Editorial_December Issue
covering burma and southeast asia
Wednesday, December 12, 2018


Editorial_December Issue

By The Irrawaddy DECEMBER, 2004 - VOLUME 12 NO.11

(Page 2 of 3)


The irony is that if basic Buddhist teaching of the five precepts—against killing, stealing, engaging in sexual misconduct, lying, and using drugs—were observed, as religious devotees recommend, these regime-sponsored afflictions would not have befallen Burma.


The reality proves that Burma’s cherished title of “The Golden Land” (because of its glittering pagodas and temples) is nothing more than words.


Burmese Buddhists have a political as well as spiritual duty to save Buddhism’s grace from the exploitation of hypocritical and shameless generals.



Ceasefire Groups Must Play their Card—or be Endplayed


It is now more than a decade since ethnic ceasefire groups in Burma reached agreement with the ruling junta. Most of those 20 or so groups were hoping for political reform, not only for the country’s sake but also on behalf of their own people. How far have those hopes been realized?


Politically, they attained what was called a “National Convention”, proclaimed by the military regime as the first step of its seven-step “road map” aimed at drafting a new constitution. When the convention resumed in May 2004, after an eight-year suspension, the ceasefire groups were invited and they attended.


The main opposition parties, the National League for Democracy, or NLD, and the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy decided, however, to stay away from the convention, complaining that the junta had rejected their demands to change the convention’s undemocratic proceedings. In July, the convention stalled again.


When the junta announced recently that it would resume the convention next February, the ceasefire groups seemed ready to attend again.


In reality, the convention was a failure from the start, even though opposition parties participated at the first sessions in 1993. Two years later, in 1995, the NLD walked out of the convention, complaining that participants were not allowed to talk freely.

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