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The Problems of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

- Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung has been working on Burma issues since the early 90’s and it used to
be focused primarily on federal constitution of Burma and ethnic nationalities issues.
- But since Dr. Paul Pasch who is the representative for Malaysia and Burma (he was based in
Malaysia) come in he change the ways of FES and tried to engage with the military regime of
Burma and its cronies and supporters hoping to change them to become more democratic.
- FES supported and funded Myanmar Institute of Security and International Studies (a
Burmese brunch of ASEAN ISIS). But unlike other ISISs in fellow ASEAN countries MISIS is
directly controlled by the Foreign Ministry of junta and doesn’t function as a research and
think tank organization.
- When Dr. Paul Pasch was still the country representative of Myanmar, he made a lot of rude
and irrational comments that were totally against Burma’s democratic struggle. For instance
in 2004, he went to Burma and met Shan democratic leaders including U Khun Htun Oo who
are now serving lengthy prison sentences and tried to persuade them to accept junta’s
National Convention, but they didn’t accept his advice. Just a few days after he went back
from Burma, these leaders were arrested tried arbitrarily and given unusual sentences.
Instead of showing sympathy towards the leaders and deplore the junta for their ruthless
act, he even said that these Shan leaders do deserve such sentences because they were so
stubbornly going against the government. We can see Dr. Paul Pasch’s mentality from this
- “Even more bizarrely, when monks and others were being killed and arrested in Rangoon,
the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, a German foundation, organized a Burma tour, in which,
according to The New Light of Myanmar of October 7, “thirteen scholars with two from the
European Union and the European Parliament” took part. The FES delegation visited a
showcase “drug eradication project” in a remote corner of northeastern Burma, where, the
paper said, they were received by “U Phon Kyar Shin,” who, in fact, is Peng Jiasheng, one of
Burma’s most notorious drug lords.” From:
- Current Representative to Myanmar form FES is Henning Effner who is also based in

- FES’s official stand is social democratic and it supports progressive and social democratic
movements and networks in Southeast Asia, but in dealing with Burma, they drops their
principle to support social democratic organizations and instead supports the neo-liberals,
free marketeers, and reactionary group like Myanmar Egress.
- It is because they are simply doing all of their activities for their country (Germany’s) interest
and not because they want to promote a principal, a value or an ideology. Germany’s
interest is to protect Southeast Asian countries and potential market form the hands of
other global hegemonic powers like US and thus the ideology if social democracy becomes
their tool to mobilize anti-American and anti-globalization sentiments in our region. So that
it can wield that soft power to bring the interest to its home country Germany.
- FES position on supporting genuine people who are struggling is as follows;” the status of
FES as a "guest organization" might be jeopardized if some groups' tickets are paid for with
FES funds/ under FES accounts. The possibility of political censure or retaliation is very real;
it has happened before”,” For Singapore, it will be the discretion of the FES Singapore Office
whether they are open to inviting opposition youth groups from Singapore”
- And please check out the following links to learn more about FES’s policy on Burma
Myanmar Egress

- Myanmar Egress take up the social democracy mask as last resort, because other regional
networks and organizations that hold either liberalism or socialism are already associated
with Burmese exile networks.
- E.g. Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) is associated with National Coalition of
the Union of Burma (NCUB), and NLD (Liberated Area), International Union of Socialist Youth
(IUSY) is associated with Democratic Party of New Society (DPNS), International Union of
Students (IUS) is associated with All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU), Asian
Student Association (ASA) is associated with All Burma student Democratic Front (ABSDF)
and World Youth Movement for Democracy (WYMD) is associated with Student and Youth
Congress of Burma (SYCB). So the only channel left for them is social democratic networks.
- Myanmar Egress is doing all sectors just to gain control of the respective sectors; politics,
business, NGO works, media and education.
- Myanmar Egress related organizations:
1. Myanmar Youths In Action
2. Myanmar Internet Networking Group
3. Myanmar Green Society
4. The Nargis Action Group
5. Myanmar Fisheries Federation
6. Myanmar Shrimps Association
7. Gracious Myanmar Travel Co., Ltd
8. Chindwin College
9. Alpha Computer
10. Myanmar Partners Think-Tank
11. Living Color Magazine
12. The Voice Weekly Newspaper
13. Foreign Affairs Journal

- Partner organizations of Myanmar Egress:

1. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
2. Community Development and Civic Empowerment Program (CDCE)

- Donors of Myanmar Egress:

1. Action Aid http:
3. Hope World Wide
4. European Commission Humanitarian Aid
5. Oxfam Novib
6. International Development Enterprises
Established 1914

Volume XV, Number 174 11th Waning of Tawthalin 1369 ME Sunday, 7 October, 2007

Four political objectives Four economic objectives Four social objectives

* Development of agriculture as the base and all-round * Uplift of the morale and morality of
* Stability of the State, community peace
development of other sectors of the economy as well the entire nation
and tranquillity, prevalence of law and
* Proper evolution of the market-oriented economic * Uplift of national prestige and integ-
system rity and preservation and safeguard-
* National reconsolidation
* Development of the economy inviting participation in ing of cultural heritage and national
* Emergence of a new enduring State
terms of technical know-how and investments from character
sources inside the country and abroad * Uplift of dynamism of patriotic spirit
* Building of a new modern developed * The initiative to shape the national economy must be kept
nation in accord with the new State * Uplift of health, fitness and education
in the hands of the State and the national peoples standards of the entire nation

Ovada sought from Sayadaws of Yangon Division Sangha Nayaka Committee

Monks are to follow Vinaya rules of the Buddha,
rules and regulations and instructions
If they breach any one of those orders action may be taken against them

Director of Yangon Division General Administration Department U Hla Soe supplicates matters related to religious affairs to Sayadaws of
Yangon Division Sangha Nayaka Committee (All Ganas). — MNA
NAY PYI TAW, 6 Oct — A ceremony to seek Director of Yangon Division Administration During the disturbances, monks of the mon-
ovada from Sayadaws of Yangon Division Sangha Department U Hla Soe supplicated on religious mat- asteries who did not take part in the disturbances
Nayaka Committee (All Ganas) was held at Yangon ters saying violent disturbances occurred in some faced threats and insulting group throwing bottled
Division Sangha Nayaka Committee (Sudhamma) in townships of Yangon Division due to some mem- water at their monasteries. Troublemakers commit-
Bahan Township, Yangon, yesterday afternoon. bers of the Sangha and laypersons. ted assaults even on eminent monks.
(See page 7)
Leader of Spokes Authoritative Team of the State Peace and INSIDE
Development Council Minister for Information Brig-Gen 1234567890123456789012345678901
Control yourselves with awareness
Kyaw Hsan receives scholars of Friedrich Ebert Foundation I would like to remind you that you will lose
your monkhood like the monk I have presented if
FES scholars tour Shan State (North), Yeywa hydel you keep on doing wrong acts, relying on the
made-up stories manufactured and aired by in-
project in Mandalay Division ternal and external destructive elements and BBC,
VOA, RFA and DVB who you have never seen
NAY PYI TAW, 6 Oct — Scholars of Friedrich businesses in Muse, and Yeywa hydroelectric power
and met, who have never done any good deeds
Ebert Foundation (FES) headed by Dr P Christian generation project in Kyaukse Township in Mandalay
in the interests of the Sasana, and who are hatch-
Hauswedell went on a study tour of development Division on 1 and 2 October.
achievements of Laukkai of Special Region No 1 and The FES scholars together with local and ing plots to destroy the interests of the lay per-
Kaungkha of Special Region No 5 in Shan State foreign journalists arrived in Laukkai in Special region sons who offer four kinds of requisites to you
(North), Muse 105th-mile border trade station, the No 1 in Shan State (North) on 1 October morning. every day.
gateway to the People’s Republic of China and trade (See page 8) PAGE 5 A VILLAGE MONK

Emergence of the State Constitution is the duty of all citizens of Myanmar Naing-Ngan.

