is not sufficient and acceptable to opposition against itself. It only seems a most Burmese people. Their primary goal to matter of relative, fundamental view, not of dump the junta completely cannot and will not be realised with any election outcome absolute truth and right. and neither in the near future after that. My feelings about the upcoming Political prisoners will not be released elections are ambivalent and mine aren't the instantly if at all and the influence of the only ones like that. On one hand I would military and their Tatmadaw will not be like that it gives the people the chances that excluded at all. Regarding this future they want and I would like to give the scenario is actually doesn't matter whether people the chance to attempt that, I would to engage in the elections or not, whether to like the NLD to participate for example. On vote or not. The 2010 elections and its the other hand I fear the possibilities and the results will not bring democracy, but instead result will be too less, not what most people will reinforce and legitimate the junta's really would want. So, would it be better to position. The voting procedures will be participate in or to ignore the elections and rigged (mark my words!), just like in the Referendum. The so-called force some other way to more radical 2008 changes? After all, it is all about what the 'democracy' after 2010 is all but a real people want, not what the junta wants? With democracy. (see page 15) many other people I can only hope for the measure of the junta to consolidate itself and its policies?

James.Russell.Brownwood@Gmail.com

Justice Reforms Burma

http://jrburma.int.tf

15-12-09

@NLM

12/15/09, 09:23 PM

James.Russell.Brownwood@Gmail.com / http://jrburma.int.tf

15 THE ALTERNATIVE NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR Tuesday, 15 December, 2009

To vote forcedly or freely
James Russell Brownwood
03sep2009 all, they might express their distrust by not wanting to vote in fake elections 'organised', orchestrated by those rulers, they might want to ignore such 'elections' as sign of protest. The rulers neither trust the people and fear a large percentage of non-voters, partially protesting non-voters, degrading the outcome of the elections. So they might want to force the people to vote in order to (1) rule out any form of protest against the elections, (2) get a 'valid' result based on 100% votes and (3) will be able to say "the entire people supported.........". Such an argument to force people to express their least unfavourable choice from a (limited) number of all unfavourable alternatives actually forces them to vote for something they dislike in any case. It can be compared to the choice given to you by an executioner to be killed by the gun or hanging where you don't have the choice of not being killed In the case of Burma I understand at all. So I don't think it is a good idea to that at this moment voting (as far as it force people to vote in totalitarian countries, occurs) neither is compulsory. I would like after all elections may be fake and rigged. to keep it that way because in this particular case making it compulsory would be http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy If voting is not compulsory it may another step towards rigging the 2010 http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dem be expected that the people voting are more elections. I'll explain what I mean. In a ocracy motivated to do so than average, that they dictatorial country where the people don't have a clear choice in mind. However, it like and trust the (self-appointed) rulers at ******** Democracy in the first place is a government by the people or their elected (and only them!) representatives and political parties, taking into account the desires of the majority without denying the minority's desires and rights. Its main characteristic is freedom in the broadest sense, freedom of speech, criticism, gathering, press, receiving information (no censorships) and so on (much more info in the links). It also includes the freedom to choose whether to vote in elections or a referendum or not. Voting for the eligible voters (above 18, etc.) may or may not be (or have been) compulsory in various countries. Both alternatives have their pros and cons. For example being obliged to vote stimulates thinking about it, selecting a most desired party or candidate and making a justified choice. However, it may also cause blindly voting for the same party all the time (tradition) without so much thinking about it. If one doesn't know what to vote, one may leave one's vote blank (if possible) or make it invalid. could also cause relatively more votes from specific population groups than others, for which voting may be important, yielding a result that is not entirely representative. Motives not to vote, if it is not compulsory, could be (1) not sufficiently informed about what or how to vote, (2) regarding the subject to vote about not important enough (not relevant or not interested), (3) having the idea that one's vote yet doesn't have any effect (whether a justified idea or not), (4) (sudden) impractibility to vote, (5) no actually desired alternative available, just undesired (bad) alternatives; or whatever (apart from medical reasons of course). Election laws have to take a minimal percentage of voters into account before declaring an outcome valid, but I think the freedom to vote, not the obligation, is an improvement to democracy.

