Letters to the Editor — October, 2010
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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Letters to the Editor — October, 2010

By THE IRRAWADDY Thursday, October 14, 2010

(Page 4 of 16)

Is there any evidence the crime was committed by a Burmese migrant? Did the students who complained to the police say why they wanted a crackdown on the presence of Burmese near their university? The Thai call the Shan the "Tai Yai" and feel much more tolerantly toward them because they regard them as ethnically related, than they do to ethnic Burmans, for whom they harbor a deep distrust, possibly due to all the historical dramas on Thai TV and in the movies showing the Burmese as war-mongering invaders.


How ‘Fair and Soft’ is Ye Myint Aung?

Regarding the article, “Troop Movements Reported Along Bangladesh-Burma Border” [February 11, 2009; http://www2.irrawaddy.com/article.php?art_id=15096]:

I wonder how Ye Myin Aung tarnishes the image of Burma by his racist remark. There are many “pure Burmese,” particularly those from upper Burma have dark brown complexions. I guess Mr Aung must be a Chinese or a Chinese descendent as he claims to be white and being posted to Honk Kong. I think he must also be a gay as he claimed that he is “fair and soft.”


Chiang Mai Tragedy

Regarding the Article, “Student’s Murder Leads to Migrant Roundup” [February 12, 2009; URL: http://www2.irrawaddy.com/article.php?art_id=15099]:

The rape and murder of a Thai university student was a tragic thing. The persecution of an entire community of migrant workers, because of the actions of two evil members of that group is almost as tragic.

Bernice Johnson

Little Time Left for UN

Regarding the article, “Gambari Had ‘Good Discussion’ in Burma: Ban” [February 11, 2009; URL: http://www2.irrawaddy.com/article.php?art_id=15090]:

Well, Mr Secretary-General, do not get me wrong. I really appreciate what you and Mr Gambari are doing for Burma. We really thank you all for that. However, I do not think that you have much time left. The Burmese military government's planned 2010 election is getting closer. I do not think it is necessary to explain who will win that election. The military government will not give up power so easily and the generals will do everything to get the result that favors them. I can bet my life on that.

Sometimes it makes me wonder whether the UN Secretary-General has really read the new constitution of Myanmar [Burma] carefully or not. It is rubbish. Everyone can see that, but Mr Gambari seems to put his trust on the military government's so-called road map—whatever that means. We in Burma are losing hope as year 2010 is getting closer. Now the SPDC government is not a legitimate government, but if everyone lets them win the 2010 election, they will become legitimate. Everything in Burma is in bad shape these days but it will get worse if they win. We really want to change the way it is now, but as you can all see—we are leaderless. All the people who can lead the fight for us are in prison. In my opinion, the UN must concentrate on the military government releasing all the political prisoners immediately. We do not have much time left. What are you waiting for?

Myat Minn

Questioning Tai Roots

Regarding the book review, “A Sweeping Survey of the Shan” [January 30, 2009; URL: http://www2.irrawaddy.com/article.php?art_id=15010:

I am a little uncomfortable with the uncorroborated perpetuation of the following opinions which are presented as fact time and time again on the Internet: first, the assertion that the terms Shan and Siam are from the same root; second, that Nan Zhao was a Shan empire. Both of these are modern myths based on limited evidence and maintained predominantly by Tai nationalists, but also by their fervent international supporters. The first idea is perpetuated to somehow connect all Tais without current autonomy to the most successful "Tai" nation state, which ironically is the least culturally, linguistically or genetically Tai and whose epicenter is the farthest away from the proposed original Tai homelands in southeastern China.

The second idea of a Tai empire prior to the second millennium CE in Yunnan is now largely discredited by Chinese historians who generally accept that Nan Zhao was a complex multi-ethnic polity with the Yi ethnic group forming the governing elite. Whereas giving young Shans some ethnocentric pride is generally to be lauded given the current oppression of ethnic culture within Burma I have concerns that the continued perpetuation of uncorroborated or discredited ideas is in the long term harmful rather than helpful.

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