7-10-07NL 1 8/6/18, 02:37 AM

8 THE NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR Sunday, 7 October, 2007

E Experts from FES foundation visits Yeywa Hydroelectric power Project in Kyaukse.—MNA

Leader of Spokes Authoritative Team… crops. FES scholars in- Afterwards, FES scholars and the future works. FES scholars inquired the co-
quired about the reason visited the Kaungkha hy- scholars inquired that operation between
(from page 1) techniques, fertilizers and for making peace, their droelectric power plant whether the project was Myanmar and the UN.
They were welcomed by pesticides, he observed. views and attitudes to the and the 100-acre opium- harmful to environment or Minister for Information
national race leaders, dis- Water is scarce in Kokang National Convention, the substitution tea plantation. not. The Deputy Minister Brig-Gen Kyaw Hsan re-
trict and township level region for domestic use future of the peace groups On 2 October, clarified that feasibility plied that Myanmar as a
departmental officials and and agricultural purposes, and the relations among FES scholars visited the studies were made also for member nation has been
local national people. he said. The international the Kachin peace groups. 105th-mile border trade environmental conserva- cooperating with the UN
Afterwards at the community should recog- National race leader U station in Muse in north- tion before starting the and at present Myanmar
Anti-Narcotic Drugs Mu- nize the achievements in Mahtu Naw explained that ern Shan State. At the project. When the project is fully cooperating with
seum in Laukkai, U Li anti-narcotic drugs activi- armed insurgency started briefing hall there, they is under way, a consultant it; Head of State Senior
Man Kwan on behalf of ties undertaken by the as their region did not de- were briefed matters re- team from Switzerland General Than Shwe re-
Special Region No 1 na- Government and the na- velop and was left isolated. lated to construction was hired to avoid effects ceived UN Secretary Gen-
tional race leader U Phon tional people, he stressed. They attained peace as the works at the 105th-mile to the environment. No eral’s Special Envoy Mr
Kyar Shin briefed regional Later, FES schol- Government gave them a station, border trade and villages were removed by Gambari on 2 October; Mr
development endeavours ars visited the Anti-Nar- chance to join hands with developments of Muse re- the project which was be- Gambari also met with
and accomplishments in cotic Drugs Museum and the Tatmadaw in regional gion by Director-General ing implemented by Spokes Authoritative Team
cultivation of opium sub- viewed round the devel- development endeavours of the Border Trade De- Myanmar technicians of the State Peace and De-
stitution crops. FES schol- opment in Laukkai. They and to participate in the partment U San Pyae. only, he explained. Then, velopment Council, na-
ars inquired the require- proceeded to Kaungkha of National Convention, he Deputy Director-General FES scholars viewed tional race peace groups as
ments in carrying out re- Special Region No 5 in said. The National Con- of the Hydroelectric round the Yeywa hydel well as officials from reli-
gional development ac- Shan State (North). They vention the first step of Power Generation Depart- power project site. gious organizations,
tivities, U Li Man Kwan were welcomed there by the Road Map has now ment U Win Kyi explained On 3 October Myanma Motion Picture
replied that there were re- national race leader U been completed and when matters on Shweli hydro- morning, the FES schol- Asiayon and Myanmar
quirements in transporta- Mahtu Naw, departmen- the remaining steps are electric power project. ars met with State Peace Music Asiayon; Mr
tion for agricultural pro- tal officials and the local completed the elected Later, the FES and Development Coun- Gambari was allowed to
duces. Although the ma- national people. government will emerge, scholars went on excur- cil Spokes Authoritative meet with those he would
jor roads have been built Afterwards, at the he observed. At that time, sion tour to Mongyu in- Team Leader and mem- like to meet; he also got
with the assistance of the briefing hall of Kaungkha, the peace groups will be- spection centre where bers, Deputy Ministers opportunities to witness
State, village-to-village national race leader U come auxiliary forces of loaded trucks are in- and senior officials from development of the coun-
roads are still required to Mahtu Naw explained the Tatmadaw, he men- spected with the use of the Ministry of Home Af- try and mass rallies to ex-
be built to access remote matters on regional devel- tioned. There are alto- X-ray machines; the in- fairs, the Ministry of La- press People’s Desire. The
hilly areas, he mentioned. opment endeavours and gether three Kachin peace spection of vehicles at bour, the Ministry of De- Minister also disclosed that
Similarly, it is required to accomplishments in culti- groups and the relation the export-import check fence, the Ministry of he explained to Mr Gambari
obtain modern cultivation vating opium-substitution among them is fraternal. point and cold storage for Health, the Ministry of not only the current situa-
marine products. Next, Foreign Affairs at the tion but also the stance of
they also visited the Minister’s Office of the the Government on
Shwe Nandaw gateway Ministry of Information Myanmar’s politics. The
in Muse to the People’s in Nay Pyi Taw. Officials Minister also expressed his
Republic of China and concerned from various hope that Mr Gambari
studied business and ministries clarified the would explain about
trade activities. salient points of their Myanmar’s actual situation
The FES scholars works and replied to the when he arrives back to the
proceeded to Yeywa hy- queries made by the FES UN.
droelectric power plant scholars. In the afternoon, FES scholars then
project site in Kyaukse Minister for Information inquired about the possi-
Township of Mandalay Brig-Gen Kyaw Hsan re- bilities of the groups which
Division. They were wel- ceived the FES scholars did not participated in the
comed by Deputy Minis- and clarified the current National Convention to
ter for Electric Power-1 U political situation of enter election to be held
Myo Myint and officials. Myanmar. according to the seven-step
At the briefing hall there, (The Minister’s Road Map. Minister Brig-
Scholars from FES foundation paying a visit to Drug Elimination Deputy Minister U Myo clarifications are re- Gen Kyaw Hsan replied that
Myint explained the work ported separately). the Constitution draft and
Museum in Laukkai. — MNA progress so far achieved Next, the FES (See page 9)

7-10-07NL 8 8/6/18, 02:37 AM

THE NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR Sunday, 7 October, 2007 9