Power to the people
increased criticism, political and military isolation (if the generals didn't do that themselves already), target directed sanctions, not so much affecting the population economically, mental and (James Russell Brownwood) concrete support of the opposition and objective information services via foreign (from page 14) The implication of all that is that the news media (internet, radio). National demonstrations and civil opposition, together with foreign support, criticism, (yes, indispensable foreign influence on disobedience will at least weaken the junta's Burma! The governmental influence in position. Burma is hostile) in agreement with the will The battle fighting and prosecuting of the vast majority of the Burmese people, the criminal junta must go on, tougher than should rather focus on alternative ways to eliminate the junta as powerful criminals. it has been in the past. At the same time The foreign influence should consist of communication channels should always be

To (a)mend or to mind?

and remain widely open to allow any dialogue between the junta, the opposition and foreign authorities, just like when communicating and negotiating with hijackers. The more political prisoners the junta makes, the more difficult its position will become in the international community. The current junta has lasted for more than 20 years now and has brought nothing but misery. It is the time now that they should be knocked over. The people do not want the junta as we all know for more than 20 years. ********

James.Russell.Brownwood@Gmail.com

Justice Reforms Burma

http://jrburma.int.tf

15-12-09

@NLM

12/15/09, 09:23 PM

James.Russell.Brownwood@Gmail.com / http://jrburma.int.tf

16 THE ALTERNATIVE NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR Tuesday, 15 December, 2009

The funny New Light of Myanmar
James Russell Brownwood
08dec2009 What is the matter with the (daily English language) New Light of Myanmar newspaper (NLM)? It looks like a normal newspaper, but quite often, seeing the unilateral political stories and articles it seems to be a political party magazine, looking at the various slogans it resembles a propaganda journal, it often contains religious (Buddhist) sermons and recruiment speeches, seeming a fanatic, fundamentalist periodical, now and then it contains spy reports and now (7 December 2009) it approaches a gossip magazine. What is the case about? The front page and almost the whole page 8 are devoted to a Golf Tournament of government officials. Is that important news? Who wants to know about it? Is it more important than soccer in the West that it should occupy the indicated pages? Is it more important than any other news? Is the sport adorable or are the contestants adorable? On the front page there are action pictures of Maung Aye, Thura Shwe Mann and Thein Sein. Why is that? Are those generals gods? Are they godly, celebrities, like film or movie stars? Do they have a sexy charisma? Do they have a warm, reassuring voice, do they have 'loving kindness' to spend? Haven't we seen them yesterday already? Do they have to be photographed and showed like dolls every day? Or will there be discharges among the employees of the NLM if giving attention to the generals would be skipped for a day? Why all those ceremonies and prizegivings and reports thereoff, don't the almighty and godly generals have something more useful to do? Or is constantly being in the picture their goal and means, their fulfillment in life, the acknowledgement of their power, at least for today? Tomorrow there will be another edition of the NLM to prove that they [the generals] are still in power. Do they themselves believe what's in the newspaper? Are they addicted to the public attention and power? Could they live without the attention, even if for just one day? Why all those openings, gift and money donations? Is life one big celebration for the rich and wealthy people in Burma? Is material progress, the infrastructural achievements so important to praise the government for? Is the no poverty and misery? Is there no dissatisfaction and oppression? Isn't there a state of emergency? Isn't there an army fighting and killing civilians inside Burma? Isn't there legalised physical violence? Are there no political prisoners? Is there freedom and democracy, peace and justice for minorities? Is there tolerance and support forthe weak and meek? Are there fair elections and voting procedures? Whatever the NLM is, regarding the foreign news it clearly is anti-West, especially anti-US, anti-UK, anti-EU in the way it discredits the West with every possible detail. With regard to the rest of the world or subjects like sports and science it is rather objective, but rather global as well; with regard to national news and comments it largely is all that I already mentioned: politically unilateral, propagandistic, religious, secret and gossipy. It is known to be a censored state-run newspaper, not at all independent and only publishes in accordance with the views of the junta, how and what the junta wants the NLM to publish. Those superficial articles, worshipping the (material) general's achievements, is an important part of the junta's ridiculous PR. These are comparable to the articles appearing on all kinds of quantitative advantages and progress during former communist (dictatorial actually) rule in the USSR and China. Once the Burmese dictatorial junta ceases to exist a newspaper like the NLM will quite likely also cease to exist. That would be no loss as the NLM does not represent freedom of press and freedom of criticism anyway. ********

All opposition groups should join hands to form a strong front against the junta.
The junta above the law begets anarchy.

The monks back to the monasteries? The military back to the barracks!
James.Russell.Brownwood@Gmail.com Justice Reforms Burma http://jrburma.int.tf
15-12-09 @NLM 12/15/09, 09:23 PM James.Russell.Brownwood@Gmail.com / http://jrburma.int.tf

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