According to the principles adopted by the National Convention, a

constitution with basic democratic rights for the people will emerge
The national races will have extensive range of rights to
exercise legislative, administrative and judicial powers
NAY PYI TAW, 6 Oct—The following is the clarification Palaung, Pa-O, Kokang and Narga nationals will In transforming a nation into a democratic one,
on current Myanmar’s political affairs made by Chairman have Self-Administered Division or Self-Administered essential requirements are the stability, peace and the
of the Information Committee of the State Peace and Zones to exercise legislative, administrative and rule of law; the prosperity of the people; and the well
Development Council Minister for Information Brig- judicial powers extensively. educated citizens. Hence, nation building efforts are
Gen Kyaw Hsan to scholars of FES Foundation. In addition, efforts have been made for the made politically, economically and socially by the
Excellencies and distinguished guests, minorities who do not get Self-Administered Division Government. Antigovernment groups are trying to bring
First, I would like to express that I am glad to have or Self-Administered Zone to enjoy democratic rights about democracy through violence and unrests. We would
this opportunity to make clarifications to FES (Friedrich deservedly. The national race whose population like to stress the point that according to the conditions of
Ebert Foundation) scholars. exceeds 0.1 per cent of the nation’s total population our nation, democratic reform cannot be made forcefully.
I believe you have obtained a wide range of data and can send a representative to respective Region / State We assume that in bringing about democracy, all the
facts from officials concerned of various ministries. I Hluttaw. That representative can participate as violence are not suitable to democracy.
would like to apprise you of the progress of the democracy minister at the respective Region / State. On behalf of Regarding the situations in Myanmar, I would explain
reform as well as the situations caused by inside and the national race concerned, that representative can in brief in two parts, the first part up to 2007 and the
outside antigovernment groups trying hard at their utmost participate in exercising legislative and administrative second part in the year 2007. Since taking over State
to jeopardize the momentum being achieved in the powers. Similarly, the national race which does not responsibilities, the Tatmadaw Government has constantly
democratic reform. get SAD or SAZ and its population exceeds 10,000 can been making earnest efforts for the national stability,
We are pro-democracy. Therefore, since the send a representative to respective Leading Bodies of development and democracy reform. Due to these
Government took over State responsibilities unavoidably SAD or SAZ so as to participate in legislative and endeavours, development is achieved on all fronts with
in 1988, it has earnestly been making efforts for democratic administrative affairs. momentum and the people are enjoying the fruitful
reform as aspired by the people. We have declared the Provisions guaranteeing the rights of various sectors results of development. As you friends have visited
seven-step Road Map to the world for building up our including citizen sector, religious sector, social sector, Myanmar for at least three times, you all have witnessed
nation into a discipline-flourishing democratic State. etc which will be equal to those of other democratic the stability and peace and developments of the country.
Today, the National Convention which is the first step of nations will be prescribed in the forthcoming As you all have known, the Government started to
the seven-step Road Map has successfully been completed. Constitution. Hence, we would like to stress that the convene the National Convention in view of democracy
All delegates of the National Convention have Constitution to be drafted with the Fundamental reform. From 1993 to 1996, The National Convention
unanimously adopted Fundamental Principles and Principles and detailed basic principles will be the best adopted 104 Fundamental Principles and detailed
detailed basic principles. and the most suitable to our nation. These Fundamental basic principles. However in the year 1995, NLD
In this context, I would like to mention the stance Principles and detailed basic principles are adopted walked out of the National Convention on its own
of the delegates representing former armed groups unanimously by all the delegates from every township volition. Since then, antigovernment groups inside
who participated in the National Convention. All those including those delegates from former armed groups which and outside the country making efforts for
delegates have expressed their stances and attitude in have returned to the legal fold. jeopardizing the National Convention, hindering the
meeting with UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy In undertaking democratic reform, we have to development pace and destroying peace and stability.
Mr Ibrahim Agboola Gambari in the year 2006 that start with the steps harmonious to the prevailing Especially, NLD has constantly been sticking to its
they believed in the National Convention; would join conditions and current situations. We will get little wrong policies such as Defiance of All Orders,
the Government and the people according to the advantage and much disadvantage if we give priority Confrontation, Utter Devastation, Imposing Four Kinds
forthcoming Constitution; and would never return to to the wishes and dreams rather than to prevailing of Sanction, Relying on External Elements, and Opposing
underground for any reason. conditions. Democracy will mature with the intellectual all the endeavours of the Government, etc. As efforts
According to the principles adopted by the level and maturity of the people and developments in were made to destabilize the nation, create violence and
National Convention, a Constitution with basic economic, education, social and other sectors. Today’s unrests and jeopardize the National Convention, the
democratic rights for the people will emerge. The democracy flourishing big nations have achieved the Government has to make some detentions. Similarly, the
national races will have extensive range of rights to present mature stage of democracy in this way. so-called “88” generation students group launched
exercise legislative, administrative and judicial powers. Likewise, Myanmar’s reform to democracy will also antigovernment activities such as signature campaign,
In addition to the existing seven States, Wa, Danu, get mature gradually. (See page 10)

Leader of Spokes Authoritative Team… tional Convention in the year 2007, one can see that Government is not hindering the democracy reform
the Government has been expediting the implemen- but bringing about the discipline-flourishing democ-
(from page 8) tation of the seven-step Road Map, he said. However, racy, he stressed. He continued to say that Fundamen-
related laws and bylaws will be consisted of stipulations antigovernment groups do not see the completion of tal Principles and detailed basic principles were
for formation of political parties. In accordance with the the National Convention as a progress and assuming adopted at the National Convention by people’s del-
stipulations, antigovernment groups can be able to form that it rendered them lesser opportunities to grab egates from eight delegate groups unanimously. Dur-
political parties, he said. NLD is still sticking to wrongful power, they accelerated their efforts to jeopardize the ing the previous trips as well as in this trip, the FES
policies of Defiance of All Orders, Confrontation, Utter National Convention, he noted. Thus, their efforts scholars have toured the regions of peace groups and
Devastation, Imposing Four Kinds of Sanctions and were deterred by security unit members and the known the views and stances of these groups upon the
Relying on External Elements, he noted. Only when the people collectively, he said. The Minister continued National Convention, the Minister said.
NLD give up these policies, cooperation can be made, to say that the Government has sound evidences The Third Workshop on ASEAN-EU relation was
he pointed out. One cannot plead for dialogue on one about the collaborated attempts of antigovernment held on 4 and 5 October at Kumudra Hotel in Nay Pyi
hand while putting pressures on the other, the minister groups within and without the country to jeopardize Taw attended by FES scholars as well as researchers
remarked. Now the National Convention which is the the National Convention. The destructive elements and scholars of Myanmar Institute of Strategic and
first step of the seven-step Road Map has been com- had also plotted to blast bombs at the National Con- International Studies.
pleted, and continued efforts will thus be made for vention. Such destructive acts could delay the Road The FES Foundation included 13 scholars with
implementing the remaining steps, the Minister ob- Map implementation process, he noted. He also two from the European Union and the European Parlia-
served. stressed that international community as well as ment. The two scholars from the EU and the Eurpean
The FES scholars then inquired about the forma- antigovernment groups should render cooperative Parliament were unable to attend the workshop though
tion of a committee for drafting the Constitution. The hand to the Government’s implementation of the they were in Yangon because they were recalled due to
Minister clarified that the drafting committee will be seven-step Road Map. The Government would like to the foreign media’s exaggerated broadcasts on the
formed with adequate number of legal experts and see the antigovernment groups to enter elections in demonstrations that took place in Myanmar.
intellectuals. By seeing the completion of the Na- the future, the Minister mentioned. The Tatmadaw MNA

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10 THE NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR Sunday, 7 October, 2007
further promote understanding between the peoples
According to the principles of the two countries, they are actually providing
duties only and not to get involved in violence and
political affairs. Neglecting the directives, the monks
training courses on antigovernment activities. You
adopted by the… friends can consider it is appropriate or not.
continued to launch protests. As the situation had
worsened like in 1988 and the nation was on the brink
(from page 9) The expatriate groups abroad under the guise of disintegration, authorities issued a curfew in
white expression campaign, prayer campaign, white of democracy, human rights and labour affairs made necessary places of Yangon and Mandalay. Authorities
Sunday campaign etc. Yet, the Government with contacts with NED (National Endowment for had to take necessary measures for preventing the 1988
broad-mindedness pardoned such antigovernment Democracy) USAID, etc and provided cash and disturbances-like deterioration.
activities in view of enabling them to have necessary assistance to antigovernment groups inside The Government handled the situations with
democracy practices. the country to launch UG activities. With the funds much patience, tolerance and broad-mindedness.
Likewise the expatriates who fled after provided by these foreign financial organizations, the Authorities at different levels handled the situation
violating laws in the country in one way or another antigovernment groups inside the country made efforts very carefully with much restraints at their best. On
made collaborative efforts for creating unrest and to create unrest and violence. the other hand, the protests and violence harmed
violence in the country, for jeopardizing stability and While the antigovernment groups inside and the transportation, business and daily lives of the
disrupting National Convention. The remnant outside the country were carrying out antigovernment people. Thus, the people themselves rounded up
insurgents seeking refuge at border areas are no longer activities collectively, the Government had to refix the protesters and handed over to authorities. Due
strong enough to fight the Government militarily and fuel prices unavoidably. The Government has been to the efforts of the people, the nation has come to
they joined with inside and outside antigovernment subsidizing for fuel prices since 1988. Nowadays in normalcy.
groups in carrying out sabotage acts to harm the the world, fuel prices are skyrocketing and the Authorities handled the situation without
stability in the country. These destructive elements Government has to spend huge amount of money for any hatred or prejudice. Focus was made only on
blasted bombs even at the religious ceremony to pay the subsidies. Therefore, balancing the expenditure ensuring the prevalence of peace and stability.
homage to Lord Buddha’s Tooth Relic at Maha Pasana of State funds and for subsidies and the consideration Though the authorities handled the situation with
Cave in Yangon. They also blasted bombs for relieving the people from the burden of oil price much care and restraints, there have been some
simultaneously at Yangon Trade Centre, Junction-8 hikes, fuel prices were refixed unavoidably. Yet, the arrests and bloodshed incidents. We are more
Centre and Dagon Shopping Centre. Due to the cruel revised fuel prices are still less than the prevailing sorrowful than foreigners and foreign nations as
bomb blasts, 23 persons were killed and 162 wounded. international fuel prices as the Government continues this situation rose in our country and to our people.
Some western powers also put pressure upon to subsidize. By taking advantage of the rise in fuel At the bottom of our heart, we absolutely do not
the Government by imposing economic sanctions and prices, the antigovernment groups started to make want such incident happen. Please understand the
cut off humanitarian aids. Similarly, foreign media instigations to create protests. In other words, they fact that the incident that occurred in Myanmar
made exaggerations and fabrications in order to employed their strategies. due to sponsorship of the western powers and
instigate violence and unrest in the country. Thus, the At first, the antigovernment groups attempted collective efforts of antigovernment groups inside
people of Myanmar dubbed these foreign broadcasting to infiltrate the students to create unrest. However, and outside the country.
stations as “centres with skyful of lies”. the majority of the students know the truth and they Actually, the entire people do not want or
Although inside and outside antigovernment could not be instigated. Then, the antigovernment accept such protests and unrests. So, mass rallies
groups, insurgents, western powers and western groups tried to infiltrate the workers. And the workers are being held throughout the country unanimously
media are collectively attacking the Government, did not accept their instigation. Therefore, the by the people to denounce violence and protests as
the entire people of Myanmar absolutely believe in antigovernment groups infiltrated the monks and well as to support the National Convention and
and support the Government. It is obvious that with instigate to create protests. As a result, some monks the forthcoming Constitution. More such rallies will
the support of the people, the Government started to protest beginning 28 August. take place all over the country.
successfully carries on the process of democracy In the beginning, the monks did not make We would like to ascertain that as the
reform. Despite various difficulties and hardships, political demands and they wandered reciting parittas Government has already adopted the seven-step Road
the Government gains development for the physical and mental well-being of the people. Map for building up a discipline-flourishing democratic
accomplishments and democracy reform process is However, authorities handled the issue with restraints nation, it will never deviate from its policy no matter
not delayed. and patience. As no restrictions were made by the how the international community impose sanctions or
I will continue to explain about the situations Government, antigovernment groups turned the render assistance. We are eager to have better ties with
in the year 2007. When the Government declared in situation into political movement so as to make EU and we welcome the assistance of EU in the
June to convene the final session of the National political demands and create unrests. procesas of democracy transition and for the
Convention soon to accelerate the pace of democracy In fact, there are about 500,000 monks in the development of human resources. The European Union
reform process, the antigovernment groups inside and whole country and only 2 per cent of monks however needs to have true picture of Myanmar’s
outside the country raised the momentum of participated in the protests. Those 2 per cent of the political situation and actual conditions so as to act fair
antigovernment activities. They employed three mass of monks include those bogus monks who got and square without bias. As some member countries
strategies. The first strategy was to disrupt the their heads shaved and wore monk’s robes temporarily of EU are bluntantly interfering in our internal affairs,
National Convention. If they could not disrupt it, as arranged and paid by NLD and the so-called ’88 the progress in the relations between Myanmar and EU
they would try to make efforts for preventing the generation students group. The lay persons who took will remain far and far. During the recent strikes, some
drafting of the Constitution. If they fail to do so, part in the protests were also members of the leaders and senior officials of some member countries
they would try to instigate the people not to support antigovernment groups. The majority of the people of EU encouraged the protesters bluntantly to continue
the Constitution. Their second strategy was to did not participate in the protests. With the passage to go on strikes. Such acts will tarnish the image of EU
create unrest and violence like those in 1988. Their of time, there emerged dangers to harm the and make it difficult to play a fair and square role in
third strategy was to launch sabotage acts including national peace and stability. Some protesters even Myanmar’s affairs.
blasting of bombs throughout the country. These threatened reverend monks who did not While EU aspires the flourishing of
three strategies were employed by antigovernment participate in the protests. democracy in Myanmar, the Tatmadaw will see to
groups within and without the country as well as The most significant incident was that on 24th the emergence of democracy without fail as aspired
those at the border areas with harmonious timings September, some 350 monks and NLD members by the people. It is hoped that this workshop can
collectively. shouted abusive words and attacked monastic find ways and means to solve difficulties caused by
At the same time, in order to assist these three buildings with purified water bottles at the monastery different approaches although we have the same
strategies, some western powers misused UN Security of Kyakhatwaing Sayadaw who is the Joint Sasana- aspiration. In this context, I would like to express
Council, ILO and Human Rights Council to try to take paing (the most reverend bishop) of Shwekyin Gana our deep gratitude to Friedrich Ebert Foundation
lopsided actions against Myanmar. The intelligence of the Sangha with membership strength of about for its endeavours for these workshops through
organizations of some western powers also provided 50,000 monks all over the country. The Kyakhatwaing various difficulties.
cash and kind assistance to the inside and outside Sayadaw’s monastery is located in Bago and the What I have clarified are underlying facts as
antigovernment groups. NLD and the so-called “88” residence of about 1,200 monks. Being the Joint regards the progress of the seven-step Road Map and
generation students group in collaboration made Sasana-paing, the Sayadaw is highly respected by the the political transition. Other ministries have also
instigations through various ways and means to create mass of the Sangha. Hence the mass of the Sangha is clarified their views frankly as regards the actual
instability and unrest in the country. Diplomats of the very frustrated with that incident. conditions and situations of Myanmar and possibilities
embassies of some western countries visited the NLD Since the situations was leading to for cooperation between Myanmar and EU. Thus, it is
headquarters almost daily and gave advice and deterioration like in 1988, the Sangha Maha Nayaka believed that Excellencies and guests have had more
suggestions. The centres opened by those embassies Sayadaws tried to settle the issue with Dhamma. In useful facts. You friends can raise questions for further
also conducted various training courses which were addition to the previous directives, the sangha Maha details. And you all are invited for free and frank
not related with education but with antigovernment Nayaka Committee issued the directive No 93 on 24 discussions.
activities. Although, these centres are opened to September for the monks to perform the religious Thank you. — MNA

7-10-07NL 10 8/6/18, 02:37 AM

2 THE NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR Monday, 19 July, 2010

PERSPECTIVES People’s Desire

Monday, 19 July, 2010 * Oppose those relying on external elements, acting as stooges, holding negative views
* Oppose those trying to jeopardize stability of the State and progress of the nation
Intellectuals, intelligentsia * Oppose foreign nations interfering in internal affairs of the State
on the increase * Crush all internal and external destructive elements as the common enemy
As development of human resources is
essential for national development, the Energy Minister looks into No 5 Fertilizer Plant
government is generating better access to
education by opening new basic education Construction Project in Ayeyawady Div
schools, universities and colleges the length and
breadth of the nation to bring about more and YANGON, 18 July—
Minister for Energy U
more educated people.
Lun Thi visited
As part of the lofty drive, the government
construction site of No 5
is expediting school enrolment week activities Fertilizer Plant
across the nation in the run-up to the school Construction Project
season in order that every school-age child can (Pathein) in Pathein,
attend classes. Simultaneously, it is constantly Ayeyawady Division
taking measures to ensure that schoolchildren yesterday.
complete education, to reduce dropout rates, The minister viewed
and to sharpen the abilities of students. Water Plant, Prilling
In a bid to improve access to education, Tower, Substations,
the University for Development of National Ammonia Plant, Urea
Races and the Nationality Youths Development Plant, Ammonia Ball
Degree College were established with a view to Tank, Nitrogen Plant and
producing intellectuals and intelligentsia Control Room in the
throughout the nation including in border areas. plant. He instructed staff
Moreover, a good number of vocational of the plant to produce
training centres for women have been opened in fertilizer through correct
technical process on Minister for Energy U Lun Thi inspects installation of machines at No
border areas to improve the living conditions
schedule. 5 Fertilizer Plant Project in Pathein.—ENERGY
for women.
At the briefing hall
Now, endeavours are being exerted on a of the plant, after hearing and officials from Asia needs. technicians who are
self-reliant basis to build a peaceful, modern the reports on ongoing World, HQCEC and The minister working at the pro-
and developed nation. To provide impetus for tasks presented by the China II Co Ltds and the presented baskets of ject.
the plan, new generation youths are nurtured director of the project minister fulfilled the fruits to foreign MNA
and trained to enable the motherland to catch
up with global partners through the might of a
growing number of intellectuals and i Love Myanmar donates new school buildings in
Today, emergence of new roads, bridges,
Ayeyawady Div
factories and dams all over the Union is the
result of the development of human resources Opening ceremony
brought up by the State.
of new school
National people are therefore to do their
bit as well as to work hand in hand with the building in progress
government to achieve the goal of building a
at Basic Education
peaceful, modern and developed nation.
Primary School in

Workshops on biodiversity, Padaukkon Village

deforestation held of Labutta

N AY P YI T AW , 18 July—The Myanmar
Strategy and International Studies Department MNA
under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Friedrich
Ebert Stiftung co-organized workshop on Y ANGON , 18 July— Donor U Denial La Lin
biodiversity and deforestation issues and solutions The opening
ceremonies of new
from Emmanuel
Foundation and wife
Subcommission Office
on 15 July and workshop on management skills,
leadership and teamwork on 16 July at the Sedona school buildings of
affiliated Basic
Chairman of i Love
Myanmar Daw Levi
Hotel in Yangon.
Myanmar, India, South East Asia and Europe Education Middle Sap Nei Thang and Y ANGON , 18 July—Supervised by Yankin
submitted 12 papers at the first workshop, and School and Basic officials opened the Township subcommission of Yangon east District, the
Myanmar submitted one paper and an expert from Education Primary school buildings. signboard opening ceremony of No. 5 ward
Bangkok, one paper at the later workshop. Schools in Ayeyawady The BEPSs are subcommission office was held at the ward Peace and
The workshops were attended by officials Division, donated by i located in Bogale and Development Council Office, here, today.
and representatives from ministries, UNDP and Love Myanmar, took Labutta townships, and Chairman of the ward sub commission U Hla
special agencies, EU, and governmental and non- place on 12 and 14 affiliated BEMS in Win and Chairman of the ward PDC U Soe Naing
governmental organizations on environmental July. Labutta Township. formally opened the signboard.
conservation and forestry.—MNA At the ceremonies, MNA MNA

19-7-2010 NL.pmd 2 7/19/2010, 2:58 PM

Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Today Myanmar Region

Workshop on Kunming-Mandalay-Kyaukpyu/Sittwe Development Corridor opens

Yangon, 14 Dec - The workshop on Kunming-Mandalay-Kyaukpyu/Sittwe Development Corridor,
organized by Human Settlement and Housing Development Department of the Ministry of
Construction, was opened at Sedona Hotel on Kaba Aye Pagoda Road here this afternoon.
It was attended by Deputy Minister for Construction U Tint Swe, departmental heads and officials,
resource persons from the People's Republic of China, India, Germany and Czech Republic and
guests. First, the deputy minister addressed the workshop. Next, Prof Li Xiaoxi of the PRC, Prof
Sanjoy Hazarika of India, Mr Norbert von Hofmann of Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Bonn and Berlin of
Germany and Deputy Director General of HSHDD U Win Myint made speeches. Later, the workshop
commenced at 2:45 pm. It continues till 16 December.


Tourist Attraction

Myanmar Media
E-mail : mailto:
Pro-election Think Tank Feels the Pressure
By W AI MOE Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Burma's election will attract an estimated 77 percent turnout, according to the Burmese “think tank” Myanmar Egress.

The group, which describes itself as a “third force” in Burmese politics, announced its estimate at meetings in the Thai capital,
Bangkok, with diplomats and non-governmental organization officials from Europe.

At one meeting in Bangkok last week, participants were told that a survey undertaken by Myanmar Egress after the 2008
constitutional referendum found that 85 percent of respondents agreed with the constitution—very close to the government's claim
that 93.8 percent of voters had cast “yes” ballots.

Although Myanmar Egress claims political independence, it supports the planned election, advocating it at meetings such as those it
held in Bangkok and with donor organizations from Europe. A pro-election Thailand partner, the Vahu Development Institute took
part in the meetings.

At the meeting in Bangkok, said a source, “they made several presentations to diplomats and foreign NGOs and expert groups
regarding the election.”

“Basically they asked money from European countries. Interesting is that they claimed at the meeting that key political parties for
the coming election give them a mandate to seek funding aboard.”

The press were not invited to the meeting and Aung Naing Oo of the Vahu Development Institute declined to describe the
proceedings when contacted by The Irrawaddy. When contacted by The Irrawaddy, Myanmar Egress denied the meeting had
even taken place.

Main speakers at the Bangkok meeting were businessman Hla Maung Shwe, vice president of the Myanmar Egress, and its general
secretary Nay Win Maung, who is owner of Living Color magazine and The Voice Weekly journal.

Hla Maung Shwe, a key member of the Myanmar Shrimps Association, was a member of the opposition National League for
Democracy in the 1980s and 1990s. He was arrested in the early 1990s and spent three years in prison.

Hla Maung Shwe's younger brother is Brig-Gen Hla Myint Shwe, commandant of the Defense Services Institute of Nursing and
Paramedical Science, according to sources.

Sources said the Bangkok meeting was shown video footage of three Burmese political parties—the National Democratic Force
(NDF), the Democratic Party (Myanmar), led by veteran politician Thu Wai, and the Union Democratic Party (UDP).

“They came to our office and interviewed us on the difficulties we are facing,” said Khin Maung Swe, a NDF leader. “We sent
messages to the international community through them as they requested, as we think the media is biased. That is all. We did not
give any mandate to them for any purpose,”

Phyo Min Thein, a leader of the UDP, also denied his party had given any mandate to Myanmar Egress. “A few weeks ago, they
came to take a video about our perspective on the election and the difficulties,” he said.

A third denial of any mandate issued to Myanmar Egress came from Cho Cho Kyaw Nyein of the Democratic Party (Myanmar).
“We are not dependent on others, including for funding,” she said.

The Myanmar Egress is popular with some young people who want to study abroad as they can build capacity at the group’s
training sessions in Rangoon, Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand.

According to a report in The Christian Science Monitor in June, Tin Maung Thann of Myanmar Egress said training young people
in areas such as rural development, and securing the best and brightest to study overseas, is one way to speed change.

Nevertheless, most young intellectuals are critical of Myanmar Egress, accusing it of pro-government bias.

“The Myanmar Egress or the “Third Force” people say they are not for the government or the opposition. But what they say and
write are quite biased, advocating the junta’s constitution and election,” said a young Rangoon researcher who spoke on condition of
anonymity. “However, they are quite clever when they meet diplomats and foreigners, speaking like pro-democracy activists.”
Myanmar Egress executives are the product of the country's elite.

Nay Win Maung is the son of a military officer and a friend of former spy chief Gen Khin Nyunt’s son, Ye Naing Win. Helped by
good connections with the ruling generals, Nay Win Maung and Ye Naing Win established Living Color magazine in the late 1990s.

Nay Win Maung was also an executive member of the Kanbawza Bank run by Aung Ko Win, one of the junta’s associates.

Executive members of Myanmar Egress benefit from opportunities from the military rulers in the export and import business,
including diesel import licenses.

It has been alleged that Nay Win Maung and his colleagues have reported to government agencies such as the Military Affairs
Security and the Special Branch of the Burma police.

“The West knows what the 'Third Force' is really up to. But they—western policy circles of academics, diplomats, NGOs, donor
agencies, etcetera— want to expand their 'own' space together with an organization like Egress,” said a Burmese political analyst in

According to observers in Rangoon, contacted by The Irrawaddy, Myanmar Egress also has created opportunities for foreigners to
work with the organization and conduct research. Other groups that try to organize similar classes or activities are immediately
harassed or banned by the authorities.

Sources said the Myanmar Egress is now engaged in educating voters, teaching them the SPDC constitution and encouraging
participation in the election.

Official limitations are still placed on Myanmar Egress, however. Training sessions held outside the organization's premises have
been banned in the past by the authorities.

“The space Myanmar Egress has enjoyed is not a benchmark for our civil liberties,” one source said. “Now, some foreigners got
distracted by this illusion of 'space,' a pure rhetoric of the Third Force which came into our political vocabulary only a few years

An article in The Voice by Nay Win Maung in favor of the constitution and the election was even reportedly suppressed and
the journal ordered to close for two weeks because one minister was upset by its moral tone.

“The article was totally pro- constitution, pro-election and pro-roadmap of the junta,” said a Rangoon editor. “But journalists here
learned that one minister read the article and got angry because the article adopted a morally high ground tone.”

The editor, who works for a private publication, commented: “The 'third force” people said they know how to create political space
under military rules. But the space even for apologists of the system is limited.”

Copyright © 2008 Irrawaddy Publishing Group |

The Trouble with the EU and EC
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Last month, a European Union delegation canceled its planned trip to Burma after the Burmese regime refused to allow it to meet
detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

However, several informed EU sources suggested that some of the community's member states are still interested in visiting
Naypyidaw for talks with Burmese officials even if the request to meet Suu Kyi is not granted.

The Irrawaddy has also learned that several EU officials who belong to the “engagement camp” are also pushing the policy of
greater engagement with the regime.

Piero Fassino, the EU’s special envoy on Burma, is clearly in favor of visiting the country again. Recent requests by Fassino to visit
Burma have been rejected by the junta, however, while missions he was able to undertake in the past failed miserably.

Fassino is known to have little knowledge of Burma and its political situation. So why would he want to revisit the country?

Engaging the regime in Burma is fine as long as the regime has the political will and engagement produces a tangible outcome. But
the EU's engagement policy has produced nothing positive so far.

Burma campaign groups previously expressed concern that the EU envoy on Burma has on occasion appeared to publicly and
privately undermine the “very common position” which he is mandated to advocate with Asian countries.

Indeed, the EU common policy is to maintain or increase sanctions against the regime and support political dialogue and national
reconciliation between the opposition and the regime. It can also increase pressure if necessary, including imposing an arms
embargo on Burma.

Yet the EU has still failed to employ its full economic and political pressure to produce a positive outcome in military-ruled Burma.

The complexity of the EU cannot be denied—but, alarmingly, some member states don’t stick to the community's common policy,
resulting in tension and confusion within the grouping.

The trouble is that the EU’s Burma policy sends mixed signals to Burmese democratic forces inside and outside Burma.

The Irrawaddy has learned that detained democracy leader Suu Kyi herself and senior members of the now-banned NLD have
recently expressed concern over the EU’s policy.

It is believed that the UK, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Denmark and the Netherlands want to maintain the EU’s common
policy but some other member countries, especially Germany and Spain, are pushing more of a pro-engagement line if not openly
supporting the regime’s sham election and some controversial and shady figures belonging to a “third force” inside Burma.

Unlike European Parliament members, bureaucrats at the European Commission (EC) have supported a dialogue with the junta
and increased its cooperation with some shady allies of the junta and the “third force” while cutting funding for refugees on the
Thai-Burmese border.

Cooperation with a “third force” and some shady figures supporting the regime’s sham election and undermining the main
opposition parties and activists and civil society groups inside and outside Burma is questionable.

What is interesting is that some EC officials have covertly supported the “third force” inside the country in the creation of a civil
society. Do EC bureaucrats really believe that these half-baked “third force” people, who are merely spokesmen of the regime, can
create a civil society in Burma?

No wonder Burmese inside and outside the country see EC bureaucrats as part of the problem in Burma’s complicated political
landscape. They appear to support a controversial “third force” inside Burma and the regime’s sham election instead of increasing
targeted sanctions against the regime and its cronies or supporting the UN human rights envoy’s commission of inquiry on crimes
against humanity.

In March, the UN Special Rapporteur on Burma stated that human rights abuses in Burma are very serious and that the UN
should consider establishing a commission of inquiry into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity. So far, the EU is silent
on this issue, as if the regime has committed no crimes at all.

Sadly, on the Thai-Burmese border, the EC’s decision to cut funding for relief work on the Thai-Burmese border sent a shock wave
through the area as the EU is one of the major donors there.

Refugee agencies on the Thai-Burmese border said they are concerned that a cut in funds could hurt medical programs for
Burmese refugees.

According to London-based Burma campaign UK: “The European Commission has consistently refused to fund such aid, and has
failed to provide an adequate explanation as to why, instead making vague statements about accountability and monitoring. This
argument is not credible, as the British government and other EU members with strict monitoring requirements are satisfied with
monitoring of cross-border aid.”

Burma Campaign UK also said: “There are around 100,000 Internally Displaced People in Eastern Burma who are in need of cross-
border aid, and around 2.5 million people in Eastern Burma for whom cross-border assistance is the only or easiest way to deliver
aid. Cross-border aid is also needed in other states in Burma.”

On May 20, the European Parliament called on the EC “to reverse cuts in funding for refugees on the Thailand-Burma border and
immediately start funding cross-border aid, especially medical assistance.”

However, after Thailand's foreign minister said in June that the Bangkok government hoped to send Burmese refugees home after
the elections a EU official told The Irrawaddy: “The EU does not expect that the elections in Myanmar [Burma] in 2010 will create
conditions conducive to an immediate return of the predominantly Karen to eastern Burma, particularly since a ceasefire between
SPDC [the Burmese government] and the Karen leadership seems unlikely to materialize and armed conflict persists to this day.”

So just what do the EU and EC currently stand for?

EU observers believe that internal confusion and rifts within the community have also compounded its Burma position and its very

The Irrawaddy has recently learned that some EC officials and bureaucrats take personal positions that go against not only EU
common policy but also democratic principles.

They are said to be highly critical of Suu Kyi and her party's decision not to contest the coming election. Moreover, these EC
officials and bureaucrats also see civil society groups, campaigners on the border and ethnic campaign movements as

If this is true, the integrity and dignity of the EU and its democratic principles have to be questioned. We assume these officials and
bureaucrats were born in a democratic society. The irony is that they have expressed a dislike of civil society and campaign groups
working for a better Burma.

The regime keeps over 2,000 political prisoners in gulags, soldiers continue to commit human rights abuses in the ethnic regions
and refugees and displaced persons are stranded along the border. A climate of fear pervades the country.

However, the EU is sending conflicting signals to Burma and the pro-democracy movement—a shameful state of affairs, which has
contributed to
deep unhappiness among Burmese inside and outside Burma when discussing EU policy.

In a recent letter to EU foreign ministers, European-based Burma lobby groups said they were “deeply concerned that European
Commission staff openly and publicly advocate against the agreed Common Position of EU member states and against the positions
taken by the European Parliament in its resolutions. We believe that it is unacceptable that Commission officials who have no
democratic mandate undermine the official position of democratically accountable member states and the European Parliament."

The EU and EC should now officially clarify the issues outlined above—and
Burmese democratic forces, campaign groups and exiled news groups should investigate more thoroughly EU and EC Burma
policies, in order to make those organizations more accountable in this critical time for Burma.

Copyright © 2008 Irrawaddy Publishing Group |

PAPERS Putting the Boot In
-Why the US really wants
By Bertil Lintner Bout
It's time to consider how to bring the brutal generals to justice -Behold, beware
GRAPHIC DESIGN Myanmar's fourth empire
Nothing galvanized the Burmese nation against its colonial masters more than a proclamation in
PHOTOGRAPHY 1917 saying that British officials would not have to remove their shoes when entering Buddhist -UN ignores Burma
temples, pagodas and monasteries. junta's drugs role
ABOUT It may sound strange to Westerners that this caused such an outcry, but, to the Burmese, it was the -Deception and denials
ultimate insult against their religion. The “Shoe Issue” dominated nationalist agitation in the 1920s, in Myanmar
and it marked the beginning of the end of colonial rule in Burma.
Today, history is repeating itself, but in a much more brutal way. During the recent crackdown on the
Buddhist clergy, heavily armed Burmese government soldiers not only tramped into sacred places of dictator
worship with their army boots on, but they also stole gold objects, televisions, mobile phones, fans
and other items from the monasteries. -Australia's strategic little
Monks were beaten, arrested and some were even killed. The army’s stampede into the monasteries
should be seen as the beginning of the end of military rule in Burma. -Myanmar's nuclear
But the question is, how will military rule end and a democratic order replace it? Certainly not through
some kind of “dialogue” with junta leader Than Shwe and his coterie of thugs, who have shown time -The Roots of Thailand's
and again that they are willing to do anything to cling on to power, even desecrating the country’s Turmoil
holiest institution.
“Dialogue” followed by “national reconciliation” are popular buzz words with the NGO community, and
with the donors on which they depend. But, under present circumstances, such a scenario is totally
unrealistic. Worse, it is playing into the hands of the junta, as it gives it the benefit of the doubt.
For, as Kyaw Zwa Moe pointed out in an online commentary carried by The Irrawaddy on October 9,
after the crackdown, “It’s game time again for the generals.” Having killed lots of people, the junta’s
standard tactic is to throw out some bait to the international community to keep them guessing—and
criticism at bay.
This time it is the appointment of a deputy labor minister Maj-Gen Aung Kyi to “liaise” with opposition
leader Aung San Suu Kyi. It would be a serious mistake to see this as a “concession”; the junta is just
buying time by making some foreign observers believe that progress is in motion.
At the same time, the junta is showing its intransigence by rebuffing resolutions by the UN Security
Council and clinging to its own “roadmap” to “disciplined democracy,” a euphemism for continued
military rule. At home, the generals have organized “mass rallies” in support of themselves.
A Canadian friend, Bradford Duplisea, sent me an e-mail after reading about this soi-disant “spontaneous outburst” of pro-junta
sentiment: “While reading the most recent news from Burma, I remembered this quote from George Orwell’s 1984: ‘All over Oceania this
morning there were irrepressible spontaneous demonstrations when workers marched out of the factories and offices and paraded
through the streets with banners voicing their gratitude to Big Brother for the new, happy life his wise leadership has bestowed upon us’.”
Clearly, Burma’s Big Brother is no more likely than “Oceania’s” to listen to reason; it will just go on as before, whipping people into line,
with brute force, if necessary.
Thus, the recent crackdown on the monks and others should also give Western—and Asian—proponents of “engagement” with the so-
called State Peace and Development Council something to think about.
Among the most vocal of those advocates is Robert Taylor, who, in an essay in the 2004 National Bureau of Asian Research report,
“Reconciling Burma/Myanmar,” suggested that the junta would be a good partner for the US in its war against terror. Another advocate of
“engagement,” Morten Pedersen, a Dane who in his recent book, “Promoting Human Rights in Burma: a Critique of Western Sanctions
Policy,” asserts that the best way to promote human rights in Burma is to cozy up to the generals.
Even more bizarrely, when monks and others were being killed and arrested in Rangoon, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, a German
foundation, organized a Burma tour, in which, according to The New Light of Myanmar of October 7, “thirteen scholars with two from the
European Union and the European Parliament” took part. The FES delegation visited a showcase “drug eradication project” in a remote
corner of northeastern Burma, where, the paper said, they were received by “U Phon Kyar Shin,” who, in fact, is Peng Jiasheng, one of
Burma’s most notorious drug lords.
Clearly, a more enlightened approach is needed, and the time has come to explore the possibilities of bringing the top leadership of the
present junta to international justice.
Presently, there is only one international institution that can deal with crimes against humanity: the International Criminal Court in The
Hague, Netherlands. But there are other ways as well. The Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic, for instance, was tried by a special UN-
initiated International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The UN Security Council also set up a special court to try the
perpetrators of genocide in Rwanda. In Cambodia, another special court is now trying some of the leaders of the Khmer Rouge, who are
being held responsible for crimes against humanity when they were in power from 1975 to 1979.
The ICC was established in 2002 as a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war
crimes. The ICC should not be confused with the International Court of Justice, usually called the World Court, which is also based in
The Hague and is the United Nations’ organ that settles disputes between nations, such as the 1962 settlement of the question of Thai
or Cambodian ownership of the Preah Vihear temple complex.
Although crucial states such as China, India and the United States have not joined the ICC, it has managed to open investigations into
four cases: Northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, and Darfur in Sudan. To date, the ICC
has issued eight arrest warrants and two suspects, Congolese warlords, are in custody, awaiting trial.
The ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor acts independently and is empowered to open an investigation under three circumstances:
When a situation is referred to the office by a state party;
When a situation is referred by the UN Security Council, acting to address a threat to international peace and security;
When the Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber authorizes the Prosecutor’s Office to open an investigation on the basis of information
received from other sources, such as individuals or NGOs.
The problem here is that, if the UN Security Council determined that the crimes committed by Burma’s ruling junta did pose a threat to
international peace and security, permanent members China and Russia could veto such a resolution. Nevertheless, it is necessary for
the discussion to move away from repeating the “dialogue” mantra, and to involve experts on international law to examine the
possibilities of seeking justice for the victims of Burma’s present junta.
A campaign to bring the top leaders of the junta before the ICC or some other international judicial body would send a clear signal to
other Burmese officers that the behavior of the Burmese army is unacceptable. It could also encourage those other officers to realize that
it is pointless to continue to support an atavistic and anachronistic regime, which has no future. Then, a dialogue might eventually be
possible, not with the incorrigible junta stalwarts, but with more reasonable army officers.
A main problem that Burma will have to face when the present regime collapses is that the civilian opposition does not have adequate
capacity to fill the ensuing power vacuum. Burma has not had a truly civilian government since 1962 and lacks people with administrative
skills and experience. For 45 years, Burma has had no power centers other than the military, and civil society has been almost totally
suppressed, so a transition to civilian rule is not going to be easy.
However, Than Shwe and his closest associates are not going to give up power voluntarily, or negotiate away their power and privileges
—and street demonstrations are not enough to oust their regime.
Burma’s only hope is a meeting of minds between elements of the armed forces and the pro-democracy movement. Together, they may
be able to hold the country together when the junta falls. But first those alternative military elements have to be identified in order to
isolate the top leadership.
Involving international judicial expertise could be the first step forward, but that should not be seen merely as a tactical maneuver. Those
responsible for the carnage in Rangoon and elsewhere must be held accountable for what they have done, and it is only reasonable that
the victims of their brutal rule are demanding justice.
As with a dialogue, national reconciliation can be achieved between more moderate elements of the armed forces and the population at
large. But not with Than Shwe and his cronies.
This article first appeared in The Irrawaddy, November 1, 2007
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Home > European Union: most anti-democratic and neoliberal in history

European Union: most anti-democratic and neoliberal in

Interview information
Nick Buxton
Interviewee(s): Susan George [1]

Susan George shared these reflections in the run-up to the Asia-Europe People's Forum. Find out more on how to get involved

What kind of Europe is Asia meeting with in October?

Asia will be meeting with the most neoliberal and undemocratic Europe in history. The European Union (EU) has just forced through
a constitution, under the name of the Lisbon Treaty, which has the same elements that were rejected by the French, the Dutch and
later the Irish. In the words, of the architect of the constitution, Valery Giscard d'Estaing, the European Commission “has made
cosmetic changes so it will be easier to swallow.”
The European Union is not a democratic entity. We have to vote how they want us to vote or it doesn't count. EU commissioner
Gunter Verheugen captured their attitude after the French and Dutch 'No' votes, saying “We must not give in to blackmail.” This is
extraordinarily disturbing. It is a rejection of enlightenment thought, the rightful capacity of people to intervene in how they are
governed. Anti-democratic values are taking hold. We have become stakeholders instead of citizens, consumers instead of
sovereign people, we are offered consultation rather than real participation. I don't accept this.
Asians should therefore not take any lessons about democracy from the Europeans. Clearly there are several Asian countries that
are not democracies, but that is not my main concern as I am not Asian. My concern as a European is that we are going backwards
and that makes me very angry.
Now that the Lisbon Treaty has been forced through, what are your remaining key points of concern?
Apart from the clear democratic deficit - indeed the contempt for democracy- my main concern is that the Lisbon Treaty puts Europe
under the umbrella of NATO, and therefore under the military control of the US, and hence the Commanding Chief of the US army.
The Treaty says specifically that “for the countries which are members [of NATO]”, which is the vast majority of the EU- 27, the NATO
commitment is the "the foundation of their collective defense and the forum for its implementation." Obama might be a better
Commander in Chief than Bush but it means we are still under thumb of whoever is in charge of the US.
The treaty also confirmed a further push towards the privatisation of public services. The Treaty affirms Europe's commitment to
“undistorted competition” and opens up all “services of general economic interest” to competition. Since nearly all public services
have an economic interest, this will enable the handover of public services to the private sector (apart from a few deliberately
excluded like the judiciary, police, army etc). What they have achieved with telecommunications, they now want to extend to health
care, water and education.
And the European Union will also clearly use any way it can to advance these objectives. A typical example is the Bolkestein
Directive, which is another long and complex text but included an attempt to make European workers subject to the labour laws and
conditions from their “country of origin.” For example a Lithuanian worker taken to work in Scandinavia would still be subject to
Lithuanian labour laws. Labour unions pointed out that this would put Lithuanian workers in competition with Scandinavian workers,
undercutting them with lower standards.
The Directive was defeated in some aspects politically but immediately after this apparent victory, the European Court of Justice
came up with four decisions that legalised different elements of the Bolkestein Directive such as the “country of origin” rule. What
they don't get one way, they will do another way.
This creates a very unfair and unbalanced battle for non-governmental organisations like TNI or ATTAC. It is difficult enough to follow
all the developments in the EU, and even harder to confront proposals as corporations want all of these things and have far more
means to lobby and pressure for them.
How do you see the economic state of Europe in the aftermath of the Euro crisis and the recent shift to austerity
I think what we are seeing is a disaster comparable with the Herbert Hoover period of 1930-1931, where US elites believed that
doing nothing would bring salvation and tightening up spending would take out the country out of depression. Before Franklin
Roosevelt was elected, Republicans were practising the same policies Europe is practising now, but Europe is going further, with
draconian structural adjustment policies like those forced upon southern countries by the IMF from 1980 onwards. These austerity
budgets won't create an impulse for jobs or industry; they will lead to stagnation. However, they will once more enrich the elites at
the expense of ordinary people.
We desperately need Keynesian policies. We must reject the idea that are there are fixed laws on things like deficits. The Germans
say 3% but these are artificial numbers. The most important thing to grasp is that even if you are creating deficits, you must do this
an investment in the future by investing in education, research, supporting small and medium-scale businesses with environmental
and social ends. We need to start by socialising the banks we bailed out and then forcing them to lend to innovative enterprises.
We also need to put the European Central Bank back under public control. Did you know that the ECB lends to private banks at 1%
and they lend to states like Spain, Ireland and Greece at whatever markets will bear? It is completely perverse but states cant get
credit from ECB directly. This is mindboggling but is like that because the financial sector want it that way.
Meanwhile the European economy has lost 4 million jobs in last 2 years since the crisis was formally recognised. This growth in
unemployment will continue while EU governments are allowed to practice austerity. This is a moral crisis, I am sorry to say, where
the innocent - workers, retired people – are punished while the guilty - the financial sector - are rewarded.
What kind of relationship do you think the EU is looking to forge with Asia?
Unfortunately, I think they are approaching the talks with a narrow market vision incapable of seeing beyond horizon of three months
ahead. We used to be a centre for a social vision, demonstrating that this was possible for a whole world. That it was possible to
share the benefits of growth so everyone profits and provide education at a high level, healthcare, retirement benefits,
unemployment benefits. This gave people protection but also allowed people to innovate because they were not afraid that they
would lose everything if they made a bad decision.
Instead we have chosen exactly the opposite course, trying to compete in market terms with people prepared to work for ten, twenty,
thirty times less. That is a losing game. We have become subject to the British Conservative Party's vision of Europe which has no
social vision, but sees Europe only in market terms.
Meanwhile Europe is pursuing an agenda of trying to exploit weaker partners through so-called 'Economic Partnership
Agreements' (EPAs), which force developing countries to abandon any investment rules or anything that blocks the freedom of
European transnational companies. Many governments succumb to these agreements particularly countries from Africa, the
Caribbean and the Pacific because they fear losing aid or trade preferences. So they end up handing over their sovereignty. It is a
kind of neocolonialism.

What kind of relationship should we be looking to forge as social movements?

The best thing we can do is show we can have successful workers movements and demonstrate that by giving workers maximum
protection that we can create a culture in which one can innovate and take risks. That is the way to be “competitive” today—not by
forcing down wages and benefits to rock bottom.
Trade Unions have to get together with ecologists, women, development organisations and others. We have to seize every
opportunity to forge alliances of this kind, something TNI is very good at.
We have to make common cause between Asian movements and our own, because we are all losing out from current policies.
Governments and transnational companies are very effective at forming cross border alliances to defend their own interests, so it is
absolutely crucial that we do this effectively as social movements.

Woman carrying Euro [Credit:] [3]

AEPF Declaration [4]
AEPF civil society recommendations [5]
AEPF overview [6]